3D Printing News Briefs: May 22, 2018

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We’ve got both business and medical news to cover in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. PostProcess is expanding its channel partner coverage across North America, while Sciaky has received an order for several of its EBAM 3D printers, and MTU Aero Engines is increasing its efforts in the additive manufacturing field. Orthopedic company OTN has been acquired by Xilloc, and the first medical 3D printing cluster in Taiwan has been introduced.

PostProcess Expands North American Channel Partner Coverage

Automated and intelligent post-processing 3D printing solutions provider PostProcess Technologies has expanded its channel partner coverage in North America. The four new partners the company has signed agreements with were chosen based on requirements that go further than mere geographic representation, such as being recognized leaders in the adoption of 3D printing and industry advocates, as well as representing both polymer and metal 3D printers; this last was highly important, as the post-printing solutions PostProcess offers allow for the scalability of all materials and technologies.

“We have a very high bar for channel partners because of the revolutionary nature of our technology and our role driving next generation 3D printing possibilities. All four of our new partners, along with existing partners Prototyping Solutions / Technical Training Aids and TekPro, are proven leaders in additive manufacturing, help drive advanced thinking and cutting-edge technology adoption, and share an exceptional customer service commitment the same as our own,” said Jeff Mize, the CEO of PostProcess Technologies.

The newly signed channel partners are Stratasys and Desktop Metal reseller AdvancedTek, representing PostProcess in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota; Cimetrix Solutions, Canada’s leading AM solutions provider for commercial and academic verticals; 3D printer and design software tool provider Fisher Unitech, for the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England; and Tech-Labs (Technical Laboratory Systems Inc.), a full-service 3D printing solutions provider that will represent PostProcess in South-Central US.

Sciaky Gets Order For Several EBAM Systems

Sciaky’s EBAM 110 System

Metal 3D printing solutions provider Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc., has received an order for several of its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) systems, the industry’s most widely scalable metal 3D printing solution in terms of work envelope. The system has the metal AM market’s fastest deposition process, and also includes the innovative Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS), which is the only real-time adaptive control system in the metal AM market that can precisely sense and digitally self-adjust metal deposition. The EBAM systems will be used to help strengthen the nation’s defense and power generation programs, though details on the specific project they’ll be used for are confidential.

Scott Phillips, the President and CEO of Sciaky, said, “Sciaky has a long history of providing innovative solutions to America’s military and power generation initiatives. Our EBAM process is the only industrial-grade metal 3D printing technology to produce large-scale parts for land, sea, air, and space applications.”

MTU Aero Engines Increasing Additive Manufacturing Efforts

Dr. Jürgen Kraus, AM Director, MTU Aero Engines

Germany’s top engine manufacturer, MTU Aero Engines, is escalating its efforts in the quickly growing field of additive manufacturing, after it introduced a 3D printed borescope boss for the geared turbofan engine that powers the Airbus A320neo a few years back. Earlier this year, the company set up a completely separate department at its Munich headquarters, headed by Dr. Jürgen Kraus, Director, Additive Manufacturing, to push its use of the technology, industrialize the process chain, and combine all 3D printing activities, from design and development to production, into one unit. The company actually began working with SLM technology over a decade ago, as it can help lower costs and lead times and allow for completely new designs, and has been gradually growing its range of 3D printed parts.

Dr. Jörg Henne, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, at MTU Aero Engines, said, “With the development of new machine types and improved online process control, it will be possible to produce an increasing number of components by additive manufacturing in a cost-effective manner.”

Xilloc Successfully Acquires OTN B.V.

Click Safety Adapter

Three years ago, Dutch company Xilloc Medical B.V., known for its 3D printed anatomical models, custom implants, and surgical guides, established a business relationship with OTN B.V., the market-leader worldwide in orthopedic Click Safety Adapters. Now, Xilloc has announced its successful acquisition of OTN for an undisclosed amount. This will allow Xilloc to increase its orthopedic product portfolio and help more patients worldwide. The unique Click Safety Adapter, soon available on the market, helps make a safe, sturdy connection between a patient’s osseointegration implant and their prosthetic leg. The Adapter connects the prosthetic directly onto a person’s skeleton, providing increased stability and improved joint movement.

Harry Jansen, founder and CEO of OTN, said, “In the last 50 years I have successfully realized my dreams and the world leading company in Click Safety Adapters, I’m proud to have found my equalities in Xilloc and its Team and Maikel to whom I’m leaving my life’s work in trust to further help patients around the world.”

First Medical 3D Printing Cluster in Taiwan

A man operates a 3D printer at Tongtai Machine and Tool Co’s factory in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District. [Image: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times]

Last December, Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) introduced the country’s first demonstration site for smart manufacturing and 3D printed medical devices at the Southern Taiwan Science Park’s Lujhu District branch campus in the municipality of Kaohsiung. Then, in January, Taiwan became the first Asian nation to establish regulatory guidelines regarding 3D printing medical devices. According to Yen Jui-hsiung, the chairman of the Tongtai Machine and Tool Co., medical devices, and dental implants especially, are one of the most popular applications for 3D printing.

Now, the agency has announced another milestone: the country has formed its first industrial 3D printing cluster for medical devices in Kaohsiung. Medical devices for multiple body parts can be 3D printed on the cluster’s main campus; a second campus has also been established at Tainan. Currently, 54 medical device developers work at the science park, with more likely to come.

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