SLICED: Cutting-Edge Updates from the 3D Printing Industry

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In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we explore the latest business developments, partnerships, and acquisitions in the additive manufacturing sector.

Today’s edition highlights new materials, reseller agreements, and software updates, alongside news of Slice Engineering resolving a lawsuit with Anker Innovations Technology Co. Ltd.

Continue reading for the latest news from Eplus3D, Roboze, Xact Metal, and others.

Business deals and acquisitions from Eplus3D, Lithoz, AddUp, and more

Starting off this week with business news, Argentina-based orthopedic implant manufacturer BIOPROTECE S.A. has upgraded its metal additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities to meet the growing demand for customized implants by collaborating with Eplus3D. BIOPROTECE S.A. acquired the EP-M260 Metal 3D Printer, leading to a 35% increase in market share.

With a team of 86, including a dedicated 3D printing division, BIOPROTECE S.A. transitioned from traditional CNC machining to 3D printing for improved efficiency and shorter production times. The company now produces 30% of its implants using advanced 3D printing technology, primarily in titanium, and plans further expansion to meet increasing demand and diversify material use.

Recently, 3D printer manufacturer Snapmaker celebrated its 8th anniversary on June 1st under the theme “Play Well.” The festivities included a 48-hour Makerathon on May 31st and June 1st, featuring 10 teams engaging in creative projects, with the proceedings broadcasted live on Facebook. Snapmaker also unveiled the Snapmaker Artisan Premium, a versatile 3-in-1 3D printer equipped with a dual extruder 3D printing module, a 40W laser module, a 200W CNC module, a 400mm3 workspace, and a modular design. This new model was made available for orders starting May 28th at a price of $2999 / €3299. Additionally, the anniversary celebration included various promotions such as discounts, referral bonuses, and a video contest dubbed the Print and Play Challenge, which runs until June 16th.

In a parallel development, Lithoz, a company specializing in ceramic 3D printing, joined the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to propel the advancement of ceramic 3D printing for industrial applications in the UK. Through this partnership, MTC plans to incorporate Lithoz’s CeraFab System S65 into its suite of additive manufacturing technologies. MTC engineers anticipate this will enhance their capability to design and fabricate complex ceramic structures and to innovate across high-value sectors such as power, energy, and defense, according to Sherry Ghanizadeh, Senior Research Engineer at MTC.

Furthermore, metal additive manufacturing firm AddUp announced the inception of LevelUp, a new service initiative designed to amplify customer support. This department will provide a spectrum of services, including training, co-design assistance, support for qualification, maintenance, and process enhancement. LevelUp introduces three key service products: Additive Journey Kickstart for newcomers to additive manufacturing, Industrial Launch Support to scale operations, and Business Growth Partnership to augment long-term productivity..

Israel-based AM consultancy 3D Alliances has launched The IMPACT Program, which addresses the growth challenges faced by AM companies. It emphasizes optimizing sales via robust channel networks and effective management methodologies. By studying top-performing sales partners, the program extracts best practices to elevate overall network performance.

Startups, scale-ups, and market leaders benefit by accessing new partners, refining sales strategies, and addressing leadership gaps in expansive global networks. Tailored solutions cater to each company’s growth stage and challenges, aiming to maximize revenue potential and strategic momentum.

In another news, CORE Industrial Partners’ portfolio company PrecisionX Group, has acquired National Manufacturing Co. Founded in 1944 and based in Piscataway, New Jersey, National Manufacturing specializes in precision deep and shallow drawn stamping, CNC milling, and various value-added services.

The company operates within the aerospace, defense, electronics, and medical industries, specializing in handling complex materials such as Inconel and titanium. It boasts certifications including ISO13485, AS9100, and ISO9001, guaranteeing the production of high-quality components essential for medical implants and other sectors.

New materials from AM 4 AM, Nanoscribe, and more

Introducing advanced materials, the Luxembourg-based company AM 4 AM has enhanced the mechanical characteristics of its HiperAL aluminum alloy, tailored for additive manufacturing. The zirconium derivative from the 7000 series aluminum alloy, HiperAL, now boasts impressive mechanical properties: a yield strength of 525 MPa and an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 550 MPa, thanks to its patented cold plasma treatment.

Developed in association with their partner, Pint, this robust material offers significant advantages in high-stakes AM applications, including weight reduction, cost-efficiency, and consistent production quality, reinforcing its place in the additive manufacturing landscape.

Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP) 3D printer manufacturer Nanoscribe and Advanced BioMatrix have partnered to introduce four specialized bioresins for Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP) 3D printing, aimed at advancing bioprinting capabilities.

Leveraging Nanoscribe’s precision printing expertise and Advanced BioMatrix’s biomaterial development, these bioresins named PhotoGel (methacrylated gelatin), PhotoHA-Stiff (methacrylated hyaluronic acid), PhotoDextran (methacrylated dextran), and PhotoChitosan (methacrylated chitosan) offer exceptional precision and versatility. They cater to diverse applications in high-resolution 3D bioprinting, such as tissue engineering and drug delivery.

