AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing News Unpeeled: LEGO, Polyimide and 3DOS


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LEGO have released a limited edition LEGO pogo stick that probably is made of Arkema PA 11 on powder bed fusion and probably colored using Dye Mansion. The 500 pogo sticks were made to commemorate a crowd funded LEGO book. The pogo sticks are currently on eBay for $300 to $1600 per piece. This is an example of LEGO´s deepening use of 3D printing after its Duck model which we believe was made using Evolve Additive´s STEP technology. Its also an example of a firm doing ´fan service´ with limited edition models. Rather than extract a lot of monetary value or just by making desirable limited editions guaranteed to sell out LEGO is getting feedback, building support and making core fans happy with 3D printed products. This could be a model for future 3D printing implementations in mass manufacturing.

Meanwhile Hexagon, 3D4Makers, AON3D and Royal Netherlands Navy’s Expertise Centre Additive Manufacturing (ECAM) test Zymergen Polyimide. This ultra high performance material is one of the strongest materials to date, if not the strongest, available in Material Extrusion. The Z2 Zymergen material (now part of Ginko Bioworks) withstood a 432Kg load test and was added to Hexagon´s Digimat tool for simulation and testing. One version of Polyimide is Kapton which has seen extensive use in 3D printing as a build plate material.   The material has excellent thermal stability, has CST´s of over 260 °C, has good chemical resistance, excellent mechanical properties and can withstand solvents and oils.

3D Printer OS is pivoting to launch a blockchain powered, NFT minting decentralized manufacturing network. Now called 3DOS the company is trying to raise money on StartEngine at a $20 million pre revenue valuation.

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