3D Printing News Briefs: September 29, 2017


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We’re starting off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with some business stories, then moving on to some new products. Luxexcel has received an equity investment from a venture capital fund, while 3D Printing Studios is partnering with SAP Distributed Manufacturing and CRP Technology signs a new dealer agreement. The Ultimate 3D Printing Store is introducing a new custom enclosure, and Xometry has announced a new SOLIDWORKS add-in. Finally, Sculpteo is changing up its default nylon offering.

Luxexcel Receives Equity Investment

In May, Belgium-based Luxexcel received a $10 million equity investment as it got ready to begin shipping its 3D printing vision platform to ophthalmic labs around the world. Now, the company announced that it has received an additional €4 million in equity financing from Netherlands-based venture capital fund Innovation Industries. This latest investment will allow the company to rapidly expand the functionality of its platform for prescription lenses in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) applications, including smart glasses, cameras integrated in eyewear, and drone control consoles.

“AR/VR applications have become a hot topic in the industry.  We add the ability to 3D-print ophthalmic-quality prescription lenses to these applications,” said Hans Streng, CEO of Luxexcel. “This enables the AR/VR headset manufacturers to offer fully personalized smart eyewear in an attractive frame design. The ability of our platform to 3D-print ophthalmic lenses in any shape or form and the possibility to embed new functionalities in the lens triggers entirely new dimensions in terms of user-experience and business opportunity.”

The first Luxexcel platforms, which consist of an industrial-grade optical 3D printer, lens design software, ophthalmic quality print materials, and workflow integration tools, will be installed in Europe and the US. By using the platform, AR/VR headset manufacturers have access to lens customization.

3D Printing Studios and SAP Distributed Manufacturing Announce Partnership

This week, the 3D Printing Studios service bureau, which operates out of Asia and Australia, announced a new partnership with SAP Distributed Manufacturing, a leader in the enterprise application software market. SAP will work with 3D Printing Studios to provide companies in the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region with access to services and the latest industrial 3D printing technology. Now that 3D Printing Studios is part of the SAP ecosystem, it plans to expand its B2B 3D printing services and use collaborative applications so it will be better able to serve regional companies looking to adopt a digital manufacturing approach.

“Having been in the 3D printing industry for almost a decade and being the early pioneer in this region, we have grown with our customers and have seen an increase in demand from companies adopting 3D printing for ‘Industrial Grade’ printed parts meant for functional applications,” said Jason Joo, Managing Director for Asia and Co-Founder of 3D Printing Studios. “This moves the use of this disruptive technology beyond just for prototyping.”

“Asia is the fastest growing market region with many emerging economy currently booming and growing at a very healthy state, the adoption of 3D printed products being use is a very encouraging indicator and we want to be in the lead position to capture a significant market share from the manufacturing space.”

CRP Technology Increases European Presence with New Dealer Agreement

Windform XT 2.0: Energica Eva electric motorbike 3D printed front nose

CRP Technology, part of the CRP Group, has signed a dealer agreement with LSS Laser-Sinter-Service GmbH – LSS will sell CRP’s carbon fiber-reinforced composite SLS materials, Windform XT 2.0 and Windform SP, in the Austrian and German markets, as well as provide technical support from set-up to material processing. These high-performance materials are based in polyamide – Windform XT 2.0 is known for its mechanical properties, and is perfect for functional applications and creating durable prototypes in applications like aerospace and motorsports. Windform SP has mechanical properties similar to that of Windform XT 2.0, but with increased resistance to deformation, shock, and vibrations; it’s also waterproof and resistant to moisture and liquid absorption.

“We are pleased to launch this new dealer alliance – LSS is our support and service provider for AM. We have known each other for a very long time now,” said Franco Cevolini, CEO and Technical Director at CRP Technology. “Together with LSS we’ve developed customer-specific solutions and hardware and software upgrades for our 3D Printing Department. Now with LSS we decided to improve our collaboration. This agreement will further strengthen our business relationship and it will act as an important step in introducing Windform materials to new customers throughout Germany and Austria.”

Ultimate 3D Printing Store Introduces New Custom Enclosure

The Florida-based Ultimate 3D Printing Store (U3DPS) has designed and created a custom, clear enclosure to cover and protect the Series 1 Pro 3D Printer by Type A Machines, so that 3D printer owners can increase the lifespan and use of their machines.

Roy Kirchner, Founder and President of U3DPS, said, “Our design and engineering department worked closely with industry experts to create a state-of-the-art, custom-fitted enclosure that mounts directly to the existing frame.”

“The enclosure helps to maintain the thermal consistency within the printing environment, which can result in better printed parts. With the development of more exotic material requiring controlled environments for printing, this was the next logical step.”

The enclosure, which is available for purchase online, can be taken apart and laid out flat for easier, safer shipments – this helps U3DPS keep prices down and reduce the risk of damage. The $399.99 enclosure can be combined with an optional HEPA filtration system and fume extraction system from BOFA Americas Inc. for an additional cost of $799.99.

Xometry Announces SOLIDWORKS Add-In

Top manufacturing on demand platform Xometry has announced the newest update to its SOLIDWORKS Add-In, which lets users instantly get quotes on prices and lead times, and even manufacturing feedback, within a single Dassault Systèmes CAD software program. The latest version, which you can download for free here, offers a faster, more seamless experience, with an increased SOLIDWORKS integration that’s able to detect more design specifications and part features. The Add-In is a one-stop shop for on-demand manufacturing, and connects designers and engineers with the best solutions, at the best price, over multiple capabilities, including professional 3D printing, sheet metal, CNC machining, and urethane casting.

“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship and broaden our integration with SOLIDWORKS as an approved solutions partner, making the process of getting feedback and pricing on your parts faster and more seamless. Our enhanced integration with SOLIDWORKS now saves the engineer additional time with auto-population of thread and insert specifications,” said Scott Rothrock, Chief Technology Officer, Xometry. “We’ve also added a comprehensive user manual to provide details on Add-In functionality including seven easy-to-follow tutorials to help users get familiarized with the Add-In tools. The Xometry Add-In continues to make ordering custom parts faster and easier than ever.”

Sculpteo Changes Default Nylon Offering

Starting tomorrow, September 30th, Sculpteo will no longer be offering Nylon PA11 black plastic 3D printing material in its online 3D printing service. Instead, it is replacing it with HP Multi Jet Fusion PA12, which up until this point was only a beta material for Sculpteo and will now be its only black plastic 3D printing material. Many beta users were enjoying using the high-quality PA12 material to 3D print superior parts; it is excellent for creating resistant objects and complex shapes, so Sculpteo decided that all of its users should be able to use the material. Multi Jet Fusion PA12 is made from a fine polyamide powder, and features high impact resistance and great elasticity. It’s also light-stabilized and allows for high precision 3D printing.

“You can create prototypes using this new black material for 3D printing. But it is also perfect to do fully functional plastic parts, especially for applications in the automotive sector, electronics, education or even in the medical industry. Multi Jet Fusion PA12 has good mechanical properties, thus it is often used to substitute injection molding plastics,” Lucie Gaget wrote in a Sculpteo blog post. “There is no particular finishing available for Multi Jet Fusion PA12. Nevertheless, this black plastic material is relatively smooth after coming out of the printer, thus it doesn’t need a special finish.”

To learn more, check out Sculpteo’s blog post on the differences between PA11, PA12, and HP Multi Jet Fusion PA12.

Discuss these, and other 3D printing stories, at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.


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