3D Printing News Briefs: April 13, 2018

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Reading our 3D Printing News Briefs won’t bring you any bad luck this Friday the 13th – just the latest goings-on in the 3D printing industry. We’ve got news on 3D printers and software, followed by business news. Trans-Machine Additive now has two Arcam EBM 3D printers, while Henkel will be the first global reseller for HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printers. Prodways reaches a sales milestone with its new ProMaker LD-10, and nTopology is the first piece of CAD software to support the new 3MF beam lattices. Höganäs is creating a new product area to meet growing 3D printing demands, Aeroprobe has launched a new subsidiary with a unique metal 3D printer, and Xometry and ZVerse are partnering up. Finally, L’Oréal is turning to 3D printing for product design.

Trans-Machine Additive Receives Two Arcam 3D Printers

Darin Thoms, CTO, Trans-Machine Additive.

Trans-Machine Additive, the 3D printing division of Trans-Machine Technologies spun out of North Carolina State University, received two 3D printers from GE Additive company Arcam this month at its Winston-Salem facility – the EBM A2X and the EBM Q20Plus. The company’s CTO, Darin Thomas, was part of the university’s IMST program, which was an early user of Arcam’s first commercial 3D printers in the 2000s. Now, he views Arcam’s Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology as an important part of the company’s strategic growth plans. This purchase, which will give the company an expanded metal 3D portfolio, highlights Trans-Machine Additive’s continued investment in Arcam and its EBM technology.

“Trans-Machine Additive sees the efficiencies of the EBM technology from Arcam as being a disruptive technology not only in the existing aerospace and medical fields, but also in other emerging markets for additive manufacturing such as tooling, robotics, ship building, and in the not too distant future,” said Thomas. “Even the automotive market will start to adopt the technology in larger volumes.”

HP Names Henkel Its First Global MJF Reseller

Global adhesives supplier Henkel is expanding its existing open materials partnership with HP by becoming the first global reseller of Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing solutions. By using a combination of customer reach and materials expertise, Henkel can introduce MJF technology to global design and manufacturing departments. Both companies are hoping to use this extended partnership to accelerate the adoption of 3D printing in industrial manufacturing.

HP is a strong partner within our 3D printing ecosystem and we believe that their Multi Jet Fusion technology will play an important role in the industrial transformation towards additive manufacturing. As the first global reseller we now start to market the technology among our customer base in the US, Europe, and Asia leveraging our fully equipped 3D printing technology centers in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Dublin, Ireland, and Shanghai, China, respectively,” said Philipp Loosen, Head of 3D Printing at Henkel. “Over time we are aiming to expand the roll-out across more countries and regions.”

Prodways Announces First Multiple Sales for LD-10 3D Printer

Last March, Prodways Group introduced its LD series of 3D printers at the International Dentist Show. The series, which includes the ProMaker LD-10 model, was developed in order to expand the company’s patented MOVINGLight technology to a new segment of dental laboratories that needed industrial machines for less than €100,000. This week, Prodways announced that a top North American dental lab has made the first simultaneous order for two of its ProMaker LD-10s.

This is the first time that a new client has placed an initial, direct order for two machines, and it could lead to other purchases from the customer in the future; the 3D printers will be installed in Q2 2018. The milestone sale not only illustrates the successful launch of the ProMaker LD-10, but it also, according to the company, “validates the recognition and quality of 3D printing production machines from Prodways.”

nTopology Supports 3MF Beam Lattices

nTopology Element lattice for 3MF.

Earlier this week, the 3MF Consortium rolled out the new Beam Lattice Specification Extension to its 3MF Core Specification. Now, nTopology has announced that its generative, function-based Element is the first piece of CAD software to offer full importing and exporting of the extension, which nTopology helped to develop and ratify and is an important improvement to the lattice design workflow.