Digital manufacturing service provider Protolabs has launched PA 12 Glass Beads Smooth Grey for its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing process, offering enhanced heat resistance, dimensional stability, and long-term wear resistance.

This 40% glass bead polyamide is perfect for small-scale production and prototyping, catering to various industrial needs. Its excellent thermal attributes are especially advantageous for use in high-temperature environments, such as engine cooling systems. It also maintains precision with tolerances between +/- 0.25mm and 0.002 mm/mm.

Innovative Offerings from Carbon, MakerVerse, and others

Discussing advancements in software, US-based 3D printer manufacturer Carbon has rolled out AO Stack, a new tool designed for its M2 and M3 models under its Automatic Operation suite. This software allows dental labs to efficiently print multiple DPR10 models in a single automated session, potentially tripling the output. The integration into daily workflows is supported by the Carbon Academy. Set to be available from May 17, 2024, AO Stack is compatible with software version 1.41 or higher and inquiries can be made by contacting [email protected].

“With the launch of AO Stack, we mark another significant step in our mission to innovate and deliver game-changing solutions to our clients,” commented Brice Harkey, Senior Product Manager of Oral Health at Carbon. “By facilitating up to three times the models in a single automated run, AO Stack dramatically enhances overnight production capabilities without the need for additional supervision or equipment.”

3D printing software developer Dyndrite has introduced support for HP’s Multi-jet Fusion (MJF) and Metal Jet 3D printers with its new print preparation software. This software offers features like automated build preparation from large mesh files or native CAD, advanced 2D and 3D labeling, and fast nesting operations. Built on the Accelerated Computation Engine (ACE), it improves production speed, repeatability, and traceability. HP 3D printer users can join the Early Adopter Program for early access and testing of the software.

Berlin-based industrial parts sourcing platform MakerVerse has introduced its Technology and Material Advisor, a new digital tool aimed at helping users select optimal Additive Manufacturing technologies and materials based on project requirements. Offering choices across more than twenty properties such as high resolution and heat resistance, designers can easily find suitable materials for both metals and polymers.

The advisor includes detailed data sheets for nearly forty materials, facilitating informed decision-making. MakerVerse supports a diverse supply chain encompassing CNC machining, injection molding, and various Additive Manufacturing methods, complemented by comprehensive engineering services for seamless production support.

Elsewhere, AdditiveLab and AddUp have collaborated on AddUp Manager 7.6, an advanced build preparation software for metal AM. This updated version includes a dedicated simulation engine designed for the FormUp 350 Powder Bed Fusion machine, enhancing accuracy by predicting stresses and deformations before printing.

AddUp Manager, known for its expansive features, allows users to adjust over 250 parameters, tailor melting strategies, and view laser paths. The software update incorporates simulation to consolidate workflows, reduce expenses incurred from additional tools, and boost the effectiveness and outcomes in metal 3D printing.

Innovative 3D printing applications

In the realm of fashion technology, Laura Civetti and Juanda Cabrera have designed “Trinity,” an avant-garde bio 3D printed dress, showcasing the use of biological materials within the industry. The dress cleverly merges material features with the necessities of the human body through computational design, creating a functional and adaptable fabric surface.

The fabrication of the dress employs additive manufacturing techniques which ensure precise control over material placement, enhancing both durability and biodegradability through prolonged usage. The project highlights Civetti and Cabrera’s ability to intertwine computational design with additive manufacturing, pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion technology.

Architecture and design studio IOUS Studio worked together with WASP to develop “Fusion,” a piece of 3D printed ceramic wall application presented at the SaloneSatellite during Milan Design Week. The creation took place at the WASP headquarters through its Residency program, utilizing the advanced capabilities of the WASP 40100 Production system to achieve rapid and tailor-made ceramic productions.

The design of Fusion is inspired by oceanic views, capturing the shifting play of light on water through the use of parametric and computational design techniques. Furthermore, the Residency program at WASL is now open to architects, designers, and researchers, providing them with access to pioneering 3D printing technologies. This initiative supports the progress of sustainable materials, pushing the boundaries of cultural innovation across various sectors.

Incredible 3D reaches 3,000 3D printed implants milestone

As of April 2024, Incredible 3D has reached a milestone of over 3,000 successful 3D printed implants, marking a significant achievement in its status as a leader in the industry within India and Southeast Asia. The production site in Pune, compliant with Indian FDA standards, operates with cutting-edge technology and maintains ISO certifications. They specialize in cranial, maxillofacial, and orthopedic implants, collaborating with nearly 1,000 surgeons and having established over 2,000 nationwide connections. With a commitment to utilizing biocompatible materials and stringent quality control measures, Incredible 3D continues its mission to improve the processes of patient recovery and rehabilitation.

