We’re starting with business in 3D Printing News Briefs, as AML3D has appointed a new CEO. Moving on, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland has selected AM Solutions for its post-processing needs, and Europe’s first 3D printed office extension has been completed by PERI Group with a COBOD system. Finally, Formlabs and PSYONIC partnered to develop new approach to prosthetic design using 3D printing, and Artec 3D’s Eva scanner is being used to help create custom-designed prosthetic shields for Armenian war victims.
AML3D Announces Appointment of New CEO
The Board of Directors for large-scale metal AM solutions provider AML3D announced that it has appointed Ryan Millar as its new CEO, effective immediately. Most recently the CEO of the EESI Group, Millar has 18 years of executive leadership experience, including building and developing high-performance businesses and setting strong cultural standards at his various organizations. During his tenure at EESI, Millar’s mandate was to transform the company, reset its strategy and direction, build capability, and develop and commercialize intellectual property; in 2021, its revenue grew by 70% and EBIT by 300%. His addition to AML3D fits the company’s plan of expanding executive capabilities while realizing its growth strategy ahead of executing its next phase of development.
“This is an exciting time for AML3D. I am motivated by the success of the company’s engagement with global customers in adopting our technology, our goal-driven and passionate people, customers, and the power of technology to transform and disrupt. ALM3D has a proven, proprietary technology that fundamentally disrupts industrial-scale metal manufacturing,” Millar said. “AML3D’s Arcemy® and WAM® technologies produce better components, in less time and, importantly with better ESG outcomes for Tier 1 global clients. Recent contract wins with the likes of ExxonMobil and Boeing, coupled with ongoing contract discussions with other global Tier 1 companies, will ensure this growth momentum continues. Andrew and his team have done an exceptional job to date and created a solid technology platform and significant interest from global customers for the future growth of the Company.”
NMIS Using Post-Processing Equipment by AM Solutions
The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, recently received the M1 Basic AM post-processing system by AM Solutions, which works to automate the post-processing of 3D printed parts. NMIS is a group of industry-led
manufacturing R&D, innovation, and skills facilities supported by several partners across Scotland, working together to transform the future of manufacturing. The M1 Basic, to be installed at one of the NMIS Group facilities within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire, is an all-round machine that smooths and polishes parts, and will be used as part of a research project focused on metal 3D printing.
“It is fair to say that in many ways the aerospace sector is leading the way in the uptake of metal AM for production. Fundamentally, AM in aerospace applications can stimulate significant cost and lead-time reductions, the use of novel materials and unique design solutions, the mass reduction of components through extremely efficient and light-weight designs, and consolidation of multiple components for performance enhancement or risk management (namely through internal cooling features in thermally loaded components or by eliminating traditional joining processes). As we all know, however, metal AM machines exist in a process chain which includes post-processing, an area of urgent focus as manufacturers look for efficient, repeatable, automatic solutions that help to streamline the production of metal AM parts, and also reduce their unit cost,” said Scott Williams, Head of Sales at AM Solutions — 3D post processing technology UK. “We are delighted that the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland has chosen the M1 Basic from AM Solutions as a key metal AM post-processing technology.”
First 3D Printed Office Extension in Europe
The first 3D printed office extension in Europe has opened its doors in Austria, also making it that country’s first 3D printed building. The 125 m2 building, which is an extension to an existing building in Hausleiten, was designed by Mense-Korte Architects and 3D printed with a COBOD BOD2 3D construction printer, as the result of a cooperation between concrete 3D printing company PERI (which has a minority stake in COBOD) and Austrian construction technology group STRABAG. Because of the design freedom afforded by 3D printing, the building has an unusual architectural form, as well as a clover leaf shape. The BOD2 can print a maximum of one meter per second, making it the fastest construction printer in the world, and this speed enabled the shell construction of the extension to be completed in just 45 hours. This office extension marks the sixth 3D printed construction project between the PERI 3D printing team and COBOD.
“We are proud to see more and more buildings being 3D printed with our BOD2 printer as a consequence of our leading position in the market,” said Henrik Lund-Nielsen, Founder & General Manager of COBOD International. “Our superior technology is documented by COBOD’s technology 3D printing multiple applications other than just low-rise residential buildings, such as windmill tower bases, concrete pipe supports, schools and now an office building. We firmly believe that 3D construction printing will revolutionize the construction industry due to its ability to automate and industrialize the construction process.”
