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TCT Group and AM Ventures, the leading investor in Advanced Manufacturing Technology companies are pleased to announce that they will be working together to find the next big thing at TCT Show in Birmingham.

At TCT Show, taking place September 25-27, 2018 all companies in additive manufacturing and 3D technologies are invited to pitch for investment, receive honest feedback and potentially win free consultation from AM Ventures.

Announcing the opportunity that will allow companies to directly pitch investment specialists with the world’s largest network of AM companies, John Pudney, Head of Events Sales at Rapid News (owner of TCT Group) commented “AM Ventures and TCT Group share the same goal of accelerating the adoption of 3D technologies and design-to-manufacturing innovations. We're really excited to introduce this unique opportunity to TCT Show and look forward to working closely with AMV to help individual companies and be part of producing the next stars”

TCT Show has a history of introducing new companies to the market since launching 23 years ago, welcoming over 250 new companies to the 3D technology sector to Birmingham over the last 5 years. Some of those companies, including DyeMansion and 3YOURMIND have already received investment and support from AM Ventures whilst benefitting from the leads and brand exposure that TCT Group offers across Europe. These companies will be exhibiting again in 2018 to continue to grow their businesses and benefit from the unique audience of peers and potential customers that attend the show.

When asked about the opportunity to develop a meeting scheme at TCT Show, Arno Held, Chief Venture Officer at AM Ventures said “We're always looking for new ways to add to our worldwide network of advanced manufacturing technologies, particularly within AM, so working with TCT Group to find the next generation of companies that can drive the industry forwards is a natural fit. We're really excited to meet the next members of the AMV family at TCT Show in Birmingham”

Meeting spaces are limited and expected to be over-subscribed – to apply you should email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with a short outline of your company (max. 200 words) explaining what you do and your current status. Priority will be given to technology and application ventures with an industrial focus but all start-ups, whether bootstrapping, seed-funded or looking to accelerate growth are invited to apply. Companies applying will need to be available in Birmingham between Tuesday September 25th and Thursday September 27th.

OPEN MIND Technologies AG has introduced hyperMILL® 2018.2, the latest version of its advanced, comprehensive CAM software. hyperMILL® 2018.2 offers a range of enhancements and new features for 3D Shape Z-level Finishing and 3D Optimized Roughing, greater CAD functionality and more.

For reduced programming times and improved milling, 3D Z-level Shape Finishing, available in hyperCAD®-S, has two new features. "Automatic face extension" can be used during CAM programming to automatically extend the selected milling surfaces, eliminating manual CAD work and resulting in cleaner corner cuts. Also, 3D Z-level Shape Finishing now has the ability to support conical barrel cutters in addition to general and tangential cutters.

During 3D Optimized Roughing, multiple allowances are now recognized and accounted for when using free tool geometries, resulting in easier programming and a high level of flexibility for defining special tools. hyperMILL® 2018.2 can define different allowances and adapt the machining process accordingly. High-feed cutters have a special cutting geometry that is easy to define using tool management, and hyperMILL® 2018.2 uses the free geometries of the cutting tool edge for calculation, simulation and collision checking.

"Keeping the hyperMILL® suite at the forefront of CAM technology, we are pleased to offer our customers improved CAM strategies and enhanced CAD tools for even greater machining productivity through our new release of hyperMILL® 2018.2," said Alan Levine, Managing Director of OPEN MIND Technologies USA, Inc.

New hyperMILL® 2018.2 functionality also includes several enhancements to its hyperCAD®-S module, including the ability to measure and record the distances between two shapes such as face models, solids, meshes or stock. In addition, for easy changes to milling boundaries and turning contours, hyperMILL® 2018.2 offers a 'V sketch' command that assigns geometric constraints to 2D contours. When individual contours are changed, the sketch is automatically updated using their dependencies.

The electrode module, which provides quick designing of die-sinking electrodes, offers a new Virtual Electrode function for securely creating electrode copies which are checked for collisions, and can be assigned new technology values or the values of the master electrodes. For easier analysis, the reference system and eroding position for each electrode copy are included in a report.

Diabase Engineering is proud to announce the release of the H-Series, ​a hybrid machine tool combining additive and subtractive capabilities in a single build environment. It is a novel lab-scale manufacturing system providing a broad range of new build strategies.

