3D Printing News Briefs, January 13, 2024: OEM Certification, 3D Printed Dentures, & More

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In 3D Printing News Briefs today, we’re talking about metal 3D printing and certifications, 3D printed dentures, freeform optics, and 3D printed swan eggs. Read on for all the details!

Meltio Announces Brusat as Sales Partner in Taiwan

Laser metal deposition technology manufacturer Meltio announced its first official sales partner in Taiwan to enhance its growth in the country’s wire-laser metal AM market. Brusat, an authorized dealer for various globally renowned brands and manufacturers of additive manufacturing equipment, will work to build a supportive ecosystem in Taiwan for the distribution and support of Meltio’s wire-laser metal 3D printing solution. Meltio’s process is built around welding wire, which is said to be the cleanest, safest, and most affordable metal feedstock on the market, and Brusat will partner and drive business opportunities for the technology together with industry, tooling machine companies, industry, technology centers, and robotic integrators.

“We are thrilled to be working with companies like Brusat as their expertise as well as customer-centric approach are exactly what we are looking for when incorporating partners in the Meltio partner ecosystem,” stated Antonio Antonaya, APAC Sales Manager at Meltio. “With this partnership with Brusat, we are responding to the increasing demand of many industries there about our unique wire-laser metal 3D printing solutions. Together, we will be able to cater to the ever-growing needs of the Taiwanese market for and ease the adoption of metal additive manufacturing.”

ASTM International Expands PBF-LB Operator Certification Program

Image: ASTM AM Center of Excellence

ASTM International expanded its Powder Bed Fusion – Laser Beam (PBF-LB) Machine Operator Certification program, which was developed by its Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE). The certification is built on the joint ISO/ASTM standard for qualifying machine operators of laser metal PBF machines and equipment (ISO/ASTM 52942:2020), and is part of a larger initiative to ensure consistency and reproducibility, and that specific product quality requirements, particularly in regulated industries, are met. The expansion added the EOS M 400 and EOS M 400-4, and welcomed two new OEMs; 3D Systems will introduce the program for its DMP Flex 350 production printer, while Nikon SLM Solutions will do so for the SLM 280, SLM 500, and SLM NXG XII 600. The certification ensures competencies in standard operating procedures, powder material family specializations, operator maintenance of systems, and more, and provides a demonstration of an operator’s skill and compliance with the globally recognized standard.

“Structured certification programs are fundamental to the integration and acceptance of AM technologies within the industry. This is a significant stride in addressing the industry’s need for certified personnel and promoting a uniform standard of excellence,” said Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM International’s Vice President of Global Advanced Manufacturing Programs. “We anticipate further expansion to other platforms and continuous collaboration with essential industry players to ensure the AM technology is utilized reliably and proficiently.”

6K Additive Gets Recycled Content Certification from SCS Global Services 

6K’s UniMelt system

Leader in sustainable production of additive manufacturing materials 6K Additive, a division of 6K Inc., received independent certification from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Global Services for its titanium powder (Ti-6AL-4V). SCS Global Services, a global third-party auditing and certification organization, certified that 6K Additive’s Ti-6AL-4V powder has achieved a minimum 95% post-consumer recycled titanium content. 6K Additive is the first in the world to produce AM powder made from sustainable sources, using its production-scale UniMelt microwave plasma process. The SCS Recycled Content Certification evaluates products from both pre- and post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream, measuring the percentage of recycled content in order to make accurate claims on the market. This certification from the sustainability verification leader definitely recognizes 6K Additive’s commitment to making environmentally-conscious AM powders.

“We are thrilled that our commitment to sustainability has been recognized by a leading organization such as SCS Global Services through their certification process,” said Frank Roberts, President of 6K Additive. “We’re seeing a big increase from customers asking for not only data, but third-party validation from their suppliers regarding sustainability and having a recognized certification from a global sustainability organization like SCS is exactly the type of confirmation they are seeking. Our proprietary technology for processing titanium and refractory metals at scale is a benefit to our customers and the environment by recycling scrap streams back into premium powders.”

Zahn Dental Distributing Myerson’s Trusana Premium Denture System

Henry Schein’s dental laboratory business Zahn Dental is now an exclusive distributor of the new Trusana Premium Denture System by dental manufacturing company Myerson. A global team of clinicians and scientists created the patented chemistry used in the system, which delivers an unfilled polymer with the high wear resistance, flexural strength, and fracture toughness necessary to produce final digital dentures that have the characteristics of traditional ones. Together, the three products in the system—Trusana Premium 3D Tooth Resin, Trusana Premium 3D Denture Base Resin, and Trusana Bond Denture Adhesive—work to make these high-quality dentures, with optimal aesthetics and physical properties, for dental labs.

“We are thrilled to introduce the new Trusana Premium Denture System, together with Zahn Dental. Myerson has dedicated years of university-based research to create resins for 3D printing denture teeth with exceptional wear resistance and optimal esthetics, and a denture base with high-impact strength. Our patented 3D printing resins can help deliver optimal strength and toughness, with minimal moisture absorption,” said Jim Swartout, President and CEO, Myerson. “We are pleased to help fulfill the dental industry’s need for a straightforward digital workflow using next level 3D printing resins to produce the highest quality dentures.”

iLAuNCH Project Uses Freeform Optics to Take Demonstrator to Production Manufacturing

iLAuNCH Freeform Optics project team at UniSA

Satellite optical payloads scan over the Earth’s surface to track changes in transport, environment, and infrastructure for the purposes of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and the payloads need to be wide to do so effectively, but typical glass optics on satellites are limited in their views because of traditional manufacturing. But thanks to the development and refinement of suitable AM technologies, freeform optics—which aren’t hindered by constraints of symmetry in shape and form—can now be designed and 3D printed into complex shapes that not only offer larger fields of view in small packaging sizes, but can also withstand outer space. Using 3D printed freeform optics, the $180 million Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Trailblazer project by the University of South Australia (UniSA) and industry partners VPG Innovation and SMR Australia will move from a demonstrator to production manufacturing.

A major requirement in developing freeform optics is the ability to take the 3D printed part and process it to a point where a mirror finish is able to be developed, as traditional surface finishing processes won’t work with freeform surfaces. With their expertise in traditional and additive manufacturing, and mirror and camera systems, the project members will work together to mature and space-qualify a new optical manufacturing process and demonstrate it in a camera that will utilize freeform optics. The team is also developing, validating, and testing an optical-grade finish for additive material substrates on satellite optical components, as well as a coating system for reflective optical components in space. Overall, the project should result in expanded ISR capabilities for satellite platforms.

Melbourne Zoo’s Male Swans Parenting 3D Printed Artificial Eggs

Australian black swans Billy and Elliot were rescued after dog attacks, and as they could not be returned to the wild, have made their home in the Melbourne Zoo‘s Australian Bush habitat. In behavior that’s not abnormal when female swans are absent, these male swans were showing courting behavior, including vocalizing and swimming in what Melbourne Zoo Bird Keeper Ben Oliver called “a pair formation.” The duo also built a nest, and zookeepers used 3D printing to offer them a chance at parenthood. Volunteer Guy Pilens has 3D printed 20 different species of bird eggs for Zoos Victoria, and helped out this time by 3D printing a clutch of five dummy eggs that match the weight and shape of real swan eggs. While they didn’t sit on the 3D printed eggs, Billy and Elliot reacted positively when they saw their artificial offspring, and had the chance to practice their protective and territorial behavior.

“We wanted to let them have the chance to explore their reproductive behaviours so we asked one of our volunteers, who can print 3D eggs, to make some we could put in the nest,” Oliver said.

You can check out the video here.

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