3D Printing News Briefs: September 6, 2017


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We’ve got a lot of business news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by new 3D beta software, 3D printing materials work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and a limited edition 3D printed shoe. 3D printing startup mything has secured €2.1 million in funding, while Desktop Metal announces a US supplier for its metal 3D printing systems and Danfoss opens the first of three planned 3D printing centers. RedWorks has created a proof of concept, and Ultimaker is recently rolled out the stable Cura 2.7. ORNL is working with a diesel engine maker to repair heavy-duty engines, and Concepts is offering a limited edition of the Under Armour ArchiTech Futurist shoe.

Austrian 3D Printing Startup Secures Pre-Launch Funding

Vienna-based 3D printing startup mything.com has a goal of becoming an international platform for 3D printed products that are made by local manufacturers. It will be a central platform, with local manufacturing in 3D printing shops at the heart, where manufacturers, designers, and customers can easily meet. Many products are still manufactured in a central location and then shipped to the buyer, and mything hopes to end high transport and storage costs with its business model. The startup is focusing on niche markets due to the benefits of personalization and availability, and is currently testing its platform out and recruiting designers and manufacturers. mything plans to launch the marketplace this fall, and recently achieved €2.1 million in funding from Austrian venture capital firm KaPa Ventures. This is a rare move for a venture capital firm, especially because the business is not yet “up and running.”

“3D printing is on the point of entering the mass market. At precisely this sweet spot the moment appears to have arrived to set up a platform that can bring all the necessary partial aspects and players in additive manufacturing together. That is the reason for our considerable investment at this early stage,” explained Frank Kappe, investor at KaPa Ventures. “The expiry of important patents in this sector means that enormous sums are currently being invested in taking the technology to the next level. This development hugely benefits the market and will even gather more momentum. It may sound presumptuous, but additive manufacturing will be the foundation of the next industrial revolution. It is precisely for that reason that we are involved in mything at its inception.”

Desktop Metal Announces Morris Group as New Supplier

(L-R) Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal and Brad Morris, President and CEO of Morris Group, Inc.

Massachusetts-based Desktop Metal has chosen one of North America’s largest CNC machine tool distribution networks, Morris Group, Inc., as a top tier, Diamond Partner supplier of its metal 3D printing systems. All of Morris Group’s machine tool distributors will supply Desktop Metal’s Studio System, the first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping, in 30 states. By adding the Studio System platform, which uses a proprietary Bound Metal Deposition process, to its CNC machine tool lineup, Morris Group’s distributor network can now offer an end-to-end suite of advanced solutions to precision metal parts manufacturers in the US. Demo systems of the metal printing platform will also be exhibited at multiple locations through Morris Group’s network.

“We are very pleased to represent Desktop Metal and excited to introduce this groundbreaking 3D printing technology to metal cutting manufacturers in our distribution area. Our organization brings more than seventy-five years of manufacturing experience, knowledge and customer support to the table,” said Brad Morris, President and CEO of Morris Group.

“We researched many different additive manufacturing technologies over the past several years and believe that Desktop Metal offers the best metal 3D printing tool for our customers’ needs. We look forward to introducing the Studio System and other Desktop Metal products to the market as they are developed.”

Danfoss Opens 3D Printing Center in Denmark

Danfoss CEO Kim Fausing on his visit to the new Danfoss 3D printing center.

Working to be a global frontrunner in its digital transformation, Danfoss recently opened the first of three new global 3D printing centers. The first 3D printing (ADM) center, located in Denmark, has attracted a lot of interest among employees of the company’s R&D departments, and there was already a major project pipeline before the center opened last week. This first ADM center will give companies in various business areas in the European Union a chance to work on 3D printed prototypes and components, as well as receive expert assistance. Another ADM center is currently underway in North America, and a third has been planned in Asia. All three centers will be equipped with top 3D printing technologies, including a powder-based HP 3D printer that’s been installed at the first center.

Kim Fausing, the CEO of Danfoss, says that 3D printing technology “is an important part of Danfoss’ digital transformation.”

Fausing said, “We offer world-class knowhow and equipment, and I am looking forward to utilizing these new digital technologies to strengthen our offering to our customers. With this first of our ADM centers, we are taking another major leap forward.”

RedWorks Announces Proof of Concept

The RedWorks team, which is working to help NASA colonize space, began testing the first of its Mars Habitat Spinoff technologies last year. The technologies are the first phase of its Made for Mars program, and the team, which is working to build a flexible system to 3D print building materials from dirt, recently announced that it now has a proof of concept. RedWorks completed a successful test of its first prototype crucible, and has observed sintering in conventional play sand, using no additives, water, or binding agents, and less than 1.5kW of power.

RedWorks wrote, “This test is by no means the end of the line for RedWorks prototype development, and we’re already working on our next generation system that will be more energy efficient and produce material material stronger than brick using nothing but the dirt beneath your feet and technology Made for Mars.”

Ultimaker Rolls Out Stable Version of Cura 2.7

With the help of its community, Ultimaker works to make its Cura 3D printing software the best, easiest to use, and most efficient slicing software on the market. Following helpful feedback from the introduction of Cura 2.7 beta, the company recently rolled out the stable version of the update, which includes improved functionality, bug fixes, and extra features to make the user experience even better. In terms of functionality, Cura 2.7 offers, among other features, gradual support infill, a relative Z seam function, the ability to print thin walls and top surface skin, and ‘resume temperature’ and ‘pause standby’ functions.

There are new keyboard shortcuts, a special theme to reduce eyestrain when working in dark environments, a plugin browser, and the top navigation bar was also redesigned. The Polish language is now supported (select this option in the Preferences menu), and Cura 2.7 beta has also added support for several third-party 3D printers, including the Type A Machines Series 1 and the Peopoly Moai. You can find a full list of bug fixes and new features on GitHub, review the release notes here, and you can download Cura 2.7 here for free.

ORNL 3D Printing Process Used to Repair Engines

A 3D printing process developed at ORNL repairs and strengthens a Cummins engine without the need to recast parts, which reduces costs and saves energy. [Image: Brittany Cramer, ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy]

Cummins, Inc., an Indiana-based diesel engine maker, is working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to use 3D printing technology on heavy-duty engine repairs. The two are developing a material that will help repair the engines that have been damaged by a million miles of extreme conditions, without having to recast parts. The team of researchers decided against simply replacing an engine’s cylinder head, and instead removed the worn-out section of engine, then used 3D printing to add a high-performance alloy that was better than the original casting. The process was developed at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), with a goal of saving energy while making the engine stronger and giving it a longer lifespan.

Nikhil Doiphode, Cummins’ parts R&D engineer, said, “We’re decreasing the engine’s thermal conductivity, which holds heat in longer, and turning it into increased efficiency. While these are not brand-new engines, we’re striving to make them better than new.”

Concepts Announces Limited Edition 3D Printed Shoe

This spring, Under Armour introduced its latest athletic shoe featuring a 3D printed midsole – the ArchiTech Futurist sneaker. Now, together with Concepts, Under Armour is presenting a limited edition of the super-hybrid sneakers. The shoe and its packaging celebrate and pay homage to the legacy of Tom Brady, of the New England Patriots, and the team’s historic fifth Super Bowl win during the 2016-2017 NFL season, with a unique Patriots color palette.

This version of the 3D printed ArchiTech Futurist sneaker is limited to 100 pairs, and available for purchase exclusively at Concepts’ Cambridge location. The shoes will be available starting at 10 AM tomorrow, 7 September – the same day as the Patriots’ season opener. At 11 AM, all remaining pairs of the limited edition sneakers will be available to buy online.

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


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