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3D Printing News Briefs, October 8, 2022: Sales Reps, Robotic 3D Printer, & More

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We’re kicking things off with a lot of business news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as nScrypt has signed new reps in four countries and B9Creations has opened a second office in the US. Essentium is partnering with Braskem, Ziknes is working with Meltio, and Divide By Zero introduced a new large-format 3D printer. Finally, InssTek published a material database guide for additive manufacturing, and a research team developed a way to convert a 3D printed polymer to a stronger, ductile, hybrid carbon microlattice material.

nScrypt Signs Agreements with 4 New Sales Representatives

nScrypt, which designs and manufactures high-precision microdispensing, 3D printing, and biomanufacturing solutions for industrial applications, announced agreements with nonexclusive sales representatives in four countries. Embedded Logic Solutions Pty Ltd., which has supported Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) for ten years with hardware and software tools, will be an nScrypt sales rep for Australia, and the company’s new rep in Dubai is SAT Trading LLC, which will handle nScrypt sales in Middle Eastern countries. Ambition Technologies, which offers an ecosystem of highly integrated electronics design software and hardware solutions and products, will be an nScrypt sales rep for India. Finally, NT3D-Group Srl, a leading provider of smart technologies and services, will be a sales rep in Italy for nScryt.

“We are excited to welcome these new reps to the nScrypt family. Together we will spread nScrypt’s 3D manufacturing technology across the world,” said nScrypt’s CEO Dr. Ken Church. “These companies understand the difference between 3D manufacturing, which is what we do, and 3D printing (which is part of what we do). We are impressed with their expertise and the breadth of their offerings, which should provide cross-pollination opportunities because our systems, which make complete, functioning electronic products, will be great fits for customers in all of the fields in which they operate.”

B9Creations Celebrates Grand Opening of Texas Office

South Dakota-based 3D printing solutions provider B9Creations may have begun as a small startup in Rapid City, but it has grown to an award-winning, global industry leader in additive manufacturing for high-precision applications like aerospace, healthcare, research, jewelry production, prototyping, and manufacturing. Recently, the company celebrated the grand opening of its second U.S. office, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. While B9Creations’ headquarters and manufacturing will remain in South Dakota, its new office in Lewisville, Texas will house sales and finance personnel, with anticipated growth in sales, customer support, and sales engineering staff. Mayor TJ Gilmore, members of the Lewisville City Council and Chamber of Commerce, school district employees, economic development representatives, customers, community partners, and local business leaders joined in the celebration.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex enables access to key customers and high-value markets in the area, from medical device to luxury goods, aerospace, education and research, and the industrial sector. B9Creations also has key suppliers in the area that support our global manufacturing and supply chain,” stated B9Creations CEO Shon Anderson. “This area offers access to high-value human capital in all areas of our business, with a robust talent pipeline from K-12 through higher education into industry, and enables international connectivity via DFW International Airport as well as a pro-business and future-focused environment due to the explosive growth North Texas is experiencing.”

Braskem & Essentium Partnering to Offer Sustainable AM at Scale

Industrial AM leader Essentium Inc. announced a partnership with Braskem, a pioneer producer of biopolymers and the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, to provide manufacturers with a sustainable, fully integrated 3D printing materials and machine solution. By pairing Braskem’s unique line of environmentally-friendly recycled materials—formulated specifically for AM solutions—and the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSE) 280i HT 3D printer, with an independent dual extrusion system (IDEX), the two companies will be able to open affordable, sustainable, and rapid volume 3D printing of thermoplastic components. Essentium and Braskem are wholly committed to delivering a full-service AM experience so that their customers can enjoy more capability and sustainability.

“With Braskem, we have a true partner who shares our commitment to developing sustainable solutions to accelerate industrial-scale additive manufacturing,” said Blake Teipel, PhD, Essentium’s CEO. “Polyolefins are ideal for AM due to their recyclability, impact strength, chemical resistance, and durability. This makes them a great choice for automotive, aerospace, biomedical, and packaging applications. Our partnership with Braskem will empower manufacturers with integrated solutions as AM moves towards prime time in their industries.”

Ziknes & Meltio Create Robotic Metal 3D Printing System

In order to print parts in an efficient and sustainable way, Ziknes, a technology startup combining robotics and additive manufacturing, and metal laser deposition technology manufacturer Meltio worked together to develop a plug and play robotic 3D printer called the Z-Metal One. The system was made possible with Meltio’s multi-laser head and Meltio Engine, a hybrid manufacturing module that combines 3D printing and CNC machining centers or robotic arms.