Diabase Engineering are the makers of the Flexion Extruder, a high performance printhead for the consumer 3D printing market. Up to 5 Flexion extruders can be housed on the tool changing system of the H-Series Machine. This configuration allows for mixed material printing of elastomers well-suited for footwear and other sporting goods applications. Rigid materials such as ABS, PETG, and Nylons are also easily processed. The H-Series is similar in form to a vertical machining center; the build environment is open and uncluttered to provide easy access for setup work. A range of workholding options allow for the use of round, rectangular, or sheet stock as raw material. Air-cooled spindles and coordinated 5-axis motion enable the use of advanced subtractive toolpaths. Other subsystems and attachments provide process environment control, scanning and measurement, nozzle cleaning and other functionalities.

The H-Series is not just an all-in-one machine; it is a set of truly useful capabilities that require its tight, responsive motion control system. Hybrid machine tool operation typically refers to rough additive manufacturing followed by subtractive cleanup. This process yields a good combination of low-waste, higher-throughput, accurate features, and high-quality surface finishes. However it also requires higher mass and stiffness of the machine for it to remain accurate under the significant vibrational tool loads. Hybrid operation also refers to the process of successive additive and subtractive steps. Starting with a sheet, slug, or other form of raw material, some features are machined from the stock, and others are sequentially added and subtractively smoothed. This strategy offers the enormous technical advantage of having predictable mechanical properties in at least a region of the finished part. Using this method with the H-Series also provides shorter build times, moving it beyond a prototyping tool into the realm of short run manufacturing.

As part of the “Early Adopter Program” Diabase Engineering is offering a discounted price on the first 100 units.

Star Rapid announced a new addition to its executive team with the appointment of business transformation specialist, David Hunter, as CEO. The move follows a period of unprecedented revenue growth for Star Rapid, achieving a nearly 40 percent increase in 2017. This momentum continued into the first half of 2018, with company revenue increasing approximately 10 percent year-over-year along with an expansion of staff to 280 employees worldwide.

Star Rapid sees future growth opportunities with the rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacturing of smart devices with Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities. These devices are increasing in prominence across many of the company's core markets, including the automotive, medical and industrial sectors. Hunter will leverage his more than 30 years of lean management experience as the company continues to serve its diverse customer base. Under Hunter's leadership, Star Rapid will incorporate Industry 4.0 processes and systems that rely upon real-time data to increase operational efficiencies by eliminating bottlenecks, preventing line down or asset under-utilization, and implementing defect prevention measures.

David has a proven track record of business transformation and was most recently VP of operations and quality at Multek, a division of Flex, where he helped lead the business turnaround and development. Prior to that position, he served as the VP and general manager of Wuxi, one of the world's five leading electronics manufacturers.

"Having experienced strong growth in 2017, we are focused upon continuously improving every aspect of customer engagement. Implementing robust, scalable processes utilizing lean techniques and developing an outstanding talent pool will enable Star Rapid to enjoy sustainable growth," said David Hunter, CEO of Star Rapid. "In addition, we are embarking upon the deployment of intelligent manufacturing technologies, connected equipment and IoT which we believe will create true competitive advantage for both ourselves and our customers."

To further support Star Rapid's growth, Star Rapid's founder, Gordon Styles, will serve as president and CTO.

"David is a natural-born leader and his impact has been evident from day one," said Gordon Styles, president and CTO of Star Rapid. "His in-depth practical knowledge about how to deploy intelligent and lean manufacturing, paired with his long-term vision, will be invaluable as Star Rapid continues to expand its global presence. We look forward to continuing our company's success and serving our global customers."

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has purchased an EnvisionTEC 3D-Bioplotter to conduct regenerative biology and tissue engineering research.

The 3D-Bioplotter is a world-leading bioprinter, used for research in more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific and medical papers. The 3D printer is being purchased with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“This platform is going to enable some exciting new research efforts,” said Brendan Harley, Associate Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and the Leader of the IGB’s Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering (RBTE) Theme. “This bioplotter will facilitate work seeking to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues such as bone and tendon as well as to identify new ways to treat cancer,” he added.

The new 3D-Bioplotter will be housed in a shared-use facility that will be accessible to researchers across the campus.

The IGB has selected a Manufacturer Series of the 3D-Bioplotter, the premium model of the bioprinter that includes an Automated Head Exchanger (AHX) with five print heads, a temperature-controlled platform to boost survival of biologic materials and a Multi-Function HD Camera that documents each layer of a build project for pre-clinical and clinical research, among other unique features.

