3D Printing Industry News sliced: Snapmaker, Nexa3D, SPEE3D, PostProcess Technologies, COBOD, CRP Technology and more

Nominations for the 2021 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open, have your say who is leading the industry now.

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

Today’s edition features new 3D printing partnerships, various business milestones, new software compatibility, material qualifications and the winners of the MOVEIT 3DP Contest. 

Read on for the most recent updates from CREAT3D, LIBERTY Powder Metals, ELEGOO, the Australian Army, Pikus 3D, RIZE, Evolve Additive Solutions, 3D Metalforge, 3DEO, and more. 

Australian Army Lance Corporal Sean Barton (right) and Craftsman Naythan Ryan, from the 1st Combat Service Support Battalion, preparing the WarpSPEE3D printer for operation. Photo via the Australian Army.
Australian Army Lance Corporal Sean Barton (right) and Craftsman Naythan Ryan, from the 1st Combat Service Support Battalion, preparing the WarpSPEE3D printer for operation. Photo via the Australian Army.

New 3D printing partnerships from SPEE3D, LIBERTY Powder Metals, Nexa3D and Pikus 3D

Kicking off this week’s partnership news, the Australian Army has extended its partnership with Australian cold spray 3D printer manufacturer SPEE3D to trial the firm’s technology for a further 12 months. Having previously carried out field trials of the company’s WarpSPEE3D 3D printer, the Army will now work with SPEE3D to develop new systems with the potential to significantly increase its on-demand inventory of metal repair parts.

“We’re really excited about this new step in our partnership with the Australian Army,” said Steven Camilleri, CTO of SPEE3D. “Last year, in the trials, our technology proved the potential to complement Defence’s existing supply chain with the ability to easily replace damaged parts by manufacturing their own. SPEE3D is pleased to have been selected to partner with the Army again in further developing the future capability of Defence in Australia.”

Meanwhile, 3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D has formed a partnership with 3D printing value-added reseller CREAT3D to provide the latter’s customers with access to Nexa3D’s patented lubricant sublayer photo-curing (LSPc) 3D printer, the NXE400. Equipped with a 16-liter build volume and offering 20x productivity, the machine can reach top printing speeds of one centimeter per minute to enable the rapid manufacture of large components. 

“As demand for flexible manufacturing of high-quality components increases, both on-site and on-demand, businesses are under pressure to deliver,” said Simon Chandler, CREAT3D Director. “Our partnership with Nexa3D gives our customers the equipment they need to meet this demand. The NXE400 decreases printing cycles from hours to just minutes – giving customers a competitive edge.”

Nexa3D and CREAT3D have partnered to help British manufacturers reduce lead times, cut costs and reach their full manufacturing potential. Photo via Nexa3D.
Nexa3D and CREAT3D have partnered to help British manufacturers reduce lead times, cut costs and reach their full manufacturing potential. Photo via Nexa3D.

LIBERTY Powder Metals, owned by Liberty House Group, a UK-based industrial metals company, has appointed its first distributor as part of the company’s strategy to build a global distribution network. Metals and plastics supplier Righton & Blackburns Limited will be the firm’s sole distributor for its UK and Ireland markets, stocking 10 tons of powder metals from LIBERTY’s premium powder portfolio. 

The powders will be held at Righton & Blackburn’s national distribution center in the West Midlands, which serves as a hub to its network of 10 service centers throughout the region. The partnership will deliver fast turnaround times to UK customers, including 24 hours on many of the firm’s standard items. 

“We are delighted to make this announcement today,” said Dermot Desmond, LIBERTY’s Commercial and Business Development Manager. “With a renowned reputation for service and customer satisfaction and operating in mission critical sectors such as aerospace and defense, Righton Blackburn’s Powder Metals was a natural choice when looking for a distribution partner to serve customers across the UK and Ireland.

“Availability of stock is a key requirement to customers operating in the fast-moving manufacturing arena of additive manufacturing, PM-HIP and near net shape production.”

Finally, 3D printing concrete specialist Pikus 3D has received significant investments from leading construction players Baker Concrete and Lithko Contracting to improve concrete 3D printing within the construction sector. Over the past three years, Pikus 3D has been working with Sika AG to produce a 3D printable concrete micro ink, Sikacrete-7000, that reportedly delivers setting times of between five and 15 minutes.

