3D Printing News Briefs: July 29, 2019

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We’ve got some business to cover in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. The Engineering Technology Group (ETG) has acquired HK Holdings and all its subsidiaries, Ascent Aerospace is investing in 3D printing with a new machine purchase, and the Defense Innovation Lab has received a Manufacturing Technology Assistance Grant. 3D Systems signed an MoU with the US Institute of 3D Technology and the state government of Gujarat, and Xometry is joining Alibaba.com’s B2B ecosystem in the US as a co-marketing sponsor.

ETG Acquires HK Holdings

Martin Doyle

Wellesbourne-based company Engineering Technology Group (ETG), which delivers turnkey solutions to customers in the aerospace, automotive, high value engineering, medical, and oil & gas sectors, has acquired HK Holdings, and all of its subsidiaries, from the Pexion Group. The deal could change how ETG’s manufacturing clients access modern production technologies, such as 3D printing, CNC machining, and wire EDM machines. ETG is planning to invest in the HK Holdings name, and a new marketing plan, in order to maximize various cross-selling opportunities.

“3D printing, in particular, has gone through the ‘proving’ stage and is now seen as a viable way of manufacturing for sub-contractors and OEMs,” said Martin Doyle, ETG’s Managing Director. “As a result, the surge in sales in the marketplace is huge and expected to hit $14bn globally by the end of 2020.

“We had two choices. Look to take on existing principals and agree new distribution agreements or purchase a company that is already established in the sector and can boast immediate access to world class brands and a whole host of technical expertise with their current staff.”

Ascent Aerospace Purchases LSAM 3D Printer

Aerospace tooling systems, integration solutions, and factory automation provider Ascent Aerospace recently invested in 3D printing with the purchase of a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) machine from Indiana-based Thermwood Corporation. Ascent wants to challenge the industry norms of the maturing aerospace tooling sector by taking additive manufacturing to a new level, using the LSAM to do so. The machine, with a 10′ x 40′ fabrication area, will help the company’s customers bring tools like vacuum holding fixtures, trimming/drilling fixtures, and layup molds to market at faster speeds, and will be co-located in its Santa Ana, California composite tooling shop, autoclave, and clean room.

“Our investment in the LSAM represents the next milestone in Ascent’s multi-year technology roadmap and realization of expansive efforts studying the benefits of additive manufacturing within the aerospace tooling market,” said Michael Mahfet, the CEO of Ascent Aerospace. “This capability positions us to remain the leader in new and innovative tooling solutions, supporting strong collaboration with our customers and supplementing our in-house, vertically integrated design and fabrication capabilities.”

Defense Innovation Lab, Inc. Receives Manufacturing Technology Assistance Grant

Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, Defense Innovation Lab, Inc. (DiLab) supports entrepreneurs working on technology focused on defense and government. Now, it will be able to help drive local 3D printing innovation, thanks to a Manufacturing Technology Assistance grant it’s been awarded from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). DiLab will support R3 Printing, Inc. in designing, prototyping, and testing its proprietary enterprise-grade R3 Printer with RIT’s AMPrint Center for Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing. The R3 Printer can produce plastic and composite prints, and is optimized for commercial manufacturing and defense logistics applications.

“The combination of 90% faster prints, 200% more efficient build-volume capture, and Active Overheat Prevention provides breakthrough capabilities such as rapid print-job turnaround and increased individual printer bandwidth. Faster 3D prints, increased printer bandwidth, monitored 3D printers mean more money made each day by on-demand manufacturers – the companies that produce 3D printed goods,” said R3 Printing President and Co-Founder Dan Downs. “For the US military, these features mean the R3 Printer is a tool that helps our servicemen respond  to equipment failure immediately and at the source with new operational components that otherwise may take months to arrive via traditional supply chains.”

3D Systems Signs MoU with USI3DT and Gujarat

While many industries are adopting 3D printing, there’s still a major gap between companies that want to bring the technology in-house and the necessary skilled manpower that’s available to do so. Even if employees do receive training in operating the printers, there’s a lack of people who are “skilled and knowledgeable enough to understand the dynamics of the 3D printing technology,” according to a blog post written by Deelip Menezes, the Managing Director for 3D Systems in India. That’s why the company recently signed a strategic 3D printing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the California-based US Institute of 3D Technology (USI3DT) and the state government of Gujarat, India in an effort to close this skills gap. Seven 3D printing Centers of Excellence (CoE) will be set up in technical institutes across the state, and students can enroll in 3D Systems-certified 3D printing courses offered by USI3DT.

“This will not only give them exposure to a technology that is available to only a select few in India at the moment, but USI3DT and 3D Systems will also impart practical training on usage of 3D Sprint, the part preparation software for 3D Systems printers, whose understanding is absolutely key,” wrote Menezes.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. If we don’t start introducing 3D printing to students today, we can’t expect to have a knowledgeable and experienced workforce tomorrow. But I don’t see this as a way of just making students employable. I also see this as a way to sow the seeds of innovation in students’ minds.”

Xometry Partners with  Alibaba.com as a Co-Marketing Sponsor

Custom manufacturing marketplace Xometry is joining Alibaba.com – one of the largest B2B eCommerce marketplaces – as a Co- Marketing Sponsor for its US ecosystem. The company is joining Alibaba.com’s new, expanded ecosystem of service providers in order help small businesses in the US sell both locally and globally, and will offer Alibaba.com’s business buyers exclusive deals for its own on-demand manufacturing services. The two marketplaces have a shared passion, as Alibaba.com, a business unite of the Alibaba Groupo, has started this initiative in order to help SMBs access the very wide eCommerce industry.

“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Alibaba.com. Empowering small and medium-sized business success is one of the reasons Xometry was founded, which is why we are so excited to be part of this initiative,” said Bill Cronin, Xometry’s Chief Revenue Officer. “We look forward to driving new business both from the U.S. and global markets to our Partner Network of over 3,000 manufacturers.”

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

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