3D Printing News Briefs, February 10, 2024: Awards, Automated Powder Transfer, & More


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, 6K was recognized on the Global Cleantech 100 list for the second year running, while 6K Energy won a prestigious award. Trumpf is introducing its updated printer at Lab Day Chicago, EOS and Volkmann are partnering for automated powder transfer, and NCMT signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Tritone Technologies. Finally, an engineer created a functional toilet out of colorful, 3D printed blocks.

6K Once Again Recognized on Global Cleantech 100 List

For the second year in a row, 6K has been recognized on the prestigious Global Cleantech 100 list, an annual report that lists companies with the most promising ideas in cleantech that could actually help build a more de-carbonized, digitized, and resource-efficient industrial future. 6K is a leader in the sustainable production of advanced materials for batteries and additive manufacturing, driven by its UniMelt Microwave Plasma Production Platform; the successful production-scale process produces metal AM powders and battery materials in a much faster, cleaner way. By landing once again on this list of promising private companies in the cleantech ecosystem, 6K further solidifies its leadership in the sustainable material manufacturing space.

“When we first introduced the UniMelt platform, one of our goals was to transform manufacturing of critical materials. Our UniMelt solution takes a sustainability-first approach, replacing outdated, dirty processes with clean and efficient production – dramatically reducing production times from days to seconds at significantly lower carbon emissions than legacy processes. We’re honored the industry experts at Cleantech Group have once again recognized 6K for our efforts in creating a more sustainable, productive planet,” said Bruce Bradshaw, 6K’s Chief Marketing Officer.

6K Energy Wins Prestigious 2024 BIG Innovation Award

But that’s not all – 6K Energy, a 6K division focusing on sustainable production of materials for lithium-ion batteries, was named a winner in the Business Intelligence Group’s 2024 BIG Innovation Awards. Organizations around the world submit their recent innovations for consideration, and the nominations are judged by a group of business leaders and executives. 6K Energy won because it’s pushing the boundaries of innovation with its sustainable solution for secure, local production of critical battery materials. The company’s PlusCAM production facility, scheduled to open in Q4 2024, will leverage UniMelt technology to manufacture cathode active material (CAM) for both LFP and NMC at a lower cost than Chinese suppliers, and with less energy consumption and Co2 emissions as well.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the 2024 Big Innovation Award. Our UniMelt ® microwave plasma production technology is the pinnacle of innovation for a sustainable solution for producing battery material. UniMelt replaces an outdated, dirty process with an ultra-clean, highly sustainable platform that produces cathode active material for the battery market at significantly lower cost than material processed in China,” 6K Energy’s President Sam Trinch stated. “Being acknowledged by business leaders and executives that recognize our impact speaks volumes to the 6K Energy mission to onshore battery material production.”

Trumpf Introducing Enhanced TruPrint 2000 at Lab Day Chicago

Trumpf employee in front of TruPrint 2000 holding a square build plate. (Provided by Trumpf Inc.)

Lab Day Chicago, the largest gathering of the dental laboratory community in North America, is coming up in just a few weeks, and Trumpf Inc. has announced that it will introduce the updated version of its TruPrint 2000 3D printer at the event. With its square build plate and two 500-watt integrated fiber lasers, the printer has been optimized for high productivity and mass production. Trumpf says that 36% more removable partial dentures can be printed on the square plate than a comparable round one, and each laser can process the whole build plate at the same time. In addition to dental applications, medical technology manufacturers could use the printer to make spinal cages, skull plates, or knee joints as well.

“In addition to the upgrades of the TruPrint 2000, the machine has the process monitoring and calibration features found in all TruPrint machines,” said Miguel Verdejo, additive manufacturing product and project manager at Trumpf’s Laser Technology Center in Michigan. “Ensuring repeatable and high-quality parts is the top priority for Trumpf 3D printing, especially in critical areas such as medical and dental technology.”

EOS & Volkmann Partner to Offer Automated Powder Transfer Solution

German AM companies EOS and Volkmann formed a cooperation agreement to offer an automated powder transfer solution. EOS will offer a new EOS Edition line of Volkmann’s standalone, closed-loop, automated metal powder management systems, engineered specifically for easy integration with its EOS M 400 series printers. Transfer and loading of material from storage into one or more 3D printers is automatically controlled by the central metal powder management systems, and so are the capture, sieving, and vacuum drying of excess powder for reprocessing. The new EOS Edition can operate as a fully enclosed, sealed circuit to protect powders from contamination and ambient moisture, eliminate metallic dust from the workplace, and keep workers safe from possible exposure. The systems can be controlled and monitored remotely, and some new accessories, including buffer storage units, are also available for the EOS Edition.

“Our new systems provide EOS end-users with a complete, plug-and-play, automated powder handling solution that can scale as their production needs increase. This is a logical next step in our close relationship with EOS, and one that we feel will benefit EOS customers with faster, safer, more reliable printing and consistently high quality printed parts,” said Christian Mittman, director of advanced solutions for Volkmann.

NCMT & Tritone Technologies Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement

NCMT has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the sale in the UK and Ireland of AM machines manufactured by Tritone Technologies. (Tritone Dominant AM machine pictured.)

Metal and ceramics AM company Tritone Technologies has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with NCMT Limited. Based in Israel, Tritone also has a presence in Germany and North America, but this partnership will enable it to grow its presence specifically in Ireland and the U.K. Tritone’s two AM systems, the Dim and the Dominant, are based on its “powder-free” MoldJet technology, which was designed to produce large quantities of high-density parts with complex geometries. Thanks to MoldJet, the printers can quickly and easily switch between a variety of metals and ceramics. By adding Tritone’s MoldJet technology to the conventional machining equipment it offers, NCMT can diversify its portfolio to meet the demands of the industry.

“We are delighted to join forces with NCMT in a strategic partnership, as it emphasises Tritone’s commitment to advancing AM on a global scale,” said Omer Sagi, VP Products and Business Development at Tritone Technologies.

“The decision by NCMT to embrace Tritone’s MoldJet technology as their gateway into the AM market is a testament to the innovation and transformative capabilities of our technology. Together, we eagerly anticipate pushing the boundaries of manufacturing excellence and shaping the future of industrial production.”

Emily the Engineer’s 3D Printed Colorful, Functional Toilet

Now for one of those weird and wonderful things that only a 3D printing DIYer would come up with: a functional toilet. But not just any 3D printed toilet – a really colorful one. YouTuber Emily The Engineer wanted to see if she could, so she did! After modeling the commode in CAD software, she first 3D printed a miniature version, and after a few adjustments, got to work on the full-sized toilet, which includes a 3D printed flushing mechanism, tank float, and flapper. Because of its large size, Emily had to split the toilet into multiple individually printed PLA blocks, and decided that these should all be different colors, because why not? 3D plastic glue, metal nuts and bolts, and sometimes a soldering iron, were used to attach all the parts together, and it did actually flush water and toilet paper at first.

“Unfortunately, after testing, it appeared her design wasn’t strong enough to be attached to a traditional indoor plumbing system,” explained Jonathan Berisford for Technabob.com. “So what did she do? What anybody would — attached wheels, armrests, smartphone charger, cup holders, and added a bidet. Boom — mobile toilet! Goodbye porta-potty, hello sporta-potty!”

You can watch the full hilarious video here:

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