We’re starting off with the business end of things in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by some software news, a 3D printing handbook, and a new 3D printing material. The Dubai RTA has introduced new 3D printing initiatives, while Optomec announces a sales partnership with CNC Software and ESUN enters a strategic sales and R&D partnership with ZYYX. 3D Systems’ QuickParts e-commerce platform has expanded to the EMEA region, and Autodesk expands its Generative Design software preview. Finally, 3D Hubs has launched its new 3D printing book, and Prodways introduces a new 3D printing material.
New 3D Printing Initiatives Unveiled by Dubai RTA
Last year, the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) started using 3D printing technology to make better parts for the metropolitan train system, and this fall signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Siemens to 3D print spare parts for the Dubai Metro’s subsystems, under the framework of the RTA’s 3D printing initiative. Now, the committee responsible for implementing the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy at the Dubai RTA has introduced new 3D printing initiatives that will focus on using the technology to implement more RTA projects. These initiatives will serve the RTA’s first strategic goal – turning Dubai into a Smart City.
“The new initiatives the RTA intends to implement using the 3D printing technology will span various projects such as a pedestrian bridge, Hatta Gates, bus stop, and marine transport station,” explained Abdul Reda Abul Hassan, Executive Director of Rail Projects Planning & Development at the Rails Agency and Chair of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy Implementation Committee at the RTA. “Using 3D printing technology in implementing these projects will help developing innovative methods capable of contributing effectively to promoting Dubai as the smartest city; a global hub for tourists, visitors, investors and businessmen and a leading financial, tourism and service centre in the world.”
“The 3D printing technology is advancing at a rapid pace across the world and RTA is strongly inclined to be a forerunner in this generation of technology. It seeks to optimally utilize the technology by applying the world’s best practices of public transport industry and associated infrastructure. We are proud of this leading regional role in widening and upgrading the 3D printing technology in Dubai in line with the emirate’s vision of becoming the smartest city in the world. To realize our projected objectives, we have engaged in joint ventures with flagship companies. We are fully confident that this digital technology will revolutionize the way Dubai’s mass transit projects are implemented.”
Optomec and CNC Software, Inc. Begin Sales Partnership
Optomec and CNC Software, Inc., the developer of widely-used CAM software Mastercam, have entered into a global sales partnership that will expand the capabilities for a hybrid toolpath. Optomec will support and sell Mastercam software products, together with an additive plug-in tuned for its production-grade LENS process and additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed metals. The plug-in is integrated into Mastercam’s software, and leverages its capabilities, such as kinematic analysis and native CAD modeling and importing, and has an intuitive graphical user interface that supports subtractive, additive, and hybrid workflows. Users can also control the full suite of LENS 3D printing functionality, like slice planes, fill parameters, toolpath, and geometry, using the plug-in.
Dave Boucher, Director of Product Development, CNC Software, Inc., said, “Partnering with Optomec allows Mastercam to provide our award-winning technology to a specialized area of the additive market. The combination of subtractive machining that we have provided for over 35 years, along with newly developed technology to drive metal additive machines, allows Mastercam and Optomec to provide a solution for the hybrid manufacturing market. We are excited to work with Optomec and their LENS technology to provide users with a truly versatile machining solution.”
Shenzhen Esun Industrial Co., Ltd. and ZYYX Announce Strategic Partnership
At formnext 2017 this week, Shenzhen Esun Industrial Co., Ltd. (eSun) and the Swedish ZYYX 3D printer brand, owned by Magicfirm Europe, announced their new strategic sales and R&D partnership. eSun will be the exclusive distributor for the ZYYX pro 3D printer in China, and will also create a new business segment focused on professional 3D printer users that need to make functional prototypes, jigs, and fixtures. The two will also work to develop new engineering-grade 3D printing materials together, and the first of these new materials, the ZYYX proGlass filament – a PA66 Nylon with 15% glass fiber content – was showcased at formnext.
“We have worked with ESUN for some time developing new tailored materials for the ZYYX pro, and we are honored to be able to say that we now will work even closer to offer more materials, all with a clear application within professional printing,” said Mats Moosberg, CEO of Magicfirm Europe AB and the creator of the ZYYX 3D Printer.
“For example our customers have asked us for glass fiber filled nylon since this is a good engineering plastic for mass production of strong parts by injection molding, and they want to prototype as closely as possible with their ZYYX pro units. The proGlass gives them this possibility, as well as giving them another strong engineering material to choose from in tooling and jigs production. The market for desktop 3D printers is getting tougher and tougher, and it is crucial to have a clear ambition, and our ambition is to provide our customers a complete toolset for functional prototyping and production of jigs and fixtures. The materials are at the center of such offering and we are very happy to say that we are now working closely with the leading supplier of 3D printing materials in the world.”
