3D Printing News Briefs, March 18, 2022: Amphibian Aerospace, Olympics, & More


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Multistation signed a distribution agreement with BigRep, and JPB Système reports a major milestone, while Nupress will deliver amphibian aerospace applications with SPEE3D technology. HP introduced its new Single Cell Dispenser for life science and pharmaceutical research, and Materialise is collaborating with Exactech to bring personalized medical implants to more patients. Finally, Renishaw’s metal AM technology will be used to develop a track bike for the British Cycling team to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. That’s what we’re discussing in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs!

Multistation Signs Distribution Agreement with BigRep

French engineering company Multistation SAS, which specializes in additive and digital manufacturing, will now be representing BigRep in France. The two signed a distribution agreement during the recent Global Industrie 2023 in Lyon, and one of BigRep’s large-format FFF systems, the STUDIO, was presented at Multistation’s stand during the event. BigRep announced that Multistation will be playing a necessary role in distributing, and expanding the reach of, its large-format 3D printers in the French market. The product range, available with either single or dual extrusion, includes the aforementioned STUDIO, with a print volume of 1000 x 500 x 500 mm, along with the BigRep ONE and its 1005 x 1005 x 1005 mm print volume, and finally the Pro, with a 1020 x 970 x 985 mm print volume. Multistation will take charge of the maintenance fees for the printers already being used in France, and will also supply consumables and replacement parts.

“BigRep perfectly supplies our range of “large scale” non-metal 3D printers, which have reached TRL 9 (Technology Readiness Level) as a result of various industrial ranges,” said Yannick Loisance, CEO of Multistation.

JPB Système Announces Five Million Flight Parts

LULYLOK Fluid Connection

Another French company, JPB Système, recently announced a major milestone: the specialty aerospace and aeronautic manufacturer has manufactured five million separate flight parts since beginning its production operations over twenty years ago. The company, which has used metal binder jet 3D printing for its components in the past, explained that these five million parts are comprised mostly of components to produce its LULYLOK B-nut self-locking device and borescope self-locking plug, which are used by global aircraft engine manufacturers like GE, Safran, Pratt & Whitney, and others. The solution ensures the sealing of tubes and pipes to prevent loosening and leakage resulting from extreme temperatures and severe vibration, but without requiring another method of fastening to secure the threaded parts within the engine, which reduces installation time and maintenance costs and negates foreign object damage. Other parts in the milestone number include several smaller components, fasteners, and fittings, which have been produced across JPB Système’s Industry 4.0-enabled manufacturing facilities.

“Some of our industry-renowned lock-wireless devices are now into their third decade of deployment among leading aircraft engine companies, underscoring their uniqueness and longevity in addressing a simple yet vital role. Reaching this impressive landmark figure underscores their continued importance as a robust, high-quality and easy-to-use solution to increasing an aircraft engine’s cost effectiveness and safety,” said Damien Marc, CEO, JPB Système.

Nupress Using SPEE3D Technology for Amphibian Aerospace Applications

A 9kg/19.8lbs Wheel Centre manufactured in just under 6 hours on a WarpSPEE3D.

Australian manufacturer Nupress announced that it will be using the large-format WarpSPEE3D from fellow Aussie company SPEE3D to create 3D printed applications for a third Australian company—Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI), the manufacturing and product development arm of the Amphibian Aircraft group of companies. Their partnership will be focused on evaluating the manufacturing method for creating compliant amphibious aircraft parts for the HU-16 and G-111 Albatross, and use SPEE3D’s technology to supply the applications as a replacement for traditional casting techniques that use wrought material. Additionally, the WarpSPEE3D at Nupress is available to use as part of a metal 3D printing subscription model for local manufacturers. Six available slots each deliver 25 hours per month of printing for 12 months, which offers the region a great opportunity to source industrial metal 3D printed part replacements produced at the time of need.

“The performance of a machined part and 3D printed part can be greatly different, depending on the application,” said Craig McWilliam, the CEO of Nupress. “Our project with Amphibian Aerospace will compare these two types of parts so that we can better understand the performance differences between them. We will be taking a cast part as our baseline and then creating identical machined and 3D printed versions of it. By comparing these parts on performance metrics like strength, flexibility, and weight, we should be able to see exactly how machining and 3D printing technologies are changing the landscape of functional parts.”

