3D Printing News Briefs: December 27, 2017

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Just because Christmas was two days ago doesn’t mean that the 3D printing industry has been taking a break. In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ll be covering the latest business and medical 3D printing news, along with a competition and ending on a note from the happiest place in the world. Sigma Labs has been awarded a contract with Laser Zentrum Nord, while GE is increasing its stake in Arcam and Nano Dimension has sold two of its DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printers. Organovo has received orphan drug designation from the FDA for its 3D bioprinted liver therapeutic tissue, and Glaze Prosthetics is holding a 3D printed prosthetics design competition. Finally, the modeling department at Disney is hanging a partially 3D printed sign over its 3D printer.

Sigma Labs Receives Contract from Laser Zentrum Nord

PrintRite 3D INSPECT Version 3.0

Quality assurance software provider Sigma Labs has been awarded a contract from Germany-based Laser Zentrum Nord (LZN) for its PrintRite 3D INSPECT software. While contract terms have not been disclosed, both companies have also agreed to collaborate in order to certify Sigma’s IPQA solutions and methodology for serial production 3D printing for aerospace applications.

“Advancements of 3D metal printing into production have been hampered by the inability to identify, monitor and mitigate defects during the printing process. We’re excited to work with Laser Zentrum Nord GmbH on the in- process dynamic behaviors that cause defects and to demonstrate and document how our PrintRite3D IPQA software addresses and solve these problems,” said John Rice, CEO of Sigma Labs. “This contract further validates Sigma Labs’ position as a leader in third party, platform independent quality assurance for the metal additive manufacturing industry.”

The PrintRite3D system will be installed onto an SLM Solutions 3D printer at LZN’s Hamburg headquarters.

GE Increases Stake in Arcam AB

Last fall, GE announced its intention to acquire controlling shares in Swedish metal additive manufacturing leader Arcam AB, though American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation soon rejected GE’s offer to acquire SLM Solutions, and it acquired Concept Laser instead, alongside Arcam. Today, GE has announced that it will be raising its stake in Arcam from 77% to around 95%, after it purchases outstanding Arcam shares, which were up 10.3% this morning, from both Elliott and Polygon Investment Group for SEK 345 ($41.44) each. In addition, GE plans to acquire all of the remaining shares of Arcam in a compulsory buy-out procedure.

After Elliott rejected GE’s initial tender last October, it built a 10% stake in Arcam before GE offered a 5% increase from its first offer, which led to the completion of the deal. After the buy-out, GE will be requesting that Arcam remove its shares from the Nasdaq Nordic exchange in Stockholm.

Nano Dimension Sells Two DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printers

Leading additive electronics provider Nano Dimension announced this week that it has sold two of its DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printers. The award-winning system, which enables the 3D printing of functional electronics, has been purchased by a top European technology research institution, in order to increase its research and development efforts of autonomous systems.

“We see a great potential to expand the use of 3D printing to developing fields such as autonomous vehicles, robotics and automation,” said Nano Dimension’s CEO Amit Dror. “From rapid prototyping of functional circuits to testing and custom manufacturing, 3D-printed electronics opens a whole new world of possibilities in design and engineering, and we’re honored to be a part of this institute’s research to develop future autonomous systems for a wide range of industries. This is now the second DragonFly 2020 Pro going to a leading global technology research institution. This bears testimony to Nano Dimension’s belief that its advanced 3D printed electronics systems are an indispensable tool for cutting-edge research institutions looking into robotics, electrical components, sensors, arrays, antennas as well as other sophisticated circuitry and electronics.”

In addition, a tier 1 European aerospace and defense supplier of components and systems has purchased the DragonFly 2020 Pro, and will install the system at its corporate research and technology center.

FDA Gives Orphan Drug Designation to Organovo

A sample of Organovo’s 3D printed liver tissue.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted bioprinting company Organovo the orphan drug designation for the use of its 3D bioprinted therapeutic liver tissue to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or A1AT. Orphan drugs have been specially developed to treat rare, ‘orphan’ medical conditions, and the FDA’s Orphan Drug designation program offers incentives to sponsors that are working to develop therapies for orphan diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 in the US. Due to its designation, Organovo is qualified to receive benefits, such as protocol assistance and clinical research tax credits, through its orphan drug development program.

“We are extremely pleased to receive orphan designation for our NovoTissues treatment of A1AT. The FDA’s rapid action recognizes the importance of developing regenerative medicine therapeutic applications, and mirrors our own urgency in addressing this devastating disease. With tens of thousands of patients being treated for inborn errors of metabolism (‘IEMs’) in the U.S., and an annual cost per patient that exceeds $250,000 for drug therapy alone, these patient populations are in desperate need of new treatment options,” said Organovo CEO Taylor J. Crouch. “This is a critical milestone that supports our ongoing development of 3D bioprinted tissues for therapeutic use. We remain on track for filing an Investigational New Drug (‘IND’) application with the FDA in calendar-year 2020, as we continue to conduct safety and dosing investigations in small animal disease models and move to defining and scoping IND enabling studies.”

Glaze Prosthetics Holding Prosthetics Competition

Polish startup Glaze Prosthetics, which makes 3D printed designer arm prosthetics, believes that amputees should use their disabilities to their advantage, and focuses on designing individual, customized prosthetics that are comfortable and help them overcome stereotypes. In order to reach a wider audience and get the word out about its prosthetics, Glaze is holding a competition for designers who have a vision of changing disabilities into something that expresses fortitude. The startup wants designers to create prosthetics that will “define disabled person and transform their infirmity into something that doesn’t have to be based on human efficiency.”

“Glaze is the place where art and science break even, creating responsible and meaningful design,” Glaze wrote in a press release shared with us. “You deserve a meritorious profit and we value the work of a creator.”

Participants can choose prosthetics for either the forearm or arm, and the projects will be judged by a panel made up of the startup’s target group: amputees. The jury members will choose one winner in each category, who will be awarded €500 and a real-life application for their winning design. You can learn more details and rules about the competition on the startup’s website beginning January 15th.

Disney Modeling Department Displays Partially 3D Printed Sign

36-year-old chef and Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) resident Chris Ruprecht is passionate about clay and metal sculpting, and has been building up his contacts in the film and animation industries over the last few years. One was Disney animation studios character sculptor Alena Tottle, who saw one of Ruprecht’s signs and asked if he would be interested in making a sign for the modeling department of Disney’s animation studio in California. The answer was obviously yes, and he spent a few months sending drawings to Disney for approval before completing the sign, made out of pine with hand-cut red lettering and 3D printed Mickey Mouse ears, which hangs over the department’s Formlabs 3D printer. The project was a dream come true for Ruprecht, though he’s not entirely sure why Disney didn’t make its own sign.

Ruprecht said, “I was very happy and proud, it’s a great feeling. I was excited and at some points I was like — is this actually happening? Doing a project for Disney? I think it was to give an opportunity to someone like myself that is still starting out and trying to get noticed. So it was a huge help for me.”

Ruprecht, who has been discussing a project with Nickelodeon, hopes to create more signs for Disney in the future.

Let us know your thoughts on these stories, and other 3D printing topics, at or share in the Facebook comments below.


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