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3D Printing News Briefs, August 4, 2021: Metal Binder Jetting and More

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We’ve got business, materials, and more in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with Sandvik announcing the acquisition of DWFritz. Moving on, Xometry can now instantly provide price quotes for metal binder jetting, and Sintavia has developed a proprietary copper 3D printing technology. 3devo has introduced its latest shredding machine. Finally, we’ve got a cool 3D printed keyboard PCB generator to show you. For all the details, keep reading!

Sandvik Buys DWFritz Automation

DWFritz robot

Sandvik is growing its current metrology offering, as the company announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Oregon-based DWFritz Automation Inc., which designs, builds, and supports engineer-to-order, non-contact, high-speed automation systems and metrology solutions. With more than 2,000 systems installed around the world, DWFritz had about 560 employees last year, along with revenues of approximately $78 million, and will now be reported in the Metrology division in Sandvik’s Manufacturing and Machining Solutions business area. The two have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, and, subject to normal regulatory approvals, the transaction should close later this year.

“By acquiring DWFritz Automation we will be able to expand our metrology and automation offering further,” said Kim Hansen, President of the Metrology division in Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions. “This will not only strengthen our position, but will also enable us to offer full metrology solutions to our customers – which will reduce cost and improve quality significantly in their broader value chain. I look forward to welcoming the DWFritz team to Sandvik.”

Xometry Offers Instant Quotes for Metal Binder Jetting

On-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry, Inc. has added metal binder jetting to its Instant Quoting Engine. The addition of this popular metal 3D printing process, which is said to affordably fabricate strong metal parts featuring great mechanical properties at high rates of speed, will increase the amount of manufacturing capabilities for which clients can receive instant quotes. The parts will be 3D printed through Xometry’s partner ExOne, which offers a wide range of metal materials, such as the durable steel-bronze matrix X1 Metal 420i, for binder jetting.

“We’re thrilled to add another 3D printing process to our Instant Quoting Engine in partnership with ExOne. Our customers can now get quotes on affordable, high-strength metal additive parts in just seconds,” said Bill Cronin, Xometry’s Chief Revenue Officer. “The new capability is the latest example of the flexibility of our platform and our drive to expand the manufacturing processes offered through our marketplace.”

Sintavia Develops Proprietary Copper 3D Printing

3D printing company Sintavia, which has previously designed and printed next-generation flight and launch components, announced that it has created a proprietary technology for 3D printing copper alloy GRCop-42, which is often used by NASA and private space flight companies to create rocket thrust chamber assemblies. The technology is a combination of a proprietary parameter set and post-processing heat treatment—without the use of a hot isostatic press for less complexity, cost, and time—and Sintavia developed it on an EOS M400-4 3D printer. GRCop-42 components 3D printed using this method are said to feature a minimum ultimate yield strength of 52.7 ksi, minimum tensile strength of 28.3 ksi, minimum elongation of 32.4%, and minimum density of 99.94%, which should ensure full alloy adoption.

“Today’s announcement marks the first time we have publicly disclosed Sintavia’s ongoing material development efforts. As a company, we are uniquely positioned to unlock the potential of printing difficult materials cost-effectively and with excellent mechanical properties. The fact that we were able to achieve these levels of performance on GRCop-42—by all indications a very difficult metal for additive manufacturing—further cements Sintavia’s role as the global leader in the application of AM within the Aerospace, Defense, and Space industry,” stated Pavlo Earle, Sintavia’s Vice President of Engineering.

3devo’s New GP20 Shredder Hybrid System

Dutch company 3devo creates material development and recycling solutions for 3D printing, and recently introduced its latest offering: the Smart 2-in-1 Shredder and Granulator, also called the GP20 Shredder Hybrid. The 125 kg system, developed to “bridge the gap” between manufacturing and R&D applications, combines two powerful motors and uses multiple sensors to offer precise regrinds at optimized cutting speeds, materials feeding input, and particle sizes, all of which is automated thanks to Smart settings. The GP20 Shredder Hybrid features easily accessible and removable components for quick cleaning between regrinds, along with 14 shredding blades, a 120 x 114 mm hopper opening, and the ability to shred multiple materials, such as 3D printed and injection molded parts, plastic bags and bottles, film, glass fiber- and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, and more.

“We listened to the feedback our customers came with from our previous shredder,” explained Mike Reinalda, 3devo’s Mechanical Engineer. “Safety has always been our top priority.  So next to the new hopper design, which prevents any direct access to harmful components, we included smart sensors throughout, which ensures that the machine doesn’t start shredding until all the safety requirements are met.”

Currently available for pre-order, 3devo’s GP20 Hybrid Shredder will be commercially available starting this September.

Cool 3D Printed Hot Swap Keyboard PCB Generator

Finally, we thought this Hackaday project about a 3D printed hot swap (replacement or addition of components to a computer system without stopping, shutting down, or rebooting it) keyboard PCB generator was pretty interesting. Earlier this summer, reddit user 50an6xy06r6n shared the original design, which was more of a prototyping tool for keyboard layouts, and has now improved upon it, making the design open source as well. The generator supports Cherry MX/clones and Kailh Choc switch footprints, and, according to Hackaday writer , so long as the contact points are good you should be able to use this generator design as a final PCB forever; it could probably be entirely 3D printed as well.

“[50an6xy06r6n] came up with this to test split ergo layouts faster and not have to solder anything — the switch pins make contact with the row wires and folded diode legs. In fact, prepping all the diodes is probably the thing that takes the longest.

“The design can be generated from layout data, or you can convert directly from a KLE JSON file. We love how delightfully clean this keyboard breadboard generator looks, and we wish we had thought of it!”

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