3D Printing News Briefs: April 17, 2018


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For today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering some business news, followed up with material news and stories of 3D printing applications in the medical, aerospace, and defense fields. Norman Noble has added 3D printing capabilities to its workflow for the first time, while Evonik is opening a research hub in Singapore and the Dubai Health Authority is building an innovation center. Sciaky has installed its first EBAM system in Japan, and Adaptive3D has a major 3D printing material launch planned for RAPID + TCT next week. CIVCO Radiotherapy and Adaptiiv are working together to bring more personalized medical devices to market, Russia is using 3D printing and topology optimization to manufacture aerospace engines, and Navy personnel and Marines got together to test the 3D printing functionality aboard the Military Sealift Command’s USNS Sacagawea.

Norman Noble’s 3D Printing Capabilities

Family-owned and -operated Norman Noble, Inc., based in Ohio and a top worldwide contract manufacturer of next-generation medical implants, has announced that it now has additive manufacturing capabilities for the first time. The company will use its new capability to serve many customer needs, such as manufacturing aerospace and commercial parts, designing shape-setting fixtures for nitinol-based rapid prototypes, and prototype-to-production manufacturing for next-gen medical implant designs. Norman Noble, which also purchased a Computerized Tomography Inspection System to support its 3D printing capabilities, can now 3D print its customers’ conceptual products, scan them, and send over a virtual part and full metrology data within minutes.

“Given our long history of developing internal laser cutting and laser welding systems, I strongly believe we have the laser experience and expertise that can be leveraged and applied to the metallic laser sintering printing process. We plan to take the current 3D printing capabilities to another level – including finer finishes, finer feature detail, and new materials not currently commercially available,” said Chris Noble, CEO and Vice President at Norman Noble. “Combined with our new CT scanner that instantly provides complete external and internal metrology data of our 3D printed products to our customers, we are going to work hard to provide a service that will surpass our competition.”

Evonik Opens First Research Hub in Singapore

Clockwise from bottom left: Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Economic Development Board of Singapore; Dr. Claus Rettig, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH; Dr. Gerd Loehden, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH; Mr. Peter Meinshausen, Evonik Asia Pacific South; Dr. Ulrich Kuesthardt, Evonik Industries AG; Dr. Ulrich Sante, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Singapore; Dr. Harald Schwager, Evonik Industries AG.

Evonik has opened its first research hub in Singapore, with the intention of expanding the internationalization of its research in the areas of functional surfaces and additive manufacturing. The R&D hub, for resource efficiency topics, will also host the company’s tissue engineering project, led by its strategic innovation unit Creavis. Singapore is noted as the ideal location for the hub to drive innovation for the company’s Resource Efficiency segment, as it combines quick reaction times from local administration and experienced, qualified researchers from top science faculties. Evonik will continue to expand its collaborations with public and private research institutions and organizations with this new research hub, and has already formed a partnership with Nanyang Technological University to develop novel technologies in additive manufacturing for industrial applications.

Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman of the Board for Evonik Industries, said during the opening ceremony for the research hub, “Innovation is an integral part of our growth strategy. We are actively pursuing new opportunities to boost our international R&D activities and the opening of this research hub is a significant contribution to these efforts. By focusing on promising research areas for the future this hub will strengthen our position as a global leader in specialty chemicals.”

Dubai Health Authority Building Innovation Center

In order to promote public-private collaboration in healthcare innovation and offer supporting entities a permanent base of operations, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is building a new innovation center behind Rashid Hospital, which will implement advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and 3D printing. The first meeting for the innovation center took place last week, and several private sector companies, along with the DHA, were given a tour of the under-construction center so they could provide their input. DHA Director-General and Chairman of the Board Humaid Al Qutami said that it’s necessary to create an environment that’s “conducive to innovation,” as the healthcare sector affects everyone, which is why the DHA is working to build the best model for year-round innovation.

“In line with the vision of our leaders and DHA health strategy 2016-2021, innovation in healthcare is an important pillar of our strategy. For us innovation means the ability to harness new technologies, to implement newer methods of healthcare delivery and management in order to provide patients with improved healthcare and make their lives better,” said Dr. Mohammad Al Redha, Director of the Department of Organisational Transformation at DHA.

“At the end of the day, patient-centered care is our priority and improving their lives and providing them with happiness is our primary focus. Thus, for us, innovation is the vehicle that will revolutionize healthcare and directly lead to patient well-being and happiness.”

Sciaky Installs First EBAM 110 In Japan

A Sciaky EBAM 110 metal 3D printing system with dual wirefeed configuration.