Ziknes has been working with Meltio since last year to develop a manufacturing system that not only offered a complete hardware and software solution for metal 3D printing, but was also ready to use immediately by end customers, and help make the industrial sector more sustainable through less energy use, emissions, and waste. The Z-Metal One, created as an all-in-one solution, includes a self-supporting structure with a robot, positioning table with two rotation and turning axes, and Meltio’s multi-laser laser head, the latter of which the robot drives through its six axes. Able to print large parts in metals like copper, aluminum, steel, titanium, and Inconel, all Z-Metal One machines are validated in-house by Ziknes before they’re sent, along with a manual, to the customer, who only needs to complete a basic training course to operate the system.

Divide By Zero Introduces New Large-Format 3D Printer

All New Large Format AION NX 3D Printer. Source: Divide by Zero Technologies

Speaking of new printers, Divide By Zero Technologies (DBZ), one of India’s top 3D printer manufacturers, has introduced the new large-format hybrid AION NX 3D printer, for applications in pattern and mold making and large component manufacturing in the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries. Developed as part of the “Make in India” campaign to address challenges faced by the R&D and small volume manufacturing sectors, the AION NX supposedly has the largest bed size in its class, allowing manufacturers to print components up to 1 meter long in a single setting. It features custom extrusion heads for printing with gel, ceramic, and paste materials and hybrid machining capabilities, with both CNC milling and direct pellet extrusion 3D printing technology, which resulted in a 70% reduction in cycle time for CNC machined parts and 80% cost savings for polymer printing. The new AION NX also features multiple automation options and is available as a Completely Knock Down (CKD) Kit, which means it’s portable and easy to assemble.

“The AION NX truly knows no limits. A lot of thought, research and innovation efforts has gone into the development and we have worked extensively on the core hardware software engine of this machine to make sure that it delivers on its promises,” explained Swapnil Sansare, CEO of Divide By Zero Technologies. “We have developed the AION NX, keeping in mind New Product Development teams, Researchers & New Start-ups with the view to help them convert their ideas into reality faster and without limits.”

InssTek Publishes AM Material Database Guide

The Material Database lays out extensive details on fifteen materials for Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy InssTek)

South Korean metal AM solutions provider InssTek has published a Material Database Book for Additive Manufacturing, available to download as a PDF in both English and Korean. The guide offers extensive coverage into the 15 materials that InssTek offers in its standard portfolio. The guide provides an introduction to each material, and then basic information about the materials, such as their mechanical properties, microstructures, powder specifications, industrial applications, chemical composition, roughness, and other features. The following materials are covered in the InssTek Material Database Book for AM:

  • P20, P21 and H13
  • SS304L, SS304L, SS420J2, SDSS 2507
  • Ti6Al4V
  • Inconel 625, Inconel 718, Hastelloy 22, Invar 36
  • CoCr Mp1, Stellite 25
  • Al-bronze

Researchers Convert 3D Printed Polymers into Lightweight Hybrid Carbon Microlattices

The four main types of samples studied in this work, namely as-fabricated, under-carbonized, partially carbonized, and over-carbonized microlattices. Credit: James Utama Surjadi et al, Matter (2022).

Finally, researchers at City University of Hong Kong developed a direct, low-cost method for converting common 3D printable polymers into lightweight, biocompatible, ductile, hybrid carbon microlattices that are 100 times stronger than the original material. Strength and high ductility are usually not possible in the same lightweight material, which is why the team had to create metamaterials—engineered to possess properties not found in naturally occurring materials. Their approach, detailed in a research paper, could be used to print sophisticated parts with tailored mechanical properties for applications such as bioimplants and coronary stents, scaffolds for micro-robots, and energy harvesting and storage devices. So how did they manage to increase strength without compromising ductility? The team found that by controlling the heating rate, duration, temperature, and gas environment during a thermal treatment called pyrolysis that transforms polymers into ultra-strong carbon, they could significantly increase the strength, stiffness, and ductility of a 3D printed polymer microlattice in one step.

“3D printing is becoming a ubiquitous technology for producing geometrically complex components with unique and tunable properties. Strong and tough architected components usually require metals or alloys to be 3D-printed, but they are not easily accessible owing to the high cost and low resolution of commercial metal 3D printers and raw materials. Polymers are more accessible but typically lack mechanical strength or toughness,” explained corresponding author Professor Lu Yang, with CityU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (MNE) and Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). “We found a way to convert these weaker and brittle 3D-printed photopolymers into ultra-tough 3D architectures comparable to metals and alloys just by heating them under the right conditions, which is surprising.”

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