3D Printing News Briefs, May 17, 2023: Stress-Resistant Alloy, 3D Printed Trophies, & More


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting off with a little research, as materials scientists developed a 3D printing process that produces an extremely stress-resistant alloy. Moving on to business, Meltio has announced a new sales partner in South Korea, and KOKONI launched its SOTA 3D printer on Kickstarter. We’ll finish things off with competitions and awards, as the 7th edition of the construction sector’s biggest startup competition is now live and pro-beam won two Red Dot Design Awards. Finally, Replique and CALLUM partnered to produce 3D printed trophies for the World Car Awards.

Researchers Develop Extremely Stress-Resistant 3D Printed Alloy

High-resolution characterization of GRX-810 microstructure. a, Scanning transmission electron microscopy–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM–EDS) combined Y and C map showing C segregation at the oxide–matrix interface. b, BF–STEM diffraction contrast image (DCI) micrograph (electron beam is parallel with [001] zone axis of matrix) of dislocation interaction with oxides (black arrows) and the presence of stacking-fault tetrahedra (red arrows). c, STEM–EDS combined W and Re map showing segregation at grain boundary and surrounding the carbide. d, Integrated line scans (at.%), from the rectangle outlined in c, showing segregation of Cr, W and Re and depletion of Co and Ni at the grain boundary. Elements not measuring any change across the boundary are not shown. e, Atomic resolution [011] zone axis HAADF–STEM image of GRX-810 lattice. f, Fast Fourier transformation of the image in e showing the absence of any additional superlattice spots. Both d and e suggest that local chemical ordering is not present.

Materials scientists from NASA partnered with colleagues from The Ohio State University and HX5 LLC to develop a 3D printing process capable of fabricating an alloy that is 600 times more resistant to stress than existing alloys, which they call GRX-810. There’s more need than ever now for materials that can endure extreme conditions, and previous research shows that adding ceramic to metal alloys makes them more resistant. However, these lighter bits often float to the top when they’re added to molten metal, due to the differences in their characteristics. To get around this issue, this research team used an ink made up nickel, cobalt, and chrome particles, and programmed a laser powder bed fusion 3D printer to add a little yttrium oxide powder to each layer. A layer of metal alloy is printed, followed by a layer of powder particles, and a laser heats them up, forcing them into the alloy, resulting in a ceramic-infused metal alloy.

“This oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloy, called GRX-810, uses laser powder bed fusion to disperse nanoscale Y2O3 particles throughout the microstructure without the use of resource-intensive processing steps such as mechanical or in situ alloying3,4. We show the successful incorporation and dispersion of nanoscale oxides throughout the GRX-810 build volume via high-resolution characterization of its microstructure,” the researchers explain in the abstract of their study. “The mechanical results of GRX-810 show a twofold improvement in strength, over 1,000-fold better creep performance and twofold improvement in oxidation resistance compared with the traditional polycrystalline wrought Ni-based alloys used extensively in additive manufacturing at 1,093 °C5,6. The success of this alloy highlights how model-driven alloy designs can provide superior compositions using far fewer resources compared with the ‘trial-and-error’ methods of the past. These results showcase how future alloy development that leverages dispersion strengthening combined with additive manufacturing processing can accelerate the discovery of revolutionary materials.”

Meltio Announces Official Sales Partner in South Korea

Laser metal deposition technology manufacturer Meltio announced that 3D printer distributor HDC is now an official sales partner of its metal AM solutions in the South Korean market. HDC is a distributor for many notable 3D printing brands in South Korea, including EOS, and will play an important role in distributing and support Meltio’s solutions, which enable industrial applications with a process build around affordable and safe welding wire. To help boost Meltio’s growth in South Korea’s metal AM market, HDC will work to set up a supportive ecosystem for its technology in the territory, as well as driving business opportunities and partnerships.

“We are thrilled to be working with companies like HDC as their expertise as well as customer-centric approach are exactly what we are looking for when incorporating partners in the Meltio partner ecosystem,” said Antonio Antonaya, Sales Manager for APAC at Meltio. “Together, we will be able to cater to the ever-growing needs of the South Korean market for, and ease the adoption of metal additive manufacturing.”

KOKONI Launches SOTA Series 3D Printer on Kickstarter

KOKONI launches their first flagship printer SOTA series, which will be launched on Kickstarter starting from the 25th of April.

Founded in 2021, 3D printer manufacturer KOKONI announced the launch of its SOTA series, which features a closed-loop, upside-down motor design for fast, stable 3D printing and less than 0.1 mm precision. The company’s brand tagline is “Bringing Your Creativity to Life,” and it’s spent years working on an assembly-free, leveling-free 3D printer that anyone, from beginners to professionals, can enjoy using every day. With a speed of more than 600mm/s and acceleration of 21m/s², the SOTA is said to print ten times faster than conventional consumer 3D printers, and its self-developed intelligent motor control reduces vibration, which also lowers the noise level. It can print seven colors and materials, including PETG and PLA, and the KOKONI App, with its intelligent visual AI algorithms, allows users to generate a 3D model from 2D photo in just seconds. KOKONI SOTA is now available on Kickstarter, and with over a month left in the campaign, has already raised over 12 times the original requested amount at last check. There are still plenty of rewards available, and shipments will start in mid-August.

