Prototype Today

UI LABS and mHUB are excited to announce that the 2nd annual Fourth Revolution Awards ceremony will take place on October 10, 2018 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The ceremony will culminate in the celebration of seven deserving leaders, companies and industrial initiatives that have made significant contributions to the region’s manufacturing ecosystem in the past year. Nominations for the awards are being accepted now until July 31, 2018.

The Fourth Revolution Awards celebrates regional manufacturing for its leadership and innovation as the industry embarks on a new technological revolution. Named for the Fourth Industrial Revolution which fuses physical product development with digital processes to impact all disciplines, economies and industries, the award ceremony will showcase emerging technologies in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and more.

Awards will be presented for long-time manufacturing leadership, innovation and new talent in manufacturing, significant investment in emerging manufacturing sectors and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The awards are:

  • Corporate Champion: Recognizes a corporation or business that has made an impact on manufacturing through community focused efforts and significant financial investment throughout the region.
  • Community Empowerment Award: Recognizes a program or an initiative that promotes diversity and inclusion in manufacturing.
  • Innovation of the Year: Recognizes a technology or process that can advance multiple technologies and significantly improve the manufacturing ecosystem.
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes an individual or manufacturing company that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes, and productivity enhancements and has made a significant financial investment to manufacturing capacity in the region.
  • Product Design of the Year: Recognizes a product design that is unique, improves user experience, and impacts productivity as well as the greater good.
  • Rising Star of the Year: Recognizes a pre-series B round individual startup company for its innovation, creativity and position as the next great company to emerge in the region.
  • Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes a small or mid-sized manufacturer that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes and productivity enhancements as well as contributions to its local community.

“The inaugural Fourth Revolution Awards ceremony last year brought together over 300 industry leaders from across the region to celebrate with one another and recognize the incredible innovation that’s coming out of our ecosystem,” said Haven Allen, mHUB Chief Executive Officer. “It was exciting to see entrepreneurs and corporate leaders celebrating the advancements and future potential of our industry.”

“These awards will recognize programs, companies and individuals from a cross section of the manufacturing ecosystem,” said UI LABS Chief Executive Officer, Caralynn Nowinski Collens. “Small manufacturers and startups are essential to the transformation of U.S. manufacturing, and we are excited to celebrate their game-changing achievements alongside corporate and community leaders.”

To further support its Midwestern customers, clamping and gripping provider RÖHM Products of America has announced that George Burleson will manage the sales of the company’s world-class products in the Illinois and Wisconsin territories. In this role, he will hold responsibility for supporting the company’s efforts to provide chucks, centers, vises, tool clamping and automation systems as well as customized solutions for turning, milling, drilling and grinding to customers across the region.

“We are thrilled to welcome George to the team and are confident he will help our customers implement the high-productivity, high-quality workholding solutions for which RÖHM is well-known,” said Steven Onik, national sales manager for RÖHM.

Burleson brings a significant understanding of the cutting tool industry to RÖHM after spending more than three years as the technical sales manager for the Rowley, Massachusetts-based Harvey Tool Company LLC, where he has worked in various positions since 2012. In his sales management position, he achieved constant year-over-year growth while managing relationships with distributors and customers in the medical, aerospace, defense, plastic injection molding and technology manufacturing industries. Prior to joining Harvey Tool, he earned his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and studied Chinese during a term abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Perstorp AB and 3D4Makers are joining forces with a new Joint Venture: ElogioAM, to bring new material solutions for the additive manufacturing industry, including a new 3D filament, Facilan™.

ElogioAM aims to enable true deployment of Additive Manufacturing capability for medical, fashion, orthotics, advanced prototyping, modeling, demanding industry and consumer markets. The company has a unique product range in the 3D printing filament family Facilan, created from the ground up and always with safety and fit for purpose in mind to serve the requirements of 3D printing users. Facilan filaments have been designed to outperform. Facilan C8 3D printed parts, for example, have higher impact and tensile strength than ABS filaments while being based on compostable raw materials. Facilan C8 parts have a soft touch feel and are smoother than PLA and ABS parts. More developments are ongoing together with orthotics and insoles researchers to develop new 3D printing solutions. Facilan PCL 100 is a pure polycaprolactone filament that is being used by researchers in artificial muscles, drug loaded implants, scaffolds and smart materials. The Facilan portfolio of materials aims to be the most innovative collection of 3D printing filaments in the market. We aim to make materials that make the future of true manufacturing with 3D printing possible.

Marie Grönborg, Executive Vice President Innovation, Perstorp comments, ”I am incredibly proud to announce that Perstorp and 3D4Makers join forces to take this next step in unlocking potentials for unmet needs in high quality filaments for additive manufacturing / 3D printing. Following the successful cooperation Perstorp and 3D4Makers have developed, and the introduction of the Facilan range of high quality 3D printing filaments, I see the formation of this JV, ElogioAM as the next natural step to further accelerate this potential.”

Jan-Peter Wille, 3D4Makers Co-Founder further adds; “We’re very proud to be working together with Perstorp, their specialty chemicals, additives and polymer knowledge has really made materials in 3D printing possible that we could only dream of. Better tolerance materials and higher performance parts is what really will put 3D printing on the factory floor and in the most cutting edge applications. Furthermore, Perstorp is quick, flexible and innovative; giving us a partner cable of innovating continuously in the dynamic 3D Printing market. ElogioAM is a very exciting development for us and we would like to thank our partners for their trust.”

ElogioAM will be based in the Netherlands, Haarlem, and its incorporation is pending approval from authorities.

Brightlands Materials Center and partners DSM, Xilloc Medical, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Maastricht and NWO have started a unique four years project to progress new polymeric materials for use in additive manufacturing and 4D printing. These materials are aimed to bring improved and novel properties to products made from them. The innovative materials are based on the recently developed concepts of dynamic and reversible chemistry. 

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a rapidly growing manufacturing technology that is increasingly moving away from rapid prototyping to industrial manufacturing of small series. This development is accompanied by an increasing demand for better and novel materials to enable qualitatively better, faster and more robust additive manufacturing processes.

Dynamic polymers such as vitrimers are a fascinating new class of materials with highly unusual properties. Most well known are self-healing properties, which enable the materials to repair themselves after damage takes place. Using dynamic materials in 3D printing is novel and is expected to lead to new applications.

As a start, three areas have been identified for the application of these new polymeric materials:

Selective laser sintering

Selective laser sintering is an additive manufacturing technology in which individual powder particles merge by melting them with a laser. An inefficient merging process leads to poor mechanical properties of the printed part. The novel materials improve the merging process by reversibly reducing their viscosity and thus flowing more easily together and secondly, have better bond formation across particle boundaries.

4D printing technology

The 4D printing is a promising emerging technology that is based on dynamic materials that respond to stimuli to change properties such as shape. The project will combine additive manufacturing techniques such as 3D inkjet printing and stereolithography with responsive liquid crystalline polymer networks. These are able to react to a variety of external stimuli in a reversible manner. New approaches are proposed to explore nature‐like hierarchal structures.


In the field of Biofabrication, Additive manufacturing is used to print 3D tissue. Currently, there are limitations because there is a lack of well‐defined and customizable synthetic systems that allow for precise control over material properties and the bioactivation of the material. The reversible and mechanically instructive materials developed in this project enable the exploration of the ability to influence stem‐cell behavior and elevate biofabrication for tissue engineering.

Collaboration and funding Partners in this project are:

  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Maastricht University
  • DSM
  • Xilloc Medical
  • Brightlands Materials Center

This research received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in the framework of the Fund New Chemical Innovations and from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the framework of the TKI allowance.

The GE Additive Education Program’s (AEP) 2018 cycle has awarded a polymer 3D printing package to more than 600 primary and secondary schools in 30 countries. Each package includes hardware, software and science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum and will be delivered by 30 September 2018.

For K-12, primary and secondary schools, the program aims to build an ecosystem for 3D printing in education by networking students, machines and content via an online platform, the Polar Cloud. Over the past two years, the AEP has donated over 1,000 polymer 3D printers to schools in 30 countries, providing access to technology and curriculum to more than 400,000 students.

More than 3,000 primary and secondary schools from more countries applied to participate in the AEP’s 2018 cycle, representing a significant year on year increase. This year the five countries with the most recipients are: the United States, Australia, Canada, Spain and the Republic of Ireland.

Educators and students from participating schools join the Polar Cloud to access tools, software and applications in a collaborative and secure environment. Packages awarded in 2018 include a Polar Cloud premium account, a Dremel Digilab 3D45 polymer 3D printer, six rolls of replacement filament, STEAM curriculum and lesson plans.

“Additive’s time is now.  It is already transforming how we design, engineer and manufacture complex and everyday items.  But we have to keep an eye on the future and ensure we have enough engineers, coders and materials scientists coming through the education system to fulfill the potential of additive manufacturing,” said Jason Oliver, President & CEO, GE Additive.

Teachers are creatively incorporating 3D printing technology into lesson plans across a wider range of subjects to enhance the learning experience.  Others have carried out detailed analysis for science fairs, including on how additively manufactured parts could enhance musical instruments. And some schools have organized maker fairs to create and sell gifts to fundraise for community projects.

GE Additive has made a significant financial commitment over five years to invest in educational programs to deliver polymer 3D printers to primary and secondary schools and metal 3D printers to colleges and universities around the world.

Colleges and universities that will be awarded a metal additive manufacturing system as part of the AEP will be announced later this month.

The National Space & Missile Materials Symposium (NSMMS) and the Commercial & Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE) Advisory Committees have announced the details of their 2018 Plenary Session.

These co-located conferences continue their outstanding legacy in bringing together technologists, users, and decision makers from across the nation. These events share significant support from DoD, DoE, FAA, and NASA with an effort to promote the commercial and government space and missile and space launch communities. Each year, the event’s industry and academia partners help ensure that they focus on the latest advancements and challenges affecting the industry. A focal point for the events include key technology issues related to space, missile, hypersonic systems, and a variety of ground-breaking commercial space topics necessary for our Country’s defense and research and development pursuits.

NSMMS specifically focuses on the materials industry’s needs and most recent advances to enable new capabilities for challenges associated with new and future space and missile systems. A special focus is given to advanced materials technology development which is crucial to improve performance and reliability of both defense and commercial systems.

CRASTE specifically focuses on matching system integrators with subsystem technology providers to facilitate new responsive space access capabilities. Special focus is given to the integration of emerging technologies and emerging space access architectures to satisfy new and existing markets.  NSMMS & CRASTE attendees will have unlimited access to all the technical sessions at both events.

This year’s technical sessions include:

  • Additive Manufacturing for Space and Missile Materials
  • Advances in Ground Systems and Range Operations
  • Emerging Entry, Descent, and Recovery Systems and Technologies
  • Emerging Materials and Novel Processing Technologies
  • Emerging Propulsion Systems
  • GO Launcher 1
  • Ground Test & Evaluation
  • Hypersonics
  • Innovative Test Methodologies and Platforms
  • Missiles and Missile Defense
  • Mission Operations and Experiments in Space
  • Responsive Access for Pico/Nano/Small Payloads
  • Space Access & Propulsion

The 2018 NSMMS & CRASTE Plenary Session includes:

Col K. Colin Tucker - Military Deputy, Air Force Science, Technology & Engineering, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force

Colonel Tucker is responsible for advocacy, prioritization and management of the Air Force’s annual $3.6 billion science, technology and engineering program.  He serves as a principle legislative advisor, provides strategic science and technology guidance to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Dr. Rodney Miller – Chief Scientist, Air Force Global Strike Command

Dr. Miller is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining all U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile and bomber forces.  Dr. Miller began his 24-year military career in 1990 as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, where he held numerous leadership positions in the space and nuclear acquisition and space operations communities at the squadron, group, center and Headquarters Air Force levels.

Dr. Shari Feth – Director, Missile Defense Agency, Science and Technology

Dr. Shari Feth has a broad technical background with over 30 years of experience spanning systems engineering from fundamental research & development to test and fielding. Her experience includes materials science, electromagnetics, sensors and missile defense systems. She has been with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for over 13 years. Prior to that, she worked in the NASA Space Architects Office and conducted fundamental scientific research at Marshall Space Flight Center. She is currently the Director, Science and Technology at MDA in Huntsville where she is responsible for the science and technology efforts across the Agency and the strategic alignment of those efforts with Department of Defense priorities.

Mr. Steven Wofford – Manager, Liquid Engines, Space Launch System Program, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Mr. Wofford is responsible for all aspects of liquid engine implementation for SLS, including design, development, test, and flight of both the core stage and upper stage engines.  He became a NASA employee in 2000 as a Project Engineer assigned to the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office.  In this capacity, he served for several years as a subsystem manager for SSME combustion devices and turbomachinery hardware.  Mr. Wofford also functioned during this timeframe as the overall production manager for the Space Shuttle Main Engine and is considered one the Agency’s experts on liquid rocket engine manufacturing.

In addition to the Plenary Session, features of the event include workshops and tutorials, an exhibit show, a poster session, three networking receptions, a student grant program, and a small business forum (SBF).  The SBF aims to facilitate the interaction of small businesses and universities with larger “prime” contractors based on similar interests that are relevant to NASA and the DoD. Additionally, the event provides small businesses with connections and resources within the government SBIR agencies to assist them along the path of meaningful interactions with a variety of the SBIR offices.

Typical attendance for the NSMMS & CRASTE event is 350 - 450 people.

Cytosurge’s FluidFM® μ3Dprinter is a standalone system for printing pure metal objects at the micrometer scale. The system has received a major design upgrade and has been further improved with a new and unique function: Printing on existing structures with pinpoint (micrometer) accuracy. This new function has the potential to lead to an entirely new way of thinking within the additive manufacturing environment and revolutionizes micromanufacturing by combining additive manufacturing with traditional microfabrication methods.

The FluidFM µ3Dprinter prints metal objects at the micrometer scale. The size of the printed structures ranges from 1 μm3 to 1'000'000 μm3, a range that is virtually inaccessible by other techniques. The metal is printed by an electrochemical process that works at room temperature and ensures a pure metal of high quality. Many designs can be printed by the system, including overhanging structures with 90-degree angles without support structures or post-processing steps.

The new pinpoint metal additive manufacturing process is made possible by two high resolution state-of-the-art cameras integrated into the FluidFM µ3Dprinter. The cameras enable automated loading of the print tips (FluidFM iontips), printer setup, calibration and computer-assisted alignment to print on already existing structures as well as the visualization of the finished structures. The bottom view camera is mainly used for internal system processes, like controlling the automated gripping of the FluidFM iontip. The top view camera images the object or surface to print on. With the high-resolution live video, the exact position of the object or surface to be printed on can be manually chosen and set as starting point for the printing process. This procedure allows the user to print metallic objects on contact pads that are pre-defined on the surface of an integrated circuit, on micro-electromechanical-systems (MEMS) or on other components. This unique capability of the FluidFM μ3Dprinter to add 3D printed structures directly onto existing objects or surfaces with pinpoint accuracy opens the door to a new world of additive manufacturing of complex metal objects.

FluidFM technology unites the best features of microfluidics and force microscopy by introducing microscopic channels into force sensitive probes, called iontips. The result is the FluidFM iontip, the heart of the micro 3D printing process. Through the microscopic channel inside the FluidFM iontip, a tiny volume of ion-containing liquid can be pumped and dispensed through a sub-micrometer aperture at the tip. These apertures can be as small as 300 nm, allowing flow rates as small as a few femtoliters per second, a million times smaller than what the best flow sensor can detect. Additionally, the force-sensing capability of FluidFM iontips provides real-time process control during printing.

As a result, complex, pure metal objects at micrometer scale can be printed. FluidFM takes manufacturing of microscopic complex metal objects to a level as yet unseen.

Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed assembly of its first AR-22 rocket engine built for Boeing as part of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. This new Boeing spaceplane, called Phantom Express, is intended to demonstrate a new paradigm for more routine, responsive and affordable space access.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR-22 engine, derived from the Space Shuttle Main Engine that was designed from the outset for reusability, is the main propulsion for Phantom Express.

“Phantom Express builds on our legacy of reusable space flight experience to provide the ability to quickly augment and replace on-orbit capabilities, which face an increasing array of threats from potential adversaries,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Our immediate task is to demonstrate this rapid turnaround capability for this engine on the ground, paving the way for a demonstration program.”

The AR-22 engine is capable of generating about 375,000 pounds (170,097 kg) of thrust and was designed to fly 55 missions with service every 10 missions. This reusability feature makes the AR-22 ideally suited for Phantom Express.
The reusable Phantom Express spaceplane will take off vertically and land horizontally. The vehicle will be equipped with an expendable second stage capable of placing up to 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit.
“The aircraft-like operations of Phantom Express are an important factor in the rapid turnaround of this spaceplane,” said AR-22 Program Manager Jeff Haynes. “Additionally, the engine has a hinged nacelle that makes it easier to access and inspect the engines for rapid turnaround.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne assembled the AR-22 at its facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The engine will undergo a series of daily hot-fire tests at Stennis starting this summer to demonstrate its ability to support the high flight rates envisioned for Phantom Express. These tests will also provide valuable insight that will be used to refine Phantom Express flight and turnaround procedures, while also informing the design requirements for the new ground infrastructure that Boeing is developing for the flight program.

Cincinnati Incorporated (CI) has named Nick Thielmann sales engineer for the Midwest US, including Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and Northern Michigan. Thielmann, a mechanical engineer, has experience in electro-mechanical software engineering, industrial IoT systems, and account management. He works out of Milwaukee, WI.

Thielmann’s appointment continues the company’s expansion of its sales and service teams to provide a high level of brand experience as it enters new markets and increases its presence in established markets.

“While CI was already servicing this territory, we wanted to further increase our resources to better serve our customers,” said Rakesh Kumar, VP of Sales, Service, and Marketing for CI. “Increasing our presence in this area allows us to advance our direct sales approach and deliver on customer expectations.”

Thielmann graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously held product management positions with both ECHO Labs, LLC and Myron Innovations.

“I am sincerely privileged to join an organization so remarkably passionate about its customers, employees, and products,” said Thielmann. “I’m looking forward to helping fabricators implement the competitive advantages that CI equipment provides.”

Eric Blasiman has been named sales engineer for the Midwest US, including Northwest OH and Southeast MI. Blasiman, a mechanical engineer, has experience in system design, account management, and customers’ needs analysis. He will be based out of CI’s corporate headquarters in Harrison, OH.

Blasiman’s appointment continues the company’s expansion of its sales and service teams to provide a high level of brand experience as it enters new markets and increases its presence in established markets. “While CI was already servicing this territory, we wanted to further increase our resources to better serve our customers,” said Rakesh Kumar, VP of Sales, Service, and Marketing for CI. “Increasing our presence in this area allows us to advance our direct sales approach and deliver on customer expectations.”

Blasiman graduated from The University of Toledo and previously held design positions with both MJ Engineering and Consulting and Kaufman Engineered Systems. “I’m excited to be part of such a fantastic team at CI,” said Blasiman. “The opportunity to help our customers sustain and grow utilizing CI equipment’s comprehensive capabilities is an exciting challenge.  I’m looking forward to being part of this process.

Boeing and Assembrix signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will enable Boeing to use Assembrix software to manage and protect intellectual property shared with vendors during design and manufacturing.

"This agreement expands Boeing's ties to Israeli industry while helping companies like Assembrix expand their business," said David Ivry, president, Boeing Israel. "Boeing seeks suppliers globally who meet stringent quality, schedule, cost and intellectual capital standards, and Assembrix does all of that."

Assembrix's software will enable Boeing to transmit additive manufacturing design information using secure distribution methods to protect data from being intercepted, corrupted or decrypted throughout the distribution and manufacturing processes.

Boeing is focused on leveraging and accelerating additive manufacturing to transform its production system and support the company's growth. The company currently has additive manufacturing capabilities at 20 sites worldwide and partners with suppliers across the globe to deliver 3D-printed parts across its commercial, space and defense platforms.

"We are pleased to partner with Boeing and value its confidence in us and in our capabilities," said Lior Polak, Assembrix CEO. "This collaboration supports our vision to develop and implement innovative solutions that connect the world and take the additive manufacturing digital thread one step forward."

Advanced Engineering, the UK’s largest annual gathering of OEMs and engineering supply chain professionals, is inviting exhibitors, visitors and associations to the 2018 conference program. The show takes place on the October 31st & November 1st , at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

The presentations will take place at the largest, free to attend Open Forum programme of its kind. They will highlight the latest developments in key industries - aerospace, automotive, composites, connected and, digital manufacturing, advanced materials and new for the show this year – civil nuclear new-build engineering.

Topics will cover the full range of advanced engineering capabilities, including:

  • Design
  • Processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainability
  • Testing & Measurement
  • Repair and inspection

If you are interested in speaking on any of the above themes to a select and expert audience, please email, providing your name, company, contact details, as well as a title and a short description of your presentation. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday May 25, 2018.

Alison Willis, Industrial Divisional Director at Easyfairs, organisers of the show, said: “The Open Forum programme is a unique opportunity to present your research and case studies to a very select audience. Please send us your ideas and our Open Conference organisers will be delighted to consider your application. The programme keeps our show at the cutting edge of advanced engineering innovations.”

The Advanced Engineering Show is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and will be bigger and better than ever, according to show organisers Easyfairs. This builds on the success of the 2017 exhibition, where attendance increased by 15% on the previous year. Visitors stayed on average just under three hours at the show, many looking for new products, suppliers and services.

As last year, the exhibition will be held in halls 2, 3 and 3A, though now there are two entrances to the Show, making navigation of the huge exhibition space easier.

The Show, and its exhibitors, are marketed heavily with over 80 key industry associations and media partners. It is publicised widely, with 2.6 million people reading about it in printed magazines, 3.4 million people learning about it through social media and 2.1 million people viewing the Advanced Engineering website per month.

Genome BC is pleased to announce $1 million in funding to Aspect Biosystems (Aspect), a privately held biotechnology company focused on commercializing cutting-edge 3D bioprinting technologies.

Aspect's Lab-on-a-Printer™ 3D bioprinting platform technology enables the rapid creation of functional living tissues. The therapeutic applications are broad and profound and have attracted the attention of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

"Genome BC's investment in Aspect Biosystems will provide funds to further their commercialization initiatives including partnership activities as well as development of their platform technology," says Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Genome BC. "Aspect has shown significant commercial traction in a very short period of time and we are pleased to support their continued growth."

Aspect's 3D bioprinting platform technology is enabling the development of next-generation engineered tissue products addressing multiple applications in therapeutic discovery and regenerative medicine. These products include predictive drug testing platforms as well as transplantable tissue therapeutics. In addition to its internal programs, Aspect is establishing strategic partnerships with pharma, biotech, and healthcare companies as well as academic researchers to realize the full potential of its broadly applicable platform technology. By combining their expertise and technology with domain experts in the field, Aspect is accelerating the development of innovative tissue applications and creating meaningful impact on medical research and practice.

"Genome BC is playing an instrumental role in accelerating British Columbia's most promising life science innovations and we are thrilled to have their support. With this additional financing, we are further increasing our capacity to meet key commercial demands and continuing our rapid growth as we work towards enabling the creation of human tissues on demand," says Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO, Aspect Biosystems.

Genome BC has invested in Aspect through its Industry Innovation (I²) program. The I² Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies that address biological challenges in key economic sectors in BC: Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. The I² Fund also supports digital health and other technologies that further move precision medicine into clinical practice. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The Fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.

Fictiv announced from the Intel Capital Global Summit that it closed a $15 million Series B led by Sinovation Ventures with participation from Accel, Intel Capital, Bill Gates, FJ Labs, Tandon Group and the Stanford-StartX Fund. The company also demonstrated new workflow optimization tools and unveiled offices in Guangzhou, China.

At a time when manufacturing has become global but remains rooted in outdated time-intensive processes, Fictiv’s modern approach has proven to be a disruptive force in hardware manufacturing. Used by Silicon Valley innovators in electric and autonomous automobiles, medical robotics and consumer electronics, Fictiv has become the trusted partner to bring new products to market faster.

Fictiv CEO and Co-Founder Dave Evans underscored the unreasonably high barriers that designers and engineers have historically faced when bringing a product to market. “Fictiv is creating a new world order in which software is democratizing access to fast, high quality manufacturing,” said Evans. “We are thrilled to have these global investors on board, helping us reimagine manufacturing as more efficient and effective for both engineers and manufacturers.”

This new round brings Fictiv’s total venture funding raised to $25 million. The additional infusion of capital will be used to grow Fictiv’s global network of manufacturers and to introduce new digital tools geared towards automating and optimizing workflows for hardware teams and manufacturers.

“Fictiv is obsessed with continuous improvement,” explained Fictiv CXO and Co-Founder Nate Evans. “By capturing and analyzing customer data, Fictiv is uniquely able to guide customers through the manufacturing process, remove inefficiencies, and help teams make better decisions. The intelligence built into the Fictiv system provides an unparalleled customer experience.”