QuickParts Platform Expands to EMEA
This week at formnext 2017, 3D Systems announced that its On Demand Manufacturing Services Quickparts e-commerce platform, which allows customers to generate quotes and order parts for metal and plastic prototypes with fast delivery, is now available in the EMEA region. There are 12 different 3D printing processes available through the platform, along with a full range of materials and finishes, and depending on size and complexity, confirmed orders will ship out within three working days. Customers can sign in and upload a CAD file to the platform, which is available in five languages, to receive an immediate quote or consultation, and parts fulfillment for the newly available region will be provided by one of the company’s five European manufacturing facilities.
Phil Schultz, senior vice president, On Demand Manufacturing Services and Plastics, 3D Systems, said, “Many of our customers need instantaneous help with design challenges, materials, and processes, while others need a simple way to validate their design. We are very pleased to offer this new e-commerce experience to our customers in the EMEA region; enabling them to quickly and easily bring their designs to life and move from prototyping to production.”
Autodesk Expands Its Generative Design Software Preview
Last summer, Autodesk announced that a tech preview of its innovative Autodesk Generative Design (AGD) service would be available to users of its Netfabb Ultimate 3D printing and design software. AGD allows design teams to rapidly create and explore design options, so they’re able to analyze the various tradeoffs they can manage along a price/performance curve – users can generate hundreds of potential design solutions, as opposed to two or three. Subscribers with access to the tech preview created over 2,180 design studies and generated nearly 28,000 possible solutions in less than two months – these results have been so good that Autodesk decided to expand the preview, in order to include its Fusion 360 Ultimate subscribers, starting this week.
“We subscribe to the ‘design thinking’ philosophy where quantity is valued over quality in the ideation phase and we think AGD is a HUGE leap forward in design. With AGD, we have brought that philosophy to our CAD work and we can now identify form and function early on and use the natural synthesis from a multitude of design options to find the best path forward,” said Kenny Cornett, Owner of Innovation Forge and an early Netfabb Ultimate user.
“Autodesk Generative Design has opened up new worlds to us. We are now able to evaluate hundreds or even thousands of designs in the time it would have previously taken our design team to come up with ten. The results have been beyond our imaginations with organic-like forms that are difficult – or even impossible – to conceptualize with our previous tools. Autodesk is ahead of the curve with the first product like this on the market. Just like when AutoCAD was introduced 30 years ago, this new paradigm in design is just the beginning of an exciting era of new possibilities and outrageous results.”
You can also check out the technical updates to AGD that will be available beyond the tech preview expansion.
3D Hubs Publishes 3D Printing Handbook
Online 3D printing service platform 3D Hubs is celebrating the official launch of its book, The 3D Printing Handbook, with a foreword by iPod creator Tony Fadell; 3DPrint.com Editor-in-Chief Sarah Goehrke also provided feedback on a few technical chapters and completed a cover review as well. The book, which contains 20 chapters, is jam-packed with diagrams and color photos about 3D design and the various 3D printing technologies and applications, and also contains case studies and decision-making tools for selecting the proper technology, among other helpful topics.
“With over 300 pages of actionable design advice and decision making tools, it reads unlike any other engineering book, full of easy-to-understand diagrams and inspiring visuals,” George Fisher-Wilson, 3D Hubs Communications Manager, told 3DPrint.com.
“With contributions from Volkswagen, The University of Oxford, Desktop Metal, Carbon, Ultimaker, ExOne, Boeing, Markforged, Stratasys, Concept Laser, Envisiontec and others, we aimed to make this the most comprehensive book on 3D printing currently available.”
You can purchase The 3D Printing Handbook on Amazon, though as of right now, it is out of stock due to, unsurprisingly, high demand; Amazon says it will be restocked this weekend. To take a look at how the book was made, check out this 3D Hubs blog post.
Prodways Launches New 3D Printing Material
Industrial 3D printer manufacturer Prodways announced the launch of the first PA6-12T plastic selective laser sintering material at formnext this week, the first material to come from its exclusive strategic partnership with international high-performance plastic compounds and composite materials supplier A. Schulman. The glass-filled material can be used with conventional plastic processing techniques to 3D print parts that can withstand high temperatures and possess high impact resistance and rigidity. PA612-GB 3800 can also maintain mechanical properties in humidity, thanks to its low sensitivity to moisture absorption.
At the moment, the laser sintering market is dominated by fast prototyping materials, but the new PA612-GB 3800 powder makes it possible to use 3D printing more often to produce small and medium final parts. According to beta testers, the material is easy to use, and it’s proposed for single use, which will all but guarantee a similar performance for each use in mass production.
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