We’ve got a lot of business news to catch you up on in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with an acquisition and a new agreement. 3D printing software provider Beamler has acquired Printr, which closed its doors this fall, and GE has signed a multi-year agreement with ANSYS. Moving right along, biotech startup Pandorum has closed a Series A funding round, while TEI and voxeljet have signed a volume contract for 3D printed sand. Nano Dimension has a new reseller in South Africa, Roboze is opening a new US branch, and the Danish Technological Institute is breaking ground on a new industrial 3D printing facility. Speaking of buildings, Dubai will be 3D printing its first villa for a new government housing program.
Beamler Acquires Printr
3D software startup Printr, based in the Netherlands, was founded in 2014 with the mission of making 3D printing more accessible. The startup seemed well on its way, launching the Element dongle for easy 3D printing and developing its cloud-based Formide 3D printing platform. But unfortunately, its innovations weren’t enough to keep the doors open, and right after raising €750,000 from investors, the startup was forced to halt operations in October due to unexpected industry developments. But they say when one door closes, another one opens, and another Dutch 3D printing software provider, Beamler, announced that it has acquired Printr. The acquisition will allow both companies to rapidly integrate and enhance their respective product offerings.
“Printr is a promising company which is pioneering in our market,” said Beamler Founder Willem-Jan van Loon. “Printr offers an ERP cloud system for desktop 3D printers. This allows engineers to access different 3D printers at the same time from any computer through the cloud. We see this technology as very promising and as a key solution for further development of our industry. The merger of our two businesses is great news for all our stakeholders and it accelerates the market. We intend to continue to invest and grow Printr technology. We will also incorporate different functions to our platform with the software version 1.1 at Q2 2018.”
GE Signs Agreement with ANSYS
Through a new, multi-year agreement with Pittsburgh-based ANSYS, creator of Pervasive Engineering Simulation, GE will attain greater time and cost savings during product development. The company will leverage Pervasive Engineering Simulation to improve product quality, decrease testing time for aviation and power generation applications, and increase product development and analysis. Through the agreement, GE will be granted access to ANSYS’ entire portfolio of engineering simulation experts and software, for the purposes of enabling multiphysics solutions in on-wing and ground-based gas turbine engines.
Ajei Gopal, CEO of ANSYS, said, “ANSYS is committed to driving Pervasive Engineering Simulation and to providing engineers with the tools needed to transform design, manufacturing, operations and product development. With ANSYS technology further integrated into GE’s engineering process, we can take our 30-year collaboration to the next level of strategic partnership, and enable ANSYS and GE to better drive innovation.”
The companies have formed an Executive Management Review Board as part of their agreement, in order to collaborate and increase innovation in areas of mutual interest to both parties.
Pandorum Technologies Closes Series A Funding Round
Bangalore-based biotech startup Pandorum Technologies, which developed India’s first 3D printed artificial human liver tissue, has just closed a round of Series A funding. The startup raised $3.6 million (Rs 23 crore) from several investors, including the Indian Angel Network; venture funds 021 Capital and 500 Startups; the state government-backed Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund (KITVEN Fund); former Joint Managing Director of two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp Sunil Kant Munhal; and Pandorum’s first investor, CEO of e-commerce firm Flipkart Group Binny Bansal. The startup’s goal is to make personalized human organs, like the liver, on demand, and it will use the funding to hire new talent, scale up operations, and deepen its R&D efforts.
“The current fundraising is to help us to make the transition from advanced prototype to market-ready product stage,” said Co-Founder of Pandorum Technologies Tuhin Bhowmick. “This will include capacity enhancement in key areas including team, tech, infrastructure, scale up and regulatory compliance.”
TEI and voxeljet Sign Volume Contract
The North American location of large-format 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet and Michigan-based Tooling and Equipment International (TEI), the largest user of 3D printed sand in the US, have signed a three-year volume contract for 3D printed sand molds and cores. The contract dictates that over the next three years, TEI will purchase more than 500,000 liters of 3D printed sand from voxeljet, while voxeljet America Inc. will install additional 3D printers in TEI’s Livonia facility, as well as using the 3D printers in its Canton, MI facility. TEI provides its customers with machined prototype and low volume components in aluminum, iron, and steel; thanks to voxeljet’s industrial 3D printing systems, the company will now be able to offer all phases of manufacturing – from design, 3D sand printing, and casting to heat treatment, machining, and inspection – from one location.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for both companies to further capitalize on the benefits of large scale 3D sand printing for engineered aluminum castings,” said Oliver Johnson, President of TEI. “With voxeljet working alongside us to supply molds and cores, we will be able to compress lead times even further for our customers while also setting new records in terms of the size and weight of parts we can cast.”