Fictiv’s software-driven approach supports the entire product development cycle - from prototype to production. It allows hardware teams that are under pressure, juggling multiple projects against tight timelines, to significantly reduce time spent sourcing and managing vendors, securing quotes, and clarifying requirements.

Key features of the platform include:

  • A private workspace where hardware teams collaborate on projects, provide design feedback, resolve issues, and manage file revisions;
  • Intelligent algorithms that power automated quoting and manufacturability feedback to shave weeks off a typical project schedule;
  • Smart matching system to instantly assess capacity and capabilities for the pairing of projects to manufacturers;
  • A thoroughly vetted network of over 200 worldwide manufacturers to support requests ranging from local rapid prototyping to overseas production projects;
  • A centralized online system for operations teams to track and manage orders, schedules, and shipments;
  • Quality control systems that test and review parts before delivery.

Fictiv’s dual marketplace approach also benefits manufacturers. Those manufacturing partners that meet Fictiv’s quality and performance standards can maximize even small windows of capacity through the platform’s intelligent routing system, unlocking more consistent work. To date, top performers have earned over $1M USD on the Fictiv platform.

“Fictiv is a disruptive, modern approach to manufacturing that provides enormous benefit to hardware development teams across a range of industries, from high volume automotive manufacturers to consumer electronics startups,” said Chris Evdemon, partner and CEO of Sinovation North America. “We’re excited to be a part of a company that is bringing much-needed innovation to this sector, and to help the company expand to and benefit from China's manufacturing industry."

Nano Dimension, a leading additive electronics provider, named high tech veteran Dr. Jaim Nulman as its Chief Technology Officer.

As CTO, Dr. Nulman will be responsible for executing the company’s growth and delivering on the company’s value promise to its customers. He will also head Nano Dimension’s technology strategy and product roadmap.

Dr. Nulman is a proven influencer and innovator with more than 30 years of expertise in working with companies from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises. He served as Vice President of Applied Materials, where he spent 15 years in several product division and corporate positions. He drove the successful commercialization of one of Applied Materials' semiconductor manufacturing products with impressive market penetration of $1 billion in less than five years.

"Dr. Nulman is a seasoned technology professional with proven leadership credentials. His experience fits perfectly into our strategy to scale our operations,” said Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension. "With a strong track record helping organizations expedite the transition from technology to product commercialization, he will play a major role as we accelerate Nano Dimension’s growth.”

With its unique 3D printing technologies, Nano Dimension is targeting the growing demand for electronic devices that require increasingly sophisticated features. Demand for circuitry, including PCBs - which are the heart of every electronic device - covers a diverse range of industries, including consumer electronics, medical devices, defense, aerospace, automotive, IoT and telecom.

Siemens PLM Software announced the appointment of Brenda Discher in a new position for the company, senior vice president for Strategy and Marketing. Reporting directly to CEO Tony Hemmelgarn, this position will be responsible for transforming the Siemens PLM Software and Mentor marketing and strategy functions into a combined organization that will play a significant role in the growth of the company going forward.

”We’ve been quite successful in partnering with mid- to large-size companies to help them realize their innovation goals through the application of our software,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “Brenda’s background and experience add an important component to our team, which can help increase our focus in helping small and mid-size companies leverage our software to transform their business as well.”

Most recently, Discher served as vice president of Global Customer Service/Support for Autodesk. In this role, she was responsible for transforming the customer service and engagement process as the company transitioned to Software as a service (Saas). Brenda led online community and customer success functions, working to ensure customer adoption and retention.

Prior to this responsibility, Discher spent nearly 20 years in various marketing leadership positions at Autodesk. There she directed product and industry go-to-market strategy, social/demand/lead generation, channel partner cultivation, customer segmentation/profiling, as well as marketing communications, public relations and acquisition strategies. She also led product management in the company’s Mechanical Software division and was responsible for launching several design, product lifecycle management and SaaS offerings.

Ms. Discher holds a BS in Mechanical/Industrial Engineering from Eastern Michigan University. In addition, she has an MBA in International Marketing and Finance, also from Eastern Michigan University.

Nylon Corporation of America, Inc. (NYCOA), has launched an extended product family of nylon (polyamide) based thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), also known as polyether-block-amides (PEBA), for a range of applications in the automotive, sporting goods, personal electronics, composite, and specialty films markets. The company will discuss the announcement at NPE2018 May 7-11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

The NY-FLEX® elastomer range is a new and innovative class of nylon (polyamide) based engineering thermoplastic elastomers (E-TPE). These materials are block copolymers of nylon (polyamide) segments and polyether segments. The nylon (polyamide) block is the hard segment and the polyether block is the soft, flexible segment.

NY-FLEX® grades are thus hybrid materials, offering a unique combination of rubber-like elastomeric properties and thermoplastic-like processing capabilities. By varying the type and the ratio of these two blocks, a wide range of NY-FLEX® grades are offered. They exhibit a broad range of performance attributes in terms of impact toughness and flexibility, along with processing advantages. NYCOA currently offers a range of NY-FLEX® grades ranging in hardness from 82 Shore D to 90 Shore A.

“These innovative materials have been designed to fill a technology gap in the E-TPE material space,” said Pratik Shah, vice president of new business development for NYCOA. “During the extensive development cycle, our customers have repeatedly pointed out the need for E-TPEs with superior performance characteristics and the need to lower overall systems cost. We believe that our NY-FLEX® grades deliver incredible value to the customer compared to other E-TPEs.”

NY-FLEX® E-TPE grades deliver a broad range of benefits including excellent flexibility at low temperature, superior retention of properties to elevated temperature, and exceptional toughness and resilience. They also provide high creep resistance, strong resistance to flex fatigue, good abrasion resistance, and superior resistance to greases, oils, and solvents. NY-FLEX ® E-TPEs exhibit lower specific gravity compared to thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) and are easily processed using thermoplastic processing techniques. NYCOA is working closely with processors, Tier 1 suppliers, and OEMs on a wide range of applications using NY-FLEX® E-TPEs.

UNITED GRINDING has unveiled its new EWAG PROFILE LINE, an indexable carbide insert grinding solution. Developed in a partnership between Ewag AG and sister company Walter Maschinenbau GmbH, the PROFILE LINE serves as an extremely efficient grinding center for the advanced processing of highly complex interchangeable insert geometries and interfaces.

The PROFILE LINE enhances production efficiency with innovative technology such as an intelligent, integrated six-station changer for grinding wheel sets with a coolant supply manifold that selects the optimal wheel to ensure the maximum possible machining volume for sintered insert blanks. The machine integrates both EWAG ProGrind and WALTER HELITRONIC TOOL STUDIO into its FANUC control unit to further expand the range of applications and improve insert geometries.

For unattended, lights-out operations, the PROFILE LINE comes equipped with an integrated six-axis FANUC robot that can easily accommodate customer-specific pallets. A high-resolution CCD-HD vision system is also available for loading grid pallets using magnetic grippers. Cleaning, re-clamping and centering stations can also be integrated and adapted to the customer-specific product range.

If trade show attendance is an indicator of the health of manufacturing in the United States, then the industry is off to a great start in 2018.

Design-2-Part (D2P) Shows, a series of eleven annual design and contract manufacturing trade shows across the U.S., has set attendance records in each of the three shows held so far in 2018. Two of the shows, in Grapevine, Texas and Secaucus , NJ, recorded all-time record highs for D2P shows in those cities. The third show in Atlanta, Georgia posted its highest attendance since 1995.

“We are obviously thrilled with the attendance and the start that our shows have had for 2018,” said Jerry Schmidt, President of Design-2-Part Shows. “But we are also encouraged by what this could indicate for America’s manufacturing industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. What’s really encouraging about this “snap shot” is the spread of regions that have all responded: the Southwest, the Southeast, and the Northeast.”

Design-2-Part Shows provide U.S. manufacturers an efficient opportunity to meet local and national job shops and contract manufacturers face-to-face to source custom parts, components, services, and design. Exhibiting companies showcase their design-through-manufacturing services featuring more than 300 product categories for the metal, plastics, rubber and electronics industries. D2P Shows exclusively feature exhibiting job shops and contract manufacturers with manufacturing operations in the United States. Companies that do not have facilities in the U.S. are not permitted to exhibit.

D2P will continue its 2018 spring schedule with shows in Schaumburg, Illinois, Santa Clara, California, and Minneapolis, MN.

3D PrinterWorks announced the launch of the HT-5800 3D printing system - a versatile high temperature 3D printer with a large 18” x 18” x 18” build volume. After a successful release of their CreatorBot Pro 3D printer, 3D PrinterWorks is now expanding into larger scale 3D printing.

The HT-5800 is designed to produce high precision parts using engineering grade materials and is ideal for customers in aerospace, DoD, and a wide range of manufacturing segments. The HT-5800 features a high temperature printing surface and insulated build chamber that maintains a controlled environment to ensure consistency and professional quality. With dual extruders, users can print complex geometries using breakaway support material, and the automated platform correction system calibrates the surface before the start of every print, which ensures consistent quality and performance. Easy change build plates allow users to select the correct print surface for maximum part adhesion.

“Our team has worked endlessly on developing a professional grade 3D printer that’s extremely reliable and easy to use, and we feel confident the HT 5800 will outperform the competition,” says Ben Kilar, 3D PrinterWorks CEO. “We listened to feedback from our customers and used high quality components to create a large-scale 3D printer that makes adopting the technology less intimidating for new customers."

3D PrinterWorks was founded in 2013 as a US Veteran-Owned business and is located in additive manufacturing hub of Youngstown, OH. Father and son duo Tom and Ben Kilar use their unique mix of skills and expertise in computer science, engineering, and traditional manufacturing to build solutions that meet the needs of engineers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs. Tom, a certified Six Sigma Black Belt engineering professional, designed the mechanics and frames for the printers while Ben, a former mechanic for the U.S. Marines with a background in computer science, developed the programming. They’ve since cultivated a client base of hobbyists and industry professionals alike with close attention to detail and continuous product improvement.

M3D begins a new era of color 3D printing with the launch of its Crane Quad 3D printer. Designed for enthusiasts, Crane Quad is the industry’s first multi-material desktop 3D printer that can produce true multi-colored objects.

“Our new Crane Quad desktop 3D color printer is a real breakthrough in 3D printing capability and affordability,” said Michael Armani, co-founder and CEO of M3D. “Its ability to print multiple colors and multiple materials simultaneously is a first, and it takes us one step closer to 3D printers being able to produce real-world objects that outperform traditional manufacturing, both in cost and performance.”

Historically, filament-based 3D printers have been limited to extruding with only one material at a time, which requires users to make complex hardware modifications or to manually guide different materials between layers to get even a few colors in a print. Thus, full-color prints are typically outsourced to services that lease expensive, industrial 3D color printers.

Through Crane Quad’s innovative technology, users can now print more than 50,000 colors by mixing up to four colors of standard 1.75 mm filament. From common base colors, users can create numerous color palettes covering most of the color spectrum. The base colors needed are CMYK: cyan, magenta and yellow with black, white or transparent as keys. In addition, Crane Quad allows users to print objects in any single color without the cost of owning dozens of traditional filament spools, and allows the physical characteristics of different materials to be fused into a single object with new properties.

“Just as M3D started the home 3D printing revolution in 2014, today we continue to drive the evolution of consumer color 3D printing with the introduction of Crane Quad,” said Armani. “For M3D, this launch is not just about introducing groundbreaking innovation – it represents our company’s commitment to the full-color 3D printing movement, and our dedication to providing consumers with the tools to get closer to the widespread on-demand use of 3D printed products that we know is the future.”

Crane Quad features an all-new QuadFusion™ 3D Print Head, which enables the printer to print and blend four filament colors. A first-of-its-kind, this direct-drive extruder can mix both colors and material type of most 1.75 mm filaments. The head is equipped with four motors, three fans, and a 0.35 mm mixing nozzle.

Crane Quad also includes a new open-source controller board, called the Duet 2 Maestro, which was co-designed and made in partnership with Duet3D. The board features five-axis motion control with unprecedented 256 microstep resolution, 120 MHz Atmel/Microchip ARM processor, and micro USB and micro SD card ports. Its Ethernet connectivity enables a user-friendly webhost interface, which works natively on any web-enabled device.

Pricing for Crane Quad starts at $399. The first batch of orders is expected to ship in August.

Tulip announces the launch of Factory Kit, the industry’s first quick-start solution for powering digital manufacturing. Factory Kit is an intuitive self-service solution that includes everything that engineers need to quickly design, build and deploy Manufacturing Apps without writing code.

“While automation within manufacturing organizations has grown significantly, the manufacturing workforce has been left behind by technology. Manufacturing engineers still rely on paper and legacy technology to collect data, and workers on the shop floor lack the productivity tools we take for granted in other industries,” said Natan Linder, Tulip’s CEO. “We started Tulip to change this through our Manufacturing App Platform, and today we’re launching Factory Kit to make it even easier for  engineers to get started.”

Factory Kit leverages Tulip’s award-winning Manufacturing App Platform, which brings the power of Industrial IoT and advanced analytics to the front-line engineer and the associate on the shop floor. Manufacturing Apps integrate human, sensor, and machine data, allowing engineers to gain actionable insights, implement process changes, and continuously improve their operations.

Factory Kit provides access to Tulip’s cloud-based Manufacturing App Platform as well as sample  apps and analytics ready to use out of the box. The Kit includes the building blocks engineers need to get started with Manufacturing Apps, including a Tulip I/O Gateway that lets them connect their devices to the apps they build and the Tulip Light Kit for driving Pick-to-Light (PTL) processes. Also bundled with the kit are an array of IoT sensors and devices including a break beam sensor, environmental sensors, barcode scanner, foot pedal and tower light.

Factory Kit lets engineers go from prototype to production in a few hours, on their own, without needing to know how to code. The time-to-value for the Kit is unprecedented in the industry. “On my own, I was able to create apps that really drive process improvements and help increase efficiencies without needing a support team of IT. It can be done intuitively through the software itself,” said Drew Pope, Senior Process Engineer at Nautique Boat Company, an early adopter of Tulip.

The Tulip Factory Kit gives manufacturers the chance to push bottom-up digital transformation initiatives and empower their engineers—the people closest to their operations—with the tools they need to digitize their processes.

Altair will hold its 2018 Global Altair Technology Conference at the Palais des Congrès in Issy, Paris, France from October 16–18, 2018.

This year’s event will focus on sharing amazing applications of Simulation-Driven Innovation from technology leaders and industry executives from all over the world. Deep technical sessions and presentations on latest technology trends such as IoT and the digital twin, e-mobility, electric vehicle design, and the impact of IoT, AI and machine learning on influencing the future of design, will demonstrate how enterprises can effectively leverage simulation, optimization, and HPC to deliver outstanding products and experiences.

“Simulation, optimization, cloud-based HPC, and the Internet of Things are coming together to transform how innovative products are brought to market,” says James Scapa, Altair’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO. “As we move forward into an era of machine learning and artificial intelligence, opportunities will grow for the convergence of technology and emotion into great designs.”

The Global Altair Technology Conference will bring together industry leaders, product designers, and technology practitioners to help them guide their enterprises to success in a global marketplace. The rich 3-day agenda will feature something for everyone with workshops on October 16 that are premier learning forums for the latest technology from Altair technical experts.

October 17 will offer a full day of inspirational keynotes, and October 18 will include deep technical sessions on over 10 simulation topics including electromagnetics, crash and safety, fluid dynamics and model-based development. Previous Altair Technology Conferences have included technology leadership speakers from organizations including Ferrari, Airbus, Daimler, JLR, NASA, and Ford.

Those interested in speaking at the event are invited to submit their abstracts to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Artec 3D announces the integration of its portable, hand-held 3D scanners with Geomagic Freeform®. Geomagic Freeform is an organic design software which features a rich set of hybrid modeling tools to rapidly create organic models with fine, intricate details and prepare the models for manufacturing. Integration of the two technologies creates a streamlined workflow from reverse engineering an existing object to the creation of a manufacturing-ready design. With Artec 3D scanners, organic objects can easily be captured directly into Freeform, where users can access a variety of advanced design capabilities including touch-based 3D sculpting, surfacing, design-intent modeling, 3D scan processing, mold making and CAD interoperability. This new combination of solutions unleashes unlimited creativity and design options.

“The new integrated bundle of our professional, handheld 3D scanners and the Geomagic Freeform platform delivers an extremely efficient workflow,” said Artyom Yukhin, president, and CEO of Artec 3D. “Whether you want to capture and replicate an existing object as-is or use it as the basis for an entirely new design, our scanners can provide a high-quality detailed 3D model to use as a starting point. This eliminates the time, cost and possibility of error associated with digitally recreating the geometry of organic objects from scratch.”

Artec’s 3D scanners can quickly capture the texture, size, and geometry of an object with high accuracy. The easy-to-use devices are also engineered with advanced tracking systems to eliminate the need for an object to be covered with targets when scanning. These features make Artec’s scanners a popular solution for various professional industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, science and education, historical preservation, automotive and aerospace, art and entertainment, and more. The ability to easily edit these scans using Freeform® creates a new level of design flexibility and freedom.

“We are continually looking for ways to streamline our customers’ workflows and provide them with advanced design to manufacturing tools that they can use in the most intuitive way,” said Carol Zampell, VP Software Solutions, 3D Systems. “Freeform software together with Touch X™ or Touch™ haptic devices creates a hands-on design experience. By combining our offering with Artec’s 3D scanners, designers can take a physical object and, within minutes, be able to feel and manipulate it as if it was made of clay.”

Never has it been so easy and quick to go from physical object to a design optimized for manufacturing. Built-in features detect and correct potential manufacturing issues early in the design process, saving the time, cost and headache of dealing with avoidable design flaws. The Geomagic Freeform software also includes robust interoperability tools to handle the import and export of 3D file formats like STL, OBJ, PLY, IGES, STEP, other neutral formats, and additional CAD formats through Geomagic Freeform Plus.

REGO-FIX has announced that Pascal Forrer has joined the company’s Tenniken, Switzerland-based management team as its new global sales and marketing director. A 15-year veteran of the manufacturing industry, Forrer brings his expertise with automation, process safety and cost-effective production to his additional role as a member of the REGO-FIX executive board.

“I’m thrilled to have such a valuable addition to the management team,” said Richard Weber, CEO of REGO-FIX. “As global sales and marketing director, Pascal continues to promote the growth of the REGO-FIX Group.”

Originally from Bern, Switzerland, Forrer earned his bachelor’s degree from the Université de Neuchâtel. He later graduated from the intensive English program from California State University, Northridge, and completed numerous continuing education programs for marketing and sales professionals. Most recently, Forrer received his Executive Master of Business Administration from Private Hochschule Wirtschaft PHW Bern.

Fusion3 announced the availability of the company’s new F410 3D printer. The Fusion3 F410 is the successor to the company’s F400 3D printer which was introduced in 2016. The F410 builds upon the success of the F400 with further emphasis on performance, reliability, and ease of use.

"The new Fusion3 F410 delivers on our mission to provide customers with an affordable, high-performance alternative to expensive, industrial 3D printers that cost $20,000 to $100,000," says Chris Padgett, Fusion3 CEO. "The F410 prints large, quality parts at fast speeds and incorporates new technologies for even greater performance, flexibility for different print scenarios, and ease of use.”

Interchangeable print heads provide greater flexibility for a variety of customer applications: Users select one of three interchangeable print heads (.4MM standard, .6MM & .8MM optional) appropriate for the specific task. Each printhead, based on the E3D Volcano and incorporating hardened steel nozzles, prints a wide variety of engineering-grade materials at different speeds and quality settings optimized for the customer’s desired quality and production time.

Fusion3’s new 2.0 Extruder and updated 32-bit controller contribute to the F410’s exceptional print quality and near silent operation. The 2.0 Extruder’s ‘Filament Monitoring’ feature allows customers to resume prints should they run out of filament or experience a print jam. The ‘Filament Cleaning’ feature captures any dust or contamination on the surface of the filament before it enters the print system, reducing the chance of print failures due to clogging. The F410 also features a new conductive, automatic bed leveling system that ensures the correct first layer height for every print.

Fusion3 updated the F410’s touchscreen interface, providing intuitive controls for first-time users while maintaining advanced features that our professional customers require. The F410's onboard network interface allows customers to remotely manage their 3D printers through a secure, web-based interface.

Many of Fusion3's customers wish to safeguard their proprietary and sensitive 3D designs. The F410 provides increased file security, eliminating the ability of someone to walk away with files on an external SD card, by providing a second, secure, storage device embedded in the 3D printer. Users can only access the on-board storage through the F410's password-protected network interface.

Creaform is proud to be the title partner of MLab Creaform, the new digital laboratory at Musée de la civilisation du Québec. As title partner for the next five years, Creaform and its 3D scanners will help make digital culture available to all audiences.

"As title partner of the new Museum exhibition, we’re interested in more than just the visibility this association provides," said Marco St-Pierre, Division Vice-President, Technology and Innovation at Creaform. “We see this digital creation laboratory as a great way to put technology into people’s hands, something that has yet to really occur in our field. It’s also an important training tool that anyone can use.”

MLab Creaform is an experimental laboratory devoted to innovation and creation. It brings technology and culture together in a way that has all the markings of Musée de la civilisation’s audacious take on society while also fitting with Creaform's founding vision: to revolutionize the world of 3D digitization by making technology easier to use, more accessible, and more affordable. The program is aimed at spurring innovation and creativity—and visitors can try it out free until Labor Day. MLab Creaform features an array of equipment, including a Creaform 3D scanner, 3D printers, robot assemblies, virtual and augmented reality glasses, electronics, and more.

The digital laboratory also has a training and education function. Creaform offers special programs to educational institutions to facilitate access to its technologies for research and teaching. “We are very proud to see the Creaform name associated with a local institution of international stature such as Musée de la civilisation," added St-Pierre. “The values of innovation, collaboration, and sharing that the Museum embodies are core values for us too, which has made this partnership so ideal by our standards.”

After long delays caused by storms and rough seas, NASA launched a rocket into space carrying an experiment built by students at Utah State University.

The 43-foot-tall sounding rocket launched from Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia. The vehicle flew in space for approximately seven minutes and reached an altitude of 107 miles before parachuting back to Earth and splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean for recovery.

USU’s payload was one of four selected to fly on the rocket. Student teams from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; the University of Kentucky, Lexington; and the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, also had experiments on board as part of NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project known as USIP.

USU aerospace engineering graduate students Marc Bulcher, Zac Lewis and Rob Stoddard, and aerospace engineering professor Stephen A. Whitmore designed and built the USU experiment. Their goal was to flight test a new type of thruster developed and patented by Whitmore.

Thrusters are small motors used to orient spacecraft in zero gravity. The new USU thrusters are made with printed ABS plastic — the same material used to make Legos — and do not burn conventional liquid rocket fuel.

“The vast majority of liquid rocket fuels used for space propulsion are extremely dangerous and toxic,” said Bulcher. “Hydrazine, for example, powers thrusters that control satellites and small spacecraft. Hydrazine is carcinogenic, expensive to make and presents many safety and environmental challenges.”

To test the new thrusters, the team mounted two of the soda-can sized units to a small test frame inside the large sounding rocket. When the rocket reached the appropriate altitude, its mid-section fell away and exposed the student experiments to the vacuum of space. Whitmore confirmed the test was successful and said each thruster fired five times. Next, the team will determine if exhaust plumes from the thrusters contaminated a nearby optical sensor. If the thrusters burn clean, the technology could revolutionize the space industry.

Such in-flight measurements had never been obtained for this type of thruster system. And Whitmore says a rocket of this class had never been started and re-started in a space environment. Until now.“This is the first time a USA-developed green propellant has been flight tested in space,” said Whitmore. “It’s an exciting time for us because this gives our students unparalleled industry experience, and at the same time we’re developing something that could completely change the small spacecraft industry.”

Renishaw is pleased to introduce the new Equator™ 500 – designed to gauge larger parts with all the benefits of the proven Equator 300 gauging system.

Equator gauging systems have helped to improve yield and increase process capabilities of production lines around the world, by providing high accuracy dimensional inspection data next to turning and machining centers, at the point of manufacture. The new larger Equator 500 system now enables the gauging of larger parts, with a working volume of 20” in diameter and up to 16” in height.

Both Equator 300 and 500 systems are accurate between 41ºF and 122ºF at any rate of temperature change, and are capable of scanning speeds in excess of 8 inches/second. Every system is compatible with simple-to-use Organizer operator software, EZ-IO software for automation, and IPC (intelligent process control) software for updating tool offsets on CNC machine tools.

The Equator 500 has a gauging volume of 20” diameter in the X/Y plane and 10” in Z when used with the SM25-2 scanning module. This can be expanded to 16” in Z with the SM25-3 scanning module, which allows styli up to 8” in length to reach many more features. The base of the Equator 500 supports workpiece and fixturing with a total weight limit of 221 lbs. The ratio of gauging volume to footprint means that the machine is extremely space efficient, with a footprint of just 36.2” by 36.4”. This allows manufacturers of larger parts to easily fit the Equator 500 onto the shop floor alongside their production machines. Typical applications include the manufacture of car and truck transmission and engine casings, drive-train parts like connecting rods and differential housings, suspension castings, pressed parts, valves and pumps.

