3D Printing News Briefs: September 27, 2019

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, colorFabb has announced a new flexible filament, and All Axis Robotics is using MakerBot technology to make custom tooling parts. Additionally, a strategic partnership between an Israeli and a UK company has received funding to develop artificial intelligence for additive manufacturing, and Rapidia has installed its first metal 3D printer.

colorFabb Introduces Variable Shore  Filament

Dutch filament producer colorFabb has introduced varioShore TPU, a new 3D printing material that’s flexible in multiple ways. For starters, it’s not limited to a single shore hardness, but can help users achieve multiple shore hardnesses, even in one print…with the right print settings, of course.

The new varioShore TPU filament is also perfect for prints that require a soft touch, such as shoe soles and bicycle handle bars. The same technology colorFabb used to create its lightweight LW-PLA filament was also used to make varioShore TPU, which helps significantly reduce the weight of prints made with the material.

All Axis Robotics Uses MakerBot METHOD to Produce Tooling Parts

3D printer manufacturer MakerBot announced that Texas machine shop and turnkey custom robot solutions leader All Axis Robotics has added the MakerBot METHOD 3D printing workstation into its automation processes. This helps the company increase efficiency and lower costs and lead times when making custom tooling parts for customers and legacy machines, including robot arm end-effectors and a custom part sander. In-house 3D printing helps All Axis achieve an advantage over its competitors.

“One of the challenges we faced when adapting our collaborative robots and automation in the machine shop was the need to develop custom parts during the process. We would have to develop custom brackets, fixtures, or fingers for the grippers, and not all of this would be possible to produce on CNC machines. When we purchased the MakerBot METHOD, we automatically obtained all that capability for customizing all these different parts. Within days, we were able to print custom parts for our machines. The relevance of having this machine within our process is that we have a quick turnaround capability to produce custom parts that we can integrate into our systems immediately,” said Gary Kuzmin, the CEO of All Axis Robotics.

“Not only was it extremely valuable for us to make on-demand custom parts for what we needed to keep our operations going, but we were able to implement 3D printing for our customers and their needs. As our engineers realized the capabilities of 3D printing, we were able to create a product line of 3D printed parts for existing customers who had similar challenges.”

Partnership Receives Funding to Develop Additive Manufacturing AI

L-R: Itamar Yona (Printsyst CEO) and Tom Dawes (DNA.am Chairman)

UK-based AM software company DNA.am Ltd and 3D printing artificial intelligence engine Printsyst, which is headquartered in Israel, have joined together in a strategic partnership to create an integrated AI solution to help scale and optimize 3D printing for aerospace. The collaborative project has received £600k in funding from Innovate UK and the Israel Innovation Authority, and will combine Printsyst’s patented 3D printing AI engine with multiple 3D printing data sources – captured by DNA.am’s Manufacturing Execution System – in order to develop a solution based on both AI and deep learning that will help aerospace manufacturers scale their 3D printing.

“Aerospace companies continue to invest heavily in AM plant, but are yet to implement smart solutions that optimise plant and resource efficiencies,” said Tom Dawes, the Chairman of DNA.am and its parent company, Valuechain Enterprise Systems. “Driving AM productivity and generating tangible return on investment has to be the priority for the AM ecosystem. By combining DNA.am’s streamlined data capture and aerospace traceability with Printsyst’s AI optimisation engine, we are confident that our integrated solution will standardise best practice processes for growing companies and accelerate AM adoption in the aerospace sector and other highly regulated sectors.”

The two companies will showcase the prototypes for their joint project at formnext in November.

Rapidia Installs First Metal 3D Printing System at Hatch Accelerator

Prof. Robert Rohling, director of the Hatch Accelerator at UBC, in front of the newly installed system

In April, Canadian company Rapidia Inc. formally introduced its metal powder binding system, the first debinding free bound-metal 3D printer. Now, the company has announced that commercial shipments of the printer have commenced, and that the first system has been installed at startup incubator Hatch Accelerator, part of the University of British Columbia.

The innovative system uses a water-based metal paste, which gets rid of solvent-based debinding to allow for 3D printeding 100% solid thick sections without any infill pattern. The Rapidia printer has a very rapid turnaround time, a low cost per part, and offers multiple support modes for complex internal structures. The system will serve several startups at the Hatch Accelerator, and the company has more installations planned for the next few months. You can see the Rapidia 3D printer for yourself at next week’s CMTS show in Toronto at booth 1937.

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