3D Printing News Briefs, May 5, 2021: APS Tech Solutions, Science Foundation Ireland, Slant 3D and NatureWorks, Cremation Solutions


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From a new 3D printer and an award to some interesting 3D printed products, we’ve got a random assortment of industry stories to share with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. So let’s get going!

New Wizard 480+ 3D Printer from APS Tech Solutions

Austrian company APS Tech Solutions recently introduced a new industrial 3D printer, the Wizard 480+, that can fabricate parts with its patent-pending, water-cooled print head technology using fused filament fabrication (FFF) and continuous filament fabrication (CFF) printing, or a combination of both. The new printer, with a 400 x 230 x 370 mm build volume, has plenty of great features, such as a heated build plate and print heads that can be heated up to 500°C for high-performance plastics processing of high-performance plastics, such as its continuous carbon fiber filament.

The Wizard 480+ is an open material system, so there are no restrictions on using third-party materials, though APS does offer its own continuous filaments as well. The industrial 3D printer also has a high-precision frame with powerful drives, live video monitoring, an exhaust air filter, a 7” touchscreen, Simplify3D slicer software, a minimum layer thickness of 0.01 mm, and more. Additionally, the system features a tool changer that can automatically switch out between four different print heads for different materials in less than three seconds.

SFI Centre’s AMSCDT Wins Education Laboratory of the Year

The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems (AMSCDT), the country’s specialist post-doctoral training center for metal 3D printing, was recently awarded the Education Laboratory of the Year Award for 2021 by the Irish Laboratory Awards, which were revealed in front of a live digital audience at the end of April. The Centre, which promotes research and industry engagement and features state of the art powder metallurgy and laser processing facilities, is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, the University of Manchester, University College Dublin (UCD), and Dublin City University (DCU). Established and funded by the SFI state agency, the AMSCDT was co-founded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and is strongly focused on developing the kinds of skills and talents that will be useful in the 21st century manufacturing economy.

“The UK and Ireland has a critical shortage of doctoral level metallic materials specialists, which impacts on our competitive manufacturing capabilities. In the Centre, we deliver four-year doctoral projects with technical and leadership training for STEM graduates. The projects are designed specifically for and with industry, to support high-value manufacturing across the whole supply chain, from fundamental research through to industrial delivery,” explained DCU’s Professor Dermot Brabazon, who leads the university’s component of the AMSCDT collaboration.

3D Printed Golf Tee Markers by NatureWorks and Slant 3D

About a month ago, at the beginning of April, advanced materials company NatureWorks asked high-volume 3D printing service Slant 3D to 3D print custom golf tee markers for the professional Zurich Classic golf tournament in Louisiana, which is part of the PGA Tour and took place at the end of April. The PLA manufacturer reached out to Slant 3D for its production 3D printing capabilities as it only had a month to affordably create a whole lot of marker cubes—two for the beginning of each hole, featuring the Zurich Classic logo so that it would be seen everywhere during the television broadcast. With no time to spare, Slant 3D and NatureWorks collaborated to design a 3D model and finalize the design. Using NatureWorks’ environmentally conscious Ingeo biopolymer, Slant 3D cost-effectively produced, assembled, processed, and shipped over 1,000 parts within two weeks, thanks to its large print farm.

“Working with Naturworks and the Zurich Classic was a great project to work on and a great testament to how quickly and effectively we can deliver on a major time crunch,” Slant 3D wrote in a blog post about the project. “It also was an added bonus to see the products we manufactured on live television.”

Extremely Lifelike 3D Printed Cremation Urns

And here’s the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a while: Vermont-based company Cremation Solutions is 3D printing commemorative urns that are the spitting image of your deceased loved one’s FACE. The company just requests a good picture from the front, and one from the side, of whomever you’d like to create a 3D printed ash-holding bust, and says that it can adjust complexions and add wigs before printing. As if this wasn’t creepy enough, you can also have an urn 3D printed in the image of one of your heroes, such as former President Barack Obama. Prices range from $600-$2,600, and a full-size 3D printed urn, which can hold an adult’s ashes, is about 28 cm tall, though you can also purchase a 15 cm keepsake urn that will hold only a portion of the ashes. The owner of the company, Jeff Staab, says that he doesn’t sell a lot of the 3D printed urns because they look so real, and that he doesn’t really find them creepy, but also admits that maybe he would if he had to walk by one that depicted his loved one’s face.

“I came up with the idea because as a whole products and services are becoming more personalised and if you look through history, the Romans and Greeks had memorials made out of brass and they were popular for hundreds of years,” said Staab, before mentioning a client who’s currently designing his own urn for when he dies.

“He wants it to be black and white and he is having glasses put on it. He also wants his hand out holding his chin like Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker. This man’s wife and family have had input into it and they are looking at send copies digitally for them before it is made because once it is done we cannot change it.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of these creepy 3D printed urns, or 3D printed urns in general, but at least now we know that Cremation Solutions is still somehow thriving.

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