“Our team launched our first 3D printer EC1 on Indiegogo in 2022, and we value the feedback from over a few thousand users and backers,” said Tianrun Chen, CEO of KOKONI. “With the development of the KOKONI SOTA, we cannot wait to share the result of our dedicated efforts to bring an intelligent consumer-grade 3D printer to the Kickstarter community.”

Construction Startup Competition 2023 Live

The 7th edition of the construction sector’s largest startup competition, the aptly named Construction Startup Competition 2023, is now live! Hosted by Cemex Ventures, Black & Veatch, Dysruptek by Haskell, Ferrovial, Hilti, VINCI Group’s Leonard, NOVA by Saint Gobain, Trimble, and Zacua Ventures, the open call for this year’s competition began at the end of April, and you can learn more about it in-person at this week’s Digital Construction Week in London. The application phase will close on July 2nd, and winners will be announced in early October. Then, Pitch Day will take place in Las Vegas from November 6-8, and the winners will present their solutions to executive representatives of the competition’s partners on the biggest stage for construction investors.

The competition is looking for the best solutions related to:

  • Green Construction, including decarbonization, alternative fuels and new energy sources, sustainable materials, and environmental damage mitigation
  • Construction Supply Chain, including procurement, logistic tools and materials tracking, inventory management and onsite handling
  • Enhanced Productivity, including project bidding, geotechnical analysis, risk management, project quality, and finance and credit solutions
  • Future of Construction, including smart cities and buildings, robotics and machine-assisted applications, automated processes, and 3D printing

pro-beam Wins Two Red Dot Design Awards for Product Design

Electron beam technology leader pro-beam announced that it won two Red Dot Design Awards this year, in the Product Design category. The contemporary redesign of its both PB WEBAM 100 and PB EBM 30S additive manufacturing systems was aligned specifically with operator needs, and the printers now have improved aesthetics and user-friendliness, a new modular concept, and clear form language. All of these features allow for handling and process safety, in addition to a safer, more positive working environment, and convinced the jury of the Red Dot Award design competition that they deserved to win. The PB WEBAM 100 is an electron beam system for wire-based metal AM, and the PB EBM 30S also uses electron beam technology to produce small, detailed metal parts in a powder bed. The latter received the competition’s highest award, “Red Dot: Best of the Best.”

“With this future-oriented design for our additive manufacturing systems, we at pro-beam are making a statement. The modular concept and the design features serve as the basis for the future system generation of the entire group,” said Nicolas von Wolff, Managing Director at pro-beam.

Replique & CALLUM Designed & 3D Printed Trophies for World Car Awards

Winners of the recent World Car Awards (WCA) received something very special this year: 3D printed trophies, created by design and engineering company CALLUM and printed by Replique, which provides a secure digital platform for OEMs to provide parts on-demand to customers through a global, decentralized 3D printing network. WCA organizers tasked the two companies to design and manufacture a unique, visually impactful trophy, and once they were printed in PA12 material with SLS technology, the trophies underwent post-processing, including vapor smoothing to ensure a seamless surface so gold automotive-grade coating could be added. CALLUM’s Director of Design Ian Callum, former long-time design director for Jaguar Land Rover, said the concept behind the trophies features a reimagined WCA logo theme, with a globe encircled by a road in a style that depicts movement. It makes sense that 3D printing was chosen for these particular trophies, as the automotive industry is continuing to adopt the technology.

“Thanks to its fundamental attributes for fast, low-volume production of any design in one-piece, regardless of its complexity, 3D printing was an obvious choice as the manufacturing method for this project,” said Henrike Wonneberger, Co-Founder and COO of Replique. “We are thrilled with the results and were not surprised that the trophies turned heads at the ceremony.

“On behalf of Replique, I’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to all esteemed winners of the 2023 World Car Awards. It was a thrilling moment to see the winners’ faces light up with joy at the sight of their cutting-edge, 3D-printed trophies, which also capture the essence of the occasion so perfectly. We look forward to contributing to many more such moments.”

The 2023 WCA winners are: Hyundai IONIQ 6, for World Car of the Year; Lucid Air, for World Luxury Car; Kia EV6 GT, for World Performance Car; Citroën C3, for World Urban Car; Hyundai IONIQ 6, for both World Electric Vehicle and World Car Design of the Year; and SangYup Lee, EVP, Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, Hyundai Motor Company, for World Car Person of the Year.

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