3D Printing News Briefs, May 13, 2023: RAPID Roundup Part 2

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For the second time this week, 3D Printing News Briefs is focused on news stories about RAPID + TCT! From new hires and 3D printer integrations to new 3D printers, software updates, and materials, we’ll cover it all today.

Materialise Announced New Chief Financial Officer

Koen Berges

First up, Materialise (NASDAQ: MTLS) announced that it has named Koen Berges as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective May 15, 2023. He will be succeeding Johan Albrecht, the company’s long-time CFO, who will leave Materialise at the end of the month to pursue new opportunities. Most recently serving as the CFO for Cheops Technology nv/sa, a leading managed service provider in secure IT infrastructures and cloud computing, Berges has over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions in a variety of business environments, from family holdings and fast-growing PE-backed IT services companies to large multinationals. After getting his start at PwC, he held international finance leadership roles at investment group Alcopa and ExxonMobil, and will bring his expertise to the team at Materialise. Materialise Founder and CEO Fried Vancraen says Berges is “the ideal person” to take on the role of CFO” due to his “extensive business experience and financial acumen,” especially in IT infrastructure companies, as this is where Materialise sees major opportunities for growth with its CO-AM initiative.

MolyWorks Streamlined Production with 3D Systems’ DMP Integration

MolyWorks Director of AM, Devin Morrow, uses 3DXpert to accomplish build preparation, support generation and part slicing to help streamline their manufacturing process.

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that MolyWorks has integrated the Direct Metal Printing (DMP) solution into its manufacturing workflow to streamline production and increase its customer offering. MolyWorks produces sustainable metal powder to print high-quality parts, and required a solution that fit in seamlessly with its own workflow. The company selected the large-volume DMP Flex 350 because of its optional removable print module (RPM) and low oxygen vacuum chamber architecture, the latter of which is very important when producing titanium parts. Plus, the system includes Oqton’s 3DXpert software for modeling, simulation, and manufacturing, which supports all steps of the AM workflow. With this integration, MolyWorks is reporting major efficiency improvements, and increased business opportunities, including work with the U.S. Air Force to evaluate 3D printed flight-critical parts.

3D Systems Introduced Multiple Portfolio Enhancements

CuCr1Zr is ideal for heat management applications with a structural component where both high thermal conductivity and strength are required such as heat exchangers.

Speaking of 3D Systems, the company showcased its full AM portfolio at RAPID, along with new enhancements to help speed up productivity. The first was the SLS Material Delivery Module, which facilitates multiple materials on its high-throughput SLS 380. By increasing the printer’s efficiency through quick material changes with minimal labor, productivity is improved, and the accessory can also achieve multiple material functionality on the ProX SLS 6100 and ProX SLS 500. The standalone DMP Build Changeover Station makes it easy to quickly turn over a removable DMP Factory 500 print module with a finished build to prepare it for a new one. With this lower-cost accessory, users can quickly and easily depowder a finished build, take off the base plate with a printed part, add fresh powder, install a new plate, and prepare a removable print module to launch the next build. 3D Systems also added two copper alloys to its materials portfolio. Certified GRCop-42 was designed for high-strength, high-thermal transfer applications in rocket engines, and parts printed out of this material can maintain mechanical properties at high temperatures. Certified CuCr1Zr (A) is a standard alloy with high thermal and electrical conductivity and high strength, and is good for printing complex heat management systems and electrical applications with a structural function, like induction coils and cooling systems.

B9Creations Released New Large-Format 3D Printing & Cleaning Unit

3D printing solutions provider B9Creations unveiled its largest-format high-resolution 3D printer at RAPID last week for users in multiple industries—like medical devices, education, biotechnology, and more—who are getting ready to scale up production. The new B9 Core 6 Series MPro 3D printer features a build volume of 192 x 108 x 304 mm and effective resolution finer than 40µm, and is a great choice for customers who require more design space but still want the accuracy and high-resolution that B9Creations offers. You can join the waitlist for the new B9 Core 6 Series MPro here. Also at RAPID, B9Creations launched an accompanying large industrial-grade cleaning unit, called the B9 CleanPro. This new post-processing unit can be paired with a variety of other AM solutions.

