Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printing News Briefs, November, 10, 2021: New Partners, New Printer, & More

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Protolabs growing its AM footprint in North Carolina is the first story in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. XJet is expanding its APAC presence with a new distributor, while Altair has a new channel partner for the UK and Ireland. Moving on, Massivit 3D is expanding as well—into the composite materials space with a new 3D printer. Finally, NEXE launched its Keurig-compatible coffee line, which comes in compostable pods that were prototyped with 3D printing. Read on for all the details!

Protolabs Expanding AM Footprint in North Carolina

Protolabs’ Cary, NC facility

In 2016, global digital manufacturing company Protolabs, which is headquartered in Minnesota, opened a dedicated 3D printing facility in Cary, North Carolina, near Raleigh. Now the company announced that it has signed an occupancy agreement to grow its additive manufacturing footprint in the area with a second location. The new AM facility, which broke ground last month, is a direct response to increased demand for the company’s 3D printing services, and will provide Protolabs with an additional 120,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing capacity. Raleigh-based real estate company Capital Associates, serving as owner of the property, helped Protolabs facilitate the development of the new facility, and Protolabs expects it will occupy its newest location by late next year.

“We have experienced strong growth in our 3D printing services as more of our customers expand their applications that use additive manufacturing for both prototyping and production. The Raleigh community has provided a great home for our additive headquarters, and we look forward to growing our presence in the years ahead,” said Mike Kenison, Protolabs general manager and vice president of Americas.

XJet Strengthens APAC Presence with New Distributor & Appointment

Ceramic AM parts produced for Pentatech

XJet Ltd. announced that it has appointed a strategic dedicated distributor in China, and added Lior Meron as XJet Regional APJ Head, in efforts to ramp up its presence in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. First, the distribution agreement with new company Pentatech, founded specifically for the exclusive reselling of XJet printers in China, has already led to two of the company’s NanoParticle Jetting systems being installed in China and on the Asian continent, and Pentatech is also running XJet printers live at its demonstration site in Hangzhou, with plans to build five AM centers in Chinese mega cities for showcasing XJet Carmel 1400 AM systems and further installations coming by the end of the year. Additionally, Meron brings more than 20 years of experience in global markets to the position of Regional APJ Head, with unique experience in the region that will help XJet increase its interests there.

“XJet’s first installations in Asia Pacific represent a significant milestone for the company and for the market. With the support of Lior, a very welcome new addition to our team, we’re excited to grow the XJet business in Asia Pacific. These are extremely important hubs in global manufacturing and with metal AM continuing to grow apace and ceramic AM on the verge of rapid acceleration, we will be investing heavily in the region and it’s important that XJet is represented,” said Hanan Gothait, XJet CEO. “XJet is all about the details and Pentatech understands and supports our ethos, so we have no doubt our Chinese customers will be supported extremely well. As our customers in other countries in the region will be, as we add new distributors to the XJet family.”

Visitors to next week’s Formnext can meet Meron at XJet’s Booth D121, Hall 12.0.

Altair Names Channel Partner for Ireland and the UK

Global technology company Altair, which brings together HPC, simulation, and AI, has named Origin Engineering Solutions as its newest channel partner; based in Birmingham, the CAD and simulation software solutions provider will offer Altair’s solutions throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. Altair works with a global network of technology and channel partners, and as the latest addition, Origin Engineering Solutions is an ideal partner, as its customers are offered carefully chosen software solutions, along with local support and training, for a quick ROI and onboarding process. The latest Altair partner will now offer the tech company’s numerous manufacturing and design solutions, including Altair Inspire, Altair Inspire Mold, and Altair Inspire Cast.

“We are 100 percent focused on simulation solutions for manufacturing that improve design outputs, save time, and reduce cost. Altair solutions are perfectly suited for our portfolio as we seek to work with partners that share common values around being forward thinking and innovative. Reselling and supporting the Altair solutions is a natural choice,” explained Rob Shropshire, director, Origin Engineering Solutions. “We look forward to building a longstanding relationship with the team at Altair that is mutually beneficial for ourselves and the customers we serve.”

Massivit 3D Expands into Composite Materials with Newest System

Large-scale 3D printer provider Massivit 3D (TASE: MSVT) introduced its Massivit 10000 AM composites tooling system at last month’s CAMX 2021 in Texas, and it won the ACE Award for Composites Excellence in the category of Manufacturing: Equipment And Tooling Innovation. The thermoset AM system, based on the company’s new Cast-In-Motion (CIM) technology and featuring a 1.2 x 1.5 x 1.65 meter build volume, was designed to get rid of the bottlenecks in mold production by automating the process—it combines ultra-fast, large-scale 3D printing with direct casting of thermoset polymer materials, which offer a low CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) and high HDT (Heat Deflection Temperature). The system won’t actually be launched until 2022, but it will be available at next week’s Formnext for limited-time pre-orders via a rapidly growing waiting list. Formnext visitors can also see the company’s recently released Massivit 5000 as well.

“The additive manufacturing arena has long awaited a technological breakthrough regarding production speed, scale, cost effectiveness, and material versatility. We are excited to showcase our latest large-scale 3D printing systems at Formnext and to demonstrate the transformative nature of these innovations for the manufacturing market at large. Massivit 3D is addressing the dire need for large-scale additive manufacturing – capable of producing parts within hours, instead of days or weeks,” said Erez Zimerman, CEO at Massivit 3D.

Formnext attendees can visit Massivit 3D at Booth C119 in Hall 12.1.

NEXE Innovation Launches New Line of NEXE Coffee Pods

Finally, Canadian plant-based materials manufacturing company NEXE Innovations Inc. (TSXV: NEXE) is launching its first NEXE Coffee products to be sold in its patented NEXE Pods, which are compatible but not affiliated with Keurig single-serve brewing systems. You may recall that the company uses 3D printing to prototype its sustainable, fully-compostable pods, which helps save on time and cut back on waste and emissions. The unique design of the filter and pod means NEXE can fill each one with more coffee than other leading brands, which, paired with 100% certified organic beans from the mountains of Peru, supposedly creates what it calls a “superior taste profile.” The company spent over six years on R&D, and its NEXE Pod is made from fully plant-based materials, able to break down in a municipal compositing facility in as few as 35 days. The NEXE Coffee selection will be available in medium, medium-dark, and dark-roast blends, in packages of 12 or 24 pods.

“This new line complements our existing NEXE Coffee espresso products, sold in Nespresso® compatible, fully compostable pods. Keurig® and Nespresso® are the two most popular single-serve coffee pod machines sold and used worldwide, positioning us well to serve the growing 60 billion pod per year market,” stated Ash Guglani, President of NEXE.

“We carefully select the producers and beans we use and have tested multiple roast profiles to extract the best flavors. NEXE is committed to producing ethical and sustainable products. All of our products are manufactured and packaged in our Canadian facility located in British Columbia, using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.”

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