3D Printing News Briefs: September 8, 2017

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about some exciting new centers opening up that specialize in 3D printing technology, an additive manufacturing course and a little medical news, and some interesting 3D printed objects. Thales is creating an industrial center in Morocco that specializes in metal 3D printing, while Z3DFAB opens a Digital Production Center in South Korea. H2 Manufacturing Solutions is bringing GE Additive’s Design for Additive Manufacturing course to Denver, and Exactech is the first US implant manufacturer to use PowderSolve for medical implants. A Belgian startup is using recycled plastic to 3D print sunglasses, and Formlabs tested the strength of its SLS technology by 3D printing a large pavilion structure for the FUSE conference.

Thales Creating Industrial Center in Morocco

The Thales Group has a long partnership with Morocco, and supports the country’s goal to progress in the aerospace sector. With that in mind, the company is opening an Industrial Competence Centre in Casablanca, which will specialize in metal 3D printing. The 1000 m² center is part of the company’s Industrial Acceleration Plan, which supports the development of an innovative, country-approved ecosystem around Thales and its local suppliers. The center already has two selective laser melting (SLM) printers on-site, and Thales plans to add 10 more. Eventually, the Industrial Competence Centre will employ about 20 technicians and engineers, and will offer other countries, starting with Morocco, a genuine, global center of expertise.

“With an existing aerospace ecosystem of subcontractors, Morocco has everything needed to become Thales’ global centre of expertise in 3D printing,” said Pierre Prigent, Thales Country Director in Morocco. “The use of a secure digital platform provides the industrial Competence Centre with the latest innovations in terms of connected industry and smart plants, and will improve the competitiveness of the solutions offered to our customers.”

Z3DFAB Opening Digital Production Center in South Korea

Z3DFAB, the joint venture between French additive manufacturing expert Z3DLAB and HS HI-TECH, a South Korean expert in semiconductor cleaning, is opening a digital production center in its Dongtan-myeon facility. The first phase of the plan includes making 27 machines in the center operational and ready for medical certification and production by the end of the year. To help in this endeavor, Z3DFAB uses EOS technology, and has announced the first EOS M 290 machine, with EOSTATE MeltPool solution, in Korea.

“The long implementation of all the mastering in cleaning and post processing as well as passivation was essential to qualify Z3DFAB to the highest standards in AM production for the medical world. With the EOS EOSTATE MeltPool we have the fundamentals for High standards in production and QA,” said Madjid DjemaÏ, the CEO of Z3DLAB. “Now we will capitalize on this to integrate all the remaining for the automotive and aeronautic specifics and make of Z3DFAB the best and biggest digital AM center of Korea.”

H2 Manufacturing Solutions Bringing GE Additive Course to Denver

Next month, Colorado-based H2 Manufacturing Solutions, together with GE Additive and manufacturing assistance center Manufacturer’s Edge, is bringing GE Additive’s Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Course to Denver. GE Additive’s engineering leader Chris Schuppe, whose teams created and generated over 50 patents last year, will lead the course, and other GE Additive experts will serve as instructors; the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is providing classroom space and Manufacturer’s Edge will provide lunch for the two-day class, which takes place from 8 – 5 on October 24th and 25th. Topics will include an intro to additive manufacturing, design for additive manufacturing, and additive part selection, among others, along with open discussion and break-out exercises.

Heidi Hostetter, the CEO of H2 Manufacturing Solutions, said, “Additive manufacturing is fundamentally changing how manufacturing is done, and the biggest gap is designing parts to realize all the benefits additive provides. We’re thrilled to bring the world’s leading experts in additive manufacturing design to Colorado to share their knowledge. H2 and Manufacturer’s Edge saw this as another way to help the ongoing effort to make Colorado a leader in additive manufacturing.”

The course, which is limited to two attendees from any organization/company, ordinarily costs $3,000 per seat, but will be free of charge this time for the first 55 manufacturing professionals from Colorado who register.

Exactech First Implant Manufacturer in the US to Use LPW PowderSolve for Medical Implants

Exactech, a US implant manufacturer that provides high quality bone and joint restoration products, is working with LPW Technology to apply its powder quality control software, PowderSolve, for 3D medical implants. Medical components must be mechanically reliable and biologically compatible, so manufacturers need to be confident in the metal powders they use to make the 3D printed components. Metal powders can pick up oxygen when they’re reused, and can also become contaminated if not handled properly, so Exactech contacted LPW, which is ISO 13485 certified and offers a comprehensive powder testing service, to make sure that its titanium 3D printing powders “are within the same stringent specifications before each repeat build.”

“Using PowderSolve, the ability to know the material condition and to track the powder history, or genealogy, through different blends, repeated uses and different batches ensures full metal powder traceability in every individual part that we build,” said Ron Green, Exactech’s Senior Director of Manufacturing Operations. “The assurance that this presents to a surgeon, delivering enhanced patient mobility through Exactech implants, cannot be underestimated.”

Belgian Startup 3D Printing Sunglasses from Recycled Plastic

Sebastiaan de Neubourg places lens into frame of 3D printed sunglasses [Image: Thomson Reuters]

Belgian startup w.r.yuma, which is pronounced “We are Yuma,” got its name from one of the sunniest places on Earth, and recently kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for its 3D printed sunglasses, made out of recycled plastic waste. The startup aims to turn plastic waste, sourced from the Netherlands and the Flemish region of Belgium, into different colors of sunglasses. The plastic is fed into a 3D printer and melted into strands of plastic wire to build the frames, which are put together by hand and outfitted with Mazzuchelli lenses from Italy. w.r.yuma’s founder and CEO, Sebastiaan de Neubourg, wants to make sustainable recycling useful as well as fashionable, and is inviting potential clients to send the sunglasses back once they’re done with them, so they can be turned into a new pair.

de Neubourg, a former mechanical engineer for a sustainability consultancy, said, “I think that sustainability should become mainstream. We’re not going to solve the plastic waste problem by just taking this plastic and putting it in sunglasses, but it’s a first step. … I want to touch a lot of people with that message.”

Formlabs Tested SLS Technology by 3D Printing Large Pavilion for FUSE Conference

Boston-based Formlabs wanted to put its SLS technology through its paces, and illustrate what 3D printing at scale looks like, both in terms of design size and the number of units in production. So applications engineer Amos Dudley and designer Aashman Goghari worked together to conceptualize, design, 3D print, and build a large pavilion structure, to be used as a unique meeting space during the 2017 FUSE conference, its first users’ conference. Dudley and Goghari used Rhino to generate the form, and over the course of 36 hours, used the Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer to make nearly 150 connector modes out of Nylon 12 thermoplastic; 3D part packing algorithms were used to get all of the connectors into one build. 505 hangers were 3D printed on a Form 2 in Durable Resin, and hollow fiberglass tubing served as the structure’s struts; altogether, the components held up nearly 100 lbs of laser-cut HDPE panels. Over the course of four six-hour days, three people assembled the parts into a large pavilion structure that was 8.5′ tall and 15′ across.

“As designers, we imagine a future where converting a digital-spatial concept to a physical reality is seamless and automatic, like 3D printing. The construction system used to build the FUSE pavilion can also be applied to interior design, furniture, sculpture, and more. When we combine tomorrow’s construction methods with digital fabrication tools like the Fuse 1, there will be nothing standing in the way of architects and any form imaginable,” Dudley wrote.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com. Don’t forget to discuss in the Facebook comments below.


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