Nexa3D Launched XiP Pro Industrial 3D Printer

Another company that launched a new 3D printer at RAPID was ultrafast polymer 3D printing leader Nexa3D, which announced the immediate availability of its XiP Pro through authorized resellers. The new industrial printer, with a print speed of up to 24 vertical cm/hour, features a 19.5 liter build volume, and a unique stacking ability that enables users to optimize builds to take advantage of the XiP Pro’s whole Z-stage. Its patented, adaptive LCD-based print technology uses a self-lubricating membrane that helps reduce peel forces to ensure super-fast print speeds, and the printer also features a 7K resolution LCD screen with 46µm pixel size, advanced sensor package, and closed-loop Z-stage with auto-homing capabilities for improved printability. The XiP Pro also comes with an enhanced, intelligent NexaX OS platform for workflow speed, efficiency, and automation, and the suite enables better remote monitoring and fleet management, as well as faster slicing and support structure generation. Finally, it is an open platform printer, offering a range of high-performance materials from elastomeric to durable resins.

Morf3D Partnered with Mitsui Kinzoku to Qualify Copper Alloy

Morf3D announced that it had partnered with Japanese mining and metal manufacturing company Mitsui Kinzoku in order to qualify a new Mitsui copper alloy for additive manufacturing. The purpose of this material qualification was to meet increasing demand in the aerospace and defense industries for alloys with higher thermal and electrical conductivity. As Morf3D’s VP of Materials and Advanced Technologies, Dr. Behrang Poorganji, explained that alloys and materials with “extreme performance and functionalities” are necessary to get the highest combined performance and thermal management productivity, in addition to “demonstrating a viable business case.” He also said that ecosystem development, as well as partnerships, like the new one with Mitsui Kinzoku, are “at the core of our vision and strategy.”

Elementum Launched A5083-RAM5 Material for Laser Powder Bed Fusion

In further materials news, Elementum 3D launched its new high-strength A5083-RAM5 at RAPID, and the aluminum alloy, developed with the help of funding from the U.S. Army, is said to eliminate the need for heat treatment. Wrought aluminum alloy 5083 is known for high strength and corrosion resistance, but its composition doesn’t typically work with fusion-based AM technology. But, using a patented reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology, nanoscale reinforcements are synthesized during printing to create a “fine equiaxed microstructure” with better printability and properties. This method overcomes the traditional limitations, and A5083-RAM5 exhibits consistent tensile properties in both vertical and horizontal orientations, as well as impressive strength and excellent printability, without any heat treatment required. The release of this new alloy will allow manufacturers to print advanced components, with less cost and post-processing, for applications like pressure vessels in the aerospace, marine, and energy industries.

nTop Announced Update to nTop 4

Finally, engineering design software company nTop, formerly nTopology, announced a big update to its flagship nTop 4 product, which debuted at RAPID. nTop 4 software has a holistic approach to design for additive manufacturing (DfAM), and the release builds on its core technologies, while also introducing new capabilities across the themes of design, integration, scaling, and adoption. For the first, nTop 4 features Field Optimization, a new generative design technology that layers a multi-scale, multi-objective optimization engine onto nTop’s main technology to help engineers navigate design parameters more easily, and generate better-performing part designs for applications like industrial design and medical implants. In terms of integration, Implicit Interop enables easy data transfer between nTop, CAD and CAE software, and manufacturing in megabyte-sized files, not gigabytes. For scaling, nTop Automate allows users to execute workflows through a programmatic environment in order to increase the impact of engineering resources. Finally, nTop Accelerate—a range of one-on-one training services, custom workshops, and design sprints—takes on the adoption theme,  and helps improve customer service and maximize the impact in organizations of all sizes.

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