Most users of Equator systems need short cycle times to maximize throughput from their manufacturing processes. Both Equator 300 and 500 systems, while maintaining high levels of repeatability, are capable of rapid scans and high speed touch points on a wide variety of features. Years of customer experience with Equator systems have proven the capability to gauge size, position and geometry on a single device. This can eliminate the need to stabilize parts to the temperature of the quality room prior to measuring geometry and form of critical features.

Climatic conditions can result in variable daily and seasonal temperature cycles. For example, early in the morning a cold machine shop can increase in temperature due to both external conditions and machinery heating up. The system has been proven to cope with this by re-mastering – meaning that accurate gauging can start as soon as the first part has been produced and continue regardless of how conditions change.

The Equator range is compatible with new IPC software which allows constant monitoring and automatic adjustment of a machining operation, keeping part dimensions close to nominal and well within process control limits. This correction of process drift improves part quality and manufacturing capability, and reduces scrap. The proximity of the Equator gauge to the CNC process allows adjustment at the point of manufacture, avoiding time delays or reliance on finished part inspection. An Equator gauging system can be connected to one or multiple CNC machine tool controllers.

IPC software can average results from several parts to determine the true process mean for adjustment of critical cutting tools. For process control purposes, often only one machined feature per cutting tool will require gauging, in contrast with the many features inspected for typical Quality Assurance (QA) applications. The frequency and magnitude of offset updates can be configured on a feature-by-feature basis depending on design tolerances, process variation and tool wear rates.

IPC is an integral function of Equator Process Monitor software, using recent historical gauging data to determine process corrections. Connection to a compatible machine tool can be as simple as connecting an Ethernet cable from the Equator controller to a CNC machine.

The ability to correct a process automatically with IPC software eliminates the potential for manual data entry errors, and removes the requirement for an expert to decipher traditional measurement reports into a process correction value at the CNC machine.

The new EQ-ATS (Equator Automatic Transfer Systems), for the Equator 300 and Equator 500, allows parts to be loaded on to a fixture plate in front of the gauge, and transferred in and out of the measuring volume under automatic program control. They can be used for either manual loading by operators, cranes or forklifts, or robot loading in an automated cell, protecting the Equator gauge from accidental damage. EQ-ATS is easily integrated, bolting directly on to the base of the Equator gauge.

BigRep released its latest filament innovation, which is a first for the large-scale FDM industry globally – a flexible material with engineering-grade properties for a various of applications.

The new TPU-based material “PRO FLEX” opens up a wealth of possibilities for manufacturers and customers, to use a flexible engineering material that has been expertly developed and tested to work in connection with BigRep’s largest industrial 3D printer, the BigRep ONE, on its standard 1 mm extruder.

PRO FLEX has high temperature resistance, as well as commendably low temperature impact resistance. The durable material has excellent damping behavior and dynamic properties, enabling companies to explore a broader range of manufacturing opportunities.

For the automotive industry, it enables prototyping for gear knobs, door handles, cable sheathing and more. The sporting goods industry could also foreseeably benefit, as Pro FLEX allows prototyping of skateboard wheels, sporting shoe shells, ski tips and ends.

BigRep’s Chief Technology Officer Moshe Aknin is excited about the number of parts and applications that PRO FLEX will make possible, saying, “Printing elastomers is clearly one of the biggest challenges in the FFF AM industry, so we are proud to have found an industrial-grade solution. In terms of applications with PRO FLEX, we see high potential for 3D printing in fields like footwear, custom vibration dampers, and seals, due to its high chemical resistance.”

In developing the innovative thermoplastic elastomer, which is a Shore 98 A on the Shore Hardness scale, BigRep analyzed how elastomers behave in its machines’ extruders and achieved the end result by adapting its material evaluation procedure accordingly.

BigRep advises that customers be experienced in handling extrusion of flexible materials, as they can be more challenging than most. BigRep will provide a guidance document to all PRO FLEX customers, and as part of the BigRep 360-degree service, customer service technicians are also on hand to assist where necessary.

The 60 speakers who will present during Conference @ Ceramics Expo represent an impressive sphere of knowledge and influence, and during three days of free-to-attend twin-track sessions will aim to touch every point on the compass of today’s ceramic world. Certain topics – such as 3D printing, the revolution in automotive, and products for power and energy – are top of many people’s lists and they all feature strongly at the event.

“This year will be a big year for developments in the joining of dissimilar materials for battery (electric vehicle), energy, and aerospace applications,” says Lucideon’s Andre Prette. The theme is picked up by Will Paxton of Ford, “In the United States, cars and trucks account for almost 20% of the country’s CO2 emissions. When we fully transition to battery electric vehicles, we have the best shot at reducing the carbon impact by charging those vehicles with renewable energy sources. Part of getting there is developing a new generation of lighter and more powerful batteries.”

The whole battery scene in North America is one of rapidly developing applied science and making the most of ceramic and allied technologies is to the fore. “There are some very exciting developments in battery technology, with many researchers working on lithium batteries with solid electrolytes,” says Michael Hill at Skyworks Solutions. “Not only does this improve the energy density of the battery, but it also prevents the thermal runaway issues experienced with batteries containing liquid electrolytes.” Tony Finoli at McDanel agrees, “The continuing advancement in new technologies such as additive manufacturing and new energy applications – for example, battery and membrane materials – has really stood out to me.”

Confronting issues of size, at both ends of the scale, is another of the topics to be addressed during the conference. “The current generation of electronics is hitting its miniaturization limitations through the use of traditional ceramic materials. Electronics companies are increasingly turning toward advanced nanotechnology in electroceramics to get them past these limitations. This requires incorporation of new materials and new bottom-up approaches to production of these components, says Kapil Deshpande (Croda). “Some of the issues that need to be solved are the cost of nanoparticle production, the incorporation of the nanoparticles into final forms, and the need for lower temperature sintering due to the size of component not being suitable for high temperatures.”

Finoli expands on this, “As adoption of advanced ceramics continues to grow, customers are requesting bigger parts with more stringent tolerances and more demanding applications. This can be a challenge for dense advanced ceramics, which commonly shrink 20-25% during sintering. However, by using improved processing techniques and precision machining, some of the requests can be met.”

Undoubtedly for a number of these areas, additive manufacturing is set to increasingly come into its own. It’s a forming technique with which, according to Richard Clark at Morgan Advanced Materials, “it is now possible to produce high-strength, high-hardness, and high-temperature ceramics, greatly expanding the market opportunities for this manufacturing process.”

These and many other avenues will be explored at the fourth Conference @ Ceramics Expo, again providing a searchlight over the route to constant enhancement. 

As DiPerri says, “With every new technology comes the birth of something better.”

Kubotek3D announced the V15.5 release of the Kubotek line of CAD/CAM products including KeyCreator 3D CAD software and leading CAD comparison and translation validation utilities. This release provides updates to six CAD file translators and a new internet-based login license authentication option. KeyCreator drafting features see view creation performance advances and dimension editing enhancements. Additionally, a new free viewer program named KeyCreator Viewer has been spun off from the Spectrum Multi-CAD Viewer product.

Updated CAD Translators

Interoperability with other CAD/CAM software across all V15.5 Kubotek software has been updated with the latest versions of six major CAD file formats:

  • ACIS SAT 2018 1.0
  • Autodesk Inventor 2018
  • Parasolid X_T v30
  • PTC Creo 4.0
  • Siemens NX 12
  • SolidWorks 2018

Starting with the V15.5 release customers with stand-alone licenses on active maintenance now have the option to use a program login for license authentication. Login authentication is an alternative to the standard method of temporary activation of a license onto a specific PC through a check-in/check-out process. With login authentication the process of making the license available for another PC is simply exiting the program and can also be handled remotely from the customer’s support account.

Chris Boivin, Kubotek3D Technical Support Manager, said “Login authentication will provide additional licensing flexibility for customers working on PCs with internet connections. The remote logout feature also allows customers to more quickly recover from situations when a PC running the software is lost or disabled.”

KeyCreator 2017 V15.5 includes three improvements aimed at improving productivity in drawings. Multi-processor support has been expanded in the Advanced Precise Hidden Line Rendering system allowing views containing large numbers of solids to draw faster. The Move function has been enhanced to allow quick repositioning of dimension extension or leader lines. Last, a new function has been added for quickly changing arrowhead type on selected ends of dimensions.

The V15.5 release separates the Kubotek Spectrum product line into two products; KeyCreator Viewer and Spectrum Multi-CAD Viewer. KeyCreator Viewer is a free program that provides read-only viewing access to all KeyCreator CKD files and also CADKEY PRT files. KeyCreator Viewer replaces past products known as Spectrum Lite, Spectrum KeyCreator, and Spectrum CADKEY.

Free trials of Kubotek software are available.

Twindom, brand licensee of Kodak, announced that the KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner is now available to start shipping to customers in the U.S. and Canada. The new KODAK 3D scanner will have a base price of $29,995 plus a monthly cloud subscription.

The announcement comes on the heels of the successful public unveiling of the new KODAK 3D scanner at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. At CES 2018 the new full body 3D scanner was met with strong interest from attendees who formed a consistent line to get themselves 3D scanned on the KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner and claim a promo code for a 3D printed figurine shipped to them after the show. The KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner differentiates itself from competitive 3D body scanners with its ability to produce consistent, high quality 3D scans while still maintaining high throughput made possible by its hybrid 3D scanning technology.

With the KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner now available, Twindom is also offering a number of perks to entrepreneurs, existing retail businesses and tourist locations who are first to adopt the new 3D scanner. The limited time offers include free 3D print and cloud credits as well as free Lighting Kits and Vinyl Curtain Wraps that attach onto the scanner once it’s setup. The Lighting Kit and Vinyl Curtain Wrap help increase the quality of the 3D scans generated by the KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner for customers looking to offer a more premium product to their own customers.

“With the incredible interest we saw at CES we’re expecting a diverse and large array of customers to adopt the KODAK Full Body 3D Scanner in the coming months” said Will Drevno, one of Twindom’s co-founders.

Renishaw officially launched its Fabrication Development Centre (FDC) on March 28th, 2018 at the company's Miskin facility in South Wales. On the day, Renishaw will also launch its education partnership with BLOODHOUND SSC. To celebrate this, Andy Green OBE, current holder of the World Land Speed Record and BLOODHOUND SSC driver, opened the facility.

The FDC is a unique educational resource for hands-on learning. It aims to inspire young people and to encourage a pipeline of talent into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers. Schools or groups of young people can use the facility for free for lessons or workshops. The FDC contains two classrooms, staffed by a qualified teacher and Renishaw's STEM ambassadors. It is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including 3D printers.

“With companies already struggling to recruit skilled candidates, it is important to get more young people interested in STEM subjects at GCSE and A-Level,” explained Simon Biggs, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw. “Creating engaging educational experiences for pupils at a young age can be essential to their selection of the subject at degree or apprenticeship level.

“The Fabrication Development Centre not only gives pupils a chance to escape the classroom, but it also enables them to grasp the link between the school curriculum and industry. They can take part in motivating workshops that complement the exam specification and give them a better understanding of the career opportunities available to them in the future.”

Large numbers of young people have already experienced success from using the facility, including students at Radyr Comprehensive. After using the FDC for just a few months, the school noticed increased motivation among the pupils. Radyr Comprehensive School now plans to extend its use of the facility across the three years of its GCSE programme to increase the interest and uptake of design subjects.

Advanced Engineering 2018, the UK’s largest exhibition for advanced engineering professionals, is celebrating its 10th birthday by being bigger and better than ever, according to show organisers Easyfairs. New for this year is the Nuclear Engineering zone.

This builds on the success of the 2017 exhibition, where attendance increased by 15% on the previous year. Visitors stayed on average just under three hours at the show, many looking for new products and services.

The other show zones are: Aerospace Engineering, Composites Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Performance Metals and, building on its hugely successful 2017 launch, Connected Manufacturing. In addition, the Enabling Innovation showcase is being repeated this year. It provides a unique opportunity for 50 start-ups & researchers to showcase the next generation of exciting new technologies.

As last year, the exhibition will be held in halls 2, 3 and 3A, though now there are two entrances to the Show, making navigation of the huge exhibition space easier.

The Show, and its exhibitors, are marketed heavily with 85 key industry associations and media partners. It is publicised widely, with 2.6 million people reading about it in printed magazines, 3.4 million people learning about it through social media and 2.1 million people viewing the Advanced Engineering website per month.

Last year the UK’s largest meeting place for advanced engineers attracted some of the industry’s biggest names including Airbus; Boeing; Jaguar Land Rover; Hexcel; and Dassault Systèmes, who met and did business across the supply chain, with visitors from a range of engineering specialisms including: automation, design & test engineering, process control, machining and many more.

The two-day open conference, which is accredited by the CPD Accreditation Service ‘Continuing Professional Development (CPD)’, will have a raft of high profile speakers and topics. Visitors will see variety of cutting edge technology and materials from exhibitors as well as show floor features.

Alison Willis, industrial divisional director at Easyfairs, organisers of the show, said: “Happy 10th birthday to the Advanced Engineering Show! We have hit double figures and are expecting a record response from visitors and exhibitors this year.

“The new Nuclear Engineering zone will tap into the technical excellence of this high growth sector, addressing nuclear energy new-build, operation and supply chain. This has huge importance for the energy security of the country, and provides a great opportunity for companies to join a new and dynamic supply chain”

What did some of the exhibitors and visitors have to say?

John Darlington, exhibitor TenCate’s Global Director Product and Market Strategy, said: “The Advanced Engineering show is a fantastic opportunity to support our industry partners when meeting new clients. Last year was no exception, and indeed has been the most successful ever, delivering more leads, more contact with suppliers and, as importantly, the ability to meet TenCate’s existing customers and partners.”

Robert Slade, Automotive Consultant, Mackenzie Jones Engineering, said: “An excellent show for networking and very important for my company. We visit every year. It was enjoyable and worthwhile.”

Roz Bird, Commercial Director of Silverstone Park, commented: “The Advanced Engineering Show has exceeded our expectations – hosting the VIP Lounge in the middle of such a big industry event and offering people the chance to chat over coffee in informal and comfortable surroundings was one hundred per cent the right thing to do. It’s made for a brilliant couple of days of networking. In fact I have always thought the show has the right sort of audience for us in terms of advanced engineering, electronics and software development and that has proven to be very true.”

Chris Mason, Head of Sales at Ensinger, said: “We’ve been exhibiting for seven years now. The show continues to grow and generate high quality leads from a wide range of sectors,”

Colin Williams, Materials Engineer at Blatchford Products said: “A great opportunity to meet current and future suppliers, all in one place.”

W Griffiths, Technology Consultant Indestructible Paint, said: “A very good show, lots of interest shown and plenty of enquiries.”

Wayne Walker, North American Operations Manager at Pathfinder Cutting Technology LLC, said: “Advanced Engineering … is a must do show for companies wanting to exhibit their technology to the UK’s vibrant high-tech manufacturing industries. There is a real buzz about manufacturing in the UK. I highly recommend this show.”

The show takes place on the Oct 31st & Nov 1st , at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

EPMC formerly LVMC has been running for over a decade and is the premier technical conference in Europe dedicated solely to the use of precision dimensional measurement technology for process improvement for manufacturers.

Following the success of the event in 2017, EPMC will be returning to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for 2018.

EPMC is a rare opportunity to see presentations on real world applications from leading industry experts and academics, as well as to view the latest equipment from the world’s best suppliers, network and share ideas and of course, increase overall awareness of European and worldwide industries. The event will follow a similar format of a combination of immersive seminars, exhibition, networking functions and the metrology stadium.

With the attendance of industry professionals from major manufacturing OEMs, EPMC is the foremost conference and exhibition to attend to discuss real world metrology applications with like-minded individuals.

Conference topics will cover:

  • Developments in metrology education
  • Automation of metrology applications in shop floor environments
  • Novel and unusual adaptations and applications of existing metrology technology
  • Developments that will lead to the future of metrology
  • Discussions of the challenges and needs of the dimension metrology community

The committee members are:

  • Carl Baines, Brunson (Chair)
  • Simon Cheetham, BAE Systems
  • Carl Hitchens, Nuclear AMRC
  • Andrew Hockenhull,  Airbus
  • David Homewood, FARO
  • John Kane, Wyvern Industrial Technology
  • Steve Shickell, NMS 3D UK
  • Trevor Toman, Coventry University

The event is self-financing and is run not for profit, and its future is dependent upon the support of exhibitors and delegates who attend each year.

Interested in exhibiting? Please click here for more information

Delegate registration is now open. Click here to register for EPMC 2018

Advanced composite materials manufacturer Hexcel celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the art manufacturing facility at the MidParc Free Trade Zone in Casablanca. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister for Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy; Nick Stanage, Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President; and Thierry Merlot, President, Aerospace – Europe/Asia Pacific/MEA.

At the new $20 million facility, Hexcel transforms lightweight honeycomb materials into engineered core parts that provide structural reinforcement for aerospace applications including aircraft structures, engine nacelles and helicopter blades. The site is expected to employ more than 200 people by 2020, and it made its first customer delivery last December.

The Moroccan plant is part of Hexcel’s ongoing worldwide investment to create a diversified and robust global supply chain to support aerospace customers’ growing demand for engineered core. In recent years, Hexcel has increased capacity at existing plants to support its engineered core business and plans further expansions to capture additional opportunities in a global market with excellent growth potential.

At the ceremony, Hexcel’s Nick Stanage commented: “We could not be more pleased to become neighbors here in Midparc with our customers including Airbus, Boeing, Safran and Bombardier. This facility is critical to our success because it positions us to secure additional growth with our aerospace customers in Morocco and around the world,” he said.

Mr Elalamy commented: “The Aerospace sector is achieving its potential in terms of export business and local integration, following the launch of the Industrial Acceleration Plan. The recently launched “engines” and “composite materials” ecosystems add significantly increased value that Hexcel will support and reinforce. The company is the driving force of the “composite materials” ecosystem, and its business is sure to encourage other structural investments to the region,” added M. Elalamy.

It’s that time of year again – time to think about entering Mastercam’s Wildest Parts competition. This year, Mastercam is offering two different competitions open to any current student, team of students, or instructor programming with Mastercam to participate in.

Students worldwide can enter their “wildest” part made in school this year to Mastercam’s Wildest Parts Competition and get a chance to win $1000 and other prizes. The Wildest Parts Competition is an annual contest, sponsored by CNC Software, Inc. — developers of Mastercam® — where students can submit any part they cut during the school year. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2018.

Last year, the winning students were Grayson Weber from Capital High School in Helena, Montana who made a survival multitool and Christian Ziruk from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington who made a deep sea AUV camera enclosure.

“We look for high quality, original parts that haven’t been made before, or parts that are familiar yet feature a unique, new design. We like eye-catching designs that would look nice on a display, because we do show them off at educational trade shows,” says Michelle Nemeth, Marketing Specialist at CNC Software. “We’re always impressive by how innovative students can be with Mastercam, and we encourage students to really think beyond the norm. They may create something specifically to enter into the competition — or have already made something in school that would qualify.”

Wildest Parts IMTS Edition:

This year, CNC Software, Inc., partnered with the Gene Haas Foundation, Haas Factory Outlet Chicago, and Haas Automation for a specific IMTS challenge. Entrants must submit an aerospace/rocket themed part to compete for up to $1,000 from Mastercam and $1,500 towards a scholarship for continuing education from the Gene Haas Foundation. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2018.

IMTS is the International Manufacturing Technology Show held in Chicago. IMTS includes the Smartforce Student Summit for elementary through college students to learn about opportunities in manufacturing. The winning students and their parts will be celebrated at the Smartforce Student Summit in the Haas and Mastercam booths at IMTS.

Kathy Looman from Gene Haas Foundation says, “This year, as we were planning our IMTS Student Summit presence, we decided it would be very cool to have a contest like Mastercam’s Wildest Parts Competition. Not only could talented students design and build projects, they would be able to inspire their peers by having the projects displayed at IMTS. So, we asked Mastercam if we could join forces this year, and the rest was history!”

Important rules for contestants:

  • The parts must be programmed with Mastercam.
  • For the IMTS competition, the part must be machined on a Haas machine.
  • All entries must be created during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Applicable logos must be engraved on the part.
  • Part must be smaller than 1 cubic foot, less than 42 inches long, and less than 16 inches tall.
  • No weapons or weapon replicas.
  • All designs become property of CNC Software, Inc.
  • The part should not be painted in any way that obscures the quality of the machining.
  • If three or fewer parts are entered in one division, CNC Software reserves the right to award  prizes as it sees fit.
  • All entries must be received by June 30, 2018. Parts should be packaged well to avoid damage during shipment.

The fifth annual Hackaday Prize, a global competition that challenges makers, engineers and designers of all backgrounds to "Build Hope" through open source hardware projects launched. Sponsored by Digi-Key and Supplyframe, the 2018 Hackaday Prize follows suit from last year's competition by splitting up the seven-month-long contest into five themed challenges that run five weeks each from March 12 to October 8.

The first round of the competition is the "Open Hardware Design Challenge," where entrants are encouraged to design the boldest plan they can dream up. Prototypes are not necessary for this challenge - only pictures, charts and theory are required. The Open Hardware Design Challenge runs through April 23.

The remaining rounds are the "Robotics Module Challenge" (April 23-June 4), "Power Harvesting Challenge" (June 4-July 16), "Human-Computer Interface Challenge" (July 16-August 27) and the "Innovative Musical Instrument Challenge" (August 27-October 8). 

"We're excited to partner with Hackaday for another year of challenging inventors to be curious, creative and determined. The Hackaday Prize contest aligns with Digi-Key's vision to encourage and enable innovation in technology that will solve problems and advance civilization. With the amazing projects we've seen in previous years, we can't wait to see what the entrants create this year," said David Sandys, director, Business Ecosystem Development at Digi-Key.

The top 20 entries from each challenge will win $1,000 and be considered for the Finals Round. The top five finalists, including the Grand Prize winner, will be announced at the Hackaday Superconference taking place November 2-3, 2018 in Pasadena, California. 

The Grand Prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and considered for a residency at the Supplyframe DesignLab in Pasadena, California. The second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place winners will receive $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. 

In addition to cash prizes, participants will compete throughout the competition for most impressive, outlandish and otherwise notable projects. Although there is no cash value associated with these accomplishments, they do come along with bragging rights. Examples of possible Achievements include the Diva Plavalaguna Achievement (most unexpected musical instrument), the Sonic Screwdriver Achievement (hacks that seemingly do everything) and the Ender's Achievement (most incredible student submission). 

Hackaday awarded the 2017 Grand Prize to Alex Williams, inventor of the Open Source Underwater Glider - a low-cost, autonomous glider capable of long-term underwater exploration of submarine environments. Previous winners include the creators of the Eyedrivomatic, a device that allows wheelchair users to drive the wheelchair with just their eyes, and Dtto, a modular self-reconfigurable robot designed for all-terrain search and rescue operations.

The 2018 Hackaday Prize judges represent the best and brightest in the engineering and maker communities, including Sherry Huss, co-creator of Maker Faire; Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer and incredibly popular YouTuber; and Danielle Applestone, CEO of Bantam Tools.

Individuals or teams from the USA, U.K., India and many other countries are eligible to enter. Universities, colleges, hackerspaces and startups are strongly encouraged to take part, as are young hackers. Applicants must be 13 years of age or over to participate.

Team Penske and Siemens have entered into a new technical partnership. Under the multi-year agreement, Siemens will help enhance Team Penske’s performance with full access to a wide variety of software products to enable advanced digital design and simulations. Team Penske race teams will utilize Siemens’ software across their computer-aided design (CAD), engineering, simulation and machining platforms. Utilizing this software, Team Penske can create a digital twin of their race cars, which can help engineers simulate engine configurations, innovate new parts and predict race results in real-time. 

“Team Penske is excited to welcome Siemens as a key technical partner, beginning with the 2018 season,” said Roger Penske. “Siemens is a company and a brand that is known worldwide for its superior technology and engineering. Our teams will benefit from Siemens’ expertise and support and we look forward to helping grow the Siemens footprint in the world of motorsports.”

Team Penske is partnering with Siemens PLM Software to adopt an integrated virtual environment for digital modeling and simulation. Siemens’ PLM tools allow Team Penske to keep large amounts of data well organized and accessible for review by anyone within the team, and also enables engineers to quickly iterate through design concepts with the digital twin to arrive at near-optimum solutions within a high-intensity, short timeframe environment. The digital twin is the key to making effective, data-driven design changes at a very rapid pace, and thus, helping improve the results at the racetrack every week.

“We are proud to team up with Team Penske, an American icon in motorsports. As a racing team with extremely challenging requirements on development time and accuracy, Team Penske will be able to fully leverage the unique capabilities of our software solutions,” said Lisa Davis, Managing Board member of Siemens and CEO of Siemens USA. “Our integrated industry solutions, combined with the expertise of the entire design and racing team from Team Penske, will help create world-class vehicles.”

