3D Printing News Briefs, February 24, 2024: Large-Format Metal AM, Personalized Medicine, & More

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In 3D Printing News Briefs today, we’re talking about metal and medical 3D printing. 3D Phoenix is Meltio’s sales partner in Poland, while Farsoon partnered with Deep Blue Aerospace to speed up the production yield for large-scale aerospace printing applications, and Kratos purchased a Velo3D Sapphire 3D printer. Moving on to medical, restor3D has commercialized its 3D printed patient-specific femoral implants. Finally, CurifyLabs acquired significant IP from Mehta Heino

Meltio Announces 3D Phoenix as Sales Partner in Poland

For nearly a decade, 3D Phoenix has specialized in the supply of high-performance industrial 3D printers in Poland. As an official sales partner of Meltio, the company now has another offering for the Polish metal AM market. Meltio enables industrial applications with its laser metal deposition technology, built around safe, clean, and affordable welding wire feedstock. As the first official sales partner for Meltio in Poland, 3D Phoenix will play an important part in distributing and supporting its metal solutions throughout the country, which has a well-developed economy that includes defense and automotive production, foundry engineering, and five major mining companies. The potential wire-laser metal 3D printing market in the country is based on traditional machining, but the adoption of newer technologies, like 3D printing, has been growing. 3D Phoenix will work to build a strong and supportive ecosystem for Meltio’s disruptive metal AM solutions in Poland.

“We are excited about our emerging partnership with Meltio, as this is a landmark moment for the Polish industry,” stated Rafał Pancewicz, Business Development Director at 3D Phoenix. “Whether our customer is looking for a conventional 3D metal printer or a printing system integrated with a CNC machine that seamlessly combines addition and subtraction processes, utilizing the best aspects of both technologies; or prefers integration with a robotic arm for greater freedom in creating large, complex parts and innovative exterior coatings – with Meltio we will fit any of these scenarios. This technology opens up entirely new possibilities in the production of metal parts.”

Targeting Higher Yield and Lower Cost in Large-Format Metal PBF

Combustion chamber of the rocket engine (Image: Farsoon)

Throughout the global industrial AM market in 2023, there was an increasing demand in metal laser powder bed fusion for large-format parts over 600 mm at an optimized production timeline. To respond to this demand in the market, Farsoon and its customer Deep Blue Aerospace—a private space launch enterprise that develops reusable rockets—worked together on a large-format project that targeted reduced cost and higher production yield. Their focus was a rocket engine combustion chamber for commercial launch projects, with a diameter of 600 mm and a height of 780 mm, and 3D printed out of IN718 on a Farsoon FS621M. The R&D teams spent months on testing and verifications, conducting a detailed analysis during the build process, and ultimately determining over 20 key productivity factors. They improved process parameters, the optical system, powder recoating, scanning strategy, and more, and after optimization, they managed to reduce production time of the chamber from 327 to just 96.5 hours.

For its successful joint R&D project with Deep Blue Aerospace, Farsoon conducted intense research, and made many improvements, to explore the full potential of metal PBF productivity. This included optimizing its gas flow design for a large-format platform, which allowed for smooth operation of multiple lasers and on-time smoke removal. For higher efficiency of multi-laser operation, the control system was optimized to decrease waiting between lasers, and minimize the machine’s down time. Farsoon developed advanced multi-laser scanning strategies and a fast-performing algorithm in overlapped areas to enable quality and high production speed of large-format parts, and customized its processing parameters in order to achieve the required high-quality surface.

Velo3D Sells Sapphire 3D Printer to Kratos SRE

Velo3D sold a Sapphire 3D printer to Kratos SRE, Inc., a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., which develops systems, platforms and products for national security and communications needs. The firm will leverage Velo3D’s advanced metal AM solution to support its own technology development, and reliably make more defense industry parts in-house at higher speeds and lower costs. Kratos SRE designs and builds systems, parts, and structures for extreme environments, and also oversees the Characterization of Additive Manufactured Metals (CAMM) program. It’s used Velo3D’s metal AM solution through the Velo3D Contract Manufacturer Network, but will now operate the Sapphire in its own rapid prototyping and manufacturing center to speed up the vertical integration of critical supply chains throughout the broader Kratos organization. All Velo3D printers now offer Green-level Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) compliance, which allows them to safely connect to the DoD’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet).

“It’s important to our team to leverage new, advanced manufacturing technologies so we can maintain our leadership in the defense industry and better serve our customers. With Velo3D’s solution, we expect to be able to further unlock high-speed manufacturing capabilities that reduce lead times and lower costs of the parts we develop. In addition, it will allow us to rapidly innovate and accelerate design cycles for parts used in existing platforms,” said Michael Johns, Kratos SRE Senior Vice President.

restor3D Commercializes AM Method for Patient-Specific Femoral Implants

Legacy Conformis’ casted femoral implant (left), restor3d 3D printed femoral implant (right) (Photo: Business Wire)

Last year, restor3D, Inc., well-known for its 3D printed patient-specific surgical applications, announced that it was acquiring ConforMIS, which aimed to revolutionize personalized joint implants. Their successful merger created a leader in personalized 3D printed orthopedics, and restor3D got busy scaling its portfolio, which includes proprietary expertise in 3D printing of osseointegrative materials, AI-based planning and design automation tools, and digital health solutions. The company believes that every patient deserves personalized care, and recently announced the successful completion of one of its key post-acquisition initiatives: it’s now 3D printing patient-specific femoral implants at its North Carolina facility for a far lower cost than the implants traditionally cast at low margins. restor3D also reports that its 3D printed femoral implants outperform the mechanical properties of cast ones

“Total knee replacement is entering an era of personalization. Nowhere is this more important than implant design and I believe this is a critical element of achieving the better outcomes that today’s patients expect,” said Dr. Moby Parsons, MD, a Board-Certified orthopaedic surgeon at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. “restor3d’s printed patient-specific femurs take personalization to the next level of innovation in knee replacement using form and fit to help achieve a more normal feeling. I owe it to my patients to provide the best outcome possible in every case, and this technology is a key solution to that goal.”

Personalized Medicine: CurifyLabs Acquires Valuable IP from Mehta Heino

Finnish healthtech startup CurifyLabs acquired significant intellectual property (IP) from Mehta Heino Industries Oy, a fellow Finland-based company that’s known for 3D printing hardware development; plus, Mehta Heino’s CTO Petri Heino has joined CurifyLabs as Lead Hardware Engineer. The strategic IP acquisition will strengthen the startup’s market leadership by improving its ability to produce personalized medicines in the pharmaceutical industry. According to the European Commission, over 50% of medicines are not currently registered for use in children, but personalized treatment and medications are crucial for young patients, which is why CurifyLabs focuses especially on pediatric product development. Its Pharma Kit solution offers an automated method for 3D printing personalized medicine in compounding pharmacies and hospitals, which makes compounding safer, scalable, and more cost-effective. Using this newly acquired IP, the startup has access to new features that will help it achieve more efficient manufacturing solutions.

“The acquisition of Mehta Heino’s IP and other assets is a game-changer for us. Their innovative approach to 3D printing technology perfectly aligns with our vision enabling wider adoption of personalized treatments. This acquisition is not merely about growing our portfolio; it’s about leading the industry into a new era,” said Charlotta Topelius, CEO and Co-Founder of CurifyLabs.

“We must pay special attention to pediatric populations where personalized medicines are crucial. The IP acquisition and adding Petri to our team enhance our ability to do just that.”

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