3D Printing News Briefs, December 3, 2022: Degradable Polymers & 3D Printed Trophies


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We’re starting with some more formnext news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as the Foundry Lab debuted its microwave technology for quicker, cheaper metal casting at the trade show. In other news, a research team is using salt and 3D printing to fabricate degradable polymers, and Diana Kalisz, Vice President, Materials for 3D Systems, was chosen as the winner of this year’s AMUG Innovator’s Award. We end with news on trophies, as GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year trophies were 3D printed, the 2023 World Car Awards trophy will be 3D printed, and a Bristol 3D print shop made a trophy that’s helping to put an end to Rwanda deportations.

formnext 2022: Foundry Lab Debuted Digital Metal Casting Technology

New Zealand-based Foundry Lab debuted its Digital Metal Casting technology for the first time at formnext 2022, just ahead of opening its first demonstration center in California in early 2023. The startup says its proprietary technology “leapfrogs” metal 3D printing to more rapidly produce parts with the same physical properties as traditional cast metal, and at less cost. Foundry Lab is partnering with several large manufacturers to evaluate the system, and produce metal parts in-house and on-demand for less time, money, and climate impact. The process begins by automatically generating molds from CAD files, then 3D printing high-temperature ceramic molds. These are then filled with metal feedstock and heated via microwave-powered compact foundries to melt and cast the form in as little as 20 minutes. The system is said to produce “production identical” metal parts that perform the same way as a production casting.

“Today, car companies typically spend upwards of $200k per die-casting on prototype tooling, involving huge, expensive metal molds. What’s more, these usually take anything from three months to a year to produce,” said David Moodie, Founder and CEO of Foundry Lab. “Our Fremont demo center will be positioned in the epicenter of car manufacture and plans to completely rewrite the manufacturing narrative. With Foundry Lab, none of this is necessary. Digital Metal Casting enables these companies to go from CAD design to producing real parts in the same-day using safe, compact microwave technology.”

3D Printing Environmentally Friendly Degradable Polymers

Texas A&M University researchers are using 3D printing and salt to create environmentally friendly polymers that will degrade over time. Courtesy of Texas A&M Engineering.

Commercial synthetic polymers are made up of large molecules that don’t break apart under normal conditions, which is bad for the environment. Researchers from Texas A&M University (TAMU) and the University of Kashmir are working to make 3D printed polymers more environmentally friendly by using a process that allows them to degrade naturally over time. They used carbon dioxide and table salt to create the ink for the 3D printing process, and once printing is complete, the resulting structures are washed with water to dissolve the salt and solidify them. The outside looks smooth, but the process creates thousands of small pores that make it possible for the chemical compounds to degrade more quickly. The team published their results in a paper, and research leader Dr. Emily Pentzer, associate professor in TAMU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Chemistry, hopes that the process can eventually be used to create degradable packaging materials, as well as for applications in the biomedical field.

“Our goal was to create sustainable degradable polymeric structures. We did this by leveraging the microstructures afforded by chemistry in conjunction with the macrostructures afforded by 3D printing,” Dr. Pentzer said.

“Under the right conditions, the polymers we’ve created will actually degrade quickly. Ideally, they’ll break apart into small molecules that are not toxic. These smaller molecules won’t be able to carry things like heavy metals or bacteria.”

AMUG Selects 3D Systems VP Diana Kalisz for Innovators Award

Diana Kalisz to receive AMUG’s Innovators Award.

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announced that the recipient of its Innovators Award this year is Diana Kalisz, Vice President, Materials for 3D Systems. The prestigious award, previously given to industry leaders like Hans Langer, Chuck Hull, and Fried Vancraen, will be presented at the 2023 AMUG Conference, March 19-23 in Chicago, after Kalisz’s onstage appearance in the Innovators Showcase. The award is given to those who have cultivated innovative ideas to advance the AM industry, and Kalisz, who previously worked in the aerospace field and has spent her entire 30+ year career in the AM industry with 3D Systems, certainly qualifies. In several capacities, she has managed the company’s engineering and development programs for its hardware, software, and materials solutions, and 3D Systems has commercialized dozens of products under her leadership. Kalisz began as a project manager for the large-format SLA 500, and currently focuses on developing production applications for the Figure 4 platform.

“Diana’s contributions to innovation in additive manufacturing center around bringing innovative ideas to life. In that vein, she has played a pivotal role in delivering new machines, materials, and software. And she not only nurtured innovations, but she also enabled those around her to innovate. Diana is the kind of person AMUG seeks to celebrate. She is someone that is often overlooked because she does her job so well and doesn’t seek out recognition,” said AMUG President Mark Abshire.