Utilizing Siemens’ PLM tools allows Team Penske to quickly analyze thousands of electronic data streams full of critical on-track performance information, and apply changes to the race car’s digital twin. These changes are then reviewed for performance and durability in a virtual environment, which allows low-cost, high fidelity simulation of the results. With Siemens’ technology, Team Penske is able to capitalize on this streamlined digital process and quickly transition to the physical stages of manufacturing, quality assurance, installation onto the race car, and validate performance in the physical environment. This entire process can be completed with high-impact components in as little as a few hours.

“We are excited to partner with Team Penske and be a part of their strong legacy of championship racing,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “We look forward to supporting Team Penske with our software to help streamline designs, speed results, and deliver the most successful racing teams yet.”

The partnership will also include Siemens as an associate sponsor on the Team Penske cars competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Siemens branding will be featured on all Team Penske Indy cars and on the uniforms worn by Team Penske drivers and teams competing in NASCAR.

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season began with the 60th anniversary running of the Daytona 500, where Team Penske cars earned fourth- and seventh-place finishes.

Ultimaker announced the integration of HP scanning software with its Ultimaker Cura. This integration significantly simplifies the workflow to 3D print scans from HP's Sprout and 3D Structured Light Scanner Pro S3.

The integration is another example in the growing list of Ultimaker Cura-supported 3D applications. Ultimaker has already created integrations with, among others, Siemens NX and SolidWorks, to ensure seamless 3D Printing workflows from CAD and PLM systems. HP is also working with software vendors to integrate solutions for end-to-end production of 3D printed parts, from design to production.

Frans Rintjema, Managing Director Immersive Computing at HP, explained: "This integration is filling a growing need in the market by embedding 3D printing capabilities into professional workflows. This enables customers to consider combining scanning and desktop 3D printing to replace obsolete parts, adding value in professional and education environments."

Paul Heiden, Senior Vice President Product Management at Ultimaker: "By allowing other parties, such as HP, to integrate Ultimaker Cura in their workflow unlocks a whole range of new possibilities for consumers and professionals to fully make use of 3D printing technology. The integration with HP's market-leading 3D scanning software really contributes to the adoption of professional desktop 3D printing. We're very proud to collaborate with HP to offer this for our customers."

For more than three decades, Sensors Expo & Conference has been the industry’s largest event dedicated to sensors, connectivity, and systems, bringing together thousands of highly qualified engineers from around the globe. Sensors Expo & Conference will take place in the heart of Silicon Valley, June 26-28 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. New this year, Sensors will feature an IoT Connectivity Ecosystem, as well as two co-located events - the Medical Sensors Design Conference and the Autonomous Vehicle Sensors Conference – giving attendees the opportunity to dive deep into market specific sensing technologies and emerging applications, and hear from industry thought leaders across top vertical markets.

The sensor industry is changing at lightning quick speed, making it more important than ever for the engineering professionals involved in the design, development and deployment of sensor technologies to stay ahead of disruptive technologies and evolving trends. With this in mind, Sensors Expo highlights the most cutting-edge sensing technologies on the market today, and offers attendees the opportunity to explore the next generation of sensing technologies that are driving tomorrow’s solutions. As North America’s largest and most comprehensive program, Sensors features updated and expanded tracks, exciting and visionary Keynote Presentations, new Pre-Conference Symposia and more interactive content, applications, demos and hands on components than ever before.

Key highlights of the 2018 event include:

  • 10 Tracks with over 60 technical insights and case studies showcasing real sensors solutions from 100+ industry leading speakers
  • NEW tracks – Designing for Industrial and Embedded IoT, Machine Learning & AI, and Simplifying Complex Sensor Data
  • 4 Pre-Conference Symposia on MEMS Technologies, Energy Harvesting & Energy-Efficient Power Solutions, Smart Living through IoT Innovation, and Commercialization Opportunities for Printed, Flexible, Stretchable and Functional Fabric Sensors & Sensor-Based Systems for IoT and Wearables
  • Embedded Hands-On Workshops from Microchip and Microsemi
  • Hundreds of industry-leading and engaging speakers
  • Training Class: AI Development Platforms with Xilinx Adaptable Intelligence
  • Autotech Council & IoT Forum Meetings
  • Trusted Computing Group Workshop: Securing the IoT and Embedded Systems

The annual event attracts more than 6,500 professionals from over 40 countries, looking to share best practices, exchange ideas and make invaluable industry connections to drive business forward. According to Ruben Chicas of Phillips Industries, “Sensors Expo was an altogether exceptional experience. Unparalleled selection of vendors and presenters – truly the place to be if you’re looking to learn about what is happening or upcoming in the sensors world.”

From students to startups, Sensors Expo features it all:

  • Expo Theaters – Boosting with education, these theaters will provide free content ranging from Autonomous Vehicle Sensors to Embedded & Developer Programming to Startup Contests and Sensors Live.
  • IoT Connectivity Ecosystem & Influence Awards – Experience free demos and sessions from leading companies that have integrated sensors and connectivity into IoT solutions. Plus, see which companies are named winners for the first ever IoT Connectivity Ecosystem Influence Awards. Submission form available here.
  • Startup Review – Competing startups will reveal innovations that are set to shake up the automotive industry.
  • Startup Zone - Featuring cutting-edge startups in sensor technology.
  • University Zone - The central hub for all things Academia – Networking, Education Content, Poster Contest, and more.
  • Women in Sensors Engineering Program - Inspiring female engineers help to raise awareness of the contributions they make to the sensors community.

To date, nearly 250 companies from all over the world are scheduled to exhibit at the 2018 event, a 10% increase from last year at this time, including platinum sponsor Digi-Key, and gold sponsors Analog Devices, ROHM, and TE Connectivity. In addition to traditional exhibit space, Sensors also offers expanded exhibit and sponsorship opportunities including Technology Pavilions, New Product Showcases, Startup Opportunities, Branding, and more. Exhibitor sign up is available by contacting Joe Zuccerella.

“Unlike any other event, Sensors Expo & Conference is the only forum dedicated exclusively to sensors, connectivity and systems, designed to educate, inspire and connect the most qualified engineers and technologists in the market today,” said Mat Dirjish, Executive Editor, Sensors Online. “This year we are thrilled to expand our program and feature both the Medical Sensor Design and Autonomous Vehicle Sensor Conferences onsite, offering attendees even more access to the burgeoning sensors market and industry experts among key vertical markets.”

In a fierce competition against four other contenders, Norwich University emerged as the winning team in NASA's third Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing BIG Idea Challenge. The University of Colorado Boulder team was awarded second place.

In this engineering design competition, NASA enlists university teams from across the nation to develop creative solutions to some of the agency's most relevant challenges.

In 2017, NASA called for proposals for large power systems that could be used on the surface of Mars.  Because these systems need to be in place before humans ever arrive on the Red Planet, teams were required to propose robotic or autonomous solutions for deployment and sustainable operation.

The Norwich University team, led by Brian Bradke, proposed an innovative flexible solar array design using inflatable booms to provide a compact stowed configuration and low launch mass. The team made an impressive inflatable model that validated their packing and deployment concept.

The University of Colorado Boulder team, led by Kyri Baker, developed an autonomous foldable solar array concept that secured them the runner-up position. Their approach leveraged extremely lightweight/flexible composite booms that could be wrapped around a centralized hub and then unwound for deployment on the Martian surface.

The five finalists each proposed completely different, unique and viable concepts. Students from Norwich University, Princeton University, Texas A&M University, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Virginia presented their concepts to the judges in an intense design review during the 2018 BIG Idea Challenge Forum held March 6 and 7 in Cleveland, Ohio.

"This year's Big Idea Challenge brought some fresh and exciting ideas on Mars solar arrays that gives us greater confidence to move forward toward human Mars missions," said Lee Mason, principal technologist for power and energy storage with NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, and a Big Idea judge. "The two winning teams provide a nice diversity in their design and operational construct: one focusing on inflatables, the other on composite booms."

The BIG Idea Challenge is aligned with NASA's goal to increase the capabilities of the nation's future workforce through participatory, immersive educational experiences. This includes the challenge prize, which offers NASA internships to members from the winning team.

In a surprise twist during this year's competition, a new industry collaboration led to even more opportunities for the finalists. Bao Hoang of SSL served as an industry judge, and was so impressed with the quality of work and caliber of students that his company will be making internship offers and possibly job offers to those who participated in the final stage of the challenge.

"It has been an honor for SSL to collaborate with NASA and the NIA in helping to judge the 2018 BIG Idea Challenge," said Dario Zamarian, group president at SSL, a Maxar Technologies company. "The student teams have developed innovative concepts that reflect exceptional technical capabilities. In support of the program, SSL will invite multiple BIG Idea Challenge participants to join our summer internship program, where they will have the opportunity to work with a leading technology company that brings a commercial mindset to the development of next-generation space infrastructure."

The BIG Idea Challenge is sponsored by NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate's Game Changing Development Program, and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.

Creaform announced the promotion Fanny Truchon as Business Unit Manager, effective March 1, 2018. Ms. Truchon succeeds Martin Lamontagne, Creaform founder and current Business Unit Manager.

With our new modern headquarters coming to full operational capacity and the management team’s unwavering focus on the next phase of Creaform’s long-term vision, I felt the time was now right for me to pursue the next chapter in my career,” comments Mr. Lamontagne. “Fanny has the proven management expertise, broad understanding of the dimensional-measurement market, and extensive internal experience to make a significant contribution to Creaform’s continued successful evolution.”

Ms. Truchon has served as Vice-President of Operations and Customer Support since 2013. During her tenure, she was responsible for the implementation of a world-class production and supply chain management system. She also played a key role in the relocation of its factory headquarters.

Ms. Truchon’s promotion is the culmination of more than 25 years of experience in the strategic management of manufacturing operations that includes positions with such industry leaders as Louis Garneau Sports and Procter & Gamble, at which she worked for 12 years.

“On behalf of AMETEK, I want to thank Martin for his dedication to Creaform and significant contributions in helping create its market vision,” states Bruce Wilson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, AMETEK Ultra Precision Technologies. “Under his inspiring leadership, Creaform has established itself among the ranks of global industry leaders in 3-D metrology.”

“Martin also led the successful 2013 integration of Creaform into AMETEK, following its acquisition. Now, with Fanny Truchon taking the lead, I am very confident that Creaform will continue to deliver exceptional results and provide exciting careers to its more than 500 employees worldwide,” adds Mr. Wilson.

With the recent inauguration of its new factory headquarters, Creaform continues its aggressive growth plan with more than 50 available positions at its new HQ and offices worldwide.

UNITED GRINDING North America, Inc. will host The Artistry of the Grinding Universe Event April 18–19 at its new 110,000-square-foot headquarters in Miamisburg, Ohio. The free two-day education event will give attendees an opportunity to explore the latest grinding technologies, automation and measurement systems that provide the turnkey solutions they require to keep pace in today’s evolving manufacturing landscape.

During the event, application engineers will perform machine demonstrations on a wide variety of WALTER, STUDER, EWAG and BLOHM machines. Attendees will learn how ID/OD, creep feed, centerless, radius, universal – with an emphasis on bearing grinding in shoes – thread grinding and other modern grinding techniques, can improve productivity and boost part quality. Industry experts from all of UNITED GRINDING’s brands will be on hand to discuss the latest technologies and address specific grinding challenges.

Among the machines in action will be the WALTER HELITRONIC VISION 400 L, a high-precision CNC tool grinding machine that can grind lengths up to 16.5" and a BLOHM PROFIMAT MT, a high-performance production grinding machine. The company will also showcase an EWAG Laser Line Precision machine to show the latest technology for manufacturing cutting tools out of superhard materials. In addition, several of the latest model STUDER machines will be in operation, and attendees will get a virtual sneak peek at new expanded models of STUDER machines.

Another highlight at the event will be a series of educational presentations by industry experts from UNITED GRINDING and key grinding machine ancillary suppliers. Topics will include grinding process automation, coolant and filtration, abrasive and workholding solutions, inspection technologies and Factory 4.0 Digitization.

"This event is a great opportunity for manufacturers to get an up-close look at the state-of-the-art for all things grinding," said Steve Jacobson, President and CEO of United Grinding North America Inc. "Attendees will walk away with practical knowledge they can use to optimize their overall grinding process and have an opportunity to explore our new facility, which opened in November 2017, and enables us to offer the complete grinding experience, all under one roof."

WTWH Media, the parent company of, Medical Design & Outsourcing and DeviceTalks, is proud to announce an agreement to bring two of the Minnesota medtech industry’s most respected events into its DeviceTalks Minnesota event.

DeviceTalks, founded in 2011, is an industry-leading conference held annually in three key medical device markets. It origi nated as an offshoot of, one of the most widely read and respected publications in the medical device world.DeviceTalks Minnesota will be held on June 4-5, 2018 at the Intercontinental Saint Paul Riverfront in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

For the next two years, Medical Alley Association will host its Regulatory 101 and Clinical 101 programs at DeviceTalks Minnesota in 2018 and 2019, according to the agreement.The Medical Alley Association serves the individuals and organizations that comprise Minnesota’s health industry by influencing policy, fostering connections and providing critical intelligence to improve the quality  of health around the world. Medical Alley is considered one of the premiere health technology industry councils in the world.

“I’m honored to work with Medical Alley on helping to preserve and grow the legacy of these key programs for the Minnesota medical technology ecosystem,” said DeviceTalks founder Brian Johnson. “As we continue to grow the DeviceTalks brand across the country, it’s essential to have partners like Medical Alley.”

“The Regulatory and Clinical 101 series have a 20 year history of raising the quality bar in Medical Alley’s medical device community,” said Frank Jaskulke, Vice President Intelligence, Medical Alley. “Partnering with DeviceTalks ensures they continue delivering the best in training and provides opportunities to expand their reach and impact.”

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) unveiled the new design of the patent grant cover during a special ceremony at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. The redesigned cover will debut on patent number 10 million which is expected to issue sometime in 2018.

“American ingenuity has been at the forefront of every major technological revolution of the past two centuries, from steam engines to flight, and from the biotechnology revolution to the information revolution,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu. “This new patent design not only celebrates how far we’ve come and the new frontiers we have yet to explore, it also represents the cornerstone and the currency of an American intellectual property system that has given so much to the world and will continue to do so for ages to come.”

The patent grant cover contains the physical document issued to inventors upon the granting of a U.S. patent. The 225-plus year history of the patent cover has seen fewer than a dozen basic designs since President George Washington granted the first patent in 1790. Previous designs featured calligraphy, elaborate engravings, and high-quality typesetting.

The patent office has only redesigned the document twice in the last hundred years, and the current design is more than 30 years old. A team of in-house USPTO graphic designers created the new patent cover design. After several iterations, Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld made the final selection.

“This new design portrays a modern day flair while reflecting the history of patent covers by taking design cues from 19th and early 20th century patent cover designs, mostly through the use of script typography and graphic ornaments,” said Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld. “When our designers and Patents team were creating the new cover, we wanted to create a design worthy of the significant importance that the document itself has to inventors, and its significance as a physical representation of American invention and ingenuity.”

The ceremony, which was co-sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), also featured remarks from Ethernet inventor, 2007 NIHF inductee, and laureate of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, Robert M. Metcalfe and IBM Master Inventor, Susann Keohane, IBM Global Research Leader for the Aging Initiative.

TE Connectivity and SnapEDA are collaborating to make more than 25,000 new digital models available to electronics designers, helping them bring their products to market faster.

Traditionally, designers have spent days creating models for each component in their designs, a tedious and time-consuming process. Some components, such as connectors, are particularly challenging to create models for due to their non-standard shapes, pitches, pads and cutouts.

With this new collaboration, designers can now download free printed circuit board (PCB) footprint and symbols for TE components instantly, saving them days of time so they can focus on product optimization and innovation. The models are compatible with Altium, OrCAD, Allegro, Eagle, PADS, DXDesigner and KiCad.

These components include a wide range of connectors -- such as USB, flexible printed circuit, modular, mobile battery, terminal and jack connectors -- as well as sensors, fuses, switches, relays, DC-DC converters, thermistors, resistors and diodes.

"TE Connectivity has an extremely broad product portfolio. With everything from connectors to sensors, designers can now seamlessly select and design-in a wide variety of components into their designs by downloading the symbol and footprint for that product instantly," said Natasha Baker, CEO of SnapEDA.

"As a global technology company with more than 7,000 engineers, we know how important these digital models can be for designers," said David Sinisi, VP of Engineering Excellence at TE Connectivity. "We're excited to partner with SnapEDA to make our models available free of charge so that it's easier, faster and more convenient for engineers to optimize their products and bring them to market."

The process is simple. Designers simply search for their desired product on the TE Connectivity or SnapEDA website, download the model and then drag-and-drop it into their designs.

In addition to providing the models themselves, SnapEDA provides transparency into the standards that each model follows. For instance, designers can see whether a footprint follows TE Connectivity's recommended dimensions, or industry standards (such as IPC-7351B). Each model also includes an automated report generated by SnapEDA's patent-pending verification checker, to help prevent common manufacturing issues.

Gentle Giant Ltd. / 3D Systems is excited to announce our new mass market collectible toy division Gentle Giant Toys. Gentle Giant Ltd. have been known as an industry leader in the high-end collectibles market for almost 2 decades, and were pioneers in using digital scans and data to make collector consumer products. Gentle Giant Toys is proud to announce the first seven new mass-market collectible toy lines!

Gentle Giant Toys is a new division branding itself independently from Gentle Giant Ltd. with a new logo, new website and new social media handles. "These fun new, lines deserve a fun, new logo. The new logo tells a story and is more playful and approachable," said Daniel Pickett, Marketing Manager for Gentle Giant Toys. "The Giant represents the company's history and expertise in the world of authentic replication. The Butterfly is the embodiment of the artistic and innovative style ingrained into its consumer products."

"We are excited at the prospect of taking our almost two decades of experience and applying the same care, craftsmanship and attention to detail to these lower price-point collectible toy lines: same way we treat our high-end resin pieces," said Dev Gilmore, Director of Creative and Licensing of Gentle Giant Ltd.

"We've had a lot of fun making our 1:6th scale collectibles, life-size monuments and even larger than life pieces, but the great thing about digital sculpting is that the product can be any size! So, we are taking it down a few notches to be fun, compact and awesome so you can build new collections quickly, without having to look at adding a wing onto your house for them," said Ashly Powell Director of Product Development.

The first wave of product lines include:

Bust-Ups - One of our most popular lines returns for a new generation. Bust-Ups are pre-painted, snap together mystery model kits. You collect them, build them and display them! These eye-catching miniature models allow you to re-create some of your favorite moments from the most successful science fiction and comic book franchises of all time!

Mini Heroes - Straight from the covers of Marvel Comics comes the Gentle Giant Toys' line of Mini Heroes animated maquettes! These mini statues feature fun, stylized versions of your favorite Marvel heroes and villains on a whimsical base environment! Each character is taken from a 2-D comic book image and translated into adorable 3-D for your collection!

Enamel Pins - The enamel pin craze has swept the planet and pop culture fandom is on the forefront of that trend. Gentle Giant Toys is beyond excited to step into this arena with – Star Wars!  We are launching our enamel pin program with 2-D enamel pins representing vintage Star Wars figures! Subsequent waves will feature current films and characters from movies such as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi as well as looking back across over 40 years of the Star Wars Universe!

Super Stills - For our new PVC SuperStills line we are sticking close to our roots and changing the materials but not the care and attention to detail we pour into each bust. we are extending that expertise to reach new audiences and find new collectors by making our highly detailed models more accessible for the mass market. Using high grade PVC we are translating the most iconic characters in entire Star Wars and Marvel universes into dynamic and affordable mass-market display pieces.

Micro Bobbles - The Marvel Universe just got a little more adorable with Gentle Giant's new Marvel Micro-Bobbles line.  These stylized heroes from across the Marvel Universe are blind-bagged in a fun, new, original, bobble-head style.  Each bobble–head character features a suction cup that helps define their characteristic action.

Tiny Tin Pocket Pails
- The greatest heroes, villains, and creatures from every corner of the Star Wars and Marvel Universes have gathered to adorn the exterior of these delightful boxes, presented in both modern and retro styles. These dynamic tin, hinged boxes contain a matching thermos shaped eraser pencil topper. Each Tiny Tin is blind-boxed to ensure collectability!

Fleet Flyers
- Boldly GO!... AND take your favorite ships from Starfleet with you! From the runaway hit TV series Star Trek: Discovery comes Fleet Flyers! Relive your favorite space battles or explore the outer reaches of the quadrant with these replica spacecraft that have appeared in the new season of Star Trek: Discovery. Each vessel is sculpted using actual digital models from the show, capturing every detail of each unique ship! Each ship comes packed with an articulated arm stand and suction cup so that can be attached to any smooth, flat surface!

First Flight Venture Center (FFVC), a Research Triangle Park-based science and technology incubator for NC entrepreneurs, has launched its advanced rapid prototyping facility, Hangar6. Designed to be a shared prototyping lab for technology-based companies in and around North Carolina, the project is funded by a $450,000 challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

FFVC launched Hangar6 with a grand opening event on February 20th, and will hold periodic events during the year to showcase new equipment, capabilities, and services as the facility evolves to meet the needs of science and technology businesses.

Located in RTP at 6 Davis Drive, directly adjacent to FFVC headquarters, Hangar6 is a shared, rapid prototyping facility, and subscription-based program, designed specifically for technology companies to bring their designs to market. The facility has an extensive collection of equipment including, 3D scanners, CO2 lasers, metal fiber lasers, a CNC mill, 3D printers, and more. Hangar6 also offers machine training and design assistance to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and businesses with the help of experienced shop manager, Sam Dirani.

“We’re looking forward to providing a comprehensive range of advanced equipment and expert professional services that will serve as a resource for the rapidly-growing number of science- and technology-based entrepreneurial companies that are springing up in the RTP and the greater Triangle regions,” said Andrew Schwab, FFVC president. “We believe that the Hangar6 facility will be a catalyst for the growth of new companies and new employment opportunities for North Carolina.”

According to Schwab, the Hangar6 prototyping facility is designed to have an ongoing, self-sustaining source of funding through subscription fees for use of the equipment, as well as sponsorship opportunities for companies that offer resources and services needed by companies engaged in the prototyping process.

Partnering with FFVC in the Hangar6 project are Alexandria Real Estate Equities, an RTP-based real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on life sciences; the North Carolina Center Of Innovation Network (NC COIN), a member network of companies dedicated to fostering a growth environment in North Carolina for technology companies; and Eva Garland Consulting (EGC), a firm that assists innovative technology companies obtain non-dilutive funding through government and private sources to accelerate their growth.

Bombardier is working with Siemens to further explore and extend the Teamcenter® portfolio for product lifecycle management (PLM) to optimize its engineering processes to develop, produce and support its products.

“Using Teamcenter to establish an integrated solution spanning across engineering disciplines and downstream users could facilitate the use of consistent processes and leverage collaboration across the enterprise. Bombardier looks forward to what we can achieve from these capabilities,” said Brigitte Larivière, head of Value chain and Functional experience, Bombardier Information Solutions.

Teamcenter provides an integrated single source of information and data for programs spanning across mechanical, electrical, systems, software and wire harnesses, for visibility and traceability throughout each stage of the development process. Combined with the use of a digital twin and a globally common process, once implemented Teamcenter can provide Bombardier improved quality of information within an integrated execution strategy.

“Implementing Teamcenter can help provide Bombardier with greater flexibility in their product development cycles, which is critical in today’s competitive production environment,” said Bob Jones, executive vice president, Siemens PLM Software. “Insight from the digital twin at each stage of the development cycle will inform and enable better products, ultimately benefiting their customers.”

Siemens helps global manufacturers facing today’s challenge of delivering products that meet technical and performance requirements, at cost and on schedule. Supply chains are continually being transformed to optimize productivity while maintaining a highly dynamic and virtual workforce. Solutions from Siemens PLM Software take advantage of industry-leading practices to enable aerospace companies to manage entire product lifecycles.

GF Machining Solutions has appointed several new members to its sales and marketing team. Dante Payva, Sammy Shabib, Heather Natal and Jon Carlson all fill key roles that will enable the company to continue its focus on enhancing the sales, service and support for its milling, EDM and laser texturing solutions.

Dante Payva is now product manager for the company’s portfolio of milling machines. He brings more than 18 years of experience in technical and manufacturing fields to his new position, including 17 as a technical service specialist and a technical support engineer with GF Machining Solutions. Throughout his tenure with the company, Payva has been highly focused on delivering superior customer support that results in high customer satisfaction.

Sammy Shabib has joined GF Machining Solutions as sales manager for the company’s milling products. Previously, he was district sales manager for JTEKT Toyoda Americas Corporation where he managed the southern California distribution team. Shabib earned Associate of Science degrees in physics, mathematics and natural sciences from Cosumnes River College and Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from University of California Irvine.

