3D Printing News Briefs, July 7, 2022: Software Release, Extended Reality Training, & More


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with business, as Meltio has appointed its latest service bureau and SelfCAD launched an affiliate program. Moving on, Hyperganic’s AI-based algorithmic design software is now available to the public, and EOS has announced the availability of its Extended Reality basic training app for the M 290. Finally, a maker 3D printed his own R/C tugboat!

Meltio Appoints K3D As Official European Service Bureau

Laser metal deposition technology manufacturer Meltio announced the appointment of Dutch technology center K3D as its first official service bureau, and top contributor to application development, in Europe. Meltio’s official sales and distribution partner in the Benelux region, 3D Printer Solutions, helped achieve this agreement, after K3D verified Meltio’s wire LMD technology with a custom print and acquired the plug and play Meltio M450 system and Meltio Engine Robot Integration. Meltio’s LMD technology uses low-cost commodity welding wire, and stacks weld beads precisely on top of each other when introduced into a laser-generated meltpool; it also integrates very well with CNC and robotic equipment. K3D has lots of experience developing applications for various customer-led projects across multiple industries, and will be able to increase its metal AM portfolio with Meltio’s technology, as well as support demand for Meltio parts in industrial sectors.

“Over the years we have become well-acquainted with various metal 3D printing technologies, such as powder bed fusion. However, Meltio’s pioneering wire laser metal deposition process will definitely put metal AM into a new perspective as well as it will ease its adoption in the Dutch market,” said Luuk Wissink, CEO at K3D. “By acquiring the Meltio M450 metal 3D printer, we’ll be able to easily print very high-density metal parts on a compact footprint, while we’ll be able to cater to the ever-growing demand for larger and more complex metal parts using the Meltio Engine Robot Integration.”

SelfCAD Launches Affiliate Program for Referrals

3D modeling program SelfCAD, which features an intuitive interface that allows users to easily create and edit 3D models, has launched an affiliate program, which is a great way for users to promote the product while earning some extra money at the same time. The program is free to join, and anyone can sign up, whether you’re an individual user or a website owner. SelfCAD affiliates will receive free access to SelfCAD Pro, 5% commissions on all products for every paid subscription, and a dedicated support team to help ensure your success as an affiliate.

To become a SelfCAD affiliate, you can need to have an account, which you can sign up for here. Then you can apply for the affiliate program, and the SelfCAD team will reach out with more details within 3-7 business days. Once you’ve been approved, you will receive a unique URL that allows you to access your affiliate dashboard. After onboarding, you will also be provided with the terms and conditions of the program, as well as marketing materials for SelfCAD. If you know someone who might like to use SelfCAD, just recommend it with your referral link, and you’ll earn a commission if they subscribe to any of SelfCAD’s paid plans.

Hyperganic Announces Public Release of Core 3 Software

Last year, Hyperganic released its Hyperganic Core 2.0 and Hyperganic Print Framework 2.0 platforms, founded on a voxel-based geometry system for AI-driven and algorithmic 3D design. Now, the software startup has announced the public release of Hyperganic Core 3, the third iteration of its AI-powered design software platform. According to founder and CEO Lin Kayser, the first iteration was an internal release, with the startup working with 3D printer manufacturers to enable direct output for multiple 3D printing methods. In the last 18 months, while working on the second iteration, scaled sevenfold, and due to high demand, Hyperganic Core 3 is only available as a soft rollout to a few hundred users, though thousands of other new users are waiting to use the platform.

Hyperganic Core is written largely in machine language, optimized for different process architectures, and the latest GPU techniques are used in the 3D voxel display. The software platform allows for the development of algorithms that can automatically create highly functional parts, machines, and structures. Since Hyperganic 2.0, the startup has used external coding interfaces, and many of its projects have thousands of lines of code, which Kayser says will soon be millions. The startup believes that engineers can turn workflows into more sustainable, scalable processes by translating manual engineering processes into algorithms. Now that Hyperganic Core 3 has been released, users will be able share their code, and translate their engineering work into algorithms, enabling the monetization of the algorithms or the 3D objects they create.

EOS M 290 xR Basic Training App Available in Stores

The first AM machine base training app for the EOS M 290

Speaking of availability, Additive Minds Academy, the EOS education provider for the AM industry, announced that its first Extended Reality (xR) app for basic training with the EOS M 290 is now available in stores. The app makes it possible for new and existing employees to train on EOS systems much faster, from anywhere in the world, even before the printer has been delivered. For instance, an application specialist can use the xR app to learn the skills to advise stakeholders and customers, as well as how to operate EOS printers and software, which will help companies save money. The xR app offers an immersive augmented reality training experience, giving trainees a way to familiarize themselves with the main components, and interact with a full-sized model of the EOS M 290. The Extended Reality app for basic training with the EOS M 290 is now available for Apple and Android devices in the Additive Minds Academy store.

“Industrial 3D printing offers companies immense potential in the development of new applications. Especially for newcomers, it is important to build up know-how quickly. EOS is committed to offering the best learning experience – with state-of-the-art learning methods that are engaging and fun to use, smart and available anytime, anywhere,” said Volker Kunze, Additive Minds Academy Manager. “The app can reduce operator training to just two or three days, at the same time decoupling training from machine availability on-site. As such, a company can use the waiting time effectively by starting training before the new system arrives.”

Hackaday Project: 3D Printed Tugboat

Finally, hardware hacker Luis Marx lives on the shore of Lake Constance in southern Germany, and while he enjoys the water, he was tired of paddling around. Unfortunately, local regulations mean the use of outboard motors are restricted; what’s a maker to do?! Luckily, R/C model boats are allowed, so he got creative and built an R/C tugboat, using 3D printing and a hardcore lithium-ion battery pack, that could be used to move himself around the lake. Tugboats are fascinating, because while they’re pretty small, they have extremely powerful engines inside their hulls, with a power-to-tonnage ratio ten times that of most commercial ships, which allows them to nudge, push, and pull gigantic cargo ships through tight spots in the harbor. So a smaller version of a tugboat should easily be able to move an adult male around a lake on his paddle board!

The design for the tugboat was inspired by the popular 3DBenchy standard benchmark print, and it took Marx about 30 hours to print the parts, which can be found on Thingiverse. Plenty of epoxy resin was used to make it all waterproof, and the tugboat is powered by the lithium-ion battery pack, which drives two brush-less DC racing drone motors; all together, that’s nearly one full kilowatt of power. Unfortunately, this was so powerful that the little 3D printed boat couldn’t handle it, and would leap right out of the water when used. Marx fixed this problem by setting the motor controller to around 50%, and it was definitely strong enough to move him around on the paddle board. A custom handheld R/C controller uses WiFi to communicate with the ESP8266 inside the boat, and because the tugboat has no rudder, reducing the power of one motor by half helps with left-right control. However, a fully-charged battery pack only offers about 40 minutes of tugging, so paddles still might not be the worst idea.

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