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3D Printing News Briefs, February 16, 2022: Awards, Business, Construction 3D Printing, & More

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re sharing good news that the TCT Awards are back this year! Then on to business, as CORE Industrial has acquired another manufacturing company, Meltio has announced a North American sales partner, and Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is supporting an all-Canadian partnership focusing on additive manufacturing. America Makes has announced a $500,000 Project Call. Finally, researchers in India say they’ve developed a 3D printing technology that will majorly cut concrete usage.

TCT Awards Return in 2022

The TCT Awards have not happened for the last two years, but the TCT Group has announced that they’re back this year and ready to celebrate and honor the deserving collaborations, innovators, and technologies in the 3D printing industry. Previous winners include BMW, Renishaw, the Ford Motor Company, Ultimaker, and more, and an expert panel of judges will choose the finalists, and the winners will be announced at the TCT Awards ceremony on June 8th in Birmingham. It’s easy to enter: choose your category, and then complete the entry form by providing a description of your project, what sets it apart, and other important details and supporting information. Submissions are now open for the following 11 categories:

  • TCT Aerospace Application Award
  • TCT Consumer Product Application Award
  • TCT Creative Application Award
  • TCT Hardware Award – Non-polymer systems
  • TCT Hardware Award – Polymer systems
  • TCT Healthcare Application Award
  • TCT Industrial Product Application Award
  • TCT Materials Award
  • TCT Post-Processing Award
  • TCT Software Award
  • TCT Transport Application Award

The closing date for entries is March 2nd.

CORE Industrial Partners Acquires Sheet Metal Fabrication Company

Moving on, Chicago-based private equity firm CORE Industrial Partners announced that its portfolio company CGI Automated Manufacturing has acquired sheet metal fabrication and machining services provider Richlind Metal Fabricators, headquartered in Minnesota. Richlind specializes in tight tolerance, complex parts and assemblies for the space, aviation, and defense markets, and also offers machining, welding, forming, punching, laser and waterjet cutting, silk-screening, and other capabilities in-house. This marks yet another acquisition by CORE, which has added multiple 3D printing companies to its portfolio in the last several months, but Richlind differs from these, as it’s not an additive services provider. So perhaps CORE is going the route of Shapeways, Xometry, Prototek Holdings, and others looking to offer customers a one-stop shop for prototyping and manufacturing capabilities.

“Our acquisition of Richlind serves as the latest example of CORE’s deep experience partnering with multi-generation family-owned businesses,” said Matthew Puglisi, Partner at CORE. “We believe the Company’s highly technical manufacturing capabilities and advanced technologies are an ideal fit, and we look forward to continuing to grow the CGI platform through similar complementary acquisitions.”

Meltio Announces AddiTec as North American Sales Partner

Brian Matthews, CEO at AddiTec

Laser metal deposition manufacturer Meltio announced that Additive Technologies LLC (AddiTec) is its first official sales partner in North America. AddiTec has six years of experience in designing and developing multi-laser metal direct deposition technology, and will now play an important part in increasing Meltio’s growth in the North American market by distributing and supporting its metal 3D printing solutions there. Meltio’s technology is built around welding wire, which is said to be the cleanest, safest, and most affordable metal feedstock, and AddiTec will work to set up a supportive ecosystem across Canada and the US, driving business opportunities and partnering with tooling machine companies, industry, technology centers, academia, and more.

In order to properly introduce Meltio’s metal AM technology to the North America market, AddiTec will be holding an informational webinar at 4 pm EST on Tuesday, March 1st. AddiTec’s CEO Brian Matthews and Applications Engineer Josiah Wynn will present Meltio’s 3D printing solutions to attendees and offer a live demonstration. You can register for the webinar here.

NGen’s $3.5M Investment Supports Canadian AM Partnership

Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, NGen, is investing $3.5 million in funding to support an $8 million project by Canadian partners Mosaic Manufacturing, Dyze Design, and Matter and Form to automate and digitize manual manufacturing processes. Led by Mosaic Manufacturing, the Vector Consortium will work to help companies build products in a more environmentally friendly, economical way by using 3D printing and scanning. The collaboration will work to expand the functionalities of Mosaic’s automated Array 3D printing platform, which uses robotic systems to print at scale and lower the cost of 3D printed parts by up to 95%. The partners will work to increase part quality, and automate quality control processes, and Vector funding will also be used to train manufacturing professionals on the Array platform, and teach university students about 3D printing applications.

“The Supercluster’s investment in this project will help Canadians drive innovation right here at home. This project will help increase our capacity in terms of advanced manufacturing and, at the same time, reduce dependency on foreign manufactured parts. This will also create a great opportunity for the next generation of skilled workers in the field of 3D printing technologies,” said Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

America Makes Announces $500K Project Call

Recently, America Makes announced a new Project Call, related to the supply chain, with $500,000 in available project funding. More evidence now demonstrates the benefits of using additive manufacturing for high velocity/Mach systems, but we can still improve, and provide opportunities to learn more. The Leveraging Additive for High Velocity Applications (LAVA) project will work to help advance the role of AM in securing the domestic supply chain by looking at possible improvements. For this Project Call, America Makes and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are looking for proposals that demonstrate model-based approaches for mitigating factors that end in poor variances for final AM product geometry in high-velocity applications. Full project proposal submissions are due by 5 pm EST on Friday, March 4th.

“We are excited for this opportunity to address these important issues that influence our ability to improve AM product yield.  This is an excellent opportunity to collaborate and learn how model-based methods can promote product conformance. The scope of the project call provides our membership a wide range of potential opportunities to evaluate various AM processes and material systems, and we are excited to continue to address the needs of the DoD and the domestic AM supply chain,” said America Makes Technology Director Dr. Brand Ribic.

Indian Researchers Create AM Technology that Cuts Concrete Use

IIT Guwahati researchers have developed a new 3D printing technology that can decrease concrete usage by 75%.

Finally, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) have developed a new 3D printing technology that they say can cut concrete usage by 75%. They partnered with Deltasys E Forming to develop the concrete 3D printer, which prints components up to 1 m wide, 1 m long, and 1 m tall, and used the system to print urban furniture out of a special concrete they created that uses local industrial waste as binders. The furniture was 0.4 m tall and 0.4 m wide, and the researchers used SOLIDWORKS and Simplify3D to model and slice an arch-shaped support, before supposedly printing the furniture, with 10 mm layers at 80 mm/s, in just 20 minutes; the furniture was then cured for seven days inside wet gunny bags.

This new method doesn’t require a mold, and again, the team says that it can print designs with 75% less concrete. They believe that on-site, on-demand concrete 3D printing will have a major impact on construction applications around the world, and want to explore underwater concrete 3D printing and printing functional reinforced concrete with low carbon materials next. They also developed some cementitious mix compositions that can also be used for 3D printing.

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