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3D Printing News Briefs, March 30, 2023: Rubber 3D Printing Service, Titanium Powder, & More

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Authentise released its RFQ Responder, and Chromatic launched a rapid custom rubber 3D printing service. Sticking with materials, IperionX and SLM Solutions signed an MoU for titanium powder, and researchers in Madrid developed a 4D printer for smart materials with specific properties. Finally, BAJ and Cooksongold are partnering up to empower next generation jewelers.

Authentise Announces Release of RFQ Responder

Authentise, which specializes in connected workflow management solutions for engineering and manufacturing, has released its new RFQ Responder, built on the technology stack and experience used for its flagship Flows workflow management tool. Meant to help contract manufacturers respond quickly and efficiently to Requests For Quotes (RFQ), RFQ Responder offers a high security environment and allows for deeper analytics. The package, with its myriad features, uses automation, collaboration, and AI to enable more accurate, faster quotes, allowing teams to gather the full requirements for projects using configurable interfaces. Key design data and prices are automatically offered as a baseline, and users can then call on templatized workflows and Authentise’s unique Guideline recommendation engine to adjust as needed. The company says this is the additive industry’s only tool capable of providing this service for assemblies, and resulting quotes are easy to configure, so work items can be discounted, hidden, or excluded.

“Responding to RFPs for complex parts requires collaboration between many stakeholders, especially if they’re moving towards production rate. They’re not quoted in instant online portals. Experts consider a range of factors, not least the standards required in production. This can take weeks. With our recent release of Guidelines and the collaboration and quoting tools previously only available through Flows, we’re in the prime position to help make companies more reactive to incoming inquires,” stated Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “We’re delighted to bring this third spin-off product from Flows to market, next to Materials Management and the Digital Design Warehouse.”

Chromatic Launches Rapid Custom Rubber 3D Printing Service

AM technology provider Chromatic 3D Materials recently launched a new rapid custom manufacturing service for rubber 3D printed parts. The service, which is already being used by top automotive and industrial suppliers in the U.S. and Europe, offers simplified pricing, and fast delivery, for durable, common polyurethane parts with uncommon dimensions, made with ChromaFlow 70 and and ChromaFlow 90—thermoset polyurethanes with Shore A hardnesses of 70 and 90, respectively. Chromatic prints its parts with a novel process called reactive extrusion additive manufacturing, which supposedly decreases material waste up to 90%, and typical delivery is two to three weeks, though for an additional fee, customers can opt to have select parts delivered in as few as five business days. The company is offering standard industrial shapes, such as cylinders, grommets, seals, and gaskets, in non-standard dimensions up to 16″ in diameter.

“Manufacturers should not have to rely on overstocking in order to run a reliable business, but increasing supply chain failures put them in a tough position. OEMs come to Chromatic on a regular basis because they can’t get a hold of common parts,” explained Dr. Cora Leibig, Chromatic Founder and CEO. “That’s why we are launching our rapid custom manufacturing business. Now companies can quickly and cost-effectively source one part or one million — and keep their customers happy.”

IperionX Announces Strategic MoU with SLM Solutions

Sustainable titanium technologies provider IperionX and SLM Solutions have signed a strategic, non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the potential supply of spherical titanium metal powders from IperionX’s planned Titanium Demonstration Facility (TDF) in Virginia. An international metal AM solutions provider, SLM has a global install base of over 850 systems and 1,400 lasers, and the MoU with IperionX could offer its customers the first 100% recycled titanium powders. IperionX, which acquired two of SLM’s metal 3D printers last year, uses its unique, patented process to produce these proprietary, low carbon powders, which majorly reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the material. Its fully circular titanium metal powder will be a valuable asset to SLM’s open architecture materials offering.

“We are pleased to be partnering with SLM, a global leader in metal 3D printing solutions,” said Anastasios Arima, co-founder and CEO of IperionX. “This agreement recognizes the value of sustainable, 100% recycled titanium metal powders for leading companies and will be a unique titanium powder offering for SLM’s global customers.”

UC3M Researchers 4D Printing Smart, Soft Materials

A new smart printer enables the manufacture of soft multifunctional materials by continuously adapting extrusion parameters. Combining experimental and computational methods, it prints conductive and magneto-active materials with mechanical properties that mimic biological tissues.

A team of researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) developed hardware and software for a 4D printer that can control extra functions, such as programming a material’s response so shape-changing occurs under an external magnetic field, or changes in electric properties develop under mechanical deformation. As they explain in their study, their 4D printing research is focused on developing soft multifunctional structures, made of materials with mechanical properties that replicate biological tissues, like skin or the brain. Plus, in response to external stimuli like electric currents or magnetic fields, these materials are able to change their properties or shape—all of this opens the door to designing smart sensors and substrates, or soft robots, that can transmit signals to different cellular systems. In another study, the researchers detail their creation of a material concept that can autonomously heal itself without requiring external action. The team printed three types of functional materials: some that change properties and shapes in response to external magnetic fields, some that vary their conductivity according to their deformation or shape, and others with this self-healing capability.

“This material consists of a soft polymer matrix embedded with magnetic particles with a remanent field,” explained research team member Daniel García González, head of the ERC 4D-BIOMAP (GA 947723) project and associate professor in UC3M’s Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structure Theory. “For practical purposes, it is as if we had small magnets distributed in the material, so that, if it breaks, when the resulting parts are brought together again, they will physically join recovering their structural integrity.”

BAJ & Cooksongold Partnering for Jewelry Classes

Finally, the British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) is partnering with Cooksongold, which supplies precious metals, jewelry components, and tools, in order to empower the next generation of jewelry makers. In order to gain important industry experience, BAJ will hold a range of courses, contests, and future-facing interactive activities for its students at various levels, and Cooksongold will offer its expertise. The company offers casting and 3D printing services for precious metal jewelry, and will hold a CAD Masterclass for BAJ students to teach professional tips and tricks for rendering jewelry designs as digital models. Additionally, BAJ Level 4 and 5 students will use CAD software to design jewelry, and Cooksongold will print the winning designs for BAJ’s Final Show exhibition later in the year.

“Our growing partnership with CooksonGold provides so many exciting and invaluable opportunities for our students. From offering masterclasses on techniques, contributing prizes to our Final Show, advising students on CAD techniques, and 3D printing student work, the partnership has gone from strength to strength. We can’t thank Cooksongold and the team enough for all their generosity and support for BAJ, and we really look forward to working together in the future,” said BAJ’s Interim Head of Academy Sally Collins.

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