3D Printing News Briefs: April 28, 2020

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We’re starting with business today, before moving on to materials news, in 3D Printing News Briefs. Xaar’s senior leadership team is making an investment in the company’s future, and the CEO of Made In Space has been appointed as the chairman of a NASA committee. Moving on, Andaltec is launching an interesting R&D project that could majorly impact the sustainability of carbon fiber materials. Finally, Shin-Etsu Silicones is launching a new series of mold making silicone.

Xaar’s Senior Leadership Invests in Company Future

Just after announcing the full year financial results for 2019, three members of the senior leadership team at digital inkjet technology leader Xaar have invested in the future of the company. CEO John Mills, CFO Ian Tichias, and Chairman Andrew Herbert purchased 275,000 shares of the business between them to as Xaar writes in a release, “underline their commitment and confidence in its new strategy.”

“2019 was a difficult year for the Group as a result of the performance of the Printhead business and decision to end investment in Thin Film. However, we entered 2020 with confidence in the long-term future of the business and a revised strategy, product roadmap and strong balance sheet to deliver improved business performance and a return to profitability,” said Mills. “Clearly, the recent events with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic mean it is impossible to determine the effect on Xaar’s 2020 results; however we are yet to see a significant impact on customer demand. We have all the fundamentals in place to continue to execute our strategy and return Xaar to profitability. Our share investment is a clear demonstration of our belief in the long-term performance of the business and the confidence that we have in delivering sustainable growth.”

Andrew Rush Named as Chairman of NAC Committee

The president and CEO of Made In Space (MIS), Andrew Rush, has been appointed to serve as a representative member on the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), as well as the Chairman of its Regulatory and Policy Committee. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine appointed Rush this winter, and he will serve for a three-year term. The NAC is NASA’s senior external advisory body, and provides insight and makes recommendations to Bridenstine on policies, programs, and financial controls based on the expertise of its members. Rush is a leader in commercial space, advocating to speed up NASA’s flagship missions through expansion of public-private partnerships, and expanding the MIS portfolio across deep space exploration solutions, payload development and operations, and satellite manufacturing. The committee he will chair advises on NASA-related civil space policy and regulation, such as international governance issues, to help advance policy objectives.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as chairman of the NASA Advisory Council’s Regulatory and Policy Committee and I am humbled by this opportunity. I look forward to working with respected colleagues and Administrator Bridenstine to address important policy issues impacting the agency’s mission,” Rush said in a press release.

Andaltec Launches Re-composite R&D Project

Spanish technological center for plastics Andaltec has started a new R&D project called Re-composite that is working to improve the recycling and revalorization of epoxy resin and carbon or glass fiber, in the car and aeronautic industries. The Andalusian government’s department for Economy, Business and Universities is funding the initiative, which will work to come up with a way to attempt to recycle these carbon fiber (CFRP) parts, which are used more and more in 3D printing parts for industrial sectors. A big problem is that these strong, lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced materials can’t be recycled at all at the moment, and if the Re-composite project works at scale, their sustainability will likely improve.

“This project will help to give a higher value to these reinforced polymeric materials, which enjoy some technical properties similar or even better to those of metallic materials,” stated Antonio Calahorro, head of the Re-composite project for Andaltec. “Thanks to the improvement in recycling and reuse derived from this project, we can meet the ever-increasing demand for sustainable compounds on the part of citizens and companies.”

The execution deadline for the Re-composite project is 24 months, so work will continue until late 2021.

Shin-Etsu Silicones Launches New Mold Making Silicone Series

Ohio-based Shin-Etsu Silicones of America Inc. (SESA), a subsidiary of Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., supplies silicone materials to North America’s aerospace, automotive, cosmetics, electronics, manufacturing, and medical industries. Silicone is important for mold making, as elastomeric materials formulated for 3D printing, acrylic casting, epoxy, and urethane are used more often for rapid prototyping applications. By using silicone, product development and part fabrication speed can improve, while capital equipment costs can go down. That’s why SESA is launching a new mold making series, SES2251, which offers a high modulus and high tear strength for platinum cure mold making silicone. The low viscosity, low shrinkage series is translucent, with better inhibition resistance, and can be mixed with four flexible Shore-A Hardness catalyst options (CAT22251-40/35/30/20) to get a higher hardness.

“Rapid prototype professionals are real artists, and once they use the SES22251 material they are amazed at what they can do in creative and efficient product development,” said SESA’s Regional Sales Manager-RTV Jeff Schlegel. “We rolled out with select customers in the last year, and based on their positive feedback , we are now introducing it to the entire rapid prototyping industry.”

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