“nTopology has a long history of offering customers a better option through our LTCX file format, and we are proud to have worked with our colleagues at the 3MF Consortium to standardize the Beam Lattice extension so that LTCX’s functionality can be shared across the industry,” wrote Spencer Wright in an nTopology blog post.

“With 3MF Beam Lattices, users will see file that are up to 1/1000th the size of STLs, and will be able to transfer lattices with ease between nTopology Element and other enterprise-grade CAD software. 3MF Beam Lattices also allow boolean functions to be built into the file itself, making your workflow simpler and faster.”

Höganäs Creating New Product Area for AM and MIM

Both additive manufacturing and metal injection molding (MIM) technologies have seen increasing levels of technical development recently. In order to meet increasing market demands in both AM and (MIM), Höganäs AB is creating a brand new product area called Customization Technologies. It will be part of the company’s existing industrial business area, and will work through the whole value chain. Kennet Almkvist, the Senior Vice President Commercial at Höganäs, will now also head the new Customization Technologies area.

Fredrik Emilsson, CEO of Höganäs AB, said, “Höganäs already has a number of successful metal powders in AM and we see further opportunities to grow rapidly within both AM and MIM, not least through our recent acquisitions of Metasphere Technology and H.C. Starck Surface Technology and Ceramic Powders.”

Aeroprobe Launches MELD 3D Printing Subsidiary

Aeroprobe and MELD CEO Nanci Hardwick announcing the launch of MELD Manufacturing Corporation.

Last year, tech firm Aeroprobe partnered with the Edison Welding Institute to develop Friction Stir Additive Manufacturing, which can be used to make functionally gradient metal components. Now, the company is launching a subsidiary, called MELD Manufacturing Corporation, to continue the work on this novel 3D printing technology, which can 3D print metal components without having to melt anything with lasers. Instead, the company’s printer model, called the B8, uses a combination of pressure and friction to make the metals hot enough to deform, but not so hot that they melt. According to Aeroprobe CEO Nanci Hardwick, who is now also MELD’s CEO, there isn’t a limit to how large the machines can get, and the company is already discussing a 6,000 lb part with a potential customer. The B8 will soon be ready for purchase, and will also take orders for custom machines for larger projects.

“I don’t think people realize you can do what we do with metal. If we do this right, if we’re successful I believe we will change manufacturing across industries,” said Hardwick. “So that’s a huge impact.

“Success for us is defined by other people using this process to make products.”

Xometry and ZVerse Partner Up for On-Demand 3D Design Service

Top 3D design on-demand platform ZVerse announced that it has partnered up with Xometry, the largest on-demand manufacturing platform, for a new service. Customers who need a part produced or reverse engineered but don’t have a 3D file ready are a common manufacturing roadblock, so the two plan to make manufacturable 3D files for customers in need of reverse engineered legacy parts, modified CAD files, or parts designed from scratch.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Xometry to provide a valuable solution for their customers. Our 3D design on-demand platform enables Xometry to capture additional manufacturing opportunities by providing a digital file ready for manufacturing,” said John Carrington, CEO of ZVerse. “We’ve combined our machine learning technology and proprietary content management tools with our world class designers to provide customers the fastest path from an idea or existing 2D content into a manufacturable part produced in any material or process.”

L’Oréal Will Use 3D Printing in Product Design

Top cosmetic business L’Oréal, headquartered in France with a tagline of ‘#beautyforall,’ is looking to add innovation to its manufacturing processes as more customers are using digital technology to satisfy their wants on-demand. The company registered nearly 500 patents last year, and is now turning to several innovative technologies to stay in the fast lane, including artificial intelligence, magnetic conveyors, smart sensors, collaborative robots, or cobots, and, once again, 3D printing. L’Oréal is looking to use the technology for product design, as 3D printing has definitely impacted that area; in the last year alone, the company has 3D printed over 15,000 prototypes.

“The revolution is now with 3-D printing. From the design to the first prototype, we are able to do that…within hours when before it was taking a few months,” said Stephane Lannuzel, Operations Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal.

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


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