3D Printing News Briefs: June 12, 2018


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Get ready, we have a lot of news to share with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, running the gamut from metal powder 3D printing and new software to education and a game response to the terrifying possibility of nuclear war. The winners of the 3D Pioneers Challenge have been announced, and Huisman is teaming up with RAMLAB to initiate a consortium to make the world’s heaviest 3D printed steel crane hook, while Aurora Labs has produced the first powder made with its PPU prototype. Gradientspace just released its new Cotangent software, GE Additive has provided an update on its education program, and Wohlers Associates will soon be hosting a DfAM course in the mountains of Colorado. Nano Dimension is now a certified vendor for the US Department of Defense, while Concurrent Technologies Corporation has won an Army Research Lab contract to conduct cold spray 3D printing research. Finally, Liberty Games has commemorated the historical meeting between the leaders of the US and North Korea with a 3D printed game.

3D Pioneers Challenge 2018 Winners Announced

Submissions for the international 3D Pioneers Challenge 2018, held at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. last week, were open this winter, and the winners of the third edition of the 3D design contest have now been announced. A total of €20,000 in total was awarded to winners in seven disciplines, €15,000 of which was donated by the Thuringian Ministry for Economy, Science, and Digital Society. The multistage jury panel had a difficult time choosing from all of the innovative submissions received from over 17 countries, but was able to name six impressive winners, including the Cabin of Curiosities and MX3D’s steel bridge, along with several special mentions, like the Voxel Chair v1.0.

“This was the strongest “3D Pioneers Challenge” since its start,” said 3D Pioneers Challenge organizers Simone and Christoph Völcker. “We are happy that renowned universities and institutes like the UDK Berlin, the MIT, Harvard or the UCL Bartlett as well as big players of design and industry submitted so many world class projects – from architecture, to design and fashion up to material, sustainability and software. We feel the vibes of which possibilities appear through additive manufacturing and which big steps are done in its development.”

You can check out the full list of winners here.

3D Printed Steel Crane Hook Consortium

In January, international operating company Huisman successfully load tested its 3D printed offshore crane hook with a Safe Working Load (SWL) of 80 mt. The hook was made with Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology, and the company stated that it would continue to improve the process by increasing its manufacturing capabilities up to items of 2,500 kg in printed weight. Now, Huisman is working with RAMLAB to develop a consortium with a goal of creating the world’s heaviest 3D printed offshore steel crane hook.

WAAM technology will be used to make the 1 x 1 meter hook hollow, which will save on lead time and material usage. The hook, weighing nearly 1,000 kg, will have a SWL of 325 mt. Three of the top classification societies – ABS, DNV GL, and Bureau Veritas – have joined the consortium, which will give the 3D printed offshore crane hook triple certification and help advance the common guidelines and rules for 3D printed products in the maritime and offshore industry. The consortium is rounded out by Autodesk and voestalpine Böhler Welding, which will provide materials expertise and feed stock to the project.

First Powder Produced From Aurora Labs’ PPU Prototype

Australian metal 3D printing company Aurora Labs finished building its Powder Production Unit (PPU) proof of concept in March, and soon after began final testing. Now, the company has announced that its prototype PPU has been able to successfully produce laboratory test scale metal 3D printing powder in the common spherical shape, which brings it one step closer to producing commercial quantities of narrow range, high quality powders. The powder that was produced from the test samples has a very tight size distribution, which will likely result in higher yields for the company.

“The result for producing our first powder is an outstanding achievement for the Company. The process of going from concept through to patenting and production of a product is at times an arduous one, but the team has worked extremely hard, determined to achieve this outcome,” said David Budge, the Managing Director of Aurora Labs.

“Seeing a result where we have produced high-quality spherical powder where almost all of the powder produced is within a very narrow size range is a remarkable result and one that the Company and its staff can be proud of.

“This development opens up significant new opportunities for the Company. We hope that this result will pave the way for Aurora Labs to become a global player in a highly compelling industry.”

Gradientspace Releases New Cotangent Software

Canadian 3D software product studio Gradientspace, founded two years ago by Autodesk Meshmixer founder Ryan Schmidt, is completely focused on 3D design tools. Now, the company has announced the release of its new 3D printing and mesh cleanup tool, Cotangent. The software is based on the company’s open source slicer, and includes breakthrough techniques for novel remeshing workflows, automatic mesh repair, and support structures.

The software also has useful workflow features, like an Autorepair tool, smarter slicing, and temporary crop regions, which give users the ability to treat imported objects like support volumes. Cotangent also includes novel Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) features, such as being able to set printing tolerances and clearances without having to modify part geometry. The software is currently available for free download during the company’s open beta period.

