3D Printing News Briefs: November 10, 2017

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In today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, Sketchfab has reached an important milestone, and Johnson & Johnson is opening a new technology innovation center in Texas. LPW has formed a strategic partnership with APWorks, while Nexeo Solutions expands its partnership with NatureWorks and Vader Systems announces the first commercial sale of its Mk1 3D printer. Finally, Simufact is releasing the latest version of its metal AM software, while MachineWorks is demonstrating its latest Polygonica software at formnext in Frankfurt next week. Several other companies we’re telling you about in News Briefs today will also be at formnext – there have already been lots of exciting announcements ahead of the event, with many more to come.

Sketchfab Reaches 2 Million Models

3D model website Sketchfab has some exciting news – in 2016 it announced that it had reached one million models after four years, and now Sketchfab has doubled that number in just a year with a total of over two million models. In that time period, Sketchfab has been working hard to make the platform the best it can be, supporting the latest VR hardware and browsers, improving its real-time renderer, making every model accessible through augmented reality, and even adding a fourth dimension – sound – by making the first ever WebVR animated short, “Lily & Snout.”

As Artist Evangelist & Community outreach employee for Sketchfab Paul Chambers wrote, “But we couldn’t have done any of this without your tremendous work. Every day we see incredible contributions from archaeology to engineering, from animation to digital sculpting. Seeing your amazing work every day drives us forward.”

Johnson & Johnson Opens Center for Device Innovation

This week, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) opened the Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC), which is a collaboration between TMC and Johnson & Johnson Innovation to accelerate the development of cutting-edge medical device technologies. The 26,000-square-foot facility, designed to be an impetus for creativity, is inside the TMC Innovation Institute, and will allow JJMDC R&D staff to complete each stage of product development for internal projects without having to leave TMC. It offers rapid prototyping capabilities, and all sorts of engineering tools, such as a 3D printing lab, a machine shop, a mechanical testing lab, a virtual reality demonstration area, and an electronics workspace and component lab.

“CDI @ TMC represents unprecedented collaboration between the scientists, business leaders, academicians and investors required to bring revolutionary medical devices from concept to market. With all these resources in one zip code, medical devices may be developed, tested, moved to clinical trials and regulatory approval, then provided to the doctors and patients around the world who need them faster than ever before,” said Sandi Peterson, Group Worldwide Chair of Johnson & Johnson.

LPW Technology Forms Strategic Partnership with APWorks

Bionic armrest made of Scalmalloy

Metal powder manufacturer LPW Technology has formed a strategic partnership with AIRBUS APWorks GmbH in order to supply APWorks’ Scalmalloy aluminium-magnesium-scandium alloy to the additive manufacturing sector. This will allow LPW to build on its experience in the aerospace sector and strengthen its metal powder portfolio with Scalmalloy, which is developed specifically for AM. It has high fatigue properties, strength, ductility, and weldability, along with a unique microstructure that stays stable at high temperatures – perfect for aerospace applications.

“As the market leader in the development, processing and supply of high quality metal powders and software solutions for the AM industry, we are continually expanding our materials range to enable new applications and productionisation of the technology. Expanding our metal powder range to include Scalmalloy®, with its high strength, lightweight characteristics, enables manufacturers to access the technological and commercial benefits this proven metal AM alloy has to offer,” said Ben Ferrar, LPW’s Chief Operating Officer.

You can visit both companies at formnext – LPW can be found at booth D48 in Hall 3.1, while APWorks will be at booth E69 in Hall 3.1.

Nexeo Solutions and NatureWorks Expanding Partnership

Leading global chemicals and plastics distributor Nexeo Solutions announced that it will be expanding its partnership with NatureWorks in order to increase its existing PLA offering by adding Ingeo 3D printing filaments. Its new PLA filament is based on Ingeo 3D870, a new FFF-grade, high-heat material from NatureWorks, which manufactures its Ingeo-branded PLA from greenhouse gases. Ingeo 3D870 has high impact resistance and rivals ABS materials in performance, making it a good choice for manufacturing parts like fixtures and jigs and simulation of injection molded components. Nexeo also distributes less expensive Ingeo general-purpose filament, for applications where improved heat and impact are not a requirement.

“NatureWorks, the leading global manufacturer of PLA, has worked closely with Nexeo Solutions since 2009. With the addition of 3D filaments, we are proud to become a single-source supplier for our customers’ PLA requirements,” said Hector Mas, Global Manager 3D Printing at Nexeo Solutions.

First Commercial Sale of Mk1 3D Printer by Vader Systems

Today, Vader Systems announced the first commercial sale of its Mk1 liquid metal 3D printer to engineered aluminum automotive components supplier BECKER CAD-CAM-CAST. Vader’s patented MagnetoJet technology melts metal wire and uses electromagnetic propulsion to rapidly print on-demand, precision droplets of molten metal in a cost-effective way. Since the Mk1 uses standard aluminum wire, material costs for printing these dense parts go down even more. In Q1 of 2018, Becker will begin to integrate the Mk1 system into the manufacturing process at its new Michigan plant; the company plans to add a second system in late 2018 at its German headquarters.

“An important part of my vision in developing this technology was to impact the automotive industry,” explained Zachary Vader, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-founder of Vader Systems. “I’m thrilled that a company of Becker’s caliber has recognized this potential and is choosing to integrate the Mk1 into their manufacturing process.”

You can learn more about Vader’s MagnetoJet technology at formnext, at both the Siemens booth E68 in Hall 3.0 and the Becker booth A44 in Hall 3.0.

Simufact Releasing New Version of Metal AM Software

MSC software company Simufact will soon release the third generation of its Simufact Additive 3 software solution for metal additive manufacturing. The software will now offer a thermo-mechanical simulation method, so users can get a better look at the effects of thermal energy in order to determine the influence and deformation of the base plate; this feature also analyzes the layered calculation of the build process, so users won’t need to do any preliminary calibrations. It also offers a Linux solver, and allows engineers to more easily examine stresses and distortions in the base plate. In addition, Simufact Additive 3 makes it quick and easy to model several geometries in the build space, and since it has integrated Hexagon’s 3DReshaper technology, lets users compare CAD data and simulation results with best-fit positioning.

MachineWorks to Demonstrate Latest Polygonica Software at formnext

Model Courtesy of monk3947 at Thingiverse. Polygonica Logo added by MachineWorks Ltd.

At next week’s formnext, MachineWorks will be exhibiting the latest release of its Polygonica software development kit (SDK). The recent 2.1 release of its polygonal modeling toolkit has plenty of additional functionality to support local modeling operations, such as regional offsetting. The imprinting of 2D profiles and 3D curves now supports embossing and engraving of decals, logos, and text into parts, and convex decomposition was added in order to improve the collision detection performance in dynamic environments. It also has enhanced feature detection and improved simplification algorithms.

Fenqiang Lin, Managing Director at MachineWorks Ltd, said, “The feedback from leading additive manufacturing providers about Polygonica’s capabilities is extremely positive and we strive to developing Polygonica further, anticipating customers’ needs.”

MachineWorks will be demonstrating its Polygonica 2.1 onsite in Frankfurt next week at stand 390 in Hall 3.1.

Let us know what you think about these stories, and other 3D printing topics, at or share your thoughts in the comments below.


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