HP Launches D100 Single Cell Dispenser in U.S.

HP announced the U.S. launch of its new D100 Single Cell Dispenser for life science and pharmaceutical research; a global rollout is expected in the future. The microfluidics industry is estimated to reach almost $61 billion by the year 2023, and the possibility for biotech in the field is expanding. This includes single cell research applications for inkjet-based microfluidics, as accelerated research in cell line development, proteomics, genomics, and cell and gene therapy are likely to change how we detect diseases, and, as a result, move the field towards more personalized, powerful healthcare. Using HP’s software, which features real time reporting and a user-friendly interface, cell isolation and reagent dispense are combined for workflow miniaturization, allowing researchers to precisely dispense single cells, and picoliter through microliter volumes of reagents. In HP’s words, this new dispenser, which uses the company’s inkjet-based microfluidics approach, “democratizes single-cell analysis with high occupancy, viability, and precision,” and should help facilitate therapeutics discoveries and advance life science and pharmaceutical research.

“As an inkjet leader, HP has decades of experience in microfluidics. This provides us with the foundation to handle various types of fluids at a micro-level beyond our well-known HP inks and extend into new and exciting domains, including dispensing and cell isolation for drug discovery research, product coding and marking, and late-stage packaging. Applying our expertise and scalability in these areas is a key driver of innovation for the business. While leading pharma companies and research institutions around the world are already using our microfluidics technology for dose response studies, we are excited to bring this new single cell isolation solution to market, and we expect this will accelerate the transformation of the industry’s approach to drug and vaccine research and development,” said Philippe Lesage, VP and GM, Specialty Printing & Technology Solutions at HP.

Materialise & Exactech Partnering for Personalized Shoulder Implants

Approximately 60% of orthopedic extremity procedures are shoulder replacements—one of the fastest growing orthopedic markets. Medical 3D planning and printing solutions provider Materialise is collaborating with global medical device company Exactech, which develops and produces instrumentation, implants, and smart technologies for joint replacement surgery. Together, the two will offer advanced treatment options to patients with severe shoulder defects in Europe and Australia, and Exactech will include the Materialise Glenius solution in its portfolio, so surgeons can provide these patients with personalized 3D printed implants. Each Glenius implant is designed using AI, simulation, and 3D data, based on the patient’s unique anatomy, and by using the technology to optimize the implant’s stability and fixation, while also maximizing bone preservation, should enhance the predictability of clinical outcomes.

“By including the Materialise Glenius implant into our existing offering, we’re providing surgeons in Europe and Australia access to an even more extensive shoulder portfolio. We are happy to partner with Materialise to bring greater personalization and additional artificial intelligence technology to shoulder reconstruction,” stated Chris Roche, Exactech Sr. Vice President, Extremities.

British Cycling Using Renishaw’s Metal AM for Olympic Track Bike

Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Josie Knight, and Anna Morris of British Cycling

Finally, ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, British Cycling and Renishaw have announced that they are extending their partnership, which began in 2019 when the global company joined the organization’s bike development team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team wanted to use its advanced engineering and 3D printing expertise to develop a new track bike, and Renishaw created both plastic and metal prototype parts for aerodynamic testing, before using its RenAM 500Q printers to create aluminum and titanium components for the competition bikes. The partnership was successful, as Team GB went on to win seven medals in cycling events at the Tokyo Olympics, and Laura Kenny became the most successful British female Olympian of all time while riding a bike with metal 3D printed parts by Renishaw. Now, British Cycling is hoping to use Renishaw’s metal AM to take home the gold once again, this time developing an enhanced design to increase the speed of the track bike for the Paris Olympics.

“We’re really excited to be working once again with the British Cycling team after the success in Tokyo. Creating a bike light enough for Olympic competition that also stayed within the Union Cyclist International guidelines was a challenge, but it also gave us the chance to showcase how beneficial additive manufacturing can be across all industries,” said Ben Collins, Senior Applications Engineer for Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Group. “Now that we’ve renewed the partnership, it will be really exciting to see how we can help improve the bike’s performance for the Paris Olympics.”

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