3D Printing News Briefs: February 13, 2018


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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, which makes today Galentine’s Day if you’re a Parks and Recreation fan. To celebrate, we’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with Valentine’s Day news – some female chocolatiers are substituting candy hearts with chocolate skulls, made in 3D printed molds. Continuing on, colorFabb is celebrating its fifth anniversary with sales on 3D printers and filament, and Inert is introducing a new powder filtration system. Global Advanced Metals and Precision ADM are both increasing their investment in metal 3D printing, while PANBIoRA has published its first review paper on medical 3D printing. Materialise and PTC are partnering up to extend 3D printing capabilities to manufacturers, and the Dutch Ministry of Defence is getting support for its planned adoption of 3D printing.

Female Chocolatiers Offering Skulls for Valentine’s Day

[Image: Confectionery via Instagram]

While the rest of the world gorges on bonbons, candy hearts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and heart-shaped chocolates tomorrow, a few small US businesses, run by women, are poking fun at Valentine’s Day tropes with death-themed confections. The biggest Valentine’s Day seller for five years running at Pennsylvania bakery Vegan Treats is a black, heart-shaped box of chocolates called Fatally Yours, which features a cookie dough skull, white chocolate skeletal hands, filled anatomical hearts, and severed finger sweets. The “Love Is Dead” chocolate skulls, made with 3D printed molds by New York East Village vegan chocolate shop Confectionery, are so popular, they require pre-orders.

Confectionery co-owner and chocolatier Lagusta Yearwood said, “We got a human skull scanned at the Suny New Paltz 3D lab and their 3D printing department printed them [the molds] for us.”

“I like them particularly for Valentine’s because I get so tired of hearts and pink and red, and I’m always searching for something that acknowledges that not all love is the same, that this day is hard for some people, and that it’s fun also to celebrate maybe anti-love or the end of love, or a different kind of love.”

According to the history books, Valentine’s Day actually has rather violent origins, and heteronormative romance only came into the mix during the time of Chaucer and Shakespeare. So, rebelling against the normal by eating chocolate skulls not only gives people who are uninterested in celebrating a chance to enjoy some chocolate, but also offers a tongue-in-cheek way to acknowledge the holiday’s true roots as well.

colorFabb Five Year Anniversary Sales

In February of 2013, Netherlands-based colorFabb launched its first PLA and PHA products, with only 2.85 mm filament and 20 colors, out of a garage and small office. Now, the company, which has moved twice, ships to over 70 countries, and offers over 500 SKUs, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by offering discounted prices on 3D printers and spools of filament. The company is offering 10% off of Robo C2 and Lulzbot TAZ 6 3D printers in its webshop, and is also giving customers a Buy 5, Pay 4 discount on filament.

The website reads, “For the rest of the month you get your fifth spool for free. Add five spools (or a multiplier) in your basket and we deduct the costs of the cheapest spool! Easy. Small print made big: This discount not work on samples or printers though and not in combination with other discounts, but you will find this to be a great deal! Due to the nature of our XL spools a slight variety in pricing may arise when choosing those.”

The company is also hosting a contest in celebration of five years in business – just post, or re-post, your favorite 3D prints made with colorFabb filaments, using #5yearscolorfabb, on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t forget to mention which filament you used! At the end of February, colorFabb will choose one post and send that person a value pack of 16 spools of colorFabb filaments of their choice; two runners-up will receive packs of four spools.

Inert Introducing New Powder Filtration System


Top hermetic enclosures manufacturer Inert is releasing its new line of Powder Filtration Systems, which were designed for industries like additive manufacturing that need to collect and dispose of particulate and particles that could be corrosive or reactive. The compact PF-1, PF-2, and PF-3 systems, which can safely filter both metallic and non-metallic powders for AM and welding, are just the latest addition to the company’s line of AM solutions, and can be integrated into its PowderShield enclosures, or sold separately to retrofit into other systems.

The PF-1 is good at removing soot created as a byproduct of 3D printing or laser welding, while the PF-2 is better for larger AM purposes, thanks to its higher max flow rate. The PF-3 has a ceramic filter, so it can be used safely with higher temperatures. The systems also have several safety features, including isolation valves, a quad HEPA filter cluster for collecting reactive powders, and an electrically grounded design to prevent buildup of static electricity.