Nano Dimension Announces South African Reseller
Today, Nano Dimension announced that it has entered into a reseller agreement with EDA Technologies, a “concept to complete” electronics solutions company in South Africa with over two decades of experience in electronics consultancy and PCB engineering. EDA Technologies, which provides manufacturing services and turnkey electronics product development, will purchase the DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printer from Nano Dimension for training and demonstration purposes as part of the agreement. As Nano Dimension works to enhance its market position around the globe, EDA Technologies will provide the company’s South African customers with local customer service for the DragonFly 2020 Pro.
“There is a clear and growing demand for 3D printing solutions for emerging technologies such as wearable electronics, embedded RFID, and electromagnetics. Nano Dimension’s award-winning DragonFly 2020 Pro allows us to offer our customers the latest innovations and methodologies on the planet, in order to enhance their product offerings,” said Nechan Naicker, the Director and Founder of EDA Technologies. “We’re confident that the DragonFly 2020 Pro will be a transformational addition to our portfolio of services. Together with Nano Dimension, we will help our customers to fully utilize the latest world-class additive manufacturing technology in their products, while also drastically shortening time to market in the highly competitive marketplace.”
Roboze Opens Illinois Branch
Italian industrial 3D printer manufacturer Roboze told 3DPrint.com at formnext 2016 that it was hoping to expand to the large US market by opening a branch here, and celebrated the inauguration of its New York operating office last spring. Now, the company has opened a new office in Naperville, Illinois, in the industrial heart of the Chicago area, in response to increasing US demands for Roboze solutions. Roboze has opened its new sales and technology center in the City Gate Center, and the office currently holds the Roboze One 3D printer, which will be used for parts manufacturing, training, demonstrations, and seminars. Naperville, which is the fourth largest city in the state, has easy access to two airports and major highways; the new office there will help Roboze reach its customers more quickly.
Alessio Lorusso, Roboze CEO and Founder, said, “The opening of a new office in the heart of the Chicago’s metropolitan area is our response to the strong demand from the US market for a high quality solution for the production of parts with additive manufacturing methods with innovative materials and extraordinary performance, such as Roboze polymers. Ron Weavil also has extensive experience in the market and, above all, it is local. This is what our customers need in order to take full advantage of Roboze solutions and optimize their work.”
New Industrial 3D Printing Center at Danish Technological Institute
The independent, not-for-profit R&D Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is well on its way to opening a new, $14.5 million 3D printing center at its Aarhus facility this spring. The AM-LINE Center, an initiative to encourage more Danish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to adopt 3D printing, will offer professional advice on investing in 3D printing technology, and feature training and manufacturing resources for SMEs. The new center should make it more attractive, and easier, for Danish SMEs to adopt industrial metal 3D printing, as it will give the companies access to several plastic 3D printers and four metal 3D printers, along with CT scanning for quality assurance and post-processing equipment. The total budget for the project is kr 88 million.
“Faster and easier development of prototypes is not only a particular prerequisite for continuing to maintain competitive jobs, but also for maintaining a high level of product innovation — and having the opportunity to launch new products faster,” said Claus Erichsen Kudsk, the DTI’s Product Development Leader, about the fact that neighboring countries have a more competitive edge when it comes to 3D printing.
3D Printed Villa in Dubai
Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, made a bold proclamation with its 3D Printing Strategy, stating that 25% of all its buildings would be 3D printed by the year 2030. The opulent city-state has been making good on that promise, building a 3D printed laboratory and announcing plans for a 3D printed skyscraper, and will soon unveil its first 3D printed villa. Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director-general of the Dubai Municipality, said that the villa will be completed in two months, and that 3D printing technology will continue to be used to build villas for a government housing program. Lootah also said that the Dubai Municipality has “brought all the necessary tools and equipment to build the villa.”
“3D printing is a disruptive technology, one that promises to upend the entire real estate industry,” said Sameer Lakhani, the Managing Director of Global Capital Partners. “Currently, the process is still more expensive than conventional building methods; moreover it is in its embryonic stages, being able to accommodate only rudimentary designs. However, within a 10 to 15-year time frame, it appears likely that this form of ‘printing’ will start to replace existing methods of construction.”
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