Welcome to the Friday edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, where we are all business, all the time…except for a little news on 3D printing materials, that is. BASF acquires the Solvay polyamide business, OMNI3D names its new CEO, and AP&C has received an important ISO certification. Sculpteo is starting a 3D printing consulting service, while Airwolf3D begins its new 3D Printer Buyback Program and AstroPrint launches an equity crowdfunding campaign. Finally, colorFabb introduces its newest material, and Prusa has announced that its multi-material pre-orders for the i3 MK2 should begin shipping next month.
BASF Continues 3D Printing Material Expansion with Solvay Acquisition
Global chemistry group BASF, which acquired Innofil3D last month, is continuing its expansion into the world of 3D printing materials with the announcement that it has signed an agreement with Solvay to acquire its international integrated polyamide business for roughly €1.6 billion. This acquisition will further strengthen BASF’s position as a solutions provider to multiple industries, including transportation, construction, and consumer.
Both companies will be entering into a binding purchase agreement and plan to close the final transaction in Q3 2018, once the customary regulatory approvals are obtained and they’ve received formal consent from a joint venture partner, which has already committed to grant consent upon delivery of the definitive documents. Solvay will be integrated into BASF’s Performance Materials and monomer divisions, complementing its engineering plastics portfolio and giving BASF access to important growth markets in Asia and South America.
OMNI3D Names New CEO
Polish 3D printer manufacturer OMNI3D, which unveiled its flagship industrial Factory 2.0 3D printer two years ago, has announced that financier Paweł Robak will be the company’s new CEO and Managing Director, as founder and former Co-CEO Konrad Sierzputowski leaves the company to work on developing other businesses. Robak spent the last four years as the managing director at Meyra GmbH in Germany, and has 20 years of experience as a manager and financier in Poland and abroad. Sierzputowski says that OMNI3D will be in good hands with Robak, whose transition has already brought about many positive changes, including expanding the company’s range of filaments, developing a new sales strategy, and continued development of the Factory 2.0.
“Thanks to the experience gained in various industries, I understand the needs of the business customer. Increased productivity, higher profitability and quicker satisfaction of end-customer needs are elements that combine both the needs of our customers and our owners,” Robak said. “For this reason, at the request of the Speed Up Innovation Fund, I decided to support the further development of OMNI3D, which needs further impulses, a new strategy and its implementation after an initial development phase. The new approach offers each customer added value, as the production and sale of 3D printers are just tools to achieve this. The use of 3D printing to produce tooling, prototyping and the production of short series of personalised products can improve the efficiency of operations and bring enormous savings to any industrial business.”
AP&C Receives Important ISO 13485 Certification
Metal additive manufacturing solutions provider Arcam AB has announced that its Canadian powder manufacturing subsidiary, AP&C (Advanced Powders & Coatings), recently received an important ISO certification. AP&C is already certified to ISO 9001 and AS 9100, and can now add to the list ISO 13485 certification, which is designated for the orthopedic implant industry. AP&C is growing fast, and will join GE Additive, Arcam, and DTI (DiSanto) at next week’s TCT Show in Birmingham to exhibit its new capabilities.
“The ISO13485 certification proves our firm’s commitment in producing quality powder to the industries we serve,” said Alain Dupont, President of AP&C. “With the certifications and our recently inaugurated new state of the art powder manufacturing plant we are well positioned to serve our customer’s needs.”
Sculpteo Announces New 3D Printing Consulting Service
French 3D printing service company Sculpteo announced the creation of its new Sculpteo Studio consulting service, run by industrial designers Alexandre d’Orsetti and Piotr Widelka. The service is designed to help its customers become industry leaders in digital manufacturing and optimize 3D printing use by taking advantage of Sculpteo’s design, consulting, and training services. Sculpteo Studio designers will help with product design, 3D printing and laser cutting, and assist companies in determining where to implement 3D printing and how to use it to optimize their supply chains. The consulting service also organizes workshops and conferences and provides two categories of training – 3D design and 3D printing technology training (dedicated modulus to SLS 3D printing, CLIP 3D printing or metal 3D printing).
