3D Printing News Briefs, March 16, 2021: Lincotek, Xometry & Autodesk, 3Strands & ICON, Proto21

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering business, software, construction, and more. Lincotek Medical is continuing its expansion program by investing in additive manufacturing. Xometry and Autodesk have partnered up to launch a Fusion 360 app. The first 3D printed homes in Austin, Texas are hitting the market, and finally, Proto21 3D printed a giant façade for the adidas flagship store in Dubai.

Lincotek Medical Invests in Additive for Expansion

Italy-based Lincotek Medical, a global contract manufacturer for the orthopedic, trauma, spinal, and dental markets, is working to respond to US market demand by expanding its plant in Tennessee and helping OEMs meet the global need for orthopedic implants by implementing workforce training, automation, and new technologies, such as 3D printing. The company’s Bartlett plant near Memphis recently added a new industrial workspace, which doubled its manufacturing footprint, and increased its coating capacity by purchasing a CAPS Intercooler, an Air Plasma Spray (APS), and a sandblasting machine, all of which are automated. But it’s also heavily investing in additive manufacturing, by working to further improve its laser-based 3D printers for contract manufacturing of medical devices, invest in a dedicated AM team, and support OEMs working to manage complex supply chains.

“If it is about additive technology for medical devices, Lincotek Medical is the go-to partner for OEMs, ensuring reliable and cost-efficient additive device manufacturing,” said Francesco Bucciotti, Managing Director USA for Lincotek Medical. “Starting with additive manufacturing of medical devices in 2006, the company has profound additive development and production experience, significantly reducing time to market for its customers.”

Xometry & Autodesk Launch Fusion 360 App

This country’s largest on-demand manufacturing marketplace, Xometry, has launched a free Autodesk Fusion 360 app in partnership with the CAD/CAM Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) platform. With this integration, Autodesk users can get an instant price and lead time quote, as well as feedback, from Xometry without having to leave the Fusion 360 platform. This lets engineers and designers quickly see the impact of design changes on the cost and manufacturability of their parts, and thus increase their speed to market. As part of this partnership, Autodesk will offer a 20% discount on Fusion 360 subscriptions exclusively to Xometry suppliers, and Xometry will offer an exclusive 10% discounts on any orders placed through Autodesk Fusion 360.

“Autodesk and Xometry share the common goal of doing everything possible to remove inefficiencies, increase transparency and collaboration, and generally improve the journey from design to manufacturing. Our aim is to remove barriers, early in the design process, to understanding what a part will cost to manufacture and how choosing new processes or more sustainable materials could increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and make a product more relevant,” explained Srinath Jonnalagadda, Vice President of Industry Strategy at Autodesk. “To that end, more closely coupling Xometry’s capabilities with Fusion is a no-brainer.”

You can download the app directly from the Autodesk Fusion 360 App Store.

3D Printed Homes Hit the Market in Texas

Kansas City real estate developer 3Strands announced that the first 3D printed homes in Austin, Texas are now up for sale, though they’re not the first in the country. 3Strands partnered with Austin-based construction 3D printing startup ICON to use its proprietary Vulcan printer to create sustainable, attractive, energy-efficient housing to create two- to four-bedroom homes, which should be ready to welcome residents this summer. ICON has 3D printed two dozen homes in Mexico and Central Texas, though this is its first mainstream housing project. The first floor of each these new Austin homes took about five to seven days to print, and ICON says that its advanced material is stronger than traditional building materials.

“We want to change the way we build, own, and how we live in community together. This project represents a big step forward, pushing the boundaries of new technologies, such as 3D-printed homes,” said Gary O’Dell, the CEO and Co-Founder of 3Strands.

You can learn more about these 3D printed homes here.

3D Printed 32-Meter Long Modular Façade 

Middle Eastern 3D printing service provider Proto21, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, announced that it has 3D printed a total of 1,008 pieces, which together form a modular façade, measuring 32 meters long, for the new flagship adidas store in the Dubai Mall. The company’s 3D printing production facility is stocked with many Prusa 3D printers, which used a total of 450 kg of rPLA filament from Filamentive to print the whole project, including the installation, in only three months. Proto21’s Founder and CEO Pir Arkam says that it’s the largest 3D printed model that’s ever been fabricated in the Middle East, and the largest modular 3D printed object as well.

It took over 20,160 hours of continuous 3D printing to produce all the pieces of the façade, each of which measures 200 x 200 x 180 mm, and would have taken over 28 months to complete if just a single printer had been used. The façade itself looks pretty awesome, and it makes sense that it will now grace the entrance of an adidas store, as the company has already been a major adopter of the technology.

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