3D Printing News Briefs, July 15, 2023: 3D Printer Milestone, Ceramics Research, & More


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Starting with business in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Zeda welcomed Kaiser Permanente’s Chief Innovation Officer to its Board of Directors, Shapeways announced two Tier 1 supplier manufacturing contracts, and Divide By Zero reached a 3D printer sales milestone. In other news, materials researchers at Penn State University are using a Lithoz 3D printer to boost its advanced ceramics research.

Zeda Welcomes Kaiser Permanente’s CIO to Board of Directors

Dr. Tadashi T. Funahashi

Leading technology solutions company Zeda, Inc. (previously PrinterPrezz / Vertex Manufacturing), which specializes in advanced 3D manufacturing and nanotech solutions for highly regulated industries like defense, space, medical, and aerospace, announced the appointment of Kaiser Permanente’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Tadashi T. Funahashi, to its Board of Directors. In his role as CIO at the California-based company, Dr. Funahashi is passionate about, and committed to, using his expertise to make a long-term impact in the healthcare field. He leads a team of consultants, data scientists, designers, engineers, and physicians at KP, which is recognized as one of America’s top healthcare providers and nonprofit health plans. Dr. Funahashi’s team works with others across the company to help build up “the healthcare delivery system of the future,” and his expertise will help Zeda reach its global expansion goals and strategic initiatives.

“We are honored to have Dr. Funahashi join Zeda’s Board of Directors. Dr. Funahashi’s passion for innovation in all areas of healthcare, combined with his exceptional leadership abilities, him an invaluable member of our company,” said Shri Shetty, CEO of Zeda. “We look forward to collaborating closely, leveraging their insights, and collectively driving our mission to better lives and make a lasting impact in the field of healthcare.”

Shapeways Secures Two New Tier 1 Supplier Manufacturing Contracts

Digital manufacturing industry leader Shapeways, Inc. (NYSE: SHPW), which recently reported a strong first quarter for 2023, announced two new Tier 1 supplier manufacturing contracts. These awards will support multi-year production programs for top automotive and transportation OEMs, resulting in over $2.8 million in annual revenue for the next seven years. One of the supplier-awarded contracts is for a global, industry-leading automotive OEM, for the production of interior paneling and trim for a medium-duty truck series. The company was committed to obtaining the required equipment, and Shapeways also has the capacity to meet production deadlines for injection molded parts. The other contract is for a major commercial trucking OEM, which needed a supplier to take on the production of its injection-molded cab trim components; once again, Shapeways had optimal capacity to take this on. These contracts will speed up growth in its Enterprise Manufacturing Solutions business, and while neither one is about 3D printing, Shapeways has the capability to offer those services in the future, should the OEMs decide to expand.

“Shapeways’ readiness to embrace and invest in emerging technologies and processes, tailoring solutions to meet our customers’ unique needs and requirements, sets the company apart. This commitment sends a clear signal to our partners that we’re more than a supplier–we’re a true partner sharing in their vision for production of quality, high-performance parts,” said John Tenbusch, Sales Director, Automotive Vertical for Shapeways.

“Building long-term relationships and showcasing proven expertise is at the heart of why our partners–both old and new–trust Shapeways. We’re committed to delivering tailored solutions and are invested in their success.”

Divide By Zero Announces 1100th 3D Printer Sale

Indian 3D printing company Divide By Zero Technologies announced a major milestone: it’s sold its 1100th 3D printer, firmly establishing itself as the country’s largest industrial 3D printer manufacturer. The company’s name represents infinity, which quantifies its passion for offering architects, engineers, designers, medical researchers, educators, and other innovators the opportunity to visualize their ideas, and then turn them into reality. Divide By Zero is always focused on R&D so that it can continue to deliver new concepts and designs in their current products, and introduce additional 3D printing and CNC technology as well. The 1100th printer sold was its large-format AION NX, first introduced in 2022 and featuring what’s said to be one of the largest bed sizes in its class at up to 1000 X 1000 X 1000 mm. Its high-precision extruder, with a 06/0.8 mm nozzle and top travel speed of 100 mm/sec, can handle temperatures of up to 30°C, which makes it perfect for applications in electric vehicles, architecture and décor, defense and aerospace, and more.

“AION NX is a large format, customisable high speed modular 3D printer which brings to you the ability to produce large volume components, on site in minimum time with maximum efficiency. It comes in an easy to assemble CKD Kit, with effortless portability and multi- material compatibility. All this at the most competitive rates in the market,” the AION NX brochure states. “AION NX helps you create tomorrow today!”

Lithoz Delivers CeraFab Lab L30 to Penn State University

CeraFab Lab L30 installation. L-R: Shawn Allan (Lithoz America), Charles Rafalko (Penn State), Ryan Fordham (Lithoz America), Lach Peeke (Penn State), Amira Meddeb (Penn State).

Finally, ceramic 3D printing leader Lithoz GmbH recently installed its entry-level CeraFab Lab L30 3D printer at Penn State University, where it will be used to unlock further advanced ceramics research at the Materials Research Institute, specifically in the Nanofabrication Lab. The system is a condensed version of the industrial CeraFab System S65, with all the power of the company’s Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology and the ability to print ceramic materials from Lithoz’s library, as well as custom materials. The university says it’s “relatively simple” to learn how to use the CeraFab Lab L30, especially for those with a more traditional background in ceramics processing. The printer has great potential for materials education, but the main reason for its installation are the benefits to ceramics research, and the in-house production of otherwise expensive scientific tools, like custom-designed microreactors and crucibles, and other high-resolution parts. 

We can work with researchers to do the design of the material, the 3D printing of the material, but you can also do the characterization here. Having all of that together lets you actually do the rapid iterations of ceramic production that are necessary for our researchers’ success,” explained Chad Eichfeld, associate research professor and director of operations in the Nanofabrication Lab.

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