3D Printing News Briefs, June 5, 2021: ExOne & Aurora Group, Solukon & Turbex, IQ Motion Control, Branch Technology

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, ExOne is collaborating with the Aurora Group to expand its reach in Asia, while Solukon and Turbex are partnering up to do the same in the UK and Irish AM markets. Moving on, IQ Motion Control has launched a new line of servo motors. Finally, Branch Technology has officially unveiled its 3D printed building façade, which was made through cellular fabrication and houses a Tennessee credit union’s new branch.

ExOne Collaborating with Aurora Group in Asia

In order to expand the reach of its binder jet 3D printing technology in Asia, the ExOne Company (Nasdaq: XONE) announced that it is collaborating with the Aurora Group, naming its two subsidiaries General Integration Technology (GIT) in Taiwan and Aurora 3D in China as channel partners authorized to sell ExOne’s industrial binder jetting solutions. Its patented technology has been called a sustainable additive production method, because of its ability to quickly print consolidated, lightweight designs for less money and with less waste. The company has qualified over 20 different metal, composite, and ceramic materials for its binder jetting process, more than half of which are are single-alloy metals like 316L, 304L, M2 Tool Steel, and Inconel 718.

“We’ve been committed to the 3D industry for nearly 30 years and adhere to the principle of ‘3D innovation, integration, and trendsetter’ as we continue to serve the industry. We strived to find a metal 3D printing system that can mass produce high density, high precision, and third-party qualified materials. More importantly: we believe that ExOne sustainable manufacturing can achieve mass production of metal 3D solutions,” said Daniel Chi, the General Manager of GIT and Aurora 3D.

“We expect ExOne metal 3D printing to advance our market from plastic prototyping and design to metal manufacturing production. Binder jetting helps customers save time and money, reduce waste, and increase manufacturing flexibility to create a win-win situation.”

Solukon Adds Turbex as UK-Ireland Distribution Partner

German company Solukon Maschinenbau, which supplies powder removal and processing systems for metal and polymer 3D printing, has chosen to expand its business activities in the UK and Ireland AM market by selecting a new distributor: Hampshire-based Turbex, which has been delivering cleaning equipment for hundreds of businesses in the UK for almost four decades Turbex offers third-party products to customers in many industries, such as aerospace, automotive, energy, and medical, and as demand grows for automated depowdering of metal laser 3D printed parts, the company will now distribute Solukon’s Smart Powder Recuperation technology across Ireland and Great Britain.

“Solukon is the pioneer of depowdering of metal laser powder bed fusion parts – which means removal of trapped powder and reclaiming it without contamination in a repeatable, certifiable way. It therefore seems logical to cooperate with a cleaning expert for one of our key markets, who is perfectly familiar with the business landscape in the region,” stated Michael Sattler, the Global Sales Director responsible for Solukon’s distributor network.

“Together with Turbex we will strengthen our market position as technical leader in automated industrial powder removal.”

IQ Motion Control Launches New Line of Servo Motors

IQ Motion Control, which designs and delivers high-performance motor modules for robotic and industrial applications, has just launched a new line of servo motors, the ultra-compact, high-performance Fortiq BLS42. Currently available for pre-order on Crowd Supply, the modules are made of a straight stack, straight magnet BLDC motor with integrated motor controller and magnetic rotary encoder for position sensing. The line, built to minimize motor vibration and footprint and maximize torque and speed output, was developed specifically for use in research institutions, industrial machinery companies, and individual makers, in applications such as robotic joints, conveyor belts, and 3D printers.

The company’s proprietary technology, born in the robotics lab at the University of Pennsylvania, is said to achieve high-end motor performance, at an affordable cost, by combining innovative calibration and control software with unique hardware designs. When compared to traditional industrial servo motors, its new Fortiq BLS42 motors are said to have 50% less volume, are rated to 4,000 RPM, and are 70% less expensive, with four different available sizes featuring different torque ratings.

Branch Technology: Grand Opening of 3D Printed Building Façade 

The façade of this TVFCU bank in Chattanooga’s Southside is entirely 3D printed. Image courtesy of WTVC.

This winter, we learned that Chattanooga-based additive construction company Branch Technology was 3D printing a façade for the local Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) using its Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab) technology. Recently, the credit union’s new Southside Branch celebrated its grand opening, featuring the startup’s fully 3D printed façade that is, according to Founder and CEO Platt Boyd, the first commercial 3D printed building in the US. We get weary of throwing around the word “first” when it comes to additive construction, but it might actually be true in this case, as most of the 3D printed construction stories we cover in the US are about houses. The panels of the TVFCU’s 3D printed façade are self-cleaning, water-repellant, and weigh less than regular concrete, and it’s pretty cool-looking to boot.

“It’s not like all the other boring boxes around. It’s taken years to develop,” Boyd said about the 3D printed façade.

“It’s a carbon reinforced open lattis that solidifies in open space. Then we fill that with a lightweight foam and it’s nailed down robotically, and clad on the outside with glass fiber reinforced concrete.”

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