Update on GE Additive Education Program

In February, the GE Additive Education Program (AEP) began accepting entries from colleges and K-12 schools for this year’s cycle. The program wants to build an ecosystem for 3D printing in education, and access to 3D printers and related curriculum now totals over 400,000 K-12 students in 30 countries. GE’s AEP connects content, students, and 3D printers through the Polar Cloud online platform, and students and educators from participating schools join the platform for secure access to applications, software, and tools. For the 2018 cycle, over 3,000 primary and secondary schools from around the world applied, which is a major increase in global participation, and over 600 primary and secondary schools will receive a polymer 3D printing package, which includes STEAM lesson plans, a Polar Cloud premium account, a Dremel Digilab 3D45 polymer 3D printer, and six rolls of replacement filament, by the end of September.

“Additive’s time is now. It is already transforming how we design, engineer and manufacture complex and everyday items,” said Jason Oliver, the President and CEO of GE Additive. “But we have to keep an eye on the future and ensure we have enough engineers, coders and materials scientists coming through the education system to fulfill the potential of additive manufacturing.”

Wohlers Associates Hosting DfAM Course

Last month, Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced that it would be holding a three-day intensive training course in design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) in Canada for the first time. Now the independent consulting firm, which publishes the popular Wohlers Report, will be hosting its very popular DfAM course in Frisco, Colorado. Wohlers says that DfAM is one of the critical barriers companies face as they’re adopting 3D printing, and has compiled years of lessons and experience into this three-day course to fill the DfAM education and training gap. The “Design at Elevation” DfAM course, led by DfAM expert and Wohlers Associates instructor Olaf Diegel, will be held August 8-10 and cover topics such as lattice/mesh structures, best practices, and topology optimization.

“To stay competitive with AM, it is critical to give DfAM the time and effort it deserves. Neglecting the importance of DfAM is a mistake that most organizations will not want to make,” said Terry Wohlers, the President and Principal Consultant of Wohlers Associates.

Nano Dimension Is A Certified US Department of Defense Vendor

Additive electronics provider Nano Dimension has sold a DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printer to a global top ten defense company based in the US; the same company installed its first Nano Dimension 3D printer during the 2017 beta program. But that’s not the only news the Israeli company is sharing – Nano Dimension has also announced that its US subsidiary is now a US Government Certified Vendor, after it received a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code from the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency.

“Receiving a CAGE code is a critical step in affirming Nano Dimension’s position in the United States,” said Nano Dimension’s CEO Amit Dror. “Now, as a recognized U.S. government additive manufacturing supplier for defense projects, our DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D printer may play a crucial role in projects such as keeping risks down and solving complex design challenges, while speeding the R&D process up significantly. We also are pleased to expand our relationship with our existing customers, and open the door to more and more companies who will embrace our 3D printed electronics technology, materials and software, so they can benefit from significant time and cost savings over traditional prototyping processes, to meet rapidly changing demands from defense contractors.”

Concurrent Technologies Corporation Wins Contracts

Nonprofit applied scientific research and development professional services organization Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) has been granted two subaward contracts, worth $1 million, from Northeastern University to support and advance technologies for the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). Each subaward lasts for one year, while the CTC works to research and develop technologies for next generation tactical shelter systems and air assets. The first is for research focused on strategic materials, materials by design, and modeling of 3D printing techniques, while the second will investigate the use of cold spray additive manufacturing in repairing DoD air assets; it will focus specifically on the 7000 series aluminum alloy structural and non-structural components.

“Both of these efforts will leverage technologies that are at the core of our engineering R&D expertise. We are particularly gratified that these projects will apply our capabilities and experience to a new client base for us, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC), which is managing the tactical shelter project. NSRDEC is a leader in Warfighter science and technology development,” said Edward J. Sheehan, Jr., the President and CEO of CTC.

3D Printed Nuclear Foosball

Today in Singapore, the US President and Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea, sat down together for the start of an historic two-day meeting. Emotions are obviously running pretty high – and what better way to relieve tension, and settle disputes, than a good game between friends? To commemorate this moment in history, UK-based Liberty Games has designed a special table football game with 3D printed Kim and Trump players. As a nod to the president’s Nuclear Football suitcase that contains the launch codes for the country’s nuclear weapons, the company has named the game Nuclear Foosball. Using a pair of CAD templates, Liberty Games 3D printed eleven heads of each country’s leader, and then fitted them to its “freshly-decapitated football players,” before adding realistic hair colors and skin tones.

Stuart Kerr, with Liberty Games’ Content Team, told 3DPrint.com, “Perhaps the hardest part of the whole project was trying various shades of orange (from ‘Satsuma’ to ‘Dayglo’) to find the correct tone for Trump…”

The company has also extended a friendly invitation to both President Trump and Kim Jong-Un to come play the game together.

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


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