3D Printing News Briefs: January 16, 2018

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We’ve got some business news to start off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by a new material, a new 3D printing method, the successful test of a 3D printed object, and an update on a book about a bald eagle with a 3D printed prosthetic beak. Structur3D Printing has announced a worldwide distribution and reseller partnership with UltimakerGB, while CollPlant has appointed a new chairman to its board of directors and Nano Dimension has earned an important workplace qualification. Tethon 3D has launched a new investment casting resin, and radiophysicists at Tomsk State University are developing a new ultrasonic 3D printing method. Huisman has completed a successful test of its 3D printed offshore crane hook, and nonfiction children’s book Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle has received a prestigious book award.

Structur3D Printing and UltimakerGB Enter Distribution and Reseller Partnership

Discov3ry Complete package

Soft materials printing market leader Structur3D Printing became an Ultimaker reseller in 2016 with the launch of its Discov3ry Complete 3D paste and plastic printing system, built on Ultimaker 3D printers. This week, the Canadian company, which is part of the growing hardware startup scene in what’s been dubbed Canada’s Silicon Valley, announced a new EMEA and APAC distribution and reseller agreement with UltimakerGB, the exclusive distributor for Ultimaker products in the UK and Ireland. The agreement extends the relationship between the two companies, and makes the versatile Discov3ry Complete package available for distribution to Ultimaker resellers around the world, excluding North America.

Paul Croft, Director of UltimakerGB, said, “We’ve watched Structur3D’s business grow over the past couple of years, and our customers and resellers have seen growing interest in the Discov3ry Complete product. We are delighted to bring this cutting-edge technology to the wider global market.”

CollPlant Appoints New Chairman of the Board

David Tsur

Israel-based regenerative medicine company CollPlant, which uses its proprietary plant-based rhCollagen technology and 3D printing bioinks for tissue repair products, has appointed David Tsur to Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tsur, who has served as a company director at CollPlant since March, is the founder and previous CEO of plasma-derived protein therapeutics company Kamada Ltd. and still serves as its Deputy Chairman; he will bring his senior management experience in the public and private sectors to his new position on the CollPlant board, which is effective immediately. Adi Golden, who served as the company’s Chairman since May of 2016, will continue as a director on the CollPlant board.

“CollPlant is ready to more fully realize the potential and competitive advantages of recombinant collagen in breakthrough applications within regenerative medicine, such as biological ink to print organs and tissues,” said Tsur. “During 2018-2019, we will continue to pursue strategic joint ventures in order to position CollPlant as leading company in the field.”

Nano Dimension Achieves Workplace Certification for Health and Safety

Moving on to news from another Israeli company, Nano Dimension announced that it has earned an important industry certification – the OHSAS 18001:2007 international standard for occupational health and safety within the workplace. The Standards Institute of Israel, an international accredited certification body, awarded the standard after validating the company’s applications, processes, services, and systems. The OHSAS 18001:2007 standard promotes safe and healthy work environments, and uses protocols designed to help organizations lower the likelihood of workplace accidents, as well as manage and control risks.

“Our employees are the heart of our company. Since our company’s inception, we’ve focused heavily on providing a safe workplace for all of us,” said Nano Dimension CEO and Co-Founder Amit Dror. “Having our processes validated on the international level ensures that our current and prospective workers will understand our commitment to their health and well-being. These measures increase our efficiency, reduce costs and help keep our employees healthy and motivated.”

Tethon 3D Introduces Castalite Investment Casting Resin

Aluminum investment cast from a 3D printed Castalite mold

3D printing ceramic materials leader Tethon 3D has launched a new 3D printing resin material, called Castalite, which can be used to directly produce a 3D printed mold for metal investment casting. Castalite, a photo-curing ceramic polymer resin for DLP and SLA 3D printing, has very high heat and thermal shock tolerances, which makes it the perfect choice for casting metals like aluminum, bronze, gold, and silver in the engineering, jewelry, and manufacturing industries. Molds with a sprue and gate are 3D printed in Castalite, then fired in a high temperature furnace, to create a ceramic shell mold for liquid metals. Using Castalite eliminates the need for a traditional wax model, and the process helps reduce costs by increasing production speed and decreasing how much material is used.

Karen Linder, President and CEO of Tethon 3D, said, “Castalite adds another premium material to our product catalogue that compliments the growth seen in SLA and DLP hardware. Recent improvements in 3D printer technology provide higher resolution details in the casted metal part and faster print times. Most printers can print at 25 micron print layers and Castalite demonstrates excellent resolution at that level.”

Tomsk State University Working on New Ultrasonic 3D Printing Method

Radiophysicists at Tomsk State University (TSU) in Siberia recently created an installation for the levitation of small particles – foam plastic in particular – in an acoustic field. The levitation installation is an anechoic chamber covered with wave absorbers and emitters, and the foam plastic particles are suspended in a stream of 40 kHz acoustic waves. Depending on the power, the size and number of particles can be increased, and they can also be controlled and moved from side to side with a special program. The plan is for the university to use the technology in order to develop a new method of ultrasonic 3D printing, by the year 2020, that could be used for chemically aggressive substances or solutions heated to high temperatures. The technology will also be used to install components on PCBs.

“By 2020, we will develop a 3D printing technology. The first stage is a controlled levitation of particles, then based on this we will create a method of manipulating a group of particles to collect 3-dimensional objects from them,” explained project manager Professor Dmitry Sukhanov. “Upon entering the sound field and during the precipitation, the particles of the powdery substance are rearranged, fall along the required trajectories, and settle into a definite pattern. Layer after layer, particles will be deposited in any shape.”

Lithuania-based Neurotechnology has also been hard at work on an ultrasonic manipulation technology for 3D printing, sharing more details with us in June.

Successful Load Test of First 3D Printed Offshore Crane Hook

Worldwide operating company Huisman specializes in designing and manufacturing heavy construction equipment, including the world’s first 3D printed offshore crane hook, which just successfully passed its load test of 80 mt. Crane hooks are normally made with casting or forging techniques, but Huisman uses Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology to produce mid-size to large components, like the 1,000 kg crane hook, out of high grade tensile steel. Using 3D printing to make larger crane hooks allows them to be delivered faster, with a more consistent level of quality, at a competitive price.

In addition to passing the load test, the 3D printed offshore crane hook met strict criteria to pass all associated quality control checks. With these successful test results in mind, Huisman will continue to improve upon its WAAM process by increasing the manufacturing capabilities up to items of 2,500 kg in printed weight.

Book About Bald Eagle with 3D Printed Prosthetic Beak Wins Award

This May, we heard about Beauty, a female American bald eagle who was the recipient of a special 3D printed prosthetic beak and also the subject of nonfiction children’s book Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle, which was co-written by children’s author Deborah Lee Rose and raptor biologist Jane Veltkamp, the leader of Beauty’s 3D printed beak engineering team. The book, which includes a free educational guide, follows Beauty’s life from birth to adulthood to the moment when poachers in Alaska illegally shot the majority of her upper beak off. It also tells the story of the team that created several 3D printed prototypes over many months before attaching and adjusting the final beak, and ends when Beauty is returned to her Idaho aviary and successfully takes a drink of water with her new beak for the first time.

The heartwarming, inspiring book is a Junior Library Guild selection, and Rose reached out to to tell us that it recently “won the esteemed AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books.” This award celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults, and emphasizes just how important good science books are for young people – not only for learning, but also for enjoyment. The tale of how STEM technology helped Beauty continue to live a normal life won in the “Children’s Science Picture Book” category. Congratulations to Rose, Veltkamp, and Beauty!

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

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