Global Advanced Metals Commissions New Equipment for 3D Metal Printing

Leading tantalum product producer Global Advanced Metals (GAM) is commissioning Tekna TEKSPHERO plasma spheroidization equipment at its Pennsylvania location, as part of a new process development facility for manufacturing spherical tantalum and other refractory metal powders for metal injection molding and 3D printing. GAM’s successful 3D printing of tantalum parts with complex geometries and unique physical properties has already been demonstrated. This new equipment, which produces spherical powders from a variety of tantalum feed materials, will only help the new facility alleviate the growing demand the company is seeing for its 3D printed commercial and prototype parts. .

“Our new process development facility enables us to create spherical tantalum powders that can be used for 3D printing of prototypes and commercial parts,” said Andrew O’Donovan, CEO of Global Advanced Metals. “The ability to rapidly prototype and produce complex tantalum parts via additive manufacturing offers designers new materials choices for applications in military, aerospace, medical and other demanding industries.”

Precision ADM Makes Major 3D Printing Equipment Acquisition

EOS M 400-4

Global engineering and AM solutions provider Precision ADM has announced an investment in three metal 3D printers by industrial 3D printer supplier EOS, which will quadruple its current additive manufacturing capacity and make it the largest direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) AM manufacturer in Canada with an ISO 13485:2016 Quality Management System certification. The company has added two EOS M 290 3D printers and one EOS M 400-4, which will increase its throughput by complementing its titanium equipment with dedicated cobalt chrome production equipment. The acquisition of this new 3D printing equipment also allows Precision ADM’s customers to access the entire set of EOS materials and parameters.

Martin Petrak, CEO of Precision ADM, said, “This manufacturing capability and capacity expansion is an exciting step forward in Precision ADM’s growth. EOS has the most widely adopted and advanced technology in the industry and that partnership gives us the capability to meet our client’s increasing additive manufacturing demands.”

Review Paper Shows How 3D Printing Technology Can Influence Clinical Applications

[Image: PANBiora via Twitter]

The PANBioRA project, consisting of 17 European Union (EU) partners with the flagship Horizon 2020 research program, is working to develop a platform to optimize engineered biomaterials for medical devices and ATMP. The consortium just published its first review article in the Biotechnology Advances journal, titled “Enabling personalized implant and controllable biosystem development through 3D printing,” which explains how 3D printing technology is influencing clinical applications.

The abstract reads, “3D printing technologies not only enable the personalization of implantable devices with respect to patient-specific anatomy, pathology and biomechanical properties but they also provide new opportunities in related areas such as surgical education, minimally invasive diagnosis, medical research and disease models. In this review, we cover the recent clinical applications of 3D printing with a particular focus on implantable devices. The current technical bottlenecks in 3D printing in view of the needs in clinical applications are explained and recent advances to overcome these challenges are presented.”

PTC and Materialise Announce Partnership

3D printing leader Materialise and PTC are working together to increase the 3D printing capabilities of PTC’s Creo suite of CAD software, by integrating metal 3D printing. This will offer manufacturers expanded access to 3D printing, and an easier way to integrate the technology into their workflow – just another milestone as the manufacturing industry continues to adopt 3D printing as part of a product lifecycle management system. The joint solution is powered by Materialise’s Build Processor, and will support metal 3D printing, give manufacturers a more seamless connection between PTC’s Creo software and 3D printers with the Build Processor, and include Materialise’s support generation technology.

“Our collaboration with PTC will bring improved 3D Printing capabilities to PTC’s CAD software and makes it easier for manufacturers to integrate 3D Printing into their operations. This collaboration with PTC will expand access to 3D Printing and help engineers and designers think in terms of additive, rather than traditional manufacturing for rapid product design and development,” said Stefaan Motte, Vice President and General Manager, Materialise Software.

Brightlands Materials Center and TNO Offering 3D Printing Support to Ministry of Defence

Together, Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) and TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, have offered to support the Dutch Ministry of Defence in its adoption of 3D printing technology within the organization. This adoption is aimed at creating multiple advantages within the Ministry, such as increasing operational performance, decreasing its logistical footprint, and making it possible to personalize soldiers’ equipment.

Over the next few months, a variety of 3D printable materials will be analyzed. The Ministry has been experimenting with the technology for a few years, but wants to broaden its knowledge and use. BMC will be able to support the Ministry in 3D printing applications and selecting the proper materials. TNO, which is the Ministry’s strategic partner, will call on its experience designing and applying advanced 3D printing equipment with its knowledge of the Ministry’s equipment and materials.

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

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