Heather Natal has also joined GF Machining Solutions as marketing manager. She will draw upon more than 15 years of marketing communications experience with global organizations DSM Functional Materials and DMG America to drive the company’s internal and external communication efforts to support its overall marketing and sales objectives. Natal earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Jon Carlson, who previously served as GF Machining Solutions’ marketing coordinator, has been named product manager for the company’s range of advanced manufacturing solutions. In his new position, he will be responsible for delivering on the growth objectives for additive manufacturing, laser texturing and micro-machining products. Carlson has a Business Administration degree in marketing and finance from Augustana College, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner in baseball.

ASTM International, one of the world’s leading developers of technical standards, released a white paper entitled, “Standards Development: Enabling Manufacturing Innovation and Accelerating Commercialization.”

The free paper provides a high-level vision for optimal partnership and interaction between the global standardization and innovation communities. In particular, it emphasizes how international standards development activities must be more proactively undertaken to keep pace with marketplace innovation.

“More than ever before, businesses throughout the world need high-quality standards that evolve in tandem with rapid advances in 3D printing, nanotechnology, robotics, and other cutting-edge fields,” said Katharine Morgan, ASTM International president.  “Together, we can meet that challenge by creating aligned roadmaps, by maximizing participation in standards development, and more.”

The white paper explains the value that a collaborative and integrated approach to voluntary consensus standards development can bring to innovation initiatives. Specifically, the paper emphasizes:

  • Early engagement in strategic planning to provide the interface between science and technology, research and market;
  • Robust participation of all key stakeholders to ensure alignment of technology and process goals; and,
  • Leveraging the strength of standards development organizations (SDOs), including speed, collaborative expertise, and agility.

There are many examples of how this approach could benefit global leaders involved in standardization and related R&D.

“High-quality technical standards are the foundation for long-term commercial success and key to accelerating deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies,” said John Vickers, NASA Principal Technologist for Advanced Manufacturing. “If we strengthen the relationship between R&D and standardization activities, we will dramatically improve the competitiveness of U.S. advanced manufacturing industries.”

Importantly, the paper provides a figure that visually depicts how the standards and innovation communities can move forward in parallel with ongoing interactions. The paper also highlights how collaborative approaches are already succeeding in the field of additive manufacturing.

Roboze has chosen the City Gate Center in Naperville, IL, as its sales and technology center for its location, style and ability to host all kinds of events. At the moment, the office hosts Roboze One, the printer that will be used for demonstrations, seminars, training and manufacturing of parts.

"Today we open our new commercial and technical center at the City Gate Center of Naperville, Illinois. This facility will be used for seminars, and conferences for our future customers and business partners so they can come and see our technology. We will be happy to give you a tour of our facility when you are in the area. "Says Ron Weavil, Roboze NA Territory Manager.

With a population of about 142,000, Naperville is the fourth largest city in Illinois. Located 28 miles west of downtown Chicago, Naperville offers easy access to major interstate highways, O'Hare International and Midway airports as well as passenger and freight transportation systems.

The Company's mission is to make additive manufacturing solutions accessible using thermoplastic materials with chemical, mechanical and thermal properties superior to the standard polymers currently available on the market. Its offer includes the manufacturing of parts using materials like PEEK.

The latest solution, presented at Formnext 2017, introduces Carbon PEEK, increasing PEEKS’s mechanical performance with reinforced carbon fibers. Available on the Argo 500, Roboze 's first FFF solution, that from there kicked off the company’s production series, able to produce parts in 500 x 500 x 500 mm. The goal is to bring the focus of the 3D printing from mere functional prototypes production to that of end-use parts.

US market demand, and not only, have arisen in recent years given the great need to produce parts that substitute metals and for reduced production volumes.

"The opening of a new office in the heart of the Chicago’s metropolitan area is our response to the strong demand from the US market for a high quality solution for the production of parts with additive manufacturing methods with innovative materials and extraordinary performance, such as Roboze polymers, "says Alessio Lorusso, Roboze CEO & Founder." Ron Weavil also has extensive experience in the market and, above all, it is local. This is what our customers need in order to take full advantage of Roboze solutions and optimize their work "concludes A. Lorusso.

From Brexit and the Chinese import ban to the recent demonisation of plastics by media and politicians, the PDM 2018 conference programme will tackle the most challenging issues facing the industry today. Taking place at the Telford International Centre on June 19-20, 2018, the free-to-attend PDM conference will feature expert speakers from the British Plastics Federation (BPF), CEEMET (the European Employers’ Association) and Made in Britain, and include a panel discussion on how the industry can improve plastic’s image.

Philip Law, Director General, BPF will provide an opening address on where the plastics industry is headed. Mike Baxter, Director of External Affairs, BPI will then present a session on the Chinese ban on plastic waste exports and the implications for the British recycling industry. He will be followed by Kinza Sutton, Marketing Manager, Plastipak who will explore why plastic has become “enemy number one,” looking at how myths and negativity being perpetuated by the media and politicians are affecting public opinion. Her presentation will remind delegates of the positive role plastic plays in our everyday lives, and call for a joined-up approach across the industry to redress the balance.

By way of example, the BPF recently issued a statement in a response to recent government announcements on plastic waste. It said: “We are very disturbed that the tone of language used does not recognise the important benefits that the plastics industry brings to the UK, including 170,000 jobs.

"Plastics themselves save energy. They are low carbon materials, crucial in the fight against climate change. Their light weight and durability cuts fuel consumption in vehicles and aircraft and reduces pollution. They provide protection for products and prevent food waste.

By encouraging plastic-free aisles, the government is creating an impression that the use of plastics is inherently wrong. Typically, food waste in stores increases by a third without packaging. For example, a wrapped cucumber lasts 14 more days than one that is not. Cutting out plastic packaging for fresh produce will actually harm the environment through increased CO2 emissions because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it.”

Matt Barber, event director for the PDM Event says: “We have a really strong line-up of speakers who will not shy away from tackling the difficult issues facing the plastics industry. The conference sessions and panel discussion will provide an important opportunity for the industry to find solutions and set an agenda for action.”

Both upstream and downstream waste management solutions will be discussed during the conference. The Sustainability sessions on day two will include a presentation on stopping ocean plastics by Professor Ed Kosior, CEO and Head Consultant, Nextek, and another on the use of recycled materials in the future, led by Stephen, Mancey, CEO Europe, Logoplaste. In the Design and Differentiation sessions, Keith Freeguard, Director, Axion Consulting will explain the importance of “circular thinking” in sustainable product design.

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the BPF, plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

Physical bones and other artifacts hold valuable clues about past civilizations or ancient animals, but those resources aren’t always available or might be too fragile to be handled routinely. Now, work by Stanford University Libraries to scan artifacts in three dimensions is bringing the experience of handling those physical objects to the computer screens of students or researchers working across the world.

In a pilot project, the library’s Digital Production Group has scanned almost 100 animal bones and bone fragments for Krish Seetah, assistant professor of anthropology, who used the 3-D models for the first time during his course Zooarchaeology: An Introduction to Faunal Remains in the 2017 winter quarter.

“The 3-D model doesn’t replace the original, but it gives you a digital surrogate to make analysis, evaluation, instruction on those objects easier both in the classroom and at home,” said Stuart Snydman, associate director for digital strategy at Stanford Libraries, who is leading the 3-D scanning effort. “Digitization is one way we can not just preserve our heritage and our history but also make these really important objects or works of art available to our students and faculty and researchers in the world at large.”

The venture into 3-D scanning started around 2014, when Seetah received a Hoagland Award grant from Stanford’s Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.

Seetah, who has been teaching a class on zooarchaeology for more than 12 years, said he has always been on the lookout for how to improve his students’ learning experiences. Working closely with Claudia Engel, the Libraries’ academic technology specialist for anthropology, Seetah wanted to take advantage of 3-D scanning because of how prevalent and inexpensive the technology has become in recent years. Previously, Seetah and Engel worked together to integrate tablet computers and digital notebooks into Seetah’s teaching. Exploring 3-D technology was a natural next step.

“The ideal situation would be for each one of my students to take an entire skeleton home and study it, but that’s just not realistic because of the fragility and limitations of the collection,” Seetah said. “Before, I used photographs, and two dimensions versus three is a completely different situation.”

Giving access to 3-D models of fragile archaeological remains through a seamless database improves students’ learning experience but also can help researchers working at remote sites if they need a fast reference point, Seetah said.

As part of Seetah’s class, students have to memorize bones of different animals in such a way that they could identify a bone just from its fragment. The students also learn to distinguish specific grooves and marks on those bones to determine if an animal experienced trauma during its life.

Graduate student Ryan Merritt took Seetah’s class in the 2017 winter quarter, when the professor first piloted the use of 3-D models. Students could pull up the 3-D models digitized by the Libraries on a computer screen or a tablet through a special platform, then rotate or annotate those images. Merritt said the 3-D models helped him learn the course material without needing to be in the lab for long hours working with physical bones.

“The models give you all of the angles,” he said. “And for someone who was learning about these artifacts for the first time, that was really useful.”

Taking Seetah’s class also made Merritt think about the future application of 3-D scanning, which could be used to share the resources and artifacts Stanford has via virtual databases with the rest of the world.

“I think we’re lucky to have access to all the things that Stanford has,” Merritt said. “Being able to let other universities and scholars across the world have access to our resources would be super valuable.”

That same idea is also on the minds of the staff at the Libraries. Snydman said he hopes to expand the Libraries’ existing 3-D scanning efforts and make those digitized materials easily available through the Stanford Digital Repository to scholars across the world. Seetah said he encourages Stanford faculty in other disciplines who could find 3-D models helpful during teaching, such as cell biology and architecture, to partner with the Libraries on the 3-D scanning project.

“This is not being done to coddle the students,” Seetah said. “It’s all about finding ways to make sure we are responsive to how students learn best in today’s digital environment.”

The TCT Group announced that submissions for the TCT Awards 2018 are now being invited. The winners will be announced, during the 2018 edition of the TCT Show, on the evening of Wednesday 26th September at the prestigious Hilton Metropole, Birmingham, on site at the NEC.

Following a hugely successful inaugural event the TCT Awards 2018 will once again celebrate design-to-manufacturing innovation across a range of industries including medical, aerospace, automotive and consumer products. Technology innovations will also be in the spotlight along with a further three inductees to the prestigious and coveted TCT Hall of Fame.

Duncan Wood, CEO, Rapid News Publications Ltd, owners of TCT, comments: "After such a fantastic evening last year we are really looking forward to seeing which projects are submitted for 2018 and who makes the exclusive Hall of Fame.  We encourage companies to reflect on the amazing work they are doing and the incredible technology they are developing and get their entries in as soon as possible.

"The TCT Awards are the most important and prestigious celebration of design-to-manufacturing innovation and we look forward to recognising amazing individuals, technology and applications in September."

Information for Entering the TCT Awards

The TCT Awards 2018 are open to companies across the entire design and manufacturing technology ecosystem and may be entered online; a full list of categories, submission criteria and deadlines can be found on the TCT Awards website.

The awards will be judged by an independent board of experts, analysts, journalists, and academics. The nominees for the Hall of Fame will be selected by this panel and then a free and fair public vote will be held to determine the three inductees for 2018.

TCT Show 2018 takes place 25-27th September 2018, NEC, Birmingham, UK.

Microsemi announced its AcuEdge™ Development Kit for Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) won the “Internet of Things (IoT) Product Innovation Award” at the Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards. The prestigious annual award recognizes a semiconductor reference design or system-level product which demonstrates the capabilities and usefulness of the IoT.

Microsemi’s AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS delivers enhanced audio processing to improve voice recognition rates in adverse audio environments for emerging human to machine (H2M) applications in the IoT, industrial IoT and automated assistance markets. The kit enables third-party developers and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to evaluate and incorporate Alexa functionality in H2M applications, while interfacing with Microsemi’s Timberwolf™ ZL38063 multi-mic audio processor.

“Microsemi is honored to be recognized with an Elektra Award, as our AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS leverages our state-of-the-art Timberwolf solution to enable truly innovative H2M applications at a time when this market is experiencing exciting growth,” said Roger Holliday, senior vice president and general manager at Microsemi. “Our team prides itself on our ability to tackle the most difficult challenges facing those in the IoT market. As the industry addresses growing demand for reliable, scalable platforms, this device enables developers to quickly and cost-effectively achieve their design criteria.”

Judges of the Elektra Awards described Microsemi’s AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS as a “massive leap forward” for developers looking to integrate Alexa functionality into their products. Its features enable voice control and speech recognition both from a distance and in the presence of noise and audio sounds. The kit has a development board that connects directly to a Raspberry Pi and plastic frames to help position microphones and speakers in targeted applications, providing an ease of setup the judges appreciated. As one judge stated, the device is “a clear winner that will help drive development in this fast-growing market.”

The Elektra European Electronics Industry Awards showcase the finest new products, technology innovation and company performances of the year for the European electronics industry. Established to celebrate the achievements of individuals and companies across Europe, they present best practices in key areas including, innovation, sales growth and employee motivation. An independent panel of judges assessed the quality of all entries and winners were recognized at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London in December 2017.

BigRep GmbH and Thought3D have cooperated to bring first-layer adhesive Magigoo to large-scale build area FFF industrial 3D printers, with the aim of increasing printing reliability and maintenance convenience.

BigRep is one of the world’s leading providers of large-format 3D printers, making them affordable and reliable tools for additive manufacturing for various industries. Today the printers are adopted by many automotive, construction, furniture, design and architecture companies who have a growing need to prototype and run small-scale production worldwide.

“BigRep customers expect high-quality end products," said Moshe Aknin, Chief Technology Officer at BigRep. “Magigoo is a reliable product that helps our dependable workhorse printers to achieve great large-scale results.”

With a consistent increase in new adopters and their requirement for novel materials, it is a great challenge to provide ubiquitous hardware that works equally well for each material, since every material requires different printing conditions. With all this, it is still vital to provide customers with solutions that work reliably and allow them the flexibility to print with any material without requiring regular change in hardware.

Magigoo is a smart adhesive designed specifically for 3D printing. It is designed to work in par with a heated bed. It has been designed to stick when the bed is hot and to release as soon as it cools down, increasing reliability as well as throughput. Its solvent-free and environmentally friendly formula makes it easy to ship and safe to work with. The new big bottle developed with BigRep in mind allows for easier and faster application on a large print area.

In one particular instance, BigRep was printing a cross-section of its creative team’s bionic propeller design on The ONE printer. Given the propeller model’s area of contact was rather small, the BigRep team needed Magigoo on the print bed to aide in printing the large part’s challenging geometry. Moreover, the object’s overhangs and sharp details could have led to object detachment, but with the Magigoo adhesive, BigRep was able to successfully print several cross-sections of the model for prototyping.

“We enjoyed working with BigRep to extend our product range for large format 3D printers and we are glad to provide a product that meets high demands of industrial clients.” said Dr Keith M Azzopardi, Co-Founder and R&D Lead at Thought3D. “We hope to continue this collaboration with BigRep. Magigoo’s development road map is underway. We are expanding our product portfolio to include even wider spectrum of smart adhesives targeting engineering materials”.

NASA is on a mission to inspire young minds to become the next generation of critical thinkers. By engaging students in space exploration at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, NASA encourages learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a way that fosters hands-on learning and discovery.

"As more states incorporate STEM-focused education into their standards, we assist teachers by developing curriculum support materials that help them meet the standards while making learning fun for their students," said Susan Currie, education specialist at Marshall.

One example of how Marshall achieves this goal is through collaboration with the Oak Ridge City School System in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Marshall staff assisted in curriculum development that incorporated unique NASA resources, and then trained teachers to use the resources for a new elective engineering course called NASA Project-Based Learning. Marshall engineers also serve as mentors to students in the course. Patrick Hull, technical assistant for the Structural and Mechanical Design Branch of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall, assisted with this collaboration in the community where he grew up.

"We sought to invest in our community and influence middle school students by exposing them to exciting STEM careers at NASA" said Hull. At many schools, this type of unique experience in STEM fields was only available in an extracurricular environment.

Hull partnered with Robertsville Middle STEM teacher, Todd Livesay, to create a project that tasked students with designing and 3-D printing a small one-unit cube satellite, or 1U CubeSat. Once completed, the students presented their project at Marshall in front of Hull and a panel of fellow engineers. "To have had an opportunity in junior high to work with a group of engineers from NASA would have been very motivating to me," said Hull.

"The value of skills learned by our students in this program spans more than just STEM disciplines," said Holly Cross, career and technical education supervisor for the Oak Ridge City School System. "The mentors from NASA encouraged our students to talk about their project in a conversational manner rather than memorizing for a presentation. Our English teachers have commented on how their presentation skills have developed and matured as a result of their interaction with the NASA engineers."

For the 2017 class mission, students chose a cause that is near to their hearts. In 2016, wildfires ravaged communities in nearby Gatlinburg, Tennessee, taking the lives of 14 residents and leaving more than 2,500 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. To assist Gatlinburg and other communities impacted by wildfires, the students set out to develop a CubeSat capable of deploying a camera and radio in space to observe and communicate the regrowth pattern of vegetation after a widespread fire. This information can be used to help communities regrow after destruction.

The students submitted their completed project in proposal form to NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative to compete for a spot to fly on a future launch. Through the initiative, NASA provides universities, high schools and non-profit organizations access to a low-cost pathway to conduct research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations. NASA is planning to make their next round of CubeSat selections in February. Selected experiments will be considered as potential payloads on agency launches or for deployment from the International Space Station beginning in 2018 through 2021.

3DCompare is a comparison platform for 3D printing that links companies with verified, professional and experienced 3D printing businesses around the world. Already active in North America and Europe, 3DCompare is rapidly expanding into a worldwide network. There is growing demand for 3D printing. In 2020 experts estimate the 3D market to be 28.9 billion U.S. dollars from 13.2 billion in 2016. Industries such as jewellery, architecture and dentistry have realized 3D printings potential for cheaper and better quality objects.

Current partners include industry leaders such as iMaterialise, Shapeways and Makexyz. 3DCompare users have immediate access to the latest range of additive manufacturing technology including FDM, SLA and SLS, and a wide array of metal, plastic, resin and ‘multi-colour’.materials. 3D printing bureaus who partner with 3DCompare get a uniquely designed, easy to use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) interface.

“3DCompare is constantly evolving its software to reflect the needs of this innovative and evolving industry with new tools, functions and features being constantly added. This is not a static platform; 3DCompare is committed to providing our service partners with software that adapts to their needs,” said Jerome Charvet CTO of 3DCompare.

"Being listed on has connected us with a whole new range of potential customers from all sorts of industries, helping us to grow our 3D printing service. It has put us in front of customers and all without having to spend huge amounts on marketing." William, CEO at Proto 3D - Beta Tester.

The rise of additive manufacturing as a proven commodity means that the 3D printing industry is now attracting a great deal of interest. The market for CAD software and on demand parts services is expected to triple in the next 2 years. “ We firmly believe that with the right support and information, far more businesses will take advantage of the speed, cost efficiency and unique applications that 3D printing allows. 3DCompare is the right platform at the right time,” adds Alex Ziff.

“ is to provide the best 3D printing services to professionals looking to 3D print a model at high quality via a Comparison Platform. It connects a curated selection of services bureau from around the world with a growing demand of professionals looking to get their files 3D files printed” - Alex Ziff CEO of 3DCompare

The last few years have seen an explosion of new materials for 3D printing applications. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one can be a daunting task. After more than a year of research and development, Simplify3D has published an extensive 3D Printing Materials Guide that explores all of the popular filaments in use today, providing expert tips to improve your results with each material. In addition to in-depth articles on more than a dozen different filament types, the Guide also includes a detailed Properties Table for comparing the physical and mechanical properties of one material against another.

This Guide is the latest educational resource from Simplify3D, the same company that published the highly referenced Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide, which addresses common printing defects and their solutions.  “We know that 3D printing involves a balance of hardware, software, and materials”, said Simplify3D CEO, Clayton Webster.  “We have addressed the hardware challenges by partnering with manufacturers all over the world so that Simplify3D can support over 400 different 3D printers, but we also want to provide resources to help our customers succeed with the wide array of new materials that are available.  We are constantly testing the latest printers and filaments to make sure our software is optimized for each scenario, so we are excited to share our findings with the community”.

The Materials Guide starts with a grid of images, showcasing actual prints that were created with each material.  You can use tags to quickly filter the images based on specific applications or needs.  After selecting a material from the grid, you can view an in-depth article containing pros and cons, hardware requirements, best practices, troubleshooting solutions, and pro tips for advanced users.  Each article also includes a helpful “Get Started” section with sample models to provide inspiration for your first print.

Along with this Guide, Simplify3D has published a robust Filament Properties Table that compiles 25 different properties and characteristics for each material.  The Table includes detailed metrics such as strength, stiffness, density, and other mechanical properties that could be useful when designing your next part. A built-in comparison tool can be used to select specific materials for side-by-side comparison. Having all of this information in one place greatly simplifies the challenge of selecting the best material for a specific application.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

“The United States possesses the talent, expertise, and vision to surpass the rest of the world in solar technologies and forge a new solar energy landscape around the globe,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “The American Made Solar Prize will galvanize our country’s entrepreneurs, allow them to utilize technologies and innovations developed through DOE’s early-stage research and development, and, ultimately, bring new American-made products to market.”

This solar prize brings together America’s world-class research base with its unparalleled, entrepreneurial support system consisting of universities, energy incubators, and DOE’s 17 national laboratories to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations primed for private investment and commercial scale up. The prize will connect these diverse stakeholders in a process that opens the full panorama of next-generation solar technologies that are needed by private industry, as well as amplify opportunities for revolutionary innovations to be tested that could potentially obsolete the status quo.

This newly formed network will leverage cutting-edge technologies and facilities, such as small batch prototyping to speed cycles of innovation. Testing and development capabilities of DOE’s national labs will put the foremost research expertise and analytic tools at the fingertips of U.S. entrepreneurs, and deliver immediate insights that improve research prioritization. Finally, the program will catalyze early and ongoing connections with both corporate and venture capital sources, which is key to bringing the crucial investment and financial instruments needed in the later stages of commercial scaling.

This program is funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

MyMiniFactory is back with another design challenge and incredible prizes. This time, they have partnered up with petroleum giant ESSO, who have sponsored and conceived the brief for MyMiniFactory’s latest design challenge. This is the first time Esso and MyMiniFactory have decided to collaborate on a design challenge, hoping the community will surprise and impress them with this fun and ecological task.

In this upcycling-themed challenge, participants must find new uses for the iconic 250ml can, utilizing 3D printing. The winner will have a chance to win a BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer worth over $5000 and a there is also a STARTT 3D printer for the runner up!

Christophe Fay, Esso EAME Marketing Communications Manager, said “We sell a lot of drinks at Esso stations, we also believe at Esso that every details matters and that if upcycling can help reuse cans for the benefit of our customer, we should help.” He adds, “Objects proposed could end up being offered to our customers in a promotion.”, which is the first time such an opportunity has been on the table for the MyMiniFactory community.

The winner of this upcycling challenge will receive a BCN3D Sigmax worth over $5000. BCN3D also sponsored MyMiniFactory’s halloween competition in partnership with Autosdesk’s tinkercad awarding MyMiniFactory community member Clockspring with their Sigma 3D Printer.

BCN3D’s Sigmax is the larger model of the existing Sigma desktop 3D printer with some additional features such as two independent heads capable of simultaneous dual extrusion and duplicate printing.

The competition is open to enter until the 14th of February 2018, and is only open to residents of Australia, Europe and USA who are over the age of 18.

Allianz and Launch Forth are teaming up to pose a global design challenge that envisions the future of mobility and accessibility in sports by asking innovators to submit ideas and designs for adaptive mobility devices, like wheelchairs, with a focus on additive manufacturing, in order to level the playing field for people of all abilities.

The “Allianz Adaptive Sports” category asks the community to create ideas and devices for people with mobility impairments that can also be adaptable to all, regardless of ability. The category encompasses two main projects, Super Human Sports and Mass Mobility, which allows innovators to engage in a broader range of ideation as they create various solutions for adaptive mobility. 

“At Allianz, we strive to embrace technology innovations that will shape the way people ultimately live in the future by committing ourselves to co-creating new solutions with strong partners and communities,” said Jean-Marc Pailhol, head of group market management and distribution at Allianz SE. “What we’re really trying to do here is change the conversation around mobility devices, taking something that is currently just a medical device and turning it into something sleek and customizable, similar to the way that prosthetics have changed and evolved into something to be shown off.”

The concept challenge within the first project, Super Human Sports, is where participants will submit concept art showcasing their vision for the next extreme sport equipment that would allow athletes of varying abilities to compete together and push the boundaries of human ability to the extreme. Seven winners will receive a total of $10,000 in prizes. Submissions close Jan. 31, 2018.

