It’s the first 3D Printing News Briefs of the month, and today we’ll be starting off with a little 3D printing material news, followed by a 3D printed military project, 3D printed aircraft engine parts, and some business news to round out the day. i.materialise has introduced a new finish for its polyamide material, a group of Marines at Camp Lejeune are testing out a small, 3D printed remote-controlled aircraft, and Safran’s newest helicopter engine features 3D printed parts. Royal DSM announced a collaboration between Somos and 3D Hubs for 3D printed tooling, while a new report says that 3D printing could cut out a quarter of world trade by 2060. Finally, a pitch deck has raised $30 million in Series A funding for Cazza Construction.

New Waterproof Finish for i.materialise Polyamide Material

Belgium-based 3D printing service i.materialise has launched a new finish for its Polyamide (SLS) material – now you can order 3D printed objects that are waterproof, in addition to the many other colors and finishes available for the material. The material, only available in white to ensure maximum quality, can be used for small series, as well as complex and functional models, and adding the waterproof finish, recommended for decorative use, to 3D printed objects will make them more impermeable. The maximum size of models that can be waterproofed is 300 x 300 x 300 mm, and the diameter above internal channels needs to be at least 6 mm, so you don’t block them with the sealing agent.

“To obtain the waterproof finish, the model is 3D printed using the same procedure as standard Polyamide prints,” writes i.materialise employee Aura in a blog post. “Once the Polyamide piece is done, we process the surface of the material with an aqueous solution to fill small pores and close the outer surface to make it water-repellent.”

“We apply the solution either manually, or by dipping the part, depending on the design. As with most post-production processes, extra labor cost is required and therefore, it will add two more working days to the standard lead time when you order your waterproof object on i.materialise.”

US Marines Testing 3D Printed SUAS

A Marine takes control of an SUAS during flight testing at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 27, 2017. [Image: Lance Cpl. Taylor Cooper]

At Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, US Marines with the 2nd Marine Division have been testing a 3D printed remote controlled craft known as an SUAS, or small unmanned aerial system. Engineers and technicians from the US Army Research Laboratory had Marines from multiple military occupational specialties take the 3D printed SUAS out for test flights to demonstrate how convenient and useful it is when compared to current systems the military uses, as well as learn its practical applications and capabilities in the field. The 3D printed SUAS can be quickly modified for different kinds of missions, and a catalog has been created by researchers so service members can choose the SUAS that best fits the objectives of their mission and download the necessary information to 3D print the craft, which can be created, printed, constructed, and ready to go in one day.

Eric Spero, a team leader in the vehicle technology directorate of the US Army Research Lab, said, “At this point we are focusing on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. We have different cameras such as an infrared and a day camera; there are different things we can do like stream the video to systems or a heads up display and record it for later viewing.”

Safran’s Newest Helicopter Engine Features 3D Printed Parts

The Aneto-1K, which will power the Leonardo AW189K, is the first member in Safran’s new 2,500- to 3,000-shp family of turboshafts. [Image: Leonardo Helicopters]

Speaking of aircraft, Safran Helicopter Engines is introducing its new turboshaft Aneto-1K engine, which features some 3D printed parts. The engine will be used in the Leonardo AW189K helicopter, and offer 28% more takeoff power, along with a 25% increase in power-to-weight ratio compared to other engines of the same size. Several 3D printed parts were used in the Aneto-1K engine, including parts that the company calls “critical” in the compressor’s stators.

According to Leonardo, using the new engine will allow the AW189K helicopter to “respond to market demand, particularly in hot-and-high conditions.”

Certification of the Aneto-1K engine is scheduled for the third quarter of 2018, with the helicopter’s entry into service happening around the same time.

Royal DSM Announces Collaboration Between Somos and 3D Hubs

Global science-based company Royal DSM has announced that 3D printing materials developer Somos, its additive manufacturing arm, is collaborating with 3D Hubs for an online 3D printed tooling service. Through its existing online platform, 3D Hubs has a network of certified service providers around the world who can provide strong 3D printed tools or molds made with Somos PerFORM in a matter of days. 3D printing technology is replacing traditional machining techniques in making tools, because it offers reduced production cost and time.

“The collaboration with Somos on 3D printed tooling further expands our network of manufacturing services and product offering. We are always targeting to offer our customers cutting edge materials and service,” said Bram de Zwart, the CEO of 3D Hubs. “Adding Somos PerFORM to our portfolio expands what our customers can do and allows them to create high quality 3D printed tools.”

Customers can submit quotes for 3D printed tools and 3D printed molds with this 3D Hubs Managed Services form, and receive a reply within one day.

3D Printing Could Wipe Out A Quarter of World Trade

Usually we talk about all of the good advanced technology, like 3D printing, is doing for the world; we don’t often focus on the potential negative impacts. But, according to a report titled “3D printing: a threat to global trade” by Dutch bank ING, by the year 2060, the innovative 3D printing technology that allows people to make items at home could potentially reduce nearly a quarter of world trade, as it would negate importing goods and products from abroad. This is only the conservative conclusion to the report: another scenario predicts that by 2040, nearly 40% of global trade could be wiped out by 3D printing. Currently, the technology doesn’t affect cross-border trading much, but ING says this could ramp up “once high-speed 3D printing makes mass production with printers becoming economically viable” and manual low-wage labor obsolete.

“Automotive, industrial machinery and consumer products are the industries that, as a result of 3D printing, will take the lead in suppressing cross-border trade. These industries are top investors in 3D printers and are large players in world trade. Once 3D printing becomes widely applicable and economically viable for mass production it will boost ‘local for local’ production with 3D printers at the expense of imports,” said ING.

“3D printing is good news for politicians that are concerned about their trade deficits. As the share of trade in GDP declines, so will their deficits.”

Cazza Construction Pitch Deck

Technology startup Cazza Construction Technologies, headquartered in California, is in the middle of a Series A funding round, and currently taking on new investors. But thanks to the startup’s innovative pitch deck, Cazza has already raised a significant portion of its $80 million round of funding, bringing the valuation of its estimated net worth to $450 million. According to the pitch deck, construction hasn’t changed much in the last several hundred years, with people still using the same inefficient, dangerous, and expensive methods.

“We are developing a new system of construction that provides more efficient processes in architecture, engineering, and materials that revolutionizes the way we design and develop houses and buildings,” reads one of Cazza’s pitch deck slides. “This system includes providing large-scale 3D printing technologies that can automatically ‘print’ houses and buildings based on the software designs.”

Chris Kelsey, CEO and Co-Founder of Cazza Construction Technologies, is now one of the top five wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs, with an estimated net worth of $200 million. We got a small taste of the startup’s new construction system last week, and are looking forward to learning more about its large-scale 3D printing technologies soon. Check out Cazza’s pitch deck to see videos of its 3D printing construction robots.

Discuss these stories, and other 3D printing topics, at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts below.

 

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