NIAR receives $10M funding from NASA for hypersonic materials research

Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) is set to receive over $10 million from NASA to develop advanced materials for hypersonic applications. This funding will facilitate research into high-essential materials required for hot structures and thermal protection systems in hypersonic vehicles. This initiative is targeted at overcoming technological barriers, concentrating on materials that can withstand extreme heat and long-duration flights. The research will include automated fabrication, characterization, and testing of refractory materials, significantly augmenting the capabilities at the National Defense Prototype Center. Senator Jerry Moran played a pivotal role in securing this funding from NASA for Wichita State.

“Our collaboration with NASA Aeronautics will continue to deepen through the Hypersonics Technology Project, emphasizing the preservation of hypersonic competency for national imperatives while advancing applied hypersonic research,” stated John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for Industry and Defense Programs and NIAR executive todirector. “We greatly appreciate Senator Moran’s consistent support, which is instrumental in expanding our cooperation with NASA and key industry stakeholders.”

amsight wins Digital Innovation Startup Competition

AM data management and analytics software provider amsight recently took home the top prize at the Digital Innovation Startup Competition held by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Since 1997, this competition has been spotlighting cutting-edge digital startups, granting amsight a €7,000 prize along with a budget for coaching. The judges were particularly impressed with amsight’s innovative software that generates a comprehensive digital twin of the AM process chain, enhancing cost efficiency, quality, and resource management.

DyeMansion launches Global Black Diamond Finishing Hub for rapid 3D printing solutions

Located in Germany, DyeMansion has unveiled the Black Diamond Finishing Hub. This newly introduced global platform provides Vapor Smoothing, Blasting, and Black Coloring services specifically for PA11 and PA12 materials used in any powder bed 3D printer. It promises a fast delivery time of 2 working days and accepts orders without a minimum requirement.

DyeMansion’s new initiative complements their existing range of hardware and On-Demand Finishing services, which have been integral since the company began. The initiative was first introduced in Munich and Austin and is set to spread globally through DyeMansion’s international production partner network by the end of the year. Partners joining at the launch will be instrumental in distributing and registering as finishing partners, helping to set up additional hubs via the platform.

Slice Engineering resolves patent conflict with Anker Innovations Technology

Slice Engineering has reached a resolution in their patent dispute with Anker Innovations Technology from Changsha, China. The dispute involved allegations that Anker’s AnkerMake M5C 3D printer and hotend violated U.S. Patent 11,660,810. Initially, Anker challenged the validity of the patent and denied any violation. Slice Engineering, recognized for its high-performance 3D printer parts, caters to a diverse customer base worldwide.

“We are satisfied that Anker opted to resolve the matter correctly after being accused of infringing on one of Slice’s utility patents,” stated Dan Barousse, Co-founder and CEO of Slice Engineering. “The credibility of our patent portfolio likely played a crucial role in quickly resolving the issue, allowing us to continue concentrating on our primary business and clientele.”

Xact Metal and 3Dees Industries to expand metal AM in Central Europe

Powder bed fusion 3D printer manufacturer Xact Metal has partnered with 3Dees Industries to expand access to its metal 3D printing solutions in Czechia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. This collaboration aims to enhance accessibility and affordability of metal additive manufacturing in these regions, catering especially to small-to-medium size companies.

The XM200G printer, known for its versatility and compact design, will play a central role, offering precise components crucial for industries like automotive, aerospace, defense, and healthcare. By introducing laser powder-bed fusion technology, the partnership enables the cost-effective production of complex geometries and smooth surface finishes across a range of materials, bolstering industrial capabilities and precision.

Daniel Adam, CEO at 3Dees Industries, added, “Our new partnership with Xact Metal takes us to the next level in 3D printing. Their technology allows us to offer customers solutions that are faster, more accurate, and above all, more economically accessible.”

Envision Racing Partners with Roboze for Advanced 3D Printing in Formula E

Envision Racing, competing in Formula E, has partnered with Roboze to enhance their component production using cutting-edge 3D printing technologies. This collaboration is set to boost performance through Roboze’s high-precision additive manufacturing capabilities.

By adopting advanced materials like Carbon PA PRO and Carbon PEEK, which are noted for their lightness and durability, Envision Racing seeks to diminish production errors, augment efficiency, and promote sustainability in the electric-only World Championship racing series. Roboze’s innovations aid in reducing the weight of components and cutting down on waste, aligning with Envision Racing’s ecological goals in their Race Against Climate Change initiative, according to the company.

Frankfurt Announces Formnext Chicago 2025 to Extend AM Trade Fair to U.S. Market

In collaboration with AMT and Gardner Business Media, Mesago Messe Frankfurt is introducing Formnext Chicago, adapting its renowned Formnext trade fair model to the United States, the biggest AM market. Set for 8-10 April 2025, Formnext Chicago will display the complete industrial process chain for additive manufacturing (AM).

Vice President Sascha F. Wenzler highlights the event’s role in introducing AM technologies to new US companies and industries, underlining its advantages and facilitating industry connections. This growth stems from Mesago Messe Frankfurt’s agenda of specialized AM events worldwide, such as Formnext + PM South China and Formnext Forum Tokyo.

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