The second project, Mass Mobility, debuts in two phases with the brainstorming phase, now underway, and the product design challenge phase, beginning in Q1. The challenge focuses on the intersection of sports, style and leisure by tasking participants to come up with an active lifestyle device that can be customized to match a variety of lifestyles, needs and style choices. The concept needs to be submitted as a fully thought-out product design that can be prototyped via 3D printing.

“We’re calling for all innovators around the globe with knowledge and expertise in 3D printing, industrial and project designers and manufacturing engineers, to help us move the meter to create truly life-changing products,” said Elle Shelley, executive vice president of Launch Forth. “Whether it be a self-balancing bike for downhill racing or a skateboard that has special grips on the deck, we’re really pushing these solvers to think outside the box.”

The “Allianz Adaptive Sports” projects are run on San Francisco-based Launch Forth, an enterprise-level product design platform powered by a robust co-creation community of 185,000 designers, engineers and solvers. Using open innovation to accelerate the product development process, Launch Forth allows people everywhere the opportunity to collaborate with minds from around the world, team up to work together to solve perplexing issues, compete for prizes by submitting their own ideas, models and solutions while also building their professional reputation.

Rocket Lab has successfully reached orbit with the test flight of its second Electron orbital launch vehicle, Still Testing. Electron lifted-off at 14:43 NZDT from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand.

Following successful first and second stage burns, Electron reached orbit and deployed customer payloads at 8 minutes and 31 seconds after lift-off.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era in commercial access to space. We’re thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after our first test launch,” says Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck. “Our incredibly dedicated and talented team have worked tirelessly to develop, build and launch Electron. I’m immensely proud of what they have achieved today.”

“Reaching orbit on a second test flight is significant on its own, but successfully deploying customer payloads so early in a new rocket program is almost unprecedented. Rocket Lab was founded on the principal of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it. Today we took a significant step towards that,” he says.

In the coming weeks Rocket Lab engineers will analyse the data from the launch to inform future launches. Rocket Lab currently has five Electron vehicles in production, with the next launch expected to take place in early 2018. At full production, Rocket Lab expects to launch more than 50 times a year, and is regulated to launch up to 120 times a year, more than any other commercial or government launch provider in history.

Still Testing was carrying a Dove Pioneer Earth-imaging satellite for launch customer Planet, as well as two Lemur-2 satellites for weather and ship tracking company Spire.

Rocket Lab’s commercial phase will see Electron fly already-signed customers including NASA, Spire, Planet, Moon Express and Spaceflight.

BCN3D Technologies, the worldly renowned Open Source 3D printer manufacturer, announced the appointment of Xavier M. Faneca as their new CEO. Xavi M. Faneca will assume responsibilities on February 1st and will succeed Roger Uceda, who will lead the 3D printing technological development and research at the CIM Technological Center, the innovation institute where BCN3D was born.

As one of the co-founders and COO together with a large expertise in the 3D printing and business development field, Xavi M. Faneca has been leading all BCN3D operations and design teams. This has allowed BCN3D to bring the IDEX technology and revolutionary products like the BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax to the market.

Xavi M. Faneca says, “Roger and I started the project and we have been working together since 2011, seeing the project growth and consolidation. Now, it is a huge honor to take the lead at BCN3D and I am confident to say that our team is ready to take advantage of the new market opportunities. I can feel the thrill of making BCN3D even bigger with new technology and products for our customers.”

On the other hand, Roger Uceda will be supporting BCN3D technological development strategy in a long term vision and guaranteeing the successful continuity of the project in order to keep up positioning BCN3D as one of the top 3D printer manufacturers in the next years to come.

“From my part, I am personally really proud from what the team has achieved so far and really excited for the challenges we have ahead of us. We have raised a company from scratch becoming one of the top 3D printer manufacturers in the industry” says Roger Uceda.

The new organizational chart will allow BCN3D to take profit of the new 3D printing processes carried out by the R&D team at the CIM-UPC, creating synergies that will crystallize in future equipments aiming to disrupt the 3D Printing Industry.

Polaroid announced the launch of four new 3D printers for the US and Canadian markets. The new easy-to-use consumer 3D printers make the latest 3D printing technology accessible to anyone looking to add a printer to their home, classroom or office.

“At Polaroid, we have an 80-year history of not only making the latest technology accessible to the everyday consumer, but also providing users with products that allow them to express their creativity,” said Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. “Our newest 3D printer models are the perfect example of this. We’re proud to offer the latest in 3D printing technology to give users a new way to express themselves at a price point that puts the technology within reach for use in any home, school or business.”

The four models in the Polaroid 3D range boast a compact, sleek design and are ideal for anyone looking to easily print models, parts, artwork and more.

  • Polaroid Nano Duo 3D Printer - The Polaroid Nano Duo 3D printer features dual-head printing, enabling users to print two colors simultaneously for colorful, lively projects. The printer can be easily controlled via the on-board LCD panel or remotely controlled using Wi-Fi and a dedicated smartphone app. The app also allows users to monitor the progress of their prints using the Polaroid Nano Duo printer’s built-in camera and provides access to cloud storage for designs. The printer measures at 17.7”x 14.1”x 22” with a print area of 11.8”x 8.8”x 12.6”, enabling users to easily create large items.  Users can create projects using a variety of materials and colors since the Polaroid Nano Duo is compatible with a wide range of filament types including ABS, wood, TPU, metal and PLA 1.75mm filament. The Polaroid Nano Duo 3D printer will be available in April in charcoal grey at an MSRP of $1849.
  • Polaroid Nano Mini 3D Printer - The Polaroid Nano Mini 3D printer is a plug-and-play option perfect for anyone looking to quickly get started printing projects—no 3D printing experience is required. The easy one-button push control and ultra-quiet motor make it an ideal printer for the home or classroom. The printer’s lightweight and compact design (7.4”x 7.4” x 7.8”) allow for easy storage and portability. The Polaroid Nano Mini printer boasts a 3.1”x 3.1” x 3.5” printing bed and is compatible with PLA 1.75mm filament. The Polaroid Nano Mini 3D printer will be available in April in white at an MSRP of $349.
  • Polaroid Nano Glide 3D Printer - While the Polaroid Nano Glide printer features a small footprint (10.2”x 9.8” x 10.2”), it has the ability to produce large projects thanks to the printer’s 4.7”x 4.7” x4.7” sliding print bed. The printer’s filament smart sensor informs users when a refill of PLA 1.75mm filament is required, which is especially useful with larger projects. The printer also features child safety doors, making it ideal for use at home or in the classroom. The Polaroid Nano Glide 3D printer will be available in April in white at an MSRP of $479.
  • Polaroid Nano+ 3D Printer - The Polaroid Nano+ 3D printer features the latest in FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology, resulting in faster, more accurate and stable prints. The easy-to-use printer can be controlled via the on-board LCD tray or remotely controlled using Wi-Fi and a dedicated smartphone app. The printer measures in at 11”x 11” x 11” with a printing area of 4.7”x 4.7” x 4.7”. The printer’s filament smart sensor informs users when a refill of PLA 1.75mm filament is required, and the child safety doors offer added security for younger users. The Polaroid Nano+ 3D printer will be available in March in black at an MSRP of $549.

The U.S. and Canadian Polaroid range of 3D printers is offered by Coretech Printer Group Co. Ltd., an authorized Polaroid licensee. Polaroid 3D printer models will be available at retail outlets starting this spring at an expected MSRP between $349-1849.

Inside 3D Printing is back in Düsseldorf from February 21-22, 2018. With thousands of visitors Inside 3D Printing has become one of the leading B2B conferences for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Two days of packed programs and three conference tracks with more than 50 sessions ensure maximum knowledge transfer and networking.

The media hype has made 3D printing an omnipresent theme. Inside 3D Printing however makes additive manufacturing the center of attention and focuses on the latest commercial innovations, today’s enormous efforts in research, the development of technologies and equipment, as well as the application and integration into a complete product realization process. All stakeholders of additive manufacturing are addressed by Inside 3D Printing.

One highlight for this year’s program is the Keynote with Dr. Phil Reeves from Stratasys – 3D Printing – A global Perspective to Business Adoption and Value Creation.

In this keynote, Dr. Reeves will discuss how 3D printing is being used globally by companies to drive both top-line sales growth and to drive bottom-line business profitability. He will discuss the business drivers to 3D printing adoption, including low volume supply chain realignment, design optimization and increased functionality, resource efficiency manufacturing and product personalization.

Another highlight is the Keynote with Prof. Thierry Rayna from École Polytechnique – Beyond the Hype: How to Make 3D Printing Mainstream?

3D printing/Additive Manufacturing has been so hyped the past few years that it would be easy to forget that it is a 30-year old set of technologies—barely 10 years younger than the now ubiquitous PC. While 3D Printing has undoubtedly gained ground, and has arguably become a cornerstone of some industries, it still remains to this day a niche manufacturing technology.

HANNOVER MESSE USA, the newly branded North American industrial technology trade shows co-located at IMTS 2018, will feature 130,000 square feet of exhibition space and special display areas. This marks a 44 percent increase compared to the co-located shows’ total floor space at IMTS 2016. For the first time since the co-located shows launched at IMTS 2012, the exhibition space and three special display areas will be located on two floors of the East Building at McCormick Place from September 10-15, 2018.

During IMTS 2018 on level three of the East Building, HANNOVER MESSE USA’s Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives USA (IAMD USA), North America’s leading trade show for Integrated Automation, Industrial IT, Power Transmission and Control, will cover more exhibition space than ever before.  Located alongside IAMD USA on level three will be the Fluid Power special display area.

On level two, the other three HANNOVER MESSE USA co-located trade shows - ComVac USA, Industrial Supply USA and Surface Technology USA – will take place alongside the event’s Digital Factory and Industrial Energy Systems special display areas. Both levels two and three will feature educational presentations on the show floor and in the special display areas. Corresponding educational conferences will again be featured at IMTS 2018, including the Global Automation Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), co-organized by CFE Media and HFUSA, and the Integrated Industries conference, organized by HFUSA.

“As we have done since launching the industrial technology shows at IMTS 2012, HANNOVER MESSE USA’s trade shows will leverage the power of the HANNOVER MESSE brand by demonstrating the full range of Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions during IMTS 2018,” said Larry Turner, President & CEO of HFUSA. “We also expect to extend the overall scope and global nature of the co-located shows this year by highlighting more exhibitors from around the world in our international pavilions, including China, Germany, Italy, Korea and Taiwan,” added Turner.

Leading the HANNOVER MESSE USA 2018 management team is Chicago-based Adrienne Zepeda, Show Manager of North American Industrial Technology Events at HFUSA, and Raymond Bianchi, Vice President of Events & Business Development at HFUSA. Supporting Ms. Zepeda and Mr. Bianchi is Alex Balis, Audience Development Manager at HFUSA.

“Our entire HFUSA team is working extremely hard to make sure that our overall HANNOVER MESSE USA event strategy aligns perfectly with our exhibitors’ goals and our attendees’ trade show expectations,” added Turner.

“I am very excited to be a part of the launch of the world renowned HANNOVER MESSE brand to the North American advanced manufacturing space at IMTS 2018,” said Zepeda.  “We are adding a number of very unique educational topics and displays on the floor this year, which certainly will enhance visitors overall experience.”

The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the 2018 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the country's highest award for technological achievement and is presented by the President of the United States.

The medal is awarded to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America's economic, environmental and social well-being. The medal highlights those who have made a national impact through technological innovation, commercialization, and/or strengthening the nation’s technological workforce. The medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.

The USPTO administers the medal program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. Detailed information about the nomination guidelines, sample letters of recommendation, and link to the nomination form is available on the NMTI webpage. All nominations must be completed in the nomination portal by midnight (ET), April 6, 2018. Nominations of candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged.

For more information about the award and nomination process, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have discovered novel ways to extend the capabilities of two-photon lithography (TPL), a high-resolution 3D printing technique capable of producing nanoscale features smaller than one-hundredth the width of a human hair.

The findings, recently published on the cover of the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, also unleashes the potential for X-ray computed tomography (CT) to analyze stress or defects noninvasively in embedded 3D-printed medical devices or implants.

Two-photon lithography typically requires a thin glass slide, a lens and an immersion oil to help the laser light focus to a fine point where curing and printing occurs. It differs from other 3D-printing methods in resolution, because it can produce features smaller than the laser light spot, a scale no other printing process can match. The technique bypasses the usual diffraction limit of other methods because the photoresist material that cures and hardens to create structures — previously a trade secret — simultaneously absorbs two photons instead of one.

In the paper, LLNL researchers describe cracking the code on resist materials optimized for two-photon lithography and forming 3D microstructures with features less than 150 nanometers. Previous techniques built structures from the ground up, limiting the height of objects because the distance between the glass slide and lens is usually 200 microns or less. By turning the process on its head — putting the resist material directly on the lens and focusing the laser through the resist — researchers can now print objects multiple millimeters in height. Furthermore, researchers were able to tune and increase the amount of X-rays the photopolymer resists could absorb, improving attenuation by more than 10 times over the photoresists commonly used for the technique.

“In this paper, we have unlocked the secrets to making custom materials on two-photon lithography systems without losing resolution,” said LLNL researcher James Oakdale, a co-author on the paper.

Because the laser light refracts as it passes through the photoresist material, the linchpin to solving the puzzle, the researchers said, was “index matching” – discovering how to match the refractive index of the resist material to the immersion medium of the lens so the laser could pass through unimpeded. Index matching opens the possibility of printing larger parts, they said, with features as small as 100 nanometers.

“Most researchers who want to use two-photon lithography for printing functional 3D structures want parts taller than 100 microns,” said Sourabh Saha, the paper’s lead author. “With these index-matched resists, you can print structures as tall as you want. The only limitation is the speed. It’s a tradeoff, but now that we know how to do this, we can diagnose and improve the process.”

By tuning the material’s X-ray absorption, researchers can now use X-ray-computed tomography as a diagnostic tool to image the inside of parts without cutting them open or to investigate 3D-printed objects embedded inside the body, such as stents, joint replacements or bone scaffolds. These techniques also could be used to produce and probe the internal structure of targets for the National Ignition Facility, as well as optical and mechanical metamaterials and 3D-printed electrochemical batteries. 

The only limiting factor is the time it takes to build, so researchers will next look to parallelize and speed up the process. They intend to move into even smaller features and add more functionality in the future, using the technique to build real, mission-critical parts.

“It’s a very small piece of the puzzle that we solved, but we are much more confident in our abilities to start playing in this field now,” Saha said. “We’re on a path where we know we have a potential solution for different types of applications. Our push for smaller and smaller features in larger and larger structures is bringing us closer to the forefront of scientific research that the rest of the world is doing. And on the application side, we’re developing new practical ways of printing things.”

The work was funded through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. Other LLNL researchers who contributed to the project include Jefferson Cuadra, Chuck Divin, Jianchao Ye, Jean-Baptiste Forien, Leonardus Bayu Aji, Juergen Biener and Will Smith.

Magnet Applications, Inc. announced that Additively Printed High Performance Magnets were recognized at the 55th Annual R&D Conference, held November 16-17 in Orlando, Florida. The magnets were developed by a team of researchers at ORNL and co-developed by Magnet Applications, Inc., Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute (CMI), Tru-Design and Momentum Technologies.

Magnet Applications, Inc. manufactured the starting composite pellets of the Additive Printed High Performance Magnets with 65 volume percent isotropic NdFeB powder and 35 percent polyamide nylon-12 binder. The 3D printing was performed at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the Big Area Additive Manufacturing System (BAAM). These are the first rare earth bonded magnets created using this system, which allows for rapid production with no size or shape limitations while reducing energy consumption, lowering production costs and conserving rare earth elements.

The development team, led by ORNL’s Parans Paranthaman, includes two members from Magnet Applications Inc.: Dr. John Ormerod, Senior Technical Adviser, and Bob Fredette, Applications Engineer.

“We are proud to have been part of the development team for the 3D printed magnets,” commented Ormerod. “The recognition for this innovative breakthrough, and by the team at ORNL, is a testament to our commitment to offer our customers the latest in magnet engineering advancements no matter the application. We’re honored to be listed among so many outstanding companies and people focused on developing breakthroughs in science and technology.”

Bob Fredette added, “ORNL’s facilities are at the forefront of innovation and it is gratifying to be part of their team on this project. We are constantly looking for ways to advance magnetic engineering in the marketplace and this opportunity reflects that.”

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have pioneered a breakthrough method to rapidly 3D print fully functional electronic circuits.

The circuits, which contain electrically-conductive metallic inks and insulating polymeric inks, can now be produced in a single inkjet printing process where a UV light rapidly solidifies the inks.

The breakthrough technique paves the way for the electronics manufacturing industry to produce fully functional components such as 3D antennae and fully printed sensors from multiple materials including metals and plastics.

The new method combines 2D printed electronics with Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing - which is based on layer-by-layer deposition of materials to create 3D products. This expands the impact of Multifunctional Additive Manufacturing (MFAM), which involves printing multiple materials in a single additive manufacturing system to create components that have broader functionalities.

The new method overcomes some of the challenges in manufacturing fully functional devices that contain plastic and metal components in complex structures, where different methods are required to solidify each material.

Existing systems typically use just one material which limits the functionality of the printed structures. Having two materials like a conductor and an insulator, expands the range of functions in electronics. For example, a wristband which includes a pressure sensor and wireless communication circuitry could be 3D printed and customised for the wearer in a single process.

The breakthrough speeds up the solidification process of the conductive inks to less than a minute per layer. Previously, this process took much longer to be completed using conventional heat sources such as ovens and hot plates, making it impractical when hundreds of layers are needed to form an object. In addition, the production of electronic circuits and devices is limited by current manufacturing methods that restrict both the form and potentially the performance of these systems.

Professor Chris Tuck, Professor of Materials Engineering and lead investigator of the study, highlighted the potential of the breakthrough, ‘Being able to 3D print conductive and dielectric materials (electrical insulators) in a single structure with the high precision that inkjet printing offers, will enable the fabrication of fully customised electronic components. You don’t have to select standard values for capacitors when you design a circuit, you just set the value and the printer will produce the component for you.’

Professor Richard Hague, Director of the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM) added, ’Printing fully functional devices that contain multiple materials in complex, 3D structures is now a reality. This breakthrough has significant potential to be the enabling manufacturing technique for 21st century products and devices that will have the potential to create a significant impact on both the industry and the public.’

Dr Ehab Saleh and members of the team from CfAM found that silver nanoparticles in conductive inks are capable of absorbing UV light efficiently. The absorbed UV energy is converted into heat, which evaporates the solvents of the conductive ink and fuses the silver nanoparticles. This process affects only the conductive ink and thus, does not damage any adjacent printed polymers. The researchers used the same compact, low cost LED-based UV light to convert polymeric inks into solids in the same printing process to form multi-material 3D structures.

With advancements in technology, inkjet printing can deposit of a wide range of functional inks with a spectrum of properties. It is used in biology, tissue bioprinting, multienzyme inkjet printing and various types of cell printing, where the ‘ink’ can comprise of living cells.

The breakthrough has established an underpinning technology which has potential for growth in academia and industry. The project has led to several collaborations to develop medical devices, radio frequency shielding surfaces and novel structures for harvesting solar energy.

Perstorp and 3D4Makers are jointly developing a new generation of high quality, high performance filament called Facilan™. Currently comprising three materials, the Facilan portfolio is designed to meet the toughest requirements for a wide range of medical and manufacturing products.

Both Perstorp and 3D4Makers saw an opportunity in the market for a novel 3D filament. Many existing filaments are simply not suitable for manufacturing. From a customer perspective, users reported many issues with the printability of existing filaments and the mechanical qualities of printed parts. Problems include layer adhesion, warping, surface quality and misprints. Hence, a clear opportunity exists to improve strength, throughput, and the mechanical qualities of materials.

By combining the deep insights of both companies into the 3D printing process along with user feedback, and after extensive testing, the Facilan portfolio has been developed. The 3D printing material is suitable for manufacturing applications and is aimed at companies who want to use 3D printing in high throughput operations as well as high quality prototyping applications. Both Perstorp and 3D4Makers are committed to bringing this next generation of 3D printing materials to market through a joint collaboration that will serve customers with the toughest requirements in medical and manufacturing using 3D printing.

Facilan is a soft touch 3D printing material, exhibiting good layer adhesion and surface quality. The portfolio consists of Facilan C8, Facilan HT and Facilan Ortho, which demonstrate excellent mechanical qualities.

Facilan C8 is a step change in 3D printing enabling the best-looking parts at the best dimensional accuracy. Developed for high throughput manufacturing applications of consumer-friendly parts, it has excellent mechanical qualities and a luxurious soft touch feel. Stronger than ABS yet easier to process than PLA, Facilan C8’s surface quality and low warping give it an excellent look and feel.

3D4Makers and Perstorp will continue to develop the Facilan family to bring high performance materials to 3D printing. 3D4Makers Sales Manager Ardy Struijk stated that, “We’re incredibly proud to be working with such an innovative company as Perstorp. Their deep understanding of polymer chemistry and high-performance materials dovetails well with our understanding of 3D printing. Their diligence and expertise in testing and data collection and analysis have brought hereto unknown scientific rigor to the development of 3D printing materials.”

David James, VP Innovation of Perstorp stated that “Together with 3D4makers unique process technology for high quality filament production, we are enabling fit-for-purpose filaments for 3D additive manufacturing. It is all about chemistry and engineering at their best, and for satisfying today´s demand for more reliable 3D FDM printing quality.”

Solvay has invited university students from around the world to compete in its Additive Manufacturing Cup by 3D printing complex shapes using the company’s KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) filaments. PEEK is considered one of the highest performing thermoplastic polymers – and one of the most difficult to 3D print. Registration closed at the end of October with over thirty teams from thirteen countries enrolled.

“3D printing is a remarkable manufacturing technology that is developing quickly,” said Brian Alexander, Additive Manufacturing Manager for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “It can deliver fully functional prototypes as well as cost-efficient single to small volume applications much faster than traditional manufacturing. However, printing with the world’s best performing polymers remains a challenge. Solvay’s Additive Manufacturing Cup is to demonstrate that the time has come for this to change.”

Solvay’s growing 3D printing capabilities build on the group’s global leadership in high performance, light-weighting solutions for metal replacement, such as in transport, where they help reduce the weight of cars and planes and therefore CO2 emissions. Solvay’s 3D printable material solutions will help expand the application space for 3D printed parts, offering more design freedom and increasing material efficiency. By involving students who are passionate about game-changing technologies, Solvay seeks to harness their imagination and creativeness to help disrupt existing know-how and drive additive manufacturing to the next level. While universities provide the printing equipment, Solvay will supply PEEK filaments and assist the teams with essential material data for 3D printing.

Solvay’s KetaSpire® PEEK offers an excellent combination of mechanical and chemical resistance even at continuous-use temperatures of up to 240°C. It inherently possesses excellent insulation and electrical resistance properties as well as low moisture and flame retardancy. Leveraging these outstanding properties for 3D printing opens up incredible opportunities for tomorrow’s light-weighting applications.

The final parts printed by each student team will be evaluated on their mechanical stability and aesthetic qualities by an international panel of Solvay polymer, design and additive manufacturing specialists. Winners will be announced on March 22, 2018, and receive first, second and third prizes of ten, five and three thousand euros respectively to be used for academic, entrepreneurial or societal purposes.

Concepts announces the release of Concepts 5, fully integrating with Apple’s iOS 11 for enhanced workflow and performance. The design application’s powerful combination of vector math and traditional tools like pencil, copic markers and watercolor allows creatives to explore complex ideas naturally and design professionally on a mobile device.

Concepts 5 features:

  • Full support of iOS 11’s Drag & Drop, allowing users to drag images, text and colors between apps on the iPad or iPhone
  • Natural and organic vector tools that are beautiful and infinitely adjustable
  • An infinite canvas allows stretching as far as ideas will go, with the flexibility to move those ideas as they grow and mature
  • Deep canvas and tool customization with a simple interface, including customizable color palettes, color mixing and tool presets
  • High resolution exports for every professional outcome, including formats like PNG, SVG, DXF and PDF
  • New accounts allow you to sync tools, objects and color palettes across devices
  • New subscription option includes live asset sharing and synchronization of tools, objects and color palettes between teammates and colleagues, and open access to every feature in app

"We’re constantly pushing for the best experience possible so people can design faster and more focused than ever before,” said Ben Merrill, CEO of TopHatch and creator of Concepts. “Version 5 provides designers with deeper customization, a simpler experience, and careful integration with the latest technologies in iOS 11. With 18 months of feedback from designers to guide us, we’ve created the most advanced and flexible design app on the market. Our goal is to make it easy for people to design from anywhere and stay connected with their clients and teams.”

Concepts is popular with designers across the globe, including architects, illustrators, creative directors and interior designers. "I use Concepts more than any other tool. I absolutely love it,” said Yarrow Cheney, American production designer, visual effects artist, director and animator. “The natural, fluid, vector-based workflow is so easy to use, but incredibly powerful. The technology never gets in the way of creativity. The fast and clean user experience makes it a joy to use."

