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3D Printing News Briefs, February 11, 2023: Training, Gigafactories, & More

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with training, as nScrypt introduced its nStructor trainer. Moving on, Farsoon and toolcraft are collaborating on laser powder bed fusion systems, and Sakuu chose Porsche Consulting to design a first-of-its-kind AM gigafactory for producing 3D printed batteries. Finally, Weber State University hopes to advance aerospace research with a new 3D printer installation.

nScrypt Releases New nStructor Trainer

L-R: surfacing mapping laser, target view camera, dispensing head, milling head, thermoplastic head, and the pick and place head.

Not long after nScrypt released its new nStudio advanced software package, the company saw a need for training to be filled. Its low-cost machine customers needed to learn how to use the software, which is why nScrypt has released its Factory in a Tool trainer, nStructor. The system mimics the functionality of the nScrypt 3Dn, 3Dx, and nRugged Factory in a Tool machines with its XYZ travel of 274 X 240 X 160 mm and target view and process view cameras, but without the high-precision performance. nStructor can be used right out of the box, so customers can immediately begin learning nStudio and everything that the nScrypt Factory in a Tool systems can do. nScrypt believes it’s the only company to offer a trainer so customers can optimize the use of their main printer.

“nScrypt’s direct digital manufacturing systems are all about high-precision motion, microdispensing, aerosol jetting, 3D printing, milling, and pick and place, for building complete electronic devices with automatic tool changes. But precision is expensive and time is money, so training on our main systems may not be cost effective,” said nScrypt CEO Dr. Ken Church. “For a fraction of the cost of one of our main systems, our customers can learn to use the multi-tool head capabilities of their high-precision Factory in a Tool before it arrives. If they already have one or more of our systems, they probably want to optimize their main use, whether it’s manufacturing on the factory floor or R&D design and manufacturing. nStructor enables our users to learn to use the main system without interfering with its optimized use. It’s like learning to fly. It’s more efficient to learn on a simulator before taking the plane into the air.”

toolcraft 3D Printing Metal Parts with Farsoon’s LPBF System

After completing evaluation and benchmarking, toolcraft AG decided several months ago to order a laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printer from Farsoon, and the two signed a Joint Development Agreement for optimizing software and hardware, specifically for the Farsoon FS422M-4 printer, as well as quality assurance for metal parts 3D printed on the machine. This specific printer, which toolcraft confirmed has been delivered and installed by Farsoon in Georgensgmünd as promised, uses four laser/scanning systems to print high-quality parts for serial production. It features a build cylinder measuring 425 x 426 x 550 mm3, including the substrate plate, and delivers metal parts with excellent surface quality, even at high speeds. toolcraft has begun production of aluminum 3D printed parts with the LPBF system, and both teams are happy to continue collaborating in order to further optimize the printer and their productivity.

“I am positively impressed on the speed and professionalism of the Farsoon team installing the Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion System in our facilities in toolcraft. The Farsoon FS422M-4 system has passed the factory acceptance test at the first trial, and we have started production of high-quality aluminum parts for sale to our customers already,” stated Christoph Hauck, the Chief Officer Technology and Sales at toolcraft AG.

Porsche Consulting to Design Sakuu’s Battery Manufacturing Plants

3D printed solid-state battery pioneer Sakuu has chosen Porsche subsidiary Porsche Consulting to lead the design of its planned global commercial-scale battery manufacturing gigafactories. The firm’s expertise in large-scale factory design will help Sakuu achieve gigafactories that prioritize sustainable design, as well as increasing manufacturing efficiencies that can be easily replicated across multiple locations. The first Sakuu plant design will accommodate roll-to-roll manufacturing for its novel high energy density lithium-metal batteries, and then there will be a series of first-of-their-kind plants that use the company’s Kavian platform to produce its Swift Print solid-state battery line using multimaterial additive manufacturing. By partnering with Porsche Consulting, Sakuu will surely be able to build these gigafactories to meet its 2030 annual output goal of 200GWh across its energy storage product line.

“We’re thrilled to become an integral part of Sakuu’s journey as it embarks on building gigafactories that break all norms in commercial-scale energy manufacturing. Their seminal and scalable additive manufacturing approach can bring incredible innovation to major industries transitioning to new energy solutions— automotive and beyond,” said Gregor Harman, CEO of Porsche Consulting, North America.

Weber State Installs CBAM 3D Printer for Aerospace Research Purposes

In order to advance research on composite materials for the aerospace and defense ecosystem in Utah, Weber State University turned to previous partner Impossible Objects. The university’s Miller Advanced Research and Solutions (MARS) Center, which just opened this summer near Hill Air Force Base, installed the company’s Composite-Based Additive Manufacturing system, called the CBAM-2. At the center, students and faculty can work with industry experts to apply innovative solutions to real problems, most often for the defense industry. The CBAM-2 prints composite materials, like carbon fiber PEEK, that can be used to design lightweight, yet strong parts for high-tech applications, such as legacy aircraft parts, tools no longer in production, and, most recently, a strap that keeps first aid kits secure inside US Air Force planes.

“The MARS Center is at the forefront of aerospace and defense research. We’re proud that they’ve selected CBAM technology, and have already engaged in several projects that have exciting potential for the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and other industrial partners,” said Steve Hoover, the CEO of Impossible Objects.

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