3D Printing News Briefs, October 24, 2020: nTopology & Etteplan, DSM, CAR3D Project, MELD Manufacturing


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about a partnership between nTopology and Etteplan, a new material from DSM, CAR3D’s COVID-19 protection equipment, and a pretty cool 3D printed milestone from MELD Manufacturing.

nTopology Chooses Etteplan as Nordic Design Partner

US engineering software company nTopology has selected Finland-based Etteplan as its preferred Design Partner in the Nordic region, or Norden, which is made up of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Etteplan has spent the last few years investing in multiple fields of advanced manufacturing, including automation, digital twins, robotics, and additive manufacturing, and this new partnership with nTopology, in which the two companies will be building next-generation engineering design tools, will help to grow its position as a top Norden AM expert.

“nTopology is excited to announce our first referral partnership in Europe with Etteplan, our preferred design partner in the Nordics,” said Bradley Rothenberg, Founder and CEO of nTopology. “This means that any nTop customers who have difficult or complex challenges with product development and design can turn to the experts at Etteplan to help meet their performance and design requirements. They provide years of experience with additive and advanced manufacturing processes as well as deep knowledge of the software space, especially utilizing nTop Platform. We are looking forward to what this partnership will bring to our Nordic customers.”

Royal DSM Launches New Somos WaterShed Black Resin

Global science-based company Royal DSM announced the launch of its new Somos material for stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing. Based on its WaterShed XC 11122 technology, the new WaterShed Black SLA resin prints true black up to 50% faster than other black photopolymers, thanks to its improved formulation, and is easy to use as well. Parts printed with Somos WaterShed Black are tough and durable, with a smooth surface finish, and great moisture and chemical resistance, with only minimal post-processing touches, like coating or painting, required. Specific applications for this new resin include consumer electronics, functional automotive or electronic parts, packaging, and prototyping.

“With Somos® WaterShed Black, we are addressing the need for a truly black stereolithography material and we are bringing to market a material that processes up to 50% faster into a part with smooth surface finish,” said Geoff Gardner, Innovations Director Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “We are pleased we can bring manufacturers the technological developments they want to see as they explore the benefits of 3D printing for their business or expand the use of the technology in their design and production processes.”

CAR3D COVID-19 Rapid Response Innovation Project

This group will work to design, develop, and validate reusable masks that comply with EU specifications.

Experts are saying that the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19, especially without an available vaccine, and keep essential workers safe is with face masks and other kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE), and for the most part, 3D printing has been a pretty effective way to manufacture these masks, especially since there weren’t enough protective materials to quickly design and manufacture these the conventional way when the pandemic started. Many in the AM industry, like BCN3D Technologies’ Here to Help project, have stepped up to help out during this crisis, and a group of partners, which includes BCN3D, has just established the Covid-19 Rapid Response Innovation Project (CAR3D), which will design, develop, manufacture, and validate reusable 3D printed face masks that comply with EU specifications and other quality standards, such as breathability and comfortable skin contact. By making the design available for replication, Europe’s capacity to produce PPE will improve.

“The immediate aims of this project are to reduce the pressure of the procurement of PPE by ensuring that a greater supply of products that meet EU standards are widely available. Increased production will also reduce dependence on suppliers from outside Europe, as well as the use of PPE that does not meet European quality standards. Involving Additive manufacturing suppliers means that the current demand can be met without the need to scale up a new, dedicated industry, and it establishes a network of suppliers who can be called on in other emergencies,” BCN3D Technologies explained in a blog post.

Additional CAR3D partners are EIT Health, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Universidad de Barcelona, and Fundación CIM-UPC.

MELD Manufacturing Makes “Largest” 3D Printed Aluminum Cylinder 

In the spring of 2018, MELD Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Aeroprobe Corporation, won the RAPID Innovation Award for its novel metal 3D printing technology, only a month after its official launch. The patented, solid-state process is able to print fully dense parts, in an open-air environment, without melting any metal, which uses less energy, avoids issues such as hot-cracking and porosity, and makes it possible to use off-the-shelf materials. The MELD method can be used to 3D print, coat, repair, and join metals and metal matrix composites, and in a recently published YouTube video, you can get a sense of what MELD is really capable of, as the company prints what it calls the “world’s largest” aluminum cylinder. I’m not sure if it’s actually the largest in the world, but it’s definitely bigger than the aluminum cylinder the company printed just a few months ago.

“Watch this demonstrated scalability of the open-air MELD process by printing a ten-foot (3.05 meter) diameter cylinder using off the shelf aluminum. The size of the component is a milestone for the company and for the metal additive manufacturing industry as a whole,” MELD Manufacturing wrote in the video’s description.

Check out the video below!

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