The opportunity to partner with Baker Concrete and Lithko Contracting will now enable Pikus 3D to continue to transform concrete construction through improvements to speed of design, creativity, and alleviating skilled labor constraints. 

Pikus 3D has tested Sika admixture-based mortar and inks for printing products and smaller elements. Photo via Pikus 3D.
Pikus 3D has tested Sika admixture-based mortar and inks for printing products and smaller elements. Photo via Pikus 3D.

PostProcess Technologies’ resin removal detergent gains ISO compliance

Automated post-processing systems developer PostProcess Technologies has announced its resin removal detergent PLM-403-SUB has been validated by Toxikon Corporation to comply with ISO standard 10993 for biocompatibility. As a result, users seeking to maintain fully biocompatible processes can now incorporate the resin removal detergent into their workflow, benefiting those in the dental and medical fields in particular. 

The qualified detergent plays a key role in the company’s patented Submersed Vortex Cavitation (SVC) technology which ensures 3D printed parts are uniformly, consistently, and reliably exposed to detergent as they under-go post-printing.

“We’ve always made seamless integration and dependability of our solutions a priority,” said Matthew Noble, PostProcess Technologies’ Lead Chemist. “With this compliance of biocompatibility, additive users can enjoy the efficiencies of automated resin removal as the new industry standard, and rest assured that their workflows and final products will meet necessary biocompatibility standards in a manner more sustainable than current market alternatives.”

A 3D printed biocompatible dental part. Photo via PostProcess Technologies.
A 3D printed biocompatible dental part. Photo via PostProcess Technologies.

Business updates from CRP Technology, Evolve Additive Solutions, 3D Metalforge, and 3DEO

3D printing materials and services provider CRP Technology is celebrating 25 years of professional 3D printing operations in Italy. In 1996, founder Roberto Cevolini was the first in Italy to invest in a sinter station for selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing, and has sought to create a family of 3D printing materials, Windform, suitable for fabricating high-performance parts for its Formula 1 customers. 

The company has since expanded its material portfolio to produce parts for the space, entertainment, robotics, medical and automotive sectors, among others. The Windform family now comprises 12 materials that have been deployed to progress additive technologies for outgas tests for use in space, patch testing for the medical sector, fashion, and the design and testing of non-conductivity. 

Elsewhere, former Stratasys subsidiary Evolve Additive Solutions has announced the first shipment of its Scalable Volume Production (SVP) platform system to an unnamed global customer. The SVP system, which is equipped with Evolve’s proprietary Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology, will be used by the customer for large-scale volume production that includes the use of multi-color capabilities, wide material range, and Evolve’s proprietary software. 

“Shipment of our first system to a global customer is a significant accomplishment for our organization,” said Steve Chillscyzn, CEO and Founder of Evolve. “With the proprietary and proven technology that STEP brings we are confident in our ability to continue to provide solutions to additional clients worldwide.”

Evolve is planning to launch its STEP 3D printing technology later this year. Image via Evolve Additive Solutions.
Evolve’s STEP 3D printing technology. Image via Evolve Additive Solutions.

3D printing service bureau 3D Metalforge, meanwhile, has reported a quarter-on-quarter revenue increase of 23 percent in its Q2 2021 financials. The firm posted AU$266,000 revenue for the period, having received a AU$387,000 production contract from PSA Corporation to develop the world’s first on-site additive manufacturing facility for port applications located in the Port of Singapore. The project will enable 3D Metalforge to produce high-demand industrial 3D printed metal parts on-demand as a cheaper and faster alternative to conventional manufacturing methods. 

The company also announced it had expanded its footprint in the USA market with a 20,000 square foot facility in Houston, Texas, during the period, while also gaining approval as a qualified manufacturing partner to sell its pump impellers to pump, valve and seal manufacturer Flowserve. 3D Metalforge also appointed a new Business Development Director to lead the firm’s growth within the Australian and New Zealand marketplace. 

“When looking at our consistent revenue generation and blue-chip customers, we are one of a few AM companies that has generated consecutive year-on-year revenue growth over the last four years,” said Matthew Waterhouse, 3D Metalforge Managing Director. “The June quarter continues this trend and it was a period of intense activity for 3D Metalforge. The progress the team has made is remarkable, with our technology commissioned to be used at the world’s first on-site additive manufacturing facility for port applications, developed in conjunction with PSA Corporation, allowing the provision of AM services closer to the customer’s point of use.”

