3D Printing News Briefs: August 7, 2019

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We’re taking care of business first today in 3D Printing News Briefs – VELO3D has announced its largest 3D printer order yet, and 3D Systems is partnering with Thor3D for a new bundle. Moving on, CRP Technology and CRP Meccanica recently debuted at the racetrack as Energica partners. Finally, a 3D printed bag opener seen on reddit is a great example of how the technology can be used to create niche machines.

VELO3D Announces Largest 3D Printer Order

In 2015, California-based VELO3D raised $22 million to create a metal 3D printing system that offered plenty of design freedom, which resulted in its next generation laser fusion Sapphire 3D printer. Now, the company has announced its largest order to date, and will immediately begin the delivery process of four additional Sapphire systems to an unnamed customer in the aerospace industry. This is a repeat order, which will bring the customer’s installation of Sapphire 3D printers up to nine; delivery should be complete by the end of the year.

“We are excited to see customers ramping with Sapphire’s SupportFree capabilities. It is clear from customer feedback on our first deliveries that the demand for SupportFree, production ready, Sapphire metal 3D printers is strong and that we are exceeding expectations for the technology,” said Benny Buller, CEO of VELO3D.

3D Systems Partnering with Thor3D for New Bundle

CAD model of car bumper after post-processing in Geomagic Design X software.

Together, Thor3D and 3D Systems are partnering up for a new bundle. The companies signed an agreement, which states that Thor3D’s Drake and Calibry scanner distribution partners are now able to act as resellers for Geomagic software by 3D Systems, which includes Geomagic Wrap, Geomagic Control X, and Geomagic Design X, the latter of which can be used to help reverse engineer physical parts into feature-based, parametric CAD models.

“This is hopefully only the first step in our collaboration,” said Thor3D’s CEO Anna Zevelyov. “We are discussing ways to integrate our software and hardware, as well as ways we can build a closer bond between the companies business-wise.”

CRP Technology & CRP Meccanica Debut as Energica Partners

Niki Tuuli, the winner of the first round FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.

The Energica Motor Company, a subsidiary of Italy’s CRP Group, has long been using 3D printing and the company’s Windform composite materials to make parts for its electric superbikes and motorcycles, including the Ego Corsa. But in April, an intense fire broke out at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in Spain after the first day of 2019 testing for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, and 18 Energica racing bikes were destroyed. But CRP Group vowed to stand by Energica’s side, and the partnership continued, resulting in all the motorcycles being rebuilt in less than three months. During the recent inaugural weekend of the World Cup, CRP Technology and CRP Meccanica were at the Sachsenring racetrack for round one as Energica’s technological partners, and the race was able to confirm the Ego Corsa, with its many 3D printed and CNC machined parts, was at “absolute parity in terms of performance.”

“This data makes us very proud and pay us back for all the efforts made! Mounted on all the Ego Corsa machines that have raced on Sachsenring racetrack and that will be racing…there are many parts built by CRP companies using additive and subtractive technologies: CRP Technology manufactured some parts via professional 3D printing using Windform composite materials, CRP Meccanica manufactured many components using high precision CNC machining,” said Franco Cevolini, the CEO and CTO for CRP companies. “Therefore, CRP Technology and CRP Meccanica’s contribution to MotoE has not been limited to the R&D phase, but to supply Energica with end use components for racing.”

Round two of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will take place in Austria later this week.

3D Printed Bag Opener on reddit

Los Angeles-based Venice Automation is a design and services group that provides solutions and improvements for self-manufacturing CPG startups and small businesses. Recently, the company shared a video on the popular website reddit of a 3D Printed Pneumatic Bag Opener for stand-up barrier pouches, which it refers to as “the worst packaging for production.” The niche machine, which the company designed, built, and engineered for Keto Farms, is 3D printed, features a pneumatic vacuum grip, and activated by a foot switch. Venice Automation explained that the system was built to save waste, not time.

“The operator does indeed have his finger slightly engaged into the top of the bag. The big win with what you’re seeing here is the bag opener is engaging the bottom gusset of the bag. Once that gusset is engaged, the bag remains open and rigid and ready for filling. You’d be surprised how much effort it takes to get that gusset engaged by hand,” the company wrote.

“Without the finger even just that 1/2” in the top, the bags wouldn’t open. Not sure if we’re pulling too deep of a vacuum and the suction cups on each side are pulling vacuum passed their designated side to the other side of the bag (holding it shut) or if opening the bag itself creates a vacuum / negative pressure inside it. This is the prototype / first iteration model. Just finished building this and they’ve been slammed with orders so we haven’t been able to do some further testing yet.

“Would certainly love any input from this community.”

As always, be careful what you wish for…to read some of the other comments on the video, check it out on reddit. But one thing is for certain: this bag opener is a good example of how 3D printing can be used to create niche machines.

3D Printed Pneumatic Bag Opener for stand up barrier pouches from r/engineering

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

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