Metal 3D printing solutions provider Sciaky, Inc. has delivered its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) system to the Global Research & Innovative Technology (GRIT) facility of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. in Japan, making it the first of several planned installations to the Asia-Pacific region over the next several months. The EBAM 110 system that Hitatchi Metals purchased includes a dual wirefeed configuration, which will allow the company to combine two different metal alloys into a single melt pool, managed with independent program control, to make custom alloy ingots or parts. This also gives customers the option to alternate between different wire gauges for gross deposition features (thick wire) and finer features (thin wire).

“Hitachi Metals is pleased to launch its new metal wire additive manufacturing (AM) technology with the procurement of Sciaky’s EBAM 110 metal 3D printing system at our GRIT facility. We look forward to developing new materials and applications with this highly innovative process,” said Yasuhiko Ohtsubo, 3DAM Development Manager of GRIT at Hitachi Metals, Ltd.

Adaptive3D Launching World’s Highest-Strain 3D Printable Polymer at RAPID + TCT

At next week’s RAPID + TCT, held in Texas, additive manufacturing polymer resin supplier Adaptive3D Technologies will be launching what it describes as the highest-strain 3D printable photopolymer in the world. Adaptive3D partnered with several other Fortune 500 companies to develop a proprietary chemistry for photocurable resins that allow for unprecedented strain capacity, which can then lead to more durable 3D printed parts made with tougher materials. The company’s material has a strain of 450%, which is 115% higher than its nearest competitor.

“We believe that material performance is the key that is going to unlock the true potential of Additive Manufacturing,” said Kial Gramley, VP Sales & Marketing for Adaptive3D. “We focus on tough materials that combine strength with high elongation and, as a material supplier, we do not lock our customers into any platform like most companies in this space; we just compete on performance.”

Adaptive3D is launching its first products, including the highest elongation 3D printable photopolymer, at booth #2529 at RAPID + TCT.

CIVCO Radiotherapy Teams Up with Adaptiiv

Global patient-centric radiotherapy solutions provider CIVCO Radiotherapy is working with 3D radiation therapy platform Adaptiiv (formerly 3D Bolus) to introduce more personalized, 3D printed medical devices. Both companies have a mission of improving worldwide patient outcomes in radiotherapy, and their new initiative aligns perfectly. As part of the collaboration, CIVCO will distribute Adaptiiv software applications as a turn-key solution that enables the 3D printing of patient-specific simple or modulated thickness bolus and high dose rate (HDR) surface brachytherapy applicators. This directly integrates with existing treatment planning systems, so planning software can calculate the overall treatment plan.

“Adaptiiv’s solutions truly align with our mission of improving patient outcomes worldwide,” said Nat Geissel, President of CIVCO Radiotherapy. “The ability to utilize images from the treatment planning system and provide customized three-dimensional bolus and applicators is yet another way we are involved in improving the quality and efficiency of care as well as the patient experience.”

3D Printing and Topology Optimization for Aerospace Engines

ODK-Saturn, a 3D printing experimental facility of the United Engine Corporation in Russia and a member of Rostec, has plans to use 3D printing and topology optimization in the design and integration of advanced Russian gas turbine engines that will be certified after 2019, such as the high-powered PD-35 engine. This ‘bionic design’ will ensure that engines are the required strength, while also allowing for a reduction in weight, as 3D printing can be used to manufacture unconventional and complex structures that other forms of manufacturing cannot produce. Using these two kinds of technology in the design have also reduced the number of supporting structures by half.

Denis Fedoseyev, Deputy Chief Engineer at ODK-Saturn, said, “In many cases of topology optimization, additive technologies are the only solution for production of complex-profile parts.”

AM Functionality Tested Aboard Military Sealift Command’s USNS Sacagawea 

A 3D printed ratchet sits on a LulzBot TAZ 6 aboard the USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) in support of an AM test phase. [Image: US Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher A. Veloicaza]

This month, US Marines from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and Marine Wing Communications Squadron (MWCS) 18, together with personnel from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), tested the 3D printing function aboard the Military Sealift Command’s USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) to see if the AM capabilities were properly supported. Aboard Sacagawea, a dry cargo/ammunition ship that’s part of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three (MPSRON 3), the embarked team successfully demonstrated the on-board 3D printer’s ability to respond to shipboard maintenance issues and requests, and also simulated the 3D printing of parts aboard the ship for shore-side requests.

“The intent behind embarking 3D printers aboard ships is to provide Sailors and Marines with the training and tools necessary to empower them and address everyday problems. Embarked additive manufacturing equipment is meant to solve the needs of Sailors and Marines by enabling war-fighter innovation and adding a tool that can help with maintenance and repair of components and systems that suffer from long lead-times and part obsolescence,” said Nathan Desloover, an engineer with the additive manufacturing project office, NSWC Carderock Division.

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


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