3D Printing News Briefs, February 27, 2021: Zortrax, Fictiv, Bluestreak I Bright AM, nTopology & KW Micro Power


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Zortrax announced that it’s lowering the price on one of its 3D printers. Moving on to business, Fictiv is welcoming two new members to its management team, and also a new member to its board of directors, while Bluestreak I Bright AM hired a former GE Aviation employee as its new Cyber Security Officer. Finally, nTopology published a case study about a redesigned turbogenerator housing.

Zortrax Lowers Price of Inventure 3D Printer

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax launched its compact, versatile Inventure system back in 2015, and has spent the subsequent years working to improve it. Now, the company has announced that it’s cutting the price of this dual extrusion system by up to 40%. Compatible with both Zortrax and many third-party filaments, the compact Inventure is a good for medical workshops and small office spaces, and can even be used at home to fabricate custom parts and appliances. It features a closed architecture, with an enclosed print chamber and built-in carbon and HEPA filters for safer 3D printing, and the dedicated Zortrax DSS Station can be used to rinse soluble support structures off your 3D prints.

“The Inventure 3D printer has been designed for people who need comfortable, simple yet capable additive manufacturing device for work or for home. We can see that 3D printing technology becomes more and more indispensable in various fields like medicine, education, architecture or heavy industry,” said Zortrax’s Head of Marketing Natalia Jusiak. “But we also noticed a growing trend towards using desktop 3D printers at home. That’s why we have decided to cut the price of the Inventure and make it even more affordable for a wide base of customers. This way we wish to further popularize the 3D printing technology at large.”

The discounted Inventure 3D printer is available—in limited numbers—on the Zortrax website.

Fictiv Welcomes Former Jabil Employees to Team

This week, Fictiv announced that it was welcoming two new members to its management team and one to its Board of Directors—and that all three are Jabil alumni. Todd Taylor and Michael Swartz are both coming on board from Jabil company Radius Innovation & Design, and will help Fictiv grow its digital manufacturing ecosystem in enterprise markets. Taylor, who boasts over two decades of experience in design and engineering consulting, has been named the VP of Applications Engineering and will help Fictiv customers optimize their designs. Swartz spent more than 20 years working in the business development world, and is Fictiv’s new VP of Enterprise Solutions for the Consumer Electronics Division. In addition, Joanne Moretti, Fictiv’s former interim Chief Marketing Officer, is joining the company’s Board of Directors with over 30 years of experience in the technology industry under her belt, including sales and marketing leadership roles at several Fortune 500 companies.

“I am excited to join the Fictiv Board at this important growth stage for the company. My career has reinforced the need for a digital-first partner like Fictiv that can deliver on promises of quality, speed, and affordability for precision parts,” Moretti said. “I look forward to helping the team continue to build on its leadership position as the world emerges from the pandemic with an emphasis on building agile, digitally-supported supply chains.”

Bluestreak I Bright AM Hires GE Aviation Alumnus

Bluestreak I Bright AM, a division of Manufacturing Execution and Quality Management System software provider Throughput Consulting, has hired former GE Aviation Lead Manufacturing Engineer Joe Coleman as its new Cyber Security Officer. As Jean Wenzel, the company’s Director of Marketing and Education, told 3dPrint.com in an email, the DoD has had to react to a low level of compliance adoption by the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), and created the CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) to remedy and audit compliance with the NIST SP 800-171 regulation, which applies to any Prime contractor or subcontractor within the DoD’s supply chain. Coleman has over 35 years of experience in quality management and production, and trained and mentored aerospace engineers and designers at GE Aviation’s Additive Technology Center (ATC) on the 3D printing workflow, which includes Bluestreak’s Bright AM software. In his new role, Coleman will help customers and their vendors achieve NIST 800-171, CMMC, and DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) certification and compliance.

“We’re very excited to have Joe on board. His depth of additive manufacturing experience combined with his expansive knowledge of our MES/QMS software will complement our training team especially to those customers transitioning from prototype to full AM mass production,” said Throughput Consulting CEO Todd Wenzel.

nTopology Case Study on Lightweight Microturbine Housing

Florida manufacturer KW Micro Power creates high power density Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for commercial aviation and military applications, and offers several micro generator products for different use-cases. Keeping aircraft components lightweight is hugely important, and the company worked with nTopology and VELO3D to redesign the housing for its compact, aerospace-grade turbogenerator, eventually reducing its weight by 44%. KW Micro Power followed nTopology’s fast, Field-Driven Design approach—using its integrated static and modal analysis simulation tools to confirm that the housing loads were small, removing unnecessary material to create a hollow shell with variable wall thickness, and smoothing the internal geometry so it wouldn’t need support structures during printing—and in so doing discovered that they could also add conformal cooling channels for heat management to the part, which helped lower the maximum operating temperature by 33% and improved the efficiency of the system. Additionally, VELO3D was able to print the housing in a single piece out of foundry-grade Aluminum F357 on its LPBF Sapphire 3D printer.

“I like to work with people that really know what they are doing and can push the limits of engineering,” said Enrique Enriquez, the President of KW Micro Power.

“Nothing is fast enough for me, but everything is instantaneous in nTopology. I can do the things that I want to do that are impossible with other design tools. I think this is like the renaissance of engineering. In the past, we were always working from the outside. Now, we can control every aspect of the geometry of our designs and their microstructure. If you want to make jet engines and APUs lighter and more efficient, this is the way!”

To learn more about this project, check out nTopology’s case study.

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