3D Printing News Briefs, May 15, 2021: Nanoscribe, BCN3D, CapStone Holdings, Hochschule Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

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In our 3D Printing News Briefs today, Nanoscribe has a new biocompatible material, and BCN3D’s Epsilon 3D printer won an award. CapStone Holdings is investing in mobility solutions, including the 3D printed Olli bus. Finally, Hochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Sciences (HsKA), is using MakerBot’s METHOD X to offer advanced engineering and technical training to students.

Nanoscribe Introduces New Photoresin for 3D Microfabrication

3D printed mesh tube with outstanding flexible and elastic properties as known from stents inserted into narrowed blood vessels to widen them.

Nanoscribe, a Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) spinoff company, has launched a new biocompatible IP-PDMS photoresin that can be used for the 3D microfabrication of elastomer-based applications, devices, and microsystems—making it a good fit for microfluidics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and life sciences. Flexible, elastic, and soft, the silicone-based AM material shows a Young’s modulus of 15.3 MPa and is the company’s first with elastomeric properties. The non-cytotoxic properties of this new IP-PDMS have been tested according to ISO standards, and many users are excited for its promising applications, including 3D designs mimicking soft tissue characteristics, elastic freeform cell scaffolds, microfluidic devices, and more.

Dr. René Hensel, Deputy Head of Functional Microstructures at the Leibniz INM – Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, stated, “IP-PDMS is a remarkably elastic printing material that can be stretched by up to 240%.

“IP-PDMS, as a 3D printable material, is highly interesting for micropatterned functional surfaces. We can skip time-consuming molding steps to transfer designs into elastomers and new designs become feasible.”

BCN3D’s Epsilon 3D Printer Wins IF DESIGN AWARD 2021

World Design Guide recently announced the winners of this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD, and BCN3D Technologies was included in that prestigious list for its Epsilon 3D printer. According to the company’s Media Relations Manager David Martínez, nearly 10,000 entries were submitted from more than 50 countries, but the industrial workbench printer won over the 98-member jury of global independent design experts. BCN3D’s product designer Fermín Monreal Badet, who designed the aesthetic for the Epsilon, says that the award is “recognition for betting on aesthetics, technology, user experience, user interaction, and definitely for betting on the design.”

“The BCN3D Epsilon printers allow you to print parts to a real scale which is incredibly useful for validating concepts in the most realistic way. They also offer a range of different technical materials that allow to validate not only the interaction, but also the mechanical or dimensional behaviour among others, and even generate end-use parts,” Badet said about the award-winning system.

“In short, the Epsilon series obtains the performance of an industrial machine without neglecting usability, ergonomics, and aesthetics.”

CapStone Holdings Investing in Future of Transportation

GameAbove Mobility is investing in Local Motors, makers of the Olli autonomous electric vehicle.

Holding company CapStone Holdings Inc. maintains a balanced investment portfolio focused on innovation and return with minimal risk, and recently announced a new investment division called GameAbove Mobility that centers on capital and strategic partnerships with established companies working to create next-generation mobility solutions, like UAVs, heavy-lift drones, and autonomous vehicles. Fittingly, the new division just made a major investment in Local Motors, a leader in autonomous vehicles, like its 3D printed electric Olli shuttle. Autonomous vehicles are being used more often these days for applications like freight deliveries and public transportation, and GameAbove Mobility is helping with their deployment out of its Michigan-based regional office at the American Center for Mobility (ACM). Together with the State of Michigan, transportation authorities, and Eastern Michigan University, the CapStone company will also work to facilitate more public-private partnerships, product development, research, testing, and validation of autonomous ground vehicles and aerial delivery systems.

“GameAbove Mobility’s commitment to Michigan as a multimodal technology hub will further cement Michigan as the leader in the adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles while enabling the scaling of both new mobility technologies and product development for years to come. Today’s announcement highlights the advantage that our state’s ecosystem offers, bringing together new investments, innovative companies like Local Motors and GameAbove Mobility and our world-class testing facilities,” said Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer, State of Michigan.

MakerBot’s METHOD X 3D Printer Used for University Training

Hochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) in Germany has plenty of design, engineering, and manufacturing equipment, including 3D printers, to help prepare its students for their future careers through advanced technical training. The university has a metal fabrication lab in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, and its Additive Design and Manufacturing Lab, in the Faculty of Economics, offers access to several polymer AM methods, like DLP, FDM, and SLA. This lab houses multiple MakerBot 3D printers, including the Replicator 2X and Replicator Z18, and now the recently added METHOD X. Students learn the foundations of generative design and 3D printing on a physical and theoretical level in the Additive Design and Manufacturing courses, as well as how to design and transform ideas into physical objects. In addition to learning about the various processes, materials, and sustainability practices of 3D printing, students also learn about R&D prototyping applications, Industry 4.0, and the industrialization of the whole AM chain.

“I believe that 3D printing is a valuable problem-solving tool and key competency for the future workforce,” said Prof. Dr. Florian Finsterwalder, who teaches the Additive Design and Manufacturing courses. “It was important to integrate this technology into our courses to give students a chance to use equipment that is currently being used within design and manufacturing companies today.

“Our plan is to increasingly focus on industrial parts, so advanced 3D printing capabilities are very important for us. We believe that the MakerBot METHOD X is the perfect entry-level industrial equipment that can provide industrial-quality parts. We have been quite impressed with METHOD and what it was able to do. Dimensional accuracy, which plays a big role in 80% of our projects, is especially important for us. Depending on the materials used, distortion during 3D printing can be quite significant. METHOD’s heated chamber and rigid steel frame drastically reduces the distortion, yielding tight tolerances and a high level of accuracy.”

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