3D Printing News Briefs, September 4, 2021: MINI Coopers, Metal 3D Printing & More

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We’ve got a little business for you to start off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and then moving on to materials. Sandvik is set to acquire a leading CAD/CAM software solutions provider, and there’s a new member joining the Roboze advisory board. Moving, Filamentive has launched a tough new material. Finally, a one-off, stripped-down MINI Cooper features some 3D printed parts.

Sandvik to Acquire CNC Software Inc.

Global engineering group Sandvik has signed an agreement to acquire CAD/CAM software solutions provider CNC Software Inc., the creator of the industry’s top CAM brand Mastercam software suite. CNC Software, an independent, family-owned company located in Connecticut, has been around since 1983, and has a pretty strong market position in CAM, specifically for SMEs; this will support Sandvik as it continues working to create solutions to automate the manufacturing value chain for SMEs and offer competitive point solutions for larger OEMs. The transaction, expected to close Q4 2021, will net Sandvik a major CAM brand with a strong market reseller network and an installed base of about 270,000 licenses/users, which is said to be the largest in the industry.

“This is in line with our strategic focus to grow in the digital manufacturing space, with special attention on industrial software close to component manufacturing,” said Sandvik’s President and CEO Stefan Widing. “An acquisition of CNC Software and the Mastercam portfolio, in combination with our existing offerings and extensive manufacturing capabilities, will make Sandvik a leader in the overall CAM market measured in installed base. CAM plays a vital role in the digital manufacturing process, enabling new and innovative solutions in automated design for manufacturing.”

Sandro De Poli Joins Roboze Advisory Board

Italian-American AM solutions company Roboze is welcoming a new member to its Advisory Board: Sandro De Poli, who is actually the Board chairman of another Italian firm, GE Aviation business Avio Aero. Roboze is headquartered in both Houston, Texas and Bari, Italy, wants to use 3D printing to change up global supply chains, and with the addition of strategic figure in the industry like De Poli, the company can continue working on its international expansion. De Poli got his start in Siemens’ electromedical sector before moving to the GE Medical System team, and was appointed as the President and CEO of General Electric Italy and Israel in 2011; this led to his role as Avio Aero’s Board chairman in 2019.

“Digitization will allow a greater level of control of all stages of the production process and of the way in which the machines work and are operated. I chose to bet on Roboze because I recognize in its technological ecosystem, and in the vision of the team, exactly this high level of control and flexibility, with 3D printing solutions increasingly corresponding to the current and future needs of manufacturing,
totally oriented to generate new frontiers of productivity,” De Poli said.

Filamentive Launches Industrial-Grade PLA Tough

According to the 2021 Sculpteo State of 3D Printing Report, 72% of respondents said that strength was the most important material property, which is why UK 3D printing filament brand Filamentive has announced the launch of industrial-grade PLA Tough, a material with the printability and sustainability of PLA but the impact strength of ABS, which is roughly 750% greater than plain PLA is capable of offering. In high strain-rate tests, this material exhibits superior Charpy Impact (Kj/m2), is more resistant and hard-wearing than conventional PLA, and could be a good choice for AM applications like functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures, and end-use parts. PLA Tough comes in black, white, grey, blue, and red, in 1.75 and 2.85 mm diameters, and all materials sold are spooled onto recyclable cardboard reels to reduce waste.

Ravi Toor, Filamentive’s Founder and Managing Director, said, Whilst ABS and other engineering-grade polymers certainly have their place within 3D printing, the launch of PLA Tough meets demand for an industrial-grade material that is easy to 3D-print but also bio-based – enabling industrial 3D printing to be more sustainable, without compromising performance.”

One-Off MINI STRIP Car Features 3D Printed Parts

British fashion designer Paul Smith partnered with British automotive manufacturer MINI to design a custom one-off vehicle model that maximizes material reduction and sustainability in both manufacturing and car design. They basically stripped the MINI Electric down so that only the most critical elements were left, and the minimalist result was dubbed the MINI STRIP. The body of the car was left in an unfinished state, with the screws visible and only a thin film of paint applied to protect it from corrosion. The vehicle also features several parts, such as the wheel covers, radiator grille, and front and rear aprons, that were 3D printed from recycled plastic, and continuing the theme of simplicity and sustainability inside the car, all trim parts have been removed, the seat upholstery and rubber floor mats were made from recyclable and recycled materials, and instead of a classic center instrument, the driver’s smartphone stands in the middle to connect to the car.

“I went to Munich and asked MINI in advance to completely strip out a car and collect the materials that are recycled and recyclable. This gave a big list of various items, from boxes of rope to the seat cover and more. This stripped out car was so gorgeous inside. It just had nothing in it. I thought that it was lovely this way and questioned why don’t we keep the MINI as close to this bare essence as possible,” Paul Smith said about the collaboration.

“The car is not a fashion statement. It’s a statement about rethinking sustainability in a more lateral way.”

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