New Partnerships Emerge at RAPID + TCT 2023


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Numerous new partnerships were unveiled at the RAPID + TCT 2023 event, showcasing the industry’s commitment to fostering collaboration and driving innovation in additive manufacturing (AM). Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of these promising collaborations and the significant contributions they aim to bring to the 3D printing landscape.

Hawk Ridge Systems and Formlabs have teamed up to extend 3D printing solutions worldwide, providing a wider variety of 3D printers and materials to cater to the needs of an expanded customer base. With almost 30 years in engineering design and manufacturing, Hawk Ridge offers products and services from industry-leading companies such as Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS, CAMWorks, and Markforged. This latest addition will expand accessibility to creators and manufacturers, increase process efficiency and drive more innovation globally.

Via the Hawk Ridge website, customers can buy Formlabs stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers. In addition, Hawk Ridge offers 3D printer installation services and training programs to ensure users are adequately trained and supported.

Commenting on the partnership, Brian Nies, Head of North American Sales at Formlabs, said this is another step towards Formlabs’ mission to enable anyone to make anything.

“By making our ecosystem of 3D printers, materials, and new advancements like the Form Auto available to their customers, Formlabs has another great avenue for enabling manufacturers across the country to use additive manufacturing to advance prototyping, in-house manufacturing and production efforts,” points out Nies.

Formlabs 3D printers now available via Hawk Ridge Systems. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Meanwhile, FreeFORM Technologies is set to broaden its service offerings by integrating Tritone MoldJet Technology. According to the new deal, Pennsylvania-based FreeFORM will add a Tritone Dominant AM system that harnesses the brand’s MoldJet powder-free technology that enables industrial production of high-quality metal and ceramic parts at an industrial speed. The addition will help FreeFORM quickly broaden the range of materials and geometries it can provide to its diverse customer base.

“We have followed Tritone with great interest since we first saw their technology at Formnext 2019,” says FreeFORM President Nate Higgins. “Their approach is unique and addresses some points that we think are important to expand portfolio reach. At FreeFORM our aim is to solve problems. Part of it is have great partnerships. We look forward to working with Tritone and using their unique technology with our customers.”

As a result of this partnership, Israel-based Tritone strengthens its presence in the North American region following the recent opening of its new U.S.-based subsidiary.

Tritone Technologies booth at RAPID + TCT 2023 showcases customer parts manufactured with MoldJet technology. Image courtesy of Tritone Technologies via LinkedIn.

In another exciting collaboration, Oqton has partnered with Xact Metal to deliver innovative metal AM solutions, addressing a wider range of applications across various industries. Also, Oqton joined forces with CASTOR to create a seamless end-to-end solution for manufacturing contractors and organizations, demonstrating their commitment to driving innovation and growth in the industry.

By integrating their respective software platforms, Oqton and CASTOR have created an end-to-end solution that covers the entire AM workflow — from identifying suitable parts to design and printing. According to the companies, the integrated software platforms offer total cost and lead time estimates and insights into the carbon emissions for each part, enabling manufacturers to make informed decisions and minimize environmental impact. Based on the terms of the joint effort, the result is a more efficient and faster identification, preparation, and printing of high-quality parts, which can help manufacturers gain a competitive edge in the industry.

With Xact Metal, Oqton combines leading software and 3D printers to deliver automation and full process control at what they describe as an affordable price. This partnership combines Oqton’s Manufacturing OS and 3DXpert software with Xact Metal’s portfolio of metal 3D printing technologies to create bespoke solutions.

As a result of this partnership, Xact Metal customers can address more applications using the in-depth features and built-in automation of Oqton’s 3DXpert and Manufacturing OS. In addition, by expanding Oqton’s ecosystem on a new printing platform, the company’s customers can more easily adopt metal AM through a solution that meets their unique manufacturing requirements.

Oqton partners with Xact Metal to deliver new metal AM solutions. Image courtesy of Xact Metal.

Lastly, PhysicsX and Velo3D (NYSE: VLD) have come together to offer engineers advanced artificial intelligence (AI) simulation tooling, enhancing efficiency and performance in the design and manufacturing processes.

“We started working with PhysicsX when we were building the Sapphire XC printer because we needed to optimize the flow of gas in the printer build chamber to eliminate soot build-up around the laser windows of the system,” said Velo3D Founder and CEO Benny Buller. “We quickly realized that PhysicsX’s capabilities could be a big boon to many of our customers who are pushing design performance limits. After working closely with them over the past two years, we’ve formalized our partnership to expose customers to the engineering synergy that exists by combining both companies’ technologies.”

The partnership gives Velo3D customers access to PhysicsX’s AI-enabled physics simulation workflows to hyper-accelerate simulation loops, improve simulation fidelity, and algorithmically explore complex design spaces to unlock new performance levels. It also gives PhysicsX customers access to the most advanced metal AM capabilities available on the market today, so they can easily produce novel, highly optimized part designs.

Velo3D booth at RAPID + TCT 2023 showcases new parts. Image courtesy of Velo3D via LinkedIn.

Partnerships play a vital role in fostering innovation, expanding applications, and promoting growth in the sector. For AM, in particular, these collaborations are crucial to accelerate and facilitate the exchange of ideas and lead to economies of scale and shared R&D costs, making the technology more affordable and accessible to a broader range of customers.

Attendees at RAPID + TCT 2023, which is being held at McCormick Place – West Building in Chicago until May 4, can visit Hawk Ridge Systems at booth 1512, Formlabs at booth 4330, Tritone Technologies at booth 2724, Oqton in booth 2435, Xact Metal in booth 4836 and Velo3D at booth 3824.

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