This year, the RAPID + TCT conference kicked off Tuesday with new products, materials, and solutions, many of them on display at the event. 2022 is the 31st year for the annual event, produced by 3D technology event leaders SME and Rapid News Publications and touted worldwide as North America’s largest and most influential AM event. This time around, RAPID + TCT is returning to its birthplace, Detroit, where the city is experiencing a resurgence filled with new developments, investments, and tech startups, and the highest concentration of engineering talent in the U.S. As visitors get acquainted with over 400 exhibitors and keynote presentations, we take a look at the round-up of some of the biggest news from several participating 3D printing companies.
Digital Metal launches new 3D printer for industrializing binder jet
Sweden-based Digital Metal, a subsidiary of the Höganäs Group—the largest producer of metal powders globally—announced the launch of its new DMP/PRO binder jet system. Developed for high volume manufacturing of metal binder jet components for industry, luxury goods, medical manufacturing, and consumer products, the new system’s printhead incorporates 70,400 print nozzles. This allows the system to produce up to 1,000 cubic centimeters of parts per hour at 1600 dots per inch (dpi). Digital Metal unveiled its new system at Rapid stand 2920 on Tuesday, 17, 2022.
Borne from the thousands of parts made daily by Digital Metal’s existing customers, the DMP/PRO has been shaped by these manufacturing realities and needs, says the company. The launch customer of the new Pro series is Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Azoth 3D, a manufacturer of high volume precision 3D printed parts for Fortune 500 Companies.
Digital Metal CEO Christian Lönne stated that as a team, “we have previously gone from a single machine to a production machine and now we’ve launched a true production platform. We’re moving away from the rest of the binder jet market towards tighter tolerances, higher volumes and higher precision. We are heading towards a higher level of maturity. We do not just offer a machine in isolation. We have a true platform optimized to work in concert with debinding, sintering and post processing equipment. This platform is modular, extensible and a stepping stone for Industrialization.”
GE Additive and Orchid partner for large joint orthopedic implants
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, a Michigan manufacturer of orthopedic implants and instruments, signed an agreement with GE Additive to continue driving the adoption of 3D printing by developing electron beam melting (EBM) solutions in the medical implants sector. As part of the deal, Orchid will make a significant investment to enable scalability and full production support for its customers by purchasing GE Additive EBM Spectra L systems, service agreements, powders by GE Additive company AP&C Powder Metallurgy, and GE’s AddWorks consultancy services.
Once installed and operational in 2022, Orchid’s fleet of machines will be ready for production in 2024 to meet customers’ requirements and allow the manufacturing of large joint implants, such as complete knee components and acetabular cups, more competitively and without compromising quality.
As devices increase in complexity, this new EBM additive manufacturing capability with scalable precision can offer cost-effective manufacturing to complement conventional methods. As an added bonus, GE Additive says it has experience overseeing the deployment of a large fleet of industrialized EBM machines, having done so for the precise scalable AM production at GE Aviation’s Avio Aero business. Furthermore, GE Additive CEO Riccardo Procacci said this step forward proves that medical and orthopedic communities are leaning towards metal additive to innovate and drive better-personalized outcomes for patients.
Sigma Labs to operate as Sigma Additive Solutions
Another latest news sees Sigma Labs now operating as Sigma Additive Solutions and trading on the Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol “SASI,” starting May 19, 2022. The AM software company, which has been in the industry for some time, says the change reflects its commitment to becoming a solutions provider focused on helping customers and OEM partner providers use a standard set of patented quality metrics across 3D printers from different manufacturers, using different processes, for both metal and polymer parts.
This latest announcement follows a recent integration of Sigma and Materialise technology to introduce in-process quality control into metal PBF 3D printers, which has long been considered a common roadblock to metal 3D printing. The company’s decision to operate as Sigma Additive Solutions acknowledges the progress the Sigma team has made in creating the quality standard in additive manufacturing, points out Jacob Brunsberg, President and CEO of Sigma.
“For some time, we have been working with customers, OEMs and standards organizations to remove the quality barrier through advanced meltpool monitoring and analytics. We intend to significantly impact the entire AM quality continuum with scalable solutions that improve machine, process and part quality. We are also pleased that our ticker symbol will be aligned with our brand and our vision,” concluded Brunsberg.
Dyndrite Announces Deals with Azul3D, Impossible Objects, and Meteor
This week at Rapid, Dyndrite introduces attendees to several of its products, as company experts will be participating in speaker panels throughout the event. Additionally, the company has revealed new collaborations with three companies. Northwestern University spinout Azul 3D will use Dyndrite’s application development kit with the High Area Rapid Printing (HARP) technology to power the LAKE printers. Dyndrite will create software apps “powered by Dyndrite” to help speed the front-end process, ultimately helping customers increase production capacity and ensure the repeatability required for manufacturing.
Together Dyndrite and Meteor Inkjet–a leading UK supplier of electronics, software, tools, and services for industrial inkjet–expanded their collaboration with the announcement of Meteoryte. This 3D software tool simplifies the development and adoption of inkjet technology for additive manufacturing applications.
“Additive manufacturing machines that require jetting print heads are becoming increasingly popular. Through software, our goal is to empower machine builders and improve their success rate, while reducing their time to market,” said Harshil Goel, CEO of Dyndrite. “Our mission is to provide tools that create new tools. Meteoryte powered by Dyndrite is a perfect example of a tool that helps downstream customers with an accelerated path to success.”
Finally, Impossible Objects, an Illinois-based startup that commercializes a composite-based additive manufacturing (CBAM) process, selected Dyndrite software for its AM technology after a highly successful proof of concept.
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