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3D Printing News Briefs, August 24, 2022: New Hires, Metal 3D Printers, PCBs, & More

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We’re starting off with business in 3D Printing News Briefs, as both Evolve and PostProcess Technologies have added new executives to their teams, and Multiphoton Optics is now a Heidelberg Instruments subsidiary. The group of corporations called Automotive Trim Developments has acquired two EOS M 290 metal 3D printers. Finally, InnovationLab has announced a breakthrough in 3D printing circuit boards.

Evolve Additive Solutions Appoints Industry Veteran as COO

3D printed production parts leader Evolve Additive Solutions (EAS), which developed selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process (STEP) technology, announced that it has hired industry veteran Jeff Blank to join its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer. Blank spent two decades delivering printers for Xerox Corporation and Tektronix, before moving to 3D Systems to run its global engineering and product delivery organization; most recently he was the COO at NanoVox / Vadient Optics. His experience in scaling cost-effective, reliable products from concept to commercialization will be useful as he leads Evolve’s engineering and operation teams and delivers a strong product roadmap to improve company growth.

“I am very excited to join this team and be part of bringing this revolutionary technology to market. EAS and STEP will bring high-precision true thermoplastic parts to production customers in ways unheard of up until now,” Blank said. “I am looking forward to bringing my experiences in both 2D and 3D product development to the organization and accelerating our path to growth.”

PostProcess Hires New Chief Marketing Officer

Next, automated and intelligent post-3D printing solutions provider PostProcess Technologies has appointed another industry veteran, Melissa Hanson, as its Chief Marketing Officer. Hanson has over 17 years of experience in market-driven strategy deployment, most recently serving as Vice President of Product Marketing at Nexa3D and Global Vice President of Marketing for Trimble’s transportation sector, as well as holding several marketing leadership roles at Stratasys. Reporting directly to PostProcess CEO Jeff Mize, Hanson will lead the company’s Global Marketing and Inside Sales, developing and executing strategies that speed up its global reach and position as a top automated post-printing solutions provider.

I am excited to join the talented and passionate team at PostProcess, and eager to lead the way in educating on its vision and mission because I believe it is one of tremendous impact. The time is now to flip the 3D printing workflow on its head to prepare for a future where post-printing becomes a leading consideration and critical pillar to the mission of fully automating and digitizing additive manufacturing – and at production scale,” Hanson said.

Multiphoton Optics Becomes Heidelberg Instruments Subsidiary

Würzburg-based Multiphoton Optics GmbH, which manufactures 3D laser lithography equipment for subtractive, ablative, and additive manufacturing processes based on two-photon polymerization (2PP/TPP), will become a subsidiary of Heidelberg Instruments Mikrotechnik GmbH starting on January 1st, 2023. This merger will allow for closer cooperation between the two technical departments, and make the focus stronger on the Multiphoton site for future product developments based on 2PP. For example, Multiphoton Optics introduced its MPO 100 system this winter, and it’s already in production at Heidelberg Instruments for the first customers.

“In addition to the successful integration of employees, the successful implementation of MPO 100 production at our Heidelberg site was an important milestone. Production at the ISO 9001 certified site in Heidelberg guarantees a high level of quality, while our customers are optimally supported by worldwide sales and service via global subsidiaries and partner networks,” said Konrad Roessler, CEO of Heidelberg Instruments.

Automotive Trim Developments Acquires Two EOS 3D Printers

A UK group of corporations called Automotive Trim Developments (ATD), which focuses on engineering and manufacturing full inside trim and electromechanical assemblies for the automotive and transportation sectors, has acquired two EOS M 290 metal 3D printers for its Warwick unit. The group was working on a high-quality, complex component for a luxury car’s interior electromechanical module, and found that it was extremely visible, as well as too lightweight. Metal 3D printing was determined to be the ideal solution, as ATD could then achieve the target weight, as well as ensure a cosmetically and functionally high-quality component. The technology was new for ATD, but the group was able to implement a complete turnkey solution—including 3D printer training, installation, and setup, and transforming the production help—with the help of the EOS Additive Minds team. The adoption of industrial metal 3D printing marks a change in ATD’s continuing evolution and commitment to the best engineering and manufacturing standards.

“Adopting additive manufacturing as a new process brings new opportunities for manufacturers, in exactly the same way it has for ATD,” said Davide Iacovelli, Regional Director EMEA at EOS.

“Our solutions are designed to support manufacturers of all sizes, and our Additive Minds team offers a range of training and consulting services on optimizing, validating and scaling your additive manufacturing, helping get the most out of machines from day one.

“We also support companies across all certified industries with complex engineering challenges.”

InnovationLab Announces Breakthrough in 3D Printing PCBs

InnovationLab, an expert in printed and organic electronics, announced that it’s made a breakthrough in additive manufacturing of printed circuit boards, or PCBs. The Horizon 2020-funded research project SmartEEs2 is providing acceleration support to companies for the integration of flexible and wearable electronics technologies, and within this project, InnovationLab and its partner ISRA developed a novel manufacturing process for copper-based solderable circuits that will help reduce costs and meet environmental standards for electronics production. In the process, the circuits are screen printed in an additive process that doesn’t use toxic etchants, and because it runs at lower temperatures of around +150ºC, energy consumption is reduced. Additionally, the PCBs are compatible with conventional reflow processes, and the substrates used to additively produce the PCBs are up to 15 times thinner, which means less material is used. The process is able to print both standard and flexible PCBs with up to four layers, and can also be used for hybrid electronics product and process development. InnovationLab has successfully produced a physical prototype using the process.

“This is a state-of-the-art production process, which will decrease costs and reduce logistical dependencies on suppliers, while delivering three key benefits for the environment: consuming fewer materials, using less energy, and producing less waste,” stated Dr. Janusz Schinke, Head of Printed Electronics at InnovationLab. “By the end of this year, we expect to have scaled this process to high volumes, meeting customer demands of a million solderable tracks or more.”

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