Formlabs & PSYONIC Creating Bionic Hands with Hybrid Manufacturing
Millions of people around the world suffer limb amputation due to trauma, and it’s tough to enter the world of prosthetics, which can often be as clunky as they are expensive. PSYONIC, creator of the Ability Hand, is using hybrid manufacturing methods, such as CNC machines, injection and silicone molding, and Formlabs 3D printers, to come up with a new approach to prosthetic design that will restore the life and mobility of patients, while also being more affordable. By utilizing all of these technologies, PSYONIC was able to create a Medicare-covered, FDA-registered upper-limb prosthesis, collect customer feedback and rapidly prototype in-house to improve the hand’s functionality and design, deliver the Ability Hand at a more affordable price, increase affordability and access from 10% to 75% of patients, and help those patients, like Sergeant Garrett Anderson, return to their normal lives. Anderson’s vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in 2005 while he was deployed in Iraq, and once home, he had to have his right arm removed below the elbow. He, and PSYONIC’s founder and CEO Aadeel Akhtar, PhD, were both dissatisfied with the state of prosthetics. PSYONIC used Fomlabs’ technology and durable materials to print carbon fiber molds, rapid tooling for injection and silicone molding, prototypes, and end-use parts, such as internal drive trains that are vital to the proper functioning of the bionic Ability Hand, which is now available in the US.
“Mixing and matching manufacturing methods is extremely important, I think, to startups in general, but especially to PSYONIC. There’s no way we could have competed with other prosthetics companies at our size if we had to abide by purely traditional manufacturing. Things like CNC machining, and injection molding, the initial costs, especially for trying to prototype things with multiple iterations, would’ve just been far too astronomical for us to do,” said James Austin, lead Mechanical Engineer at PSYONIC. “But with the advent of 3D printing and various kinds of 3D printing, we’ve been able to prototype rapidly, change our iterations and produce things at low scale and low cost. 3D printing, especially the Formlabs 3D printers, has come in absolutely critical for that development process for a startup our size.”
Artec Scanner Helping Create Custom Prosthetic Shields for Armenian Amputees
Finally, tensions in Armenia are still high, and on top of that, a high rate of road accidents, diabetes, and a 1989 earthquake have resulted in a disproportionately high number of amputees in the country. Plus, with a badly developed infrastructure and difficulties accessing quality healthcare, many of them have poorly fitted prosthetics. oqni, an NGO made up of members of the Armenian diaspora, was formed in 2020 as a result of the war, and is focused on creating improvements and developing long-term solutions for the amputee community. Artec3D technology was recommended to the NGO, and they are using its portable, structured-light Artec Eva scanner to quickly and easily capture data of Armenian war victims to create custom, comfortable prosthetic shields that replicate the dimension and shape of the other leg. Patients meet with the oqni team to have their legs scanned, and the design customized, and the scan data is then processed in Artec Studio; the Artec Cloud enables collaboration from anywhere. Then 3D modeling of the cover takes place, before the cover is 3D printed and fitted to the patient. Since its inception, the NGO has helped over 120 Armenian amputees receive 3D printed prosthetic covers, and also worked to create a mental health and physiotherapy booklet and app. Now, oqni is working to make its solutions open source so amputees from all over the world can get help.
“The situation in Armenia was such that no one cared very much about upper limb prosthesis. And while there are some companies that import prosthesis from overseas with support from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the process is very bureaucratic. Even if you get the prosthesis, after two to three weeks it is broken – you see the skin,” said Hajk Bagradjans, Co-Founder and CEO of oqni, explaining why the NGO decided to focus on prosthetic covers.
“These are essentially an aesthetic and protective covering of your prosthetic. So instead of walking around with a tube with just a metal bar hanging out, or having a foam solution – that is usually very uncomfortable and not very hygienic, and not at all designed according to the size of your other leg – our solutions are prosthetic covers that, when combined with 3D scanning technology, offer a very
customized solution that not only corresponds to the size and dimensions of your healthy leg or your body shape, but also (thanks to 3D printing) allows us to accommodate any size, design preferences, or any kind of preferences that you might have.”
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