The last of this week’s business updates comes from metal 3D printing technology company 3DEO, which announced the printing of its millionth part. The part in question was a safety razor product, and the firm has hit the milestone less than two years after commercializing its patented 3D printing technology in 2020. In order to scale its metal 3D printers into mass production, 3DEO developed its Manufacturing Cloud platform, which integrates proprietary software, 3D printing, robotics, materials and processes.

The company currently works with “many Fortune 500 brands” in the medical device, aerospace, defense, automotive, and consumer packaged goods industries, with an annual order quantity of more than 20,000 parts per year.

“3DEO has been on an exponential growth curve for the last six quarters and we are already booking orders into 2023,” said Matt Petros, CEO of 3DEO. “With over 50 customers in recurring mass production, our business model creates a strong foundation for future growth. We already have the bookings to more than triple revenue this year and we are expecting to triple again next year. All of this is possible because of 3DEO’s Manufacturing Cloud.”

3D printed metal parts from 3DEO. Photo via 3DEO.
3D printed metal parts from 3DEO. Photo via 3DEO.

RIZE XRIZE compatibility with Synopsys Simpleware

3D printer manufacturer Rize has announced its XRIZE full-color industrial desktop 3D printer is now compatible with software developer Synopsys’ Simpleware software. Simpleware is FDA 510(k) cleared for the creation and design of medical models for diagnostic orthopedic, maxillofacial, and cardiovascular applications. 

The XRIZE-Simpleware combination will enable the 3D printing of anatomical models at the point-of-care by hospitals, clinics, and medical research facilities, based on medical scan data. 

“3D printing in the healthcare sector is growing at the fastest pace ever,” said Eugene Giller, Founder of RIZE. “Healthcare professionals need safe systems that can be easily operated from homes/offices or point-of-care with the least amount of complexity. Together with Synopsys, we’re delighted to advance the state of what’s possible in scan-to-print medical modeling, so that teams can create highly affordable full color, functional models for planning, patient and family education – seamlessly and efficiently.”

The XRIZE 3D printer at Formnext 2018. Photo by Beau Jackson
The XRIZE 3D printer at Formnext 2018. Photo by Beau Jackson.

Germany’s first 3D printed home opened

The first 3D printed home in Germany has been officially opened by the Minister of Construction of the State of North Rhine Westphalia. The 160-meter squared building was 3D printed by construction firm PERI Group using Danish manufacturing company COBOD’s BOD2 3D printer.

“With the first 3D printed residential building in Germany, positive pressure is being generated in the construction industry: for innovative construction with new technologies, for greater attractiveness in construction professions and for modern architecture with new styles,” said Ina Scharrenback, Minister for Construction. “Now we need to gain experience with the building and establish the manufacturing process on the market, because only more housing provides affordable rents.”

MOVEIT 3DP Contest winners announced

The winners of the MOVEIT 3DP Contest, run by Chinese 3D printer provider Snapmaker and technology start-up Elegoo, have been announced. The moveable work challenge was conceived to stimulate creativity, with entries ranging from artistic decorations to excellent technical work. 3D Printing Industry was among the judges of the competition, which received more than 80 entries and had a total prize pool of $19,000.

First place, and a prize sum of $5,000, was awarded to Dan Fritsche’s functional launch roller coaster, which the judges deemed “thrilling to watch” and applauded its “truly unique” design and build. 

Second place, and $2,500, was given to two entrants, the first of which was Kevin Holmes’ 3D Zoetrope of Fish Eating Fish, which impressed the judges with its “unbelievable” rotating effect and use as a teaching device for animation. Also coming joint second was a Gyrostabilized Spherical Vehicle from an entrant with the twitter handle @bosler_design which was lauded as an “amazing technical feat” and one of the most complex entries. 

Three entrants were awarded third place and $1,000 each: @Jarowals’ Device for Displaying Characters in Braille Code, @nerdiy.de’s 3D printable Wind Sensor, and Jeremy Cook’s Clear Crawler R/C Strandbeest. 

Ellen C. McGowan

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