Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printing News Briefs, October 3, 2020: ALM & BASF, TÜV SÜD, Syqe Medical & Stratasys, WASP

ST Medical Devices

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In this week’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about materials, medical device 3D printing, investments, and 3D printed eco-housing. Advance Laser Materials has released four new printing powders that are powered by BASF, and TÜV SÜD has created a range of checklists to fix supply chain bottlenecks when 3D printing medical devices during a pandemic. Syqe Medical has invested in the Stratasys J55 3D printer. Finally, WASP partnered with a gallery in Milan to showcase its 3D printed Gaia eco-house.

ALM Releases Four BASF-Powered Powders

AM materials development leader and EOS company Advanced Laser Materials (ALM) has signed a distribution agreement with BASF 3D Printing Solutions to release four new production-grade 3D printing powder solutions powered by BASF’s Forward AM, which promise to bring about new application opportunities. ALM will sell three of Forward AM’s Polyamide 6 (PA6) solutions on behalf of BASF: Ultrasint® PA6 FR, Ultrasint® PA6 MF, and Ultrasint® PA6 LM, all of which feature in-particle fillers for part consistency and a high Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT), which means great thermal resistance. The fourth Forward AM powder that ALM will distribute is Ultrasint® PP nat 01, a polypropylene with high rigidity that makes it a good choice for making things like aerospace sensor covers and automotive fluid bottles.

“Forward AM’s Ultrasint® Polypropylene is fully weldable and its translucency and media-tightness make it perfect for tanks and reservoir prototypes. The ability to leverage high-performance AM materials to do short run production will open up new opportunities for customers in the automotive industry,” stated Jeremy Vos, Automotive and Powderbed Manager, BASF.

TÜV SÜD Creates Checklists for 3D Printing Medical Devices

This winter, SmarTech Analysis said that the healthcare portion of the AM market was at just over $3 billion dollars, and that this segment will continue to be important to the overall structure of the industry…and all that was said before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now it’s more true than ever, as the technology has been used for numerous applications related to the coronavirus, and supply chain bottlenecks for medical devices can definitely be helped with 3D printing. But, these 3D printed medical devices are still subject to very strict quality requirements and legal regulations, and with good reason. So to make sure that the technology is used properly, German testing and certification organization TÜV SÜD has created a range of checklists for manufacturers to use in their production processes. These lists cover the main regulatory requirements for using AM, and the organization is providing the lists to coronavirus manufacturers at no charge.

Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD, said, “When borders are closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, companies are forced to adjust their supply chains.

“There are many indications that fast, integrated supply chain networks with local production operations will become the new normal.”

Syqe Medical Optimizing Product Design with Stratasys J55

The J55 3D Printer allows Syqe to accurately reflect the intricate airway structures, usually less than 1mm in diameter, within the inhaler prototypes

Israeli pharmaceutical company Syqe Medical Ltd. purchased the recently released office-friendly, full-color, multimaterial J55 3D printer from Stratasys in order to optimize and speed up the product design process for its medical marijuana inhalers, which allow for therapeutic molecule delivery and administration. The J55 will join Syqe’s current PolyJet printer in its design office space, and will be able to help the company create very realistic prototypes in order to speed up validation, since, as noted above, medical devices need to undergo rigorous testing. To ensure that its inhaler prototypes make the mark, Syqe is 3D printing several elements, including the casing, chassis, and springs, and the J55 offers the necessary precision and material capabilities to make accurate prototypes.

“Our products include very precise and intricate airways, which are usually less than 1mm in diameter. Achieving this level of complexity in the design of a prototype is very difficult, but the J55 allows us to incorporate such intricate structures into the design with a level of accuracy we’ve not seen before. We can undertake iterations much faster and earlier in the design process, which ensures we can better validate products before they reach medical trials or when we present them to specific customers,” said Itay Kurgan, Product Development Manager at Syqe.

“The J55 has added another layer to our 3D printing capabilities. Not only does it allow us to quickly print design concepts with incredible realism, but we can do so from a system that operates quietly in the corner of our office. The only problem we have is with our designers, who now fight over who gets to use the J55 next!”

WASP Shows 3D Printed Gaia House at Exhibition

Francesca Moretti and the Gaia wall at Rossana Orlandi.

In 2018, WASP unveiled its 3D printed Gaia home, featuring an outer shell and beams made from organic material such as soil and agricultural waste with the manufacturer’s Crane WASP printer. Now, the company is partnering with the Rossana Orlandi gallery to showcase Gaia in an exhibition called “We Are Nature,” held at the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci. The Milan-based gallery and WASP share a common interest in sustainable living, and WASP will discuss the research it undertook to construct the structure. WASP says that Gaia has almost no environmental impact, and the resourcefulness the company used in creating it truly shows how much diversified materials can be used in the 3D printed construction sector.

“A deep dialogue between Design, Technology and Art with the actors responsible for safeguarding nature, for an ethical and aesthetic coexistence between Man and the Planet,” the invitation to the “We Are Nature” event states.

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