3D Printing News Briefs: September 1, 2017

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For this month’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ll be discussing a little business news, then moving to materials, and finishing with something fun to get your weekend started. Additive Manufacturing Technologies has announced a partnership with Midwest Prototyping, while the Dubai RTA is working with Siemens to produce 3D printed metro parts. Materialise brought its Metal AM Academy to India and Singapore, and both Sculpteo and i.materialise are introducing new materials. Finally, a cool new Sony smartphone app uses the phone’s camera to take 3D scans.

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Partners with Midwest Prototyping

Examples of the surface finish AMT’s PostPro3D machine can achieve. [Image: TCT]

Sheffield-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT), which manufactures additive manufacturing post processing equipment, has entered into a partnership deal with US additive manufacturing service bureau Midwest Prototyping LLC. The companies both recognize the necessity of good post processing solutions for 3D printed parts, and as part of the deal, Midwest Prototyping will get a PostPro3D automated surfacing finishing machine from AMT in Q4 2017, which offers automated surface finishing of Multi Jet Fusion and Laser Sintered parts. The two will work together to continue developing manufacturing processes that will introduce post processing work flows into the digital process chain, and AMT will have access to the largest 3D printing market in the world to sell its PostPro3D machines in the US. In addition, the President of Midwest Prototyping, Steve Grundahl, has joined the AMT board.

“The deal with Midwest Prototyping is a major step in our growth story,” said Joseph Crabtree, the CEO of AMT. “The arrangement will provide a US presence for our PostPro3D machine with a company who is able to print parts on site then demonstrate and showcase our technology to wide range of potential customers. Having the support of Midwest provides a great springboard for future US sales. We are delighted to welcome Steve Grundahl to our board. Steve’s wealth of additive manufacturing and commercial experience will strengthen the board significantly.”

Dubai RTA Working with Siemens on 3D Printed Spare Metro Parts

Under the framework of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) 3D printing initiative, it will partner with Germany’s Siemens to produce parts for the Dubai Metro’s subsystems. The two recently signed a memorandum of understanding that focuses on 3D printing, and the agreement forms part of Dubai’s strategy to become a 3D printing leader, as part of a directive given by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. According to a statement, the new agreement between Siemens and the Dubai RTA will work to “extend the sources of spare parts for the Dubai metro and increase their availability, reduce obsolescence issues and enable getting improved parts with better performance and increased features.”

Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, the CEO of the RTA’s Rail Agency, said, “This step would certainly consolidate RTA’s constant efforts to back up Dubai’s endeavours in becoming the world’s smartest city in three years, which would definitely contribute to make the residents of Dubai, its visitors and tourists happier and more satisfied.”

Materialise Brings Metal AM Academy to Singapore and India

Metal AM Academy at ARTC in Singapore

Recently, Materialise brought its Metal AM Academy to Singapore and India, in large part because the latter has been looking to “bring forth” more metal AM experts. The training session, meant to provide further education to local metal users on the metal AM process, has a specific focus on laser melting technology. The participants had a busy first day and learned about different challenges and aspects related to the technology, powder properties and requirements, machine components, and metal AM design guidelines. On day two, they learned more practical information, including support generation requirements, positioning and orienting metal parts, melt pool generation and influencers, and part quality and post-processing techniques.

According to Kirsten Van Praet with Materialise, “The transfer of knowledge allowed the participants to use their machines better and grow their expertise.”

The next Metal AM Academy will be held later this month in Korea; you can also contact Materialise about the availability of the academy in your specific region.

Sculpteo Introducing New Metal 3D Printing Material and Finishes

According to Sculpteo’s State of 3D Printing 2017 report, 3D printable materials that can handle complex shapes are important, as complexity is one of the objectives of metal 3D printing. With that in mind, Sculpteo has introduced its new metal 3D printing material, the Binder Jetting Stainless Steel 316, composed of a stainless steel alloy and well-suited to 3D printing small parts. The material is a less expensive 3D printing metal material, with strong corrosion and high temperature resistance and good mechanical properties.

It’s available in Raw and Polished finishing options, and parts printed with Stainless Steel 316 can be shipped worldwide in about 16 days, though the polishing option may add an extra 2-3 days on average. Make sure to respect the maximum building sizes when designing 3D objects in this new material: 6.4 x 6.4 x 6.4 mm minimum and 160 x 65 x 65 mm maximum, raw and unpolished. In addition, Sculpteo has also introduced its new Black Damascus finish for its strong Stainless Steel 420SS/BR material, which is a good choice for printing jewelry and decorative objects.

i.materialise Launches Polyamide (MJF) Trial Material

Piguin by i.materialise, 3D printed in Polyamide (MJF), Natural Finish

i.materialise has announced the launch of Polyamide (MJF), its latest trial material, for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology. Models made with this technology are constructed from fine, granular powder, and when you combine smooth polyamide with MJF, you get thinner walls, a more detailed surface, power porosity, and higher density than SLS 3D printing offers. It offers great design freedom, and comes in two finishes: natural, which offers a gray color and granular look, and dyed, which will add one day to a print job’s lead time, as models have to be submerged in a bath of black color pigment.

You can design the minimum wall thickness as low as 0.5 mm for living hinges, but most of the time that number will be 1 mm. The material makes it possible to print enclosed or interlocking parts, and the maximum 3D printed model size possible with i.materialise’s new polyamide (MJF) is 256 x 340 x 360 mm. Check out all of the design tips for the material in the design guide, or upload your model here to try it yourself. As this is a trial material, make sure to send any feedback or comments to community@i.materialise.com.

Sony Smartphone App Takes 3D Scans

The latest smartphones by Sony can turn any object, even a person, into a 3D model, just by moving the phone around. The phones create the detailed 3D scans by using the phone’s camera lens and a ‘very clever app,’ and not a depth sensor or dual lens system. The app does all of the data processing on the smartphone, instead of using a cloud service, and looks for changes in light as the moves around to determine depth. Then you can scan the object or person and 3D print a model, or turn it into a video you can share with your friends on social media. Sony said that “the innovation was possible thanks to the power of the processor in its latest handsets.”

The app’s 3D scanning algorithm needs a powerful processor to work, so it’s only available on the company’s latest phones, which Sony unveiled at the recent IFA Show in Berlin. Check out the video of the Sony smartphone 3D scanning app in action here.

Discuss in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.


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