“Diana is the reason why I joined the additive manufacturing industry. Nearly 30 years ago, I worked with Diana as a customer of 3D Systems. Her passion for and dedication to the technology was infectious.”

GLAMOUR 3D Printed Women of the Year Trophies

Nensi Dojaka, winner of the GLAMOUR Fashion Designer Award in partnership with Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Speaking of awards, HP‘s 3D Personalization & 3D Printing business helped to celebrate the return of UK’s GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards to London for the first time in five years with a 3D printed twist. The pink trophies for the 15 empowering female winners were 3D printed on an HP Multi Jet Fusion 5200 printer, out of bio-based PA11 material. They are shaped like the letter ‘G’ to match GLAMOUR’s branding, and showcased MJF technology’s capability for customization and personalization by including the winner’s name and category. GLAMOUR released its first Environment Issue last year, and is working to promote sustainable fashion and beauty, and call out greenwashing in the industry. As such, the magazine wanted to make this year’s awards as sustainable as possible, which is why it chose to partner with HP.

“I’m so excited that GLAMOUR has chosen to partner with HP for the relaunch of the Women of the Year Awards,” said Clara Remacha, Strategic Accounts & Applications Development Manager, HP Personalization & 3D Printing, who led the Glamour Awards project from design to production and post processing. “As 3D printing advances, it’s brilliant to see influential organisations like GLAMOUR recognise the technology’s numerous benefits from flexible design to hyper customisation to sustainability and more.

“HP shares a strong commitment to sustainable impact, taking urgent action to combat climate change, protect human rights, and accelerate digital equity. I hope this highly visible partnership encourages innovative, forward-thinking brands in fashion, beauty and beyond to explore more opportunities to integrate 3D printing into their business practices.”

Replique & CALLUM 3D Printing World Car Awards Trophies

Ian Callum

Continuing with our 3D printed trophy trend, the winners at the 19th annual World Car Awards (WCA), presented in April 2023 at the New York International Auto Show, will receive their own additively manufactured awards. These new versions of the traditional WCA trophy will be designed by CALLUM, the design and engineering consultancy headed by Ian Callum, former long-time Director of Design at Jaguar Land Rover and onstage recipient of three WCA trophies on behalf of Jaguar. 3D printed by Replique, with its fully encrypted digital inventory AM platform, the trophies will keep the WCA logo, as well as the thematic design elements of the original award, while taking advantage of the technology’s ability to rapidly and cost-effectively produce small quantities.

“We are proud to be chosen as the manufacturer of this year’s World Car Awards, and by that take part in such an important event within the automotive industry. The award is an excellent example showing how 3D printing can realise flexible designs in small/medium quantities quickly and in high quality,” said Henrike Wonneberger, co-founder of Replique.

3D Printed Trophy Helps Stop Deportations to Rwanda?

Once the mock award was printed, it was spray painted gold and ready to present to the CEO of Privilege Style in Spain. Courtesy of Mark Bryant.

We’ve got one final 3D printed trophy story for you, and this one’s a doozy. Bristol 3D printing shop the Laboratory of Things received what seemed like a typical order request, and owner Mark Bryant gave the customer with a quote. But then he learned that the request, made by activists in the Freedom from Torture campaign group, was to design a ‘Worst Airline of the Year’ award for private Spanish airline Privilege Style, which had been contracted by the UK government to offer charter flights to Rwanda, where refugees seeking asylum would be sent for processing. Human rights charities and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are displeased with the controversial UK asylum policy, and the Mallorca-based airline has been urged not to assist with the deportations. Bryant not only told the group that the shop would make it for free, but also altered the design so that the plane was crashing into a lump of poo. After receiving the award in front of media, the airline has since backed out of the Rwanda deportation flights.

“On the whole, the business is an eco-business, everything we make is from recycled food packaging, it’s biodegradable and it’s not shipped half-way around the world. That’s the ethos, to do something that’s beneficial locally, rather than destructive,” said Bryant, who was “ecstatic” to hear the news and hoped his business had played a part in the decision.

“Making this award, fitted in with that ethos and I think it fits in with Bristol culture as well, it’s quite a centre for activism and standing up against social injustices. It was quite nice to be part of something that stands up against social injustice.”

3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis are hosting Additive Manufacturing Strategies in New York City on February 7-9, 2023. Register for the event here to learn from and network with the most exciting companies and individuals in AM.

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