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3D Printing News Briefs, June 11, 2022: Business, Materials, & More

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Meltio has announced two more new sales partners. On to materials, Sisma has validated Henkel’s Loctite resins on its Everes DLP 3D printer. Watermark 3D now supports 3D files with color. Finally, could fast, cheap 3D printed homes solve South Africa’s housing crisis?

Meltio Announces Two New Sales Partners

Laser metal deposition 3D printer manufacturer Meltio has been busily expanding its sales network all over the world by adding new partners in places like Singapore and ArgentinaSub-Saharan AfricaNorth AmericaBrazilJapan, and the Benelux region. Now, the company has announced that its low-cost metal DED technology, which is built around safe and affordable welding wire, will be even more widely available with the addition of two more official distribution and sales partners.

The first new Meltio partner is machine builder One Off Robotics, which specializes in advanced robotic AM hardware and software. The company will work to distribute, integrate, and support Meltio’s metal 3D printing solutions for robotic systems in the North American market, specifically in the US. Digital supply chain solutions provider 3D Printing Corporation (3DPC), the company’s second new sales partner, will build an ecosystem for Meltio’s technology in the Japanese metal AM market, and work to drive business opportunities for Meltio with tooling machine companies, academia, robotic integrators, industry, and technology centers.

Sisma Validates Henkel’s High Toughness Loctite Resin

Sisma Spa laser marking machine part manufactured with Loctite 3D 3843 HT60 High Toughness resin on Everes DLP printer

Italy-based Sisma, which manufactures DLP 3D printers, announced that it has validated Loctite resins by Henkel on its Everes DLP 3D printer, specifically the Loctite 3D 3843 HT60 High Toughness material. Sisma recently switched its Everes printers from a closed to an open system, so users can now have access to third party resins directly from the manufacturers themselves; in the last year, Henkel also began to offer an open material platform to 3D printer manufacturers like Sisma.

Loctite develops unique, high-performance photopolymers for 3D printing functional, durable parts. Its Loctite 3D 3843 HT60 High Toughness resin, now compatible with Sisma’s Everes DLP system, is semi-flexible, with great surface finish, impact strength, temperature resistance, and durability, making it a good material choice for tools, fixtures, and finished products. The material comes in Matte Black, White, and Clear.

Watermark 3D Compatible with Colored 3D Files

Watermark 3D is a software application for embedding hidden information within a 3D file with no visual marks or structural changes. Millions of 3D files are shared online every day, and the models are subject to copy, theft, and unauthorized commercial use. This application places a hidden watermark on a 3D file without interfering with its mesh and geometry, and while the mark is nearly impossible to detect or duplicate, it can prove a file’s IP rights.

The tool is constantly in development in order to expand its accessibility, and one of the new features in its most recent update is compatibility with colored 3D files. This means that three new formats—OBJ, GLB, and DAE/Collada—in addition to STL can be protected with watermarks through the application’s tool. This update is currently in open testing mode, as 3D model files with color are more complex, and during this time, Watermark 3D is asking users to try it out and offer feedback. The tool is free for personal use with up to ten watermarks per day, and companies can purchase a commercial subscription.

UJ Researchers 3D Printing Homes to Solve South Africa Housing Crisis

A 3D printed home nearly complete. Image sourced from the Twitter account of Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Johannesburg.

Finally, South Africa has a major housing crisis, and researchers from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) are showing how 3D printing can be used to construct a six-room home in less than a day, which, if enough investments can be made, could be a potential answer to the housing problem. In 1994, once the ANC took power, the South African government launched a reconstruction and development (RDP) program, as many people were forced to live in ill-made settlements. But, due to poor management and corruption, the program has hurt more than it has helped, and the government currently has a backlog of about 2.6 million RDP homes, so it’s begun looking into other inexpensive, quick methods for creating housing for the millions of South Africans living in crude, informal homes.

UJ had a quantity surveyor carry out a cost analysis, which found that the 3D printed wall plates and block work the researchers used to build the structure cost about 32% less than conventional building materials. The money saved from 3D printing these small homes could be used to build even more, or reinforce the structure of existing ones, which were built out of concrete in less than a day, with wood used to mark a door and windows. Of course, the main issue is that while the building supplies themselves are less expensive, large-scale concrete 3D printing systems are not, so this idea only has a chance of working if the government invests enough money and support.

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