Clariant announced its new dedicated 3D Printing business to meet the demand of the fast-changing Additive Manufacturing market for premium and customized 3D printer filaments.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is growing at a rapid pace globally, with over 28% average annual growth for each of the last 7 years, and generating a total of $6.063 billion in sales in 2017 (Wohlers Report 20171). Additive Manufacturing has moved from a niche technology to an industry where unique products are produced, for example today over 90% of the plastic shells for in-the-ear hearing aids are manufactured using AM (Wohlers Report 2017). Products manufactured using AM are often complex end-use parts such as air ducts, drones, lights, and parts for manufacturing equipment. These products can be enhanced with tailored high quality and ready-to-print materials that also withstand the wear and tear of prolonged usage.

The new Clariant 3D Printing business leverages the company’s numerous years of experience in tailoring polymers for a broad range of end market applications with pigments, additives and masterbatches, to provide high-grade, 3D printer filaments and specially made solutions. Clariant 3D prints and tests all of its materials to ensure printability and the required consistent high quality. Extensive material, application and production expertise allows Clariant to work closely with customers on polymer, additive and colorant selection to address typical end-use conditions such as weathering (sunlight, UV exposure), flame retardancy and electrical properties. In addition to tailored materials, a portfolio of high quality standard material will also be offered. The 3D printing materials are manufactured by Clariant and are available in flexible lot sizes to meet the specific needs of customers.

“At Clariant we have all the capabilities to produce high-grade ready-to-print 3D printer filaments,” said Richard Haldimann, Head of New Business Development of Clariant. “We are experienced in delivering specialized and tailored solutions to customers via our Plastics & Coatings businesses. The existing Clariant production infrastructure provides the 3D Printing business with a global footprint to offer desired 3D printer filaments across the world.”

With the release of HyperConnect, Makino offers a suite of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications for electrical discharge machines (EDMs) that enhances user experience and efficiency, and reduces machine downtime. Available on all Makino EDMs equipped with Hyper-i control systems, HyperConnect enables shop managers and operators to easily monitor and control EDM processes from any PC, smart device or other Hyper-i control systems on the network.

“EDM operators are already faced with too much on the shop floor. The last thing we want them doing is running back and forth between machines and office spaces,” said Brian Pfluger, EDM product line manager for Makino. “HyperConnect provides these operators with accessibility to everything they need to maximize efficiency, whether they are standing at the machine, sitting in their office or working remotely.”

The HyperConnect suite boasts four primary connectivity features for shop personnel to easily monitor, plan and troubleshoot their EDM operations:

  • EDM Mail relays machine status information to operators via email during unattended operation to help reduce downtime and support multitasking abilities. It can deliver periodic, timed interval updates of a machine’s operating conditions, or alert operators of a machine stoppage at any hour.
  • The Machine Viewer is an application that permits networked access to the Hyper-i control’s NC operation screens, which allows operators to remotely view the machine control and process information from any office environment PC or enabled smart device.
  • The Machine-to-Machine Viewer feature gives operators remote access to view and control a networked Hyper-i EDM from another Hyper-i machine, preventing unnecessary foot traffic across the shop floor.
  • With the PC Viewer function, operators can achieve greater productivity with remote access to all software on a networked PC directly via the Hyper-i control and includes accessibility to any CAD/CAM software, specialized shop tracking software and Microsoft Office applications.

EDM Mail and PC Viewer functions are the most commonly utilized applications. EDM Mail is used to maximize unattended operation, whereas operators use the PC Viewer to eliminate a substantial amount of non-production motion. The collective capabilities of the HyperConnect communications suite unleash next-level IIoT networking and machine monitoring, and deliver the tools that empower manufacturers with greater flexibility and productivity.

Tenere Inc. announced that Brian Steel has been named its new Chief Executive Officer. Steel has a rich history in scaling global sales organizations and most recently served as Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Tenere.

“It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to lead the exceptional team at Tenere and to continue to support our customers in fast changing, dynamic markets,” stated Steel. “I am looking forward to leading Tenere into its next phase of growth, one that I believe will set us apart as a leading global contract manufacturing partner of premier plastic and metal products. Tenere’s deep mechanical engineering expertise, combined with our prototyping and manufacturing capabilities across North America enable us to deliver unmatched speed, flexibility and quickly scale production for complex customers.”

Prior to joining Tenere, Steel was Vice President of Global Sales at PCH International, where he exponentially grew its turnkey solution development and custom manufacturing business serving some of the world’s leading brands including Apple, Dell, Google, Go-Pro, and Microsoft. Previously, he served in sales leadership positions at supply chain services provider Zomax, where he successfully reversed flat to declining existing customer revenue streams resulting in year-over-year revenue growth for key accounts, and at outsourced hosting and technical services vendor Agiliti, where he led all of the firm’s direct and indirect salespeople in execution of the company’s national sales strategy.

“We’re thrilled to have Brian at the helm at Tenere,” stated Robert Ackerman, Partner at Watermill Group, the private equity owners of Tenere. “With the company’s expected global growth following its recent expansion in Mexico, the opportunities for Tenere are tremendous. Brian’s deep experience with growth acceleration and strategy implementation, along with his strong customer focus, will help keep Tenere on a strong growth trajectory.”

Launched in 2014, "3D Print- The event for additive manufacturing" has far exceeded everyone's expectations. In 4 years it has become the benchmark event and favorite get-together for all those involved in additive manufacturing in France.

Building on its stature, 3D Print is now taking the next step to expand its scope and interactions internationally.

"3D Print- The event for additive manufacturing" now becomes "3D Print Congress & Exhibition". It is a name that clearly announces the renewed ambition, with the emphasis on trade fair, content and international dimension.

Over 3 days, this event will as ever make the most of the massive presence of key stakeholders from major international corporations and start-ups alike, all with a stake in additive manufacturing. A true factory will be on show, with machines and equipment in operation, for a totally immersive experience of 3D printing.

As for the Congress, in simultaneous translation it will present personalities, research centers and organizations from leading countries in 3D printing, and deliver a global vision reflecting the issues surrounding these technologies.

The workshops will offer an in-depth look at the technical facets, and will constitute a training mechanism such as today is needed in this domain, where innovation is constant.

Keys to understanding, wider vision, demonstrations: 3D Print Congress & Exhibition targets, as before, two levels of participants on a mix-and-match basis: ultra-specialists in additive manufacturing intending to bring their knowledge up-to-date, and manufacturers who are starting to take an interest in these technologies with a view to possibly exploiting them.

June 5-7, 2018

Lyon Eurexpo, France

Proto Labs has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held company Rapid Manufacturing Group, LLC. RAPID is a New Hampshire-based custom parts supplier specializing in quick-turn sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining. With the acquisition, Proto Labs will be able to offer its customers another quick-turn manufacturing service while expanding its CNC machining capabilities.

“Quick-turn prototyping and low-volume manufacturing have always been at the core of RAPID, and this foundation makes us a natural fit with Proto Labs’ digital model,” said Jay Jacobs, founder of RAPID. “I’m excited about the opportunities our combined manufacturing services will provide for our customers who will now have a single source for a variety of manufacturing services, including injection molding and 3D printing.”

RAPID was founded in 2001 on the idea of using automation to provide custom sheet metal parts faster than traditional methods—a story that closely parallels Proto Labs’ own. Over the next 16 years, RAPID steadily grew its manufacturing operation in terms of both capabilities and scale, including the addition of CNC machining, and now operates in 140,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space. The company currently employs approximately 300 people, and will expand Proto Labs’ team to more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

This expansion of Proto Labs’ services and capabilities reinforces its promise to customers to continue to seek ways to further optimize product development and improve supply chain efficiencies through a variety of digital manufacturing methods.

“We listen to our customers very closely to understand their needs,” explained Vicki Holt, Chief Executive Officer of Proto Labs. “We continue to look for opportunities to expand our capabilities to serve our existing customers and to expand our customer base. RAPID not only adds quick-turn and e-commerce-enabled sheet metal services to our portfolio, it also expands our machining capabilities to support larger and more complex projects. In addition, RAPID’s culture is highly aligned with that of Proto Labs, with a talented and experienced team that we are very excited to welcome to the Proto Labs family.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Proto Labs will acquire RAPID for an aggregate purchase price of $120 million consisting of $110 million in cash and $10 million in Proto Labs stock. RAPID’s 2017 annual revenue is forecasted to be approximately $45 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions.

Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of surgical implants, instruments and related products, has announced its Plymouth, MA facility has been recertified to ISO 13485:2016. ISO 13485 requires that the certified organization demonstrate the quality system is effectively implemented and maintained. The scope of the certificate is “contract manufacturer of machined non-sterile medical device components and instruments, built to customer specifications.”

According to Greg Coberly, Global Director of Quality, “This recertification indicates our continued investment in a quality management system which ensures process control, accurate reporting, and traceability. This approach dramatically improves manufacturing integrity, reduces lead time, and provides the most reliable and high quality medical device components for our customers. This facility is also certified under ISO 9001, the quality management standard that demands a relentless focus on continuous improvement.”

Autocam Medical’s Plymouth, Massachusetts division has also been named a Manufacturer of the Year by the Commonwealth’s Manufacturing Caucus. The company was nominated by State Representative Matt Muratore of the First Plymouth District. The award was established to highlight and honor successful manufacturers that represent innovative and revolutionary manufacturing capabilities and products. Autocam Medical employs 102 people at its Plymouth facility and produces high precision implants and instruments for Orthopedics and Spine, as well as precision machined components for other surgical and diagnostic applications.

“We are honored, humbled and gratified by this award,” commented John Kennedy, President and CEO. “The credit clearly goes to our team members in Plymouth who have consistently met the demands of constant technology change and taken our facility to the highest levels of quality and efficiency in the products we manufacture there.” Kennedy also pointed out that the location has recently been recertified to ISO 13485 standards, the comprehensive quality management systems for the design and manufacture of medical devices.

The 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards ceremony was held on October 24th at the State House Grand Staircase with the keynote address given by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

dgs Marketing Engineers, a marketing communications agency serving the manufacturing sector, has announced that Leslie Galbreath, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, has assumed the role of chief executive officer. Marc Diebold, the company’s founder and long-time CEO, is now chairman and will focus on agency operations and strategic growth.

Founded in 1985 by Diebold, dgs has earned its outstanding reputation in the manufacturing industry by continuously exceeding the particular marketing and communication needs and expectations of clients working with advanced technologies. The agency has been in partnership with many of its clients for more than a decade.

With these new appointments, dgs positions itself for continued growth. Diebold and Galbreath will continue to work together to strategically guide the company and build upon its strong reputation. This seamless leadership transition will ensure that clients continue to receive breakthrough marketing, branding, public relations and digital media services based on emerging trends and technology while aligning with the unique needs of the manufacturing industry.

“At dgs, we are focused on achieving a deep understanding of our clients and their business, a creative approach to problem solving and accountability for our results,” explained Galbreath. “This way of working enables us to better counsel and support them with strategic communications as they navigate today’s ever-changing business environment.”

Galbreath, who holds APR accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, joined dgs in 2000. She began as a public relations associate before working her way through the agency as Internet communications manager, public relations director, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

In 2005, Galbreath became an equity partner together with Diebold. Under their leadership, dgs was named to BtoB’s annual list of top business-to-business agencies in the small agency category for each of the final four years of the list’s publication. is pleased to announce the appointment of Ronald L. Hollis, Ph.D., as its new president and CEO. Dr. Hollis, who joined the firm on October 16, 2017, is a well-known figure in the manufacturing sector whose expertise will help redefine the platform and usher it into the future.

Dr. Hollis founded Quickparts, Inc. and served as its president and CEO. The firm revolutionized product development by simplifying the purchase of low-volume custom parts with patented online instant quoting. Previously, he founded and served as president and CEO of Rapid Tech Engineering, a company that provided engineering services for product development and became one of the world’s first value-added resellers of 3D printers. Earlier, as a vice president at Fastec Engineering, he helped guide the operations of this injection molding manufacturer that provided design, engineering and manufacturing for product development companies. Dr. Hollis has consulted widely, sharing practical business logic and leadership insights with organizations eager to change and succeed. He holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and a doctor of philosophy in technology business management from the University of Alabama–Huntsville. is part of the Fulcrum Equity Partners portfolio. In commenting on the Hollis appointment, Frank X. Dalton, partner with Fulcrum Equity Partners, says, “Ron’s background and extensive experience in the space is a game changer for We look forward to his new leadership and focus.”

Dr. Hollis says, “I am excited to join and lead it into the future. I know the space well and all the players. I also know the challenges and opportunities. My role will encompass many activities, but none is more important than helping realize its full potential as the premier destination in the manufacturing sector for discovery. For suppliers, discovery connotes the most efficient means to identify new customers. For buyers, discovery means having an effective resource available to find and qualify suppliers based on their capabilities, profile, rankings, quality and more.”

He adds, “Discovery is an important new value proposition for our organization, comprising many working parts and offering untold opportunities to excel. Manufacturing needs a resource that helps forge buyer-supplier relationships, and is poised to meet that need in new and exciting ways.”

Siemens announced the latest version of the company’s NX™ software.  Building on its legacy of best-in-class customer deployment readiness and data preservation, the latest version delivers the next generation of design, simulation and manufacturing solutions that enable companies to realize the value of the digital twin in the end-to-end process. This latest release unites electrical, mechanical and control systems through close integration with Mentor Graphics Capital and Xpedition portfolios for electrical systems, harness and PCB design.

At the highest level, NX underpins tools used for systems driven product development based on the RFLP (Requirements, Functional, Logical and Physical) methodology, which now provides a significant connection between the logical and physical abstractions in both electrical and mechanical domains. Building on Convergent Modeling™ technology that allows designers to seamlessly work and model with mesh geometry in combination with precise geometry, the new version combines tools for design optimization, advanced geometry creation, freeform shapes and parametric design to make generative design a reality.

“This latest version of NX is clearly a major milestone for Siemens and their customers,” said Allan Behrens of Taxal. “Moving beyond previous convergent technology to encompass significant developments in areas of generative, additive and multidisciplinary design is impressive. With such significant additions, I’d suggest that clients will be delighted to see past and future investments evolve to deliver leading-edge capabilities for tomorrow’s more demanding, often complex product design and manufacturing ecosystems. These developments are part of a larger roll-out that also touches on areas including large assembly performance and model based engineering. The recent addition of Mentor’s EDA, electrical and embedded technologies, and the remarkably rapid integration of the electrical systems, harness and PCB elements with the NX ecosystem provides Siemens with unique solution coverage capabilities that go well beyond their competitors and are highly valuable for many, not least those in the automotive and aerospace industries.”

Electronics are fast becoming essential to all products, regardless of industry, making it more important than ever that electrical and mechanical designers collaborate throughout the product development process. Employing technology from recently acquired Mentor Graphics, the latest version of NX provides a direct connection between the design of electrical and mechanical systems. Linking the electrical tools and the 3D model, enables co-design including cross-probing, allowing designers of wiring diagrams and harnesses to work much more closely together, preventing costly and time-consuming rework due to electromechanical issues.

Multidisciplinary work is not limited to electrical design. Industries involving large amounts of piping, such as ship building, will benefit from close integration between instrumentation diagrams and 2D schematic layouts. New tools in NX allow engineers to lay out piping and instrumentation diagrams in two dimensions, while maintaining the design tied to the 3D space model. This synchronization can help eliminate errors and save time as teams work more closely than ever before.

“As embedded technology continues to increase in complexity, it is critical for product design tools to stay ahead of the multidisciplinary technology needed to effectively create and innovate these advanced products,” said Bob Haubrock, senior vice president of Product Engineering Software, Siemens PLM Software. “With the latest version of NX, Siemens is providing a true multi-disciplinary platform, combining mechanical, electrical and control systems. Close collaboration between each of these design facets will eliminate errors, provide savings in time and cost, and ultimately enable our customers to drive more innovative designs.”

With increasing pressure to deliver products to market more quickly, generative design is now a necessity in product development. Integrating a wide variety of tools gives designers more flexibility and choice when dealing with complex geometries. Using these technologies in combination also allows companies to go beyond traditional solutions that focus solely on optimizing shape in order to achieve truly multidisciplinary design.

In the constant drive to reduce component weight and improve resource usage, companies are looking to incorporate lattice structures into design in order to meet these goals without compromising on strength and structural integrity. The latest version of NX delivers new approaches to design for additive manufacturing, including the ability to add lattice. Convergent Modeling makes it possible to work directly with faceted geometry such as these lattice structures, saving companies from the lengthy data conversion process normally required. This enables companies to deliver lighter, stronger products to market in much less time.

“The fact that the faceted geometry now comes in as a convergent body and behaves pretty much as a sheet or solid body is very beneficial. It will make our workflow much more efficient and save time that we can spend on other things, such as more projects,” added Jonas Brochman, engineering method specialist of Manufacturing Engineering, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems, Sweden. “The ability to associatively compensate and reposition the faceted scan data of hardware in an associative and controlled way will greatly help us to increase efficiency and resulting quality.”

Workshops for Warriors (WFW), a school that trains, certifies, and helps place Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Transitioning Service Members into advanced manufacturing careers, announced it received a $100,000 grant from Boeing.

The grant will go to support machining and welding training programs for the nonprofit school. Workshops for Warriors Founder, Hernán Luis y Prado, remains committed to creating a clearer path for our Nation’s Veterans upon exiting the Military, so all courses are completely free for students to attend so that they can focus on school and not survival.

“Boeing is the best example of a powerhouse company that understands the skills gap in the advanced manufacturing industry and the need for a Nationally scalable training pipeline like Workshops for Warriors. They not only lead the world in Aviation and Aerospace, but they invest in the next generation of technicians and understand the benefits of working with skilled Veterans,” said Hernán Luis y Prado, Founder and CEO of Workshops for Warriors. “Over the next decade, 3.5 million advanced manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in America, but 2 million are set to go unfilled due to a lack of skilled labor. Couple that with nearly 1 million service members exiting the Military over the next five years and you have a perfect storm. Boeing understands the opportunity, and we are honored that they are such tireless supporters of our mission.”

WFW was founded in 2008 and offers a machining course teaching CNC milling and turning (on Haas machines), Computer-Aided Design (SolidWorks), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (Mastercam) 3D Printing (Stratasys and MarkForged), CNC Laser (Amada), and CNC waterjet (Flow). They offer a welding course where welding students earn nationally recognized credentials from the American Welding Society in Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, and Flux Cored Arc Welding. For Boeing, these skills are the backbone to their success.

“We aspire to be a top performer in every area of our business, and that includes leading in the communities where our employees and their families live and work,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “By harnessing our teammates; unique skills and passion for giving, our professional networks and partnerships, and our financial resources, we will inspire the dreamers and doers of tomorrow and drive positive, lasting change in our communities across the globe.”

To date, 421 Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Transitioning Service Members have graduated from the nonprofit school with 2,350 nationally recognized portable and stackable credentials.

A construction teacher from Washington, an advanced manufacturing teacher from California, and a marine systems technology teacher from New York are the first-place winners of the inaugural Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools announced. The three teachers and their schools will each receive $100,000.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools, awarded $510,000 to the three first-place winners and seven second-place winners. Harbor Freight Tools made additional donations totaling $44,000 to 44 semi-finalists.

TThe first-place winners are Bob Kilmer, who teaches woodworking, computer-aided design and architecture and construction at Enumclaw High School in King County, Washington, Brendan Malone, who teaches marine systems technology at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School in Brooklyn, and Jonathan Schwartz, who teaches advanced manufacturing at Colfax High School in Placer County, California.

"We're thrilled to celebrate these remarkable teachers for inspiring their students to stay in school and develop skills that can lead to great paying jobs that are so important to our economy," said Eric Smidt, CEO and owner of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools and founder of The Smidt Foundation, which established and operates Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. "We created this prize to shine a spotlight on excellent skilled trades teaching and to attract investment in these classes so a strong skilled trades education can once again be available to public high school students across America."

Drawn from a field of nearly 700 applicants from across the country, the three first-place winners will each receive $30,000, and their schools will each receive $70,000 to support their skilled trades programs.

Bob Kilmer has been a skilled trades teacher in Washington for 32 years, and his love of the trades started when he worked summers as a teen at his grandfather's construction company. In addition to teaching construction, architecture, woodworking and computer-aided design, he also serves as an instructional technology coach for the Enumclaw School District. Students taking his architecture and construction class are currently building a tiny house for a local family in need. Kilmer's class is partnering with one of the high school's welding classes to build the trailer to transport the house, and a math class at a neighboring school will design the solar panels for the project. Kilmer is one of a handful of skilled trades teachers in the country to receive National Board Certification.

Brendan Malone has been a marine trades teacher for 17 years and previously ran his own marine systems company for more than a decade before heading the maintenance and restoration of New York City's South Street Seaport Museum's fleet of historic vessels. A certified Marine Systems Technician with a hundred-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain's license, Malone attended a marine trades high school in New Haven, Connecticut where he developed his love for the trades. The marine systems technology program at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School prepares students to work in a career building, maintaining and repairing boats. It is the only high school in the country authorized to administer the American Boat and Yacht Council's Marine Systems Technician Certification Exam--a critical credential in the marine industry. Malone's juniors and seniors are required to participate in marine field internships, and this year, his class is partnering with the South Street Seaport Museum in New York to restore a 1930s tugboat as part of their internship program.

After years of owning a construction company, Jonathan Schwartz turned to teaching math at Colfax High School in rural Northern California. When the woodshop teacher retired and the shop was in danger of closing, Schwartz took over the construction program because he knew the value of hands-on learning. When the drafting program faced the same fate, he took over those classes and created a new program that combined drafting, woodshop and advanced manufacturing. Under the program, now known as "pre-engineering," Schwartz's students use computer software to design wood projects and then build those projects with traditional shop tools, computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, 3-D printers and laser cutters. The program's capstone course pairs students with a mentor to design and build a large project over the course of their senior year. Schwartz also designs woodworking tools and has a YouTube channel where he demonstrates project ideas for woodworking, CNC manufacturing and applied math.

The following seven second-place winners will each receive $10,000, and their high schools will receive $20,000 for their skilled trades programs:

Roxanne Montarro Amiot
Automotive Technology
Bullard-Havens Technical High School
Bridgeport, Connecticut

Teaching team: Gerald “Dave” Huffman and Patrick Wadsworth
Construction Technology
Gulfport High School
Gulfport, Mississippi

Ed Hughes
Construction, Technology Education
Sheboygan Falls High School
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin

Scott Mayotte
Automotive Technology
Concord Regional Technical Center
Concord, New Hampshire

Teaching team: Cole Smith and Bill Hartman
Construction, Woodworking
Rancho Cotate High School
Rohnert Park, California

Robert David White
Automotive Technology
Parkside High School
Salisbury, Maryland

Randy Williamson
Construction Trades
Williamsport Area High School Career and Technical Education
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

"All 10 of these winners are exemplary, and the ultimate winners are their students," said Robin Kramer, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. "These teachers combine their considerable skill and creativity with dedication and zeal for learning-- all for the benefit of their students and their futures. Their practices and results offer valuable approaches that other skilled trades teachers can adapt and use in their own programs. We look forward to bringing together all of them next summer so they can get to know each other's work up close, and share strategies to promote excellence for the field at our first 'Let's Build It Institute.'"

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was designed to recognize outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools that inspires students to learn a trade that prepares them for a career after high school.

The need for skilled trades professionals in the U.S. is growing. Between now and 2024, there will be more than 1.5 million skilled trades job openings as Baby Boomers retire, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This inaugural prize competition drew nearly 700 applicants from 48 states, and the field was narrowed to 54 semi-finalists, then 10 finalists and then the three first-place winners. The application process included a learning component that gave all applicants access to ideas and practices through a series of online expert-led learning modules designed to help them be more effective in the classroom.

The finalists were selected by panels of judges from the worlds of business, K-12 and higher education, the trades and crafts, non-profits and philanthropy. A separate panel of seven judges selected the first- and second-place winners. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools did not play a role in selecting the finalists or winners.

GF Machining Solutions announced a new compact FORM E 350 machine that is an ideal die sinking EDM solution for small shops. Even with the smallest footprint on the market, the machine still boasts several design and performance features that enhance a shop’s competitive advantage.

A sturdy C-axis construction, cross table and cast iron frame offer high stability and force reduction, which helps maintain a precise spark gap between the part and the electrode. Regardless of part weight or dielectric volume, the machine delivers consistent accuracy. Integrated glass scales preserve long-term, repeatability and eliminate the need for recalibration as well as any errors found in traditional screw systems due to backlash and wear.

The latest-generation Intelligent Speed Power Generator (ISPG) on the FORM E 350 excels at superior surface finishes and precision applications in any conductive material. It overcomes common process challenges for copper electrodes, including electrode wear induced by electrical discharge. ISPG improves machining speeds by 40 percent and reduces corner wear by 50 percent.

Designed for high efficiency on the shop floor, the machine features a programmable dielectric management system with a 270-liter capacity integrated inside the machine cabinet. This system fills and empties the work tank without human intervention to keep the machine in production and is easy to access for routine maintenance.

