3D Printing News Briefs: June 8, 2018

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It’s all business for today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with an investment, a partnership, and a new facility. Lockheed Martin has invested $5 million in a Canadian materials science company, while ZVerse has partnered up with PlanGrid to integrate its Design On-Demand platform, and Nanogrande has moved into a new, larger facility. Sculpteo has acquired an additional Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer from HP, and BigRep and Verashape both win awards for their 3D printers. Finally, German company LSS Laser-Sinter-Service is introducing a new powder handling solution.

Lockheed Martin Invests in Equipspheres

Global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin has invested $5 million in Canadian materials science company Equispheres under the Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) and Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. Equispheres developed an innovative atomization technology for producing perfectly spherical metal powder with characteristics that are valued in the aerospace and automotive industries, and will use this investment to continue conducting research, development, and design work to build reactors that can produce higher-strength metal powders. The investment will also help the company increase its 20-person workforce to more than 200 over the next five years, and speed up growth in the provision of high-quality materials required for 3D printing.

Kevin Nicholds, President and CEO of Equispheres, said, “We are very excited to have developed this relationship with Lockheed Martin and secured this investment as it enables Equispheres to offer a broader range of products to the metal powder market, which is doubling in size every 12-to-18 months.”

ZVerse Partners with PlanGrid for Integration

The 3D model creation process is both lengthy and frustrating. So ZVerse is partnering with PlanGrid, the leader in construction productivity software, to make the process easier. By integrating its 3D Design On-Demand platform with PlanGrid, ZVerse will help architects, building owners, contractors, and engineers more quickly and easily create 3D printed models from existing scan data and blueprints. Instead of downloading copies of drawings from the platform onto a desktop and hiring a 3D artist to take care of the job, PlanGrid users can now transfer necessary assets directly into the ZVerse Design On-Demand platform, then request 3D printed models.

“PlanGrid has one of the largest repositories of blueprints in the world. ZVerse is the only 3D design and printing service that has streamlined the process of turning blueprints into 3D printed models,” said John Carrington, the Founder and CEO of ZVerse. “The partnership and integration was a no-brainer, and we are very excited to get started.”

Nanogrande Moves to New Location

Canadian company Nanogrande, the winner of last year’s Frontier Tech Showdown, designs, manufactures, and sells the first molecular-scale 3D printing technology – building a bridge between 3D printing and semiconductor manufacturing. Now, the company has moved to a brand new workspace, which gives its employees four times the floor space and puts it in the heart of Montreal, which Nanogrande calls “the the capital of artificial intelligence.” The company is entering a brand new phase of development, thanks to the services of PME MTL Centre-Ouest, that will result in new production and research capacities.

“This new premise will truly open up the company’s potential for growth and creation. We now have the space to fully deploy our research and development department and our new assembly line,” said Juan Schneider, the President and Founder of Nanogrande, who welcomed his team to the new location this week.

“We have tried to stay close to our old facility, but the support we received from PME MTL Centre-Ouest convinced us. The proximity of high-tech research centres, the many young companies in the sector and the determination of local decision-makers persuaded us to move our offices.”

Sculpteo Acquires Third Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer

Earlier this week, online 3D printing service bureau Sculpteo attended two 3D printing events – Rapid.Tech in Germany and the 3D Print Congress & Exhibition in its home country of France. The company announced at each that it had acquired a third Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer from HP, in order to meet increasing demand. At the recent HP Global Innovation Summit, Sculpteo revealed that it incorporates the technology throughout its operations alongside other manufacturing technologies. With the addition of a third HP 3D printer, Sculpteo is now the largest 3D manufacturing factory in France to integrate MJF.

“The digital transformation in the industrial sector today is a reality! With the acquisition of a third HP Multi Jet Fusion printer, we show that on-demand manufacturing can adapt to the new requirements of agility, quality and speed offered by the new HP Multi Jet Fusion technology,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Sculpteo Clément Moreau. “They are the key to building a truly optimized manufacturing process where everything is possible!”

BigRep STUDIO Wins German Innovation Award

This week, technology startup BigRep announced that it had wonGerman Innovation Award 2018 in the Machine & Engineering category for its large-scale, industrial BigRep STUDIO 3D printer. The awards ceremony was held in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin, and the awards themselves are run by the German Design Council. There were over 650 applicants for this year’s prizes, which are awarded to projects representing pioneering contributions to the technology landscape. This is a major feat for the startup, as the STUDIO is the only large-scale industrial 3D printer this year to win a German Innovation Award.

BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer said, “We are thrilled to receive the German Innovation Award for our BigRep STUDIO printer, which has been a game-changing machine for professionals printing 3D objects in large scale. The Award reflects the overwhelmingly positive response we have had thus far to the STUDIO and underscores our commitment to excellence.”

MTP Gold Medal 2018 Award to VSHAPER 500

In April, Polish 3D printer manufacturer Verashape introduced its new VSHAPER 500, and has now announced that the 3D printer was awarded the MTP Gold Medal 2018 at the ITM Fair this week. Each year, the organizers and jury members choose the most modern and innovative products, created with cutting-edge technologies, to win the awards. Nearly 500 products on exhibit at the event enter the competition each year, but only a few win. This is Verashape’s second MTP Gold Medal Award in a row – the company won last year for its VSHAPER Pro.

“VSHAPER 500 is an industrial additive manufacturing machine which successfully supports prototyping, tool making and small lot production,” said Tomasz Szymański, the Founder and CEO of Verashape. “The ability to craft complicated three-dimensional objects in a single process is widely popular among manufacturers who previously used traditional shaping and cutting.”

LSS Laser-Sinter-Service Introduces Modular Material Processing Solution

Full-service 3D printing solutions provider LSS Laser-Sinter-Service GmbH sells laser sintering systems and materials, in addition to providing assessments to its customers based on their 3D printing needs, maintenance, and installation. But the company is also developing its own laser sintering solutions and upgrades, and is now introducing its MMPS (Modular Material Processing Solution) for powder handling when feeding laser sintering systems.

The MMPS, which will be available in Q4 2018, provides very precise and homogeneous mixing, preparing, transporting, feeding, and sieving of powder. It’s quick, clean, and easy to load laser sintering 3D printers using the MMPS, which divides the process into single tasks that go to individual, compact modules. The centerpiece of the MMPS is its intuitively-operated Controller Module, which allows users to either initiate specific functions and processes directly, or use the automatic mode. The MMPS also comes with optional Top and Bottom Feed Adapters, which connect it with the 3D printer and its powder storage container.

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