Sculpteo writes, “With Sculpteo Studio, we want to share our expertise in 3D printing and laser cutting with you, in order to help you undertake the challenges of manufacturing. Thanks to our experience in the field of digital manufacturing, we help you understand the benefits these technologies could bring to your business and we support you in each step of their implementation, with training services, design services, and consulting services.”
Airwolf 3D Begins 3D Printer Buyback Program
California-based Airwolf 3D recently launched a new 3D Printer Buyback Program for its customers – the company will purchase other brands of 3D printers, in exchange for credit that will go toward a new AXIOM 3D printer from Airwolf, which can successfully 3D print with industrial materials.
“The program is designed for customers who’ve found that they desire higher functionality from their machines — namely printing high-performance materials like polycarbonate, polypropylene, TPE, and TPU,” Airwolf 3D employee Jazmin Casing told 3DPrint.com.
For a limited time, you can get up to $2,500 in trade-in credit when turning in your old 3D printers, so long as the machine is in good working condition when Airwolf 3D evaluates it. The program is only good for the following 3D printers and credit amounts:
- Makerbot Z18 ($2,500), Makerbot Replicator+ ($1,500), Makerbot 5th Gen ($1,000), Makerbot Replicator 2 ($800)
- Ultimaker 3 ($1,800), Ultimaker 2 Series ($1,500), Ultimaker 1 ($500)
- LulzBot TAZ 6 ($1,500), LulzBot TAZ 5 ($900)
AstroPrint Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign
AstroPrint is on a mission to simplify 3D printing, and to that end has launched an Equity Crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo platform. Instead of pledging money to invest in a product or service, the campaign allows anyone to invest in the future of 3D printing by purchasing ownership in the company. This type of crowdfunding only became possible in recent months, after the SEC had lifted restrictions on non-accredited investors who wanted to invest in private companies. Together with joint venture partner MicroVentures, Indiegogo began offering Equity Crowdfunding last year.
“The idea behind Equity Crowdfunding is very similar to the idea behind ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). In the past, only the wealthy could invest in startup companies, and the general public was specifically excluded,” explained AstroPrint CEO Drew Taylor. “The goal of portals like equity.Indiegogo.com is to democratize investment in startups allowing anyone to become an investor. In addition, we’re really excited about our super-fans and other 3D printing enthusiasts finally having the chance to come onboard as owners of AstroPrint!”
The campaign requires a minimum $100 investment.
colorFabb Introduces New nGen_LUX Filament
colorFabb has announced a unique new 3D printing filament – nGen_LUX, the first special filament based on its best-selling co-polyester nGen material and made with Eastman Amphora AM3300. The filament offers unmatched surface quality, thanks to its diffuse reflection, which means that the light which shines on the print scatters to multiple directions. While prints made using colorFabb’s metal-filled filaments look distinctly non-printed, they do require post-processing, which is not the case for prints made using nGen_LUX.
“At colorFabb we are always looking to meet our customer’s needs and offer filaments with added value,” colorFabb wrote. “The aesthetics of nGen_LUX allow for a new step in production and prototyping, especially for cosmetics, packaging, interior parts, electronics housings and many more applications.”
The filament has been thoroughly tested in colorFabb’s print lab on several popular printers, including the LulzBot TAZ 6, the Robo R2, and the Prusa i3. While it’s not yet available for purchase, it will be featured for the first time at next week’s TCT Show in Birmingham in Hall 3, Stand H39, and at the Helian Polymers Stand 13 at the Kunststoffenbeurs.
Prusa i3 MK2 Multi Material Pre-Orders Shipping Soon
Last September, Prusa Research introduced an upgrade that would transform the Original Prusa i3 MK2 into a multi-material 3D printer; a second multi-material upgrade was announced in April. Now the company has more multi-material news – while there’s still a lead time listed, it looks like all pre-orders will be shipped next month. PrusaControl also supports multi-material printers now, and you can download the new version here. A new multi-material handbook is also available online, and Prusa has added new chapters about topics such as troubleshooting jammed extruders, print reliability, and a list of tested filaments with wipe tower size recommendations. Additionally, Prusa is also testing, and adding on, new supported filaments for both PrusaControl and the Slic3r Prusa Edition. Be sure to look for Prusa at the upcoming Maker Faire NYC and the TCT Show in Birmingham.
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