The machine console comes equipped with the user-friendly AC FORM HMI (human machine interface) that is based on a standard Windows® platform and offers interactive graphical assistance so that all operations, such as measurement and machining cycles, are illustrated by graphics/icons for fast operator understanding and ease of use. It provides simple descriptions of machining targets, automatic selection of optimal technology and dynamic parameters adaption.

With an X/Y/Z travel of 17.8" x 9.8" x 9.8" (350 x 250 x 250 mm), the FORM E 350 handles workpieces up to 31.5" x 19.7" x 10.4" (800 x 500 x 265 mm.) It also has a four-position linear tool changer.

The FORM E 350 is automation ready and can easily be paired with the System 3R WorkPartner 1+ robot to implement unattended night and weekend operation.

Thousands​ ​of​ ​small​ ​business​ ​owners​ ​produce​ ​products​ ​in​ ​garages,​ ​workshops,​ ​and​ ​basements every​ ​day.​ ​These​ ​independent​ ​manufacturers​ ​invest​ ​time​ ​and​ ​money​ ​into​ ​pursuing​ ​their​ ​passions.​ ​They​ ​sacrifice late​ ​nights​ ​and​ ​weekends​ ​to​ ​meet​ ​customer​ ​demands.​ ​Inventables ​new​ ​3D​ ​carving​ ​software Easel​ ​Pro makes it​ ​possible​ ​for​ ​small​ ​business​ ​owners​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​their​ ​businesses​ ​by​ ​helping​ ​them​ ​scale​ ​their​ ​production​ ​workflow.

Easel​ ​Pro​ ​is​ ​a​ ​subscription-based​ ​cloud​ ​software​ ​which​ ​builds​ ​upon​ ​Inventables’​ ​free​ ​Easel​ ​software.​ ​Easel​ ​and Easel​ ​Pro​ ​minimize​ ​the​ ​barriers​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​complicated​ ​CAD​ ​and​ ​CAM​ ​product​ ​manufacturing​ ​software, making​ ​it​ ​easy​ ​for​ ​new​ ​and​ ​advanced​ ​users​ ​alike​ ​to​ ​produce​ ​physical​ ​products.​ ​Easel​ ​Pro’s​ ​new​ ​production efficiencies​ ​decrease​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​time​ ​required​ ​to​ ​carve​ ​detailed​ ​products,​ ​enabling​ ​businesses​ ​to​ ​produce more​ ​products​ ​per​ ​day​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​in​ ​more​ ​income.

“​Easel​ ​Pro​ ​makes​ ​my​ ​life​ ​less​ ​stressful​ ​and​ ​saves​ ​me​ ​time​ ​on​ ​each​ ​project,”​ ​said​ ​Lance​ ​Cameron​ ​of​ ​Maple​ ​Ridge Wood​ ​Crafting.​ ​Maple​ ​Ridge​ ​Wood​ ​Crafting​ ​specializes​ ​in​ ​personalized​ ​objects​ ​such​ ​as​ ​beverage​ ​crates,​ ​custom storage​ ​containers,​ ​and​ ​unique​ ​decor​ ​memorabilia.​ ​“As​ ​a​ ​business​ ​owner​ ​producing​ ​fast,​ ​quality​ ​products,​ ​Easel Pro​ ​works​ ​great.​ ​I​ ​used​ ​to​ ​complete​ ​maybe​ ​one​ ​or​ ​two​ ​things​ ​per​ ​day.​ ​My​ ​first​ ​day​ ​with​ ​Easel​ ​Pro,​ ​I​ ​completed​ ​five carves.​ ​They​ ​were​ ​sanded​ ​and​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​sell​ ​the​ ​next​ ​day.​ ​My​ ​customers​ ​are​ ​also​ ​much​ ​happier​ ​with​ ​the​ ​final products.”

In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​production​ ​efficiency,​ ​businesses​ ​can​ ​expand​ ​their​ ​product​ ​offerings​ ​with​ ​Easel​ ​Pro’s​ ​built-in customization​ ​tools.​ ​With​ ​hundreds​ ​of​ ​built-in​ ​fonts,​ ​businesses​ ​can​ ​design​ ​personalized​ ​products​ ​for​ ​customers. Additionally,​ ​makers​ ​can​ ​import​ ​company​ ​logos​ ​and​ ​brand​ ​images​ ​into​ ​the​ ​program​ ​and​ ​apply​ ​them​ ​to​ ​existing product​ ​templates.​ ​Businesses​ ​can​ ​maintain​ ​design​ ​flexibility​ ​while​ ​streamlining​ ​their​ ​workflow​ ​for​ ​custom​ ​items.

“Easel​ ​Pro​ ​helps​ ​the​ ​customer​ ​with​ ​designing​ ​their​ ​sign​ ​because​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​them​ ​more​ ​input,”​ ​said​ ​Debbie​ ​Lee, founder​ ​and​ ​co-owner​ ​of​ ​8th​ ​Line​ ​Creations,​ ​a​ ​custom​ ​woodworking​ ​company​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​hand-crafted​ ​products. “Customers​ ​can​ ​say,​ ​‘I​ ​helped​ ​create​ ​this.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​my​ ​sign​ ​that​ ​I​ ​created​ ​with​ ​them.’”

Inventables’​ ​software​ ​products​ ​now​ ​include​ ​Easel​ ​and​ ​Easel​ ​Pro.​ ​Easel​ ​is​ ​free​ ​software​ ​available​ ​online​ ​for anyone​ ​to​ ​use.​ ​Businesses​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​intricate​ ​projects​ ​and​ ​production​ ​efficiency​ ​can​ ​purchase​ ​an​ ​Easel​ ​Pro subscription​.​ ​Paired​ ​with​ ​Inventables’​ ​X-Carve​ ​and​ ​Carvey​ ​3D​ ​carving​ ​machines,​ ​Easel​ ​Pro makes​ ​it​ ​possible​ ​for​ ​anyone​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​their​ ​ideas​ ​to​ ​life​ ​and​ ​start​ ​a​ ​business.

Hawk Ridge Systems announced that it has acquired Symmetry Solutions. The combined company will create one of the largest and most comprehensive North American DS SOLIDWORKS Reseller networks with 17 offices serving 18,500 clients with coast-to-coast coverage in the United States and Canada.

Symmetry Solutions, a DS SOLIDWORKS Reseller in the Midwest, will be joining the Hawk Ridge Systems family. The combined resources of the companies will provide expanded 3D design and manufacturing solutions. Hawk Ridge Systems and Symmetry Solutions are providers of 3D design solutions from DS SOLIDWORKS and 3D printers from HP and Markforged. With the merger, Symmetry clients will now have access to manufacturing software from CAMWorks® and a wide array of productivity software tools and services that were previously only available to Hawk Ridge Systems clients.

“The combined partnership of Symmetry Solutions with Hawk Ridge Systems makes so much sense,” says Dale Ford, President and CEO of Hawk Ridge Systems. “Not only do we share the same passionate vision for our clients’ success, but we also share very similar cultures. The triple win is that we can offer more solutions to more people – based on what they need to excel in their business. Building out the team with Symmetry in the Midwest completes our ability to offer a full spectrum of solutions – from design to manufacturing.”

Symmetry Solutions President, Paul Rudin agrees, “Our clients know my mantra – the client is everything, first and foremost. The merger is going to let us bring in more resources and leverage the very deep bench of technical and engineering expertise that Hawk Ridge Systems is known for. That means we will be able to offer more solutions to help solve our clients’ critical business challenges. To be a part of the Hawk Ridge Systems family is a win for our clients, our team and our partners.”

The combined company serves 18,500 customers from 17 offices and has 210 people. The company will continue business as usual and will merge under the Hawk Ridge Systems umbrella in January, 2018.

Stratasys announced the company is officially kicking off its 2018 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge with a “call-for-entries.” Entering its 14th year, the contest is widely recognized as the premier event to highlight excellence in 3D printed design from student innovators.

Leveraging the power of 3D printing, students around the world now have the opportunity to redesign an existing product, create a new product that improves how tasks are accomplished, or design an original work of art or architecture. This year’s contest is fully supported by the GrabCAD community – the world’s largest online collaborative environment supporting designers, engineers and manufacturers.

“Since its inception, the Stratasys Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to some of the world’s top student innovators. We’re proud to continue this tradition, offering new entrants the opportunity to learn, innovate, and grow leveraging 3D printing technology,” said Gina Scala, Director of Marketing, Global Education, Stratasys. “We greatly look forward to seeing what this year’s group of entries can design and innovate.”

As part of entry criteria, all designs should prove mechanically sound, realistic, and achievable. Submissions are analyzed and judged based on:

  • Sound mechanical design
  • Compelling written description
  • Design creativity
  • Product usefulness
  • Aesthetics (art, jewelry and architecture category)

Both individuals and design teams are asked to create entries leveraging 3D CAD software, submitting files in .STL format through the GrabCAD Platform – along with a written description highlighting the design’s value and benefits. Deadline to submit across the following categories is NO LATER than February 26, 2018:

  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle/high school)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college, or post-secondary)
  • Art, Jewelry, or Architecture (any grade level)

First-place winners of this year’s contest will receive $2,500 (US Dollars) scholarships. Instructors of first-place students will also benefit from a demo Stratasys 3D printer in their classroom for a limited time. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 (US Dollars) scholarships. The top 10 entries in each category earn a Stratasys apparel item (value up to $50 US Dollars), and a 3D printed model of their design. All teams and individuals additionally receive official Stratasys, GrabCAD, and Extreme Redesign Tech Tattoo stickers.

For the third year running, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) is also bestowing a $1,000 scholarship to an entry in the post-secondary engineering category who is also from a NCATC member school. NCATC is a network of higher education resources promoting use of technology applications to enhance economic and workforce development programs and services.

Hands-on access to today’s most advanced technologies isn’t the only thing attendees of the SOUTH-TEC manufacturing show, produced by SME and AMT, will have at their fingertips. Representatives from Deloitte Services, GE Power, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are just a handful of the experts who will be sharing lessons, insights and future predictions over three days of keynotes and panels.

Running October 24-26, at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina, SOUTH-TEC provides manufacturers in the South the chance to see and touch the latest technologies while learning about the issues and opportunities facing the industry. Each day will open with a keynote speech, with panel discussions held throughout the first two days. As the show progresses, a variety of free educational sessions will take place in the event’s main theater.

“Manufacturing is a dynamic and rapidly changing industry critical to South Carolina and neighboring states,” said Cathy Kowalewicz, SOUTH-TEC show manager at SME. “We’ve focused on bringing in a variety of experts, participating in more than 20 educational sessions, who can provide manufacturers with actionable insights and lessons to improve their operations.”

Deloitte Services’ Patricia Buckley, managing director of Economic Policy and Analysis, will open the show on Tuesday with a keynote exploring economic trends impacting manufacturers in Southeastern U.S.

Wednesday’s keynote by Scott Geller, CEO, PartWorks, tackles all things 3D – from laser scanning to 3D printing to 3D CAD technologies – and how they can benefit manufacturers today.

Julia Crews, former head of training and development for Panasonic Automotive, will take the stage on Thursday to discuss women in manufacturing and how to empower women leaders while bridging the gender gap.

Panel topics on Tuesday and Wednesday include: Smart Manufacturing: The Next Industrial Revolution, Workforce Development: Champions of Tomorrow, and the Future of Manufacturing.

Siemens has provided Florida Institute of Technology with an in-kind software grant that will enable the university to offer students powerful, hands-on learning experiences to better equip them for future STEM careers.

The in-kind grant has a commercial value of more than $246 million. It is centered on Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software, which is used by more than 150,000 companies around the world in the aerospace, automotive, medical device, machinery, shipbuilding and high-tech electronics sectors. More than 75 companies in Florida use the software, including Northrop Grumman, whose Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence is based in Melbourne.

These companies use Siemens’ PLM software – including Simcenter™ and NX™ software, the Teamcenter® portfolio and the Tecnomatix® portfolio – to design, develop and manufacture some of the world’s most sophisticated products, and Florida Tech students across the university’s colleges and programs will now be able to use the same programs.

“This is huge,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay. “One of our guiding principles is to prepare students for a lifetime of success, and this grant will offer them the opportunity to learn the cutting-edge skills that will be essential for success in advanced manufacturing.”

The software will be incorporated into student coursework and projects related to computer-aided design, engineering simulation, industrial design, digital manufacturing and manufacturing management at Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID). Students in the College of Engineering & Computing and the College of Science will also use the PLM software for senior design projects, which simulate real-world applications of design and engineering principles.

Siemens’ PLM software will help students collaborate and realize their ideas by supplying accurate information as they move from design through performance engineering and manufacturing. Access to the software, combined with the mentoring offered by Northrop Grumman engineers, will provide students with invaluable learning experiences which could help enable them to tackle the most challenging projects with skill and confidence on “day one” of their first engineering job.

“Software is at the core of an ongoing digital transformation that is changing the way our customers approach the manufacturing process, from design to production into service,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “Through our partnership with Florida Tech, we are helping empower the next generation of digital talent with access to valuable hands-on training with both software and hardware tools. This real-world, project-based learning will offer students the STEM skills they need to succeed in the digital future.”

The software will benefit students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the College of Engineering & Computing, for example, the software will be used in junior- and senior-level classes in mechanical engineering and bioengineering, as well as by student design teams such as Formula SAE. At the graduate level, the software will be used in the automotive engineering department.

“Having been an industry executive, I am keenly aware that industry needs graduates who are educated using the latest, sophisticated tools and methodologies so that these new employees can be immediately productive,” said Michael Grieves, executive director of CAMID and a University Research Professor. “This software grant will help make Florida Tech graduates highly attractive and move their resumes to the top of an employer’s list.”

Siemens has nearly 5,200 employees in the state of Florida spanning power generation, transmission and distribution, energy efficient buildings and infrastructure, medical imaging and healthcare diagnostics technologies. The company’s software and hardware solutions have helped automate processes and increase efficiency in areas ranging from manufacturing to city infrastructure, and even theme parks.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. has entered into an agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and ground test an innovative propulsion system under the agency’s Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) program.

“Through the AFRE program, we aim to mature the design and component technologies and bring them together to conduct a full system-level Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) ground test demonstration,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.

“Developing propulsion technologies capable of operating at subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds would enable us to build future generations of high-speed military aircraft to ensure air dominance.”

The primary goal of the AFRE program is to develop and ground demonstrate a reusable hydrocarbon propulsion system that can seamlessly operate in a reliable and affordable manner over the full range of speeds between takeoff and hypersonic cruise to enable responsive hypersonic aircraft for a variety of military missions.

Hologram announced the release of Nova, an open source modem for cellular IoT connectivity. The Nova toolkit includes the 4G LTE Cat-M ready Nova USB modem, an SDK for edge computing, and access to Hologram’s industry leading global cellular network.

Hologram’s powerful combination of software, open hardware and connectivity gives enterprises the power to easily integrate cellular connectivity into new products and services.

“We built the Nova as way for developers and enterprises alike to unlock the power of cellular connectivity for IoT.” says Ben Forgan, CEO of Hologram. “While most companies provide either hardware, software, or connectivity, the Hologram Nova provides all three in an easy-to-use yet industrial grade package. The Nova demonstrates our commitment to breaking down IoT connectivity barriers. It’s part of our mission to bring Internet Everywhere”.

The software behind Nova is compatible with most single board computers, including Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone and more. The Nova comes in 2G/3G and 4G LTE Cat-M variants. This open source design leverages Hologram’s global software defined cellular network to provide connectivity on over 600 carriers in over 200 countries. The core component is the industrial grade u-blox SARA, enabling wide range of IoT applications, from automotive to aviation. Nova ships with FCC, PTCRB, CE, AT&T, and Verizon certifications.

“New technologies like LTE Cat-M are driving huge growth in cellular IoT. Data and hardware costs are falling, and as we move towards a world with 5G we believe cellular will continue to outpace WiFi as the primary channel for secure IoT connectivity,” says Ben Forgan.

The global cellular IoT market is expected to reach USD 9.65 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc, and the ability for IoT devices to securely connect, disconnect, send data, receive data, and triangulate location based on cell tower distance, is becoming increasingly valuable.

“We are always excited to see new options for connectivity in the space. The more tools that can be shared, the more the community can bring interesting projects and products to market,” Matt Richardson, Executive Director of North America for the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

In addition to open sourcing the Nova, Hologram also announces the new, open source version of Dash, their original Kickstarter product from 2014. The new global Dash features extreme deep sleep and power optimization modes, making it ideal for remote deployments and industrial sensing applications.

The Hologram Nova is available online at the Hologram Store, launching first with the Nova Global 3G/2G (U201) and the Nova LTE Cat-M1 (U404) available for engineering samples before the end of the year.

This October, people from all spheres of the space technology industry will gather in Bremen, Germany for Space Tech Expo Europe – an event that showcases the latest in aerospace excellence – and its free-to-attend forum sessions: the Industry Forum and Technology Forum.

Taking place on October 24-26, 2017 the forums run alongside the main exhibition, which is Europe’s premier event for spacecraft, satellite, launch vehicle and space-related technologies. It draws attendance from thousands of industry leaders, decision makers, engineers, buyers and manufacturers, and innovations for civil, military and commercial space applications will be on display.

The Industry Forum and Technology Forum both boast a three-day programme bursting to the seams with keynote sessions, panels and audience-interactive discussions. Key talking points at the Industry Forum include understanding the benefits and overcoming the challenges of increased collaboration among international space agencies; how software and HTS are meeting the demands of the insatiable communications and mobile market; identifying and addressing the gaps in space traffic management policy; expanding commercial enterprise in space; and whether reusability or cost-efficient design will take off in Europe. The agenda is brimming with names from some of the sector’s most renowned companies; featured speakers include ESA’s Professor Dr.-Ing Johann-Dietrich Wörner, SES’s Martin Halliwell, DLR’s Professor Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund and OHB’s Guy Perez.

Meanwhile, presentations at the Technology Forum will explore major technological innovations and breakthroughs, including the leaps forward in electric propulsion; the importance of additive manufacturing and how it is best utilised in future space applications; how digitisation improves supply chain, engineering, testing and operations processes; new engineering approaches through augmented reality; and the latest developments in thermal management, electronics and avionics. Well-respected and prominent speakers billed to take the stage include OHB’s Egbert Jan van der Veen, Airbus Defence and Space’s Katherine Pegg, Glenair’s Roland T Logan Jr and Curtiss-Wright’s Dave Lowney.

The free-to-attend forums mark an unmissable date in the calendar for anyone working in or connected to the space technology sector. The keynote sessions on the opening morning will see politicians and decision-makers from leading European space agencies and major organisations share their perspectives on the future of the European space industry. Attendees will gain a unique insight into the launcher, satellite manufacturing and space exploration industries and learn how SMEs and start-up companies are securing their positions within the European space industry.

As well as hearing from industry trailblazers, the forums also offer the unparalleled opportunity to meet with hundreds of potential partners and suppliers under one roof and view thousands of products on the exhibition floor. Vast in scope, not only do the forums delve into core industry developments and tackle prominent issues, they also cover the most compelling elements from space technology sub-sectors, broad and niche. View the full agendas for both the Industry Forum and the Technology Forum now, and secure your free pass to be part of Europe’s biggest space industry event.

Orbital ATK announced it is expanding its Beavercreek, Ohio, facility by 40,000 square feet in 2017-2018 with a capital investment of approximately $5 million. The planned expansion is a result of existing aerospace and defense work being transferred from the company’s Clearfield, Utah, facility and a recent award of an approximate $90 million contract to supply high temperature composites for the U.S. military. The 175,000-square-foot facility currently has more than 100 employees and produces advanced aerospace and defense composite structures.

Orbital ATK recently entered into a $75,000 Grant Agreement with the Greene County Community Improvement Corporation to provide training funds for new hires in anticipation of work being added. In exchange for the grant, Orbital ATK has pledged to add 57 jobs in both engineering and technical professions with an estimated created payroll of $3.5 million by December 2019.

"This expansion signifies the commitment Orbital ATK has to its employees, community and the State of Ohio to continue bringing high quality manufacturing work into the area,” said Michael Dyer, Director of Operations-Dayton, Orbital ATK Aerospace Structures Division. “We value our partnership with state, city and county officials and thank them for their continued support of our facility in Beavercreek.”

Steve Earl, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division, added, “We are proud to expand our state-of-the-art manufacturing capability in a state with a dedicated and skilled workforce.”

This is the second grant made to Orbital ATK this year underwriting training expenses and supporting increased business in the Dayton-area facility. The first grant was from the State of Ohio for $150,000 to support indirect training and on-boarding costs. Additionally, Orbital ATK will receive a 50% waiver on incremental Ohio income taxes for newly created positions valued at up to $500,000.

Mitutoyo America Corporation provided the popular Digimatic caliper and a micrometer to students pursuing degrees in the Engineering Technology Program at Northern Illinois University (NIU, DeKalb, IL). Combining theoretical education with industry-based, hands-on opportunities, the technology program is preparing the next generation of engineers and technologists.

Addressing the students, Matt Dye, president of Mitutoyo America Corp., said, “What a great opportunity you have here. You’re seeing a lot of the same equipment that’s being used on the shop floor today. Take it all in.” Dye shared that he was in a similar program in college and understanding how things get made correctly has provided him with many opportunities during his career.

Donald R. Peterson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at NIU, added, “Metrology is important, even for those in R&D. This class is essential in any type of engineering.”

Mitutoyo has a long-standing relationship with the university. In 2008, Mitutoyo established the Mitutoyo Metrology Laboratory on the NIU campus to provide hands-on, educational experience for technology and engineering undergraduate students. The laboratory is one of the best-equipped educational metrology laboratories in the country, with everything from gage blocks and micrometers to coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), laser scanning micrometers and form measuring equipment.

Organisers of the long-established PDM Event have confirmed that the 2018 edition of the UK’s annual exhibition and conference covering all aspects of plastics design and manufacture will return to its traditional home at the Telford International Centre on June 19-20, 2018.

The show will incorporate multiple elements of the plastics industry, with a focus on design, moulding, packaging and recycling. Exhibitors will include product design companies, moulding machinery suppliers, toolmakers, rapid prototyping specialists, moulders and mouldmakers, plastics recycling specialists, masterbatch specialists, software suppliers and materials testing specialists.

The free to attend PDM conference runs on both days of the event and will cover the latest in plastics design and manufacture including moulding processes, rapid prototyping, materials innovation, plastics recycling and sustainability issues. Featuring speakers from different sectors of the UK plastics industry, the conference sessions will include examples of innovative approaches in design, new technology within moulding in both materials and machinery - as well as scientific discoveries in the field.

Supported by major industry trade associations, PDM Event is the place to meet a cross-section of the industry, from existing customers and contacts to brand new leads and business opportunities.

“We are delighted to confirm that PDM will return to its established home of the Telford International Centre in June 2018,”, said Matt Barber, Event Director at organiser Crain Communications. “Feedback from our exhibitors and visitors alike has encouraged us to return to the event’s core strengths as a plastics design, manufacturing and recycling event, including both an exhibition and free conference, as well as to return to our traditional and very popular venue of the Telford International Centre.”

Mark Lawson, Managing Director, of PDM exhibitor LawsonKeys said of the event: “We are looking forward to exhibiting again at PDM 2018. 80% of the business we secure is from customers we have invited to come to see us at PDM. It’s a must-attend event for us; it is a well-organised event and the logistics involved are easy.”

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the British Plastics Federation (BPF), plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA).

Home to over 100 polymer-related companies, Telford has been known for “plastics valley” for over 20 years and was the venue for PDM’s debut show in 2005. Easily accessible from the M6 and M54 motorways, the Telford International Centre provides free parking for over 1,500 cars. The adjacent Southwater development offers visitors and exhibitors a choice of bars, restaurants and post-event entertainment

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Orbital ATK, Inc. announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately $7.8 billion in cash, plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Orbital ATK shareholder approval.

“The acquisition of Orbital ATK is an exciting strategic step as we continue to invest for profitable growth. Through our combination, customers will benefit from expanded capabilities, accelerated innovation and greater competition in critical global security domains. Our complementary portfolios and technology-focused cultures will yield significant value creation through revenue synergies associated with new opportunities, cost savings, operational synergies, and enhanced growth. We look forward to welcoming Orbital ATK’s talented employees to Northrop Grumman, and believe our combined strength will benefit our customers and shareholders,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman.

“We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Northrop Grumman. It reflects the tremendous value Orbital ATK has generated for our customers, shareholders and employees.  The unique alignment in culture and mission offered by this transaction will allow us to maintain strong operational performance on existing programs while we pursue new opportunities that require the enhanced technical and financial resources of a larger organization. Our employees will also benefit from greater development and career opportunities as members of a larger, more diverse aerospace and defense enterprise. We will remain focused on operational excellence and execution during and after the transition into Northrop Grumman,” said David Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Orbital ATK.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Northrop Grumman plans to establish Orbital ATK as a new, fourth business sector to ensure a strong focus on operating performance and a smooth transition into Northrop Grumman.

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