EnvisionTEC also offers a Starter and Developer model of the 3D-Bioplotter for users who may not require all of the control and functionality of the premium Manufacturer model.

All 3D-Bioplotter models are built on a vibration-free cast iron base that ensures accurate and reliable 3D printing of fine cellular matter and share key features:

  • Processes STL and 3MF files
  • Automatically calibrates needle tip position
  • Offers an automated needle tip cleaning station
  • Uses a filtering system to protect the quality of air used to dispense material
  • Designed for use in a sterile biosafety cabinet


“We’re proud to have developed a bioprinter that can be used to provide tissue engineering researchers with all of the controls and tools necessary to develop solutions for a range of healthcare and other issues,” said Jay Murray, Director of MCAD Sales, North America

After more than a year in development and pilot programming, Mancini Duffy has opened its new Design Lab, a hub for the technology-first design firm’s research and development program. The state-of-the-art, 250-square-foot lab plays host to a microfactory of 3D printers, free-range virtual reality gear, drone docking, and more. The Design Lab is the culmination of the firm’s investment in leveraging technology to enhance the design process and commitment to making people’s lives easier.

“Our goal with the Design Lab is to find unique ways to integrate technology into our day-to-day practice and elevate the design and delivery process,” explains Mancini President Christian Giordano. “When we use technology to improve the internal aspects of an architectural firm, the way we do things is optimized and made increasingly efficient, helping us boost our volume of high-quality services. The Design Lab is the perfect place to evolve this process and explore innovative ROI solutions for our clients.”

Simplify Medical announced that it has expanded its leadership team with the appointments of Brian Polonet as Vice President, Sales and Marketing and Kim Norton as Vice President, Reimbursement. Both appointments are effective immediately and together bring decades of executive experience in the medical device space to the Simplify Medical leadership team.  In addition, two key members of the leadership team have been promoted: Beth Neil to Vice President, Clinical Affairs and Mark Alvis, DVM to Vice President, Quality Assurance & Operations.

Mr. Polonet will lead the Company’s sales and marketing initiatives to drive increased adoption in Europe and prepare for expected commercial launch in the U.S. following requisite regulatory approval. Ms. Norton will manage payer relations and oversee the development and execution of the Company’s reimbursement strategy as it continues to expand the number of covered lives for both one and two-level implantation.

The appointments were made as the Company expands commercial efforts in Europe where it is CE marked and pursues the completion of one and two-level U.S. IDE clinical trials for the implantation of its cervical artificial disc between C3 to C7.  The Company completed enrollment of its one-level trial in February 2018 with 166 patients enrolled at 16 U.S. sites and anticipates complete enrollment of 200 patients at 18 centers in its two-level study by the end of 2018.

David Hovda, Chief Executive Officer of Simplify Medical, commented, “I am extremely pleased to announce the high caliber additions of Mr. Polonet and Ms. Norton to our team as we work diligently to expand our commercial and corporate presence and prepare to bring our innovative disc to the U.S. market following FDA PMA submission and approval. These appointments complement the progress we’ve made to date, especially in the enrollment for our one and two-level IDE clinical trials, and demonstrate our evolving focus as we build off our momentum and approach a critical juncture of growth.”

Mr. Polonet joins the Company with 25 years of experience in the medical device industry, with the last 17 years in Spine. Most recently he was a managing partner at TDR Associates, a consulting company which managed the one and two-level study enrollment for Simplify Medical.  He previously held positions as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Paradigm Surgical, LLC and prior to that, as Vice President of Sales at SpinalMotion. He has had a leadership role in four IDE studies for artificial discs. Mr. Polonet holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Austin College.

"I am excited to lead the sales and marketing efforts for the next-generation Simplify Disc. I am looking forward to building upon our early European adoption of the Simplify technology as we prepare for the U.S. market." - Brian Polonet

Ms. Norton has worked in the fields of reimbursement, outcomes research, and government relations for over 20 years. She has deep experience with artificial disc technologies, having led the reimbursement efforts at several companies, including as Head of Reimbursement and Payer Relations for Aesculap, Inc., a medical device company focused on spine and orthopedic implants based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Vice President of Reimbursement for both LDR Spine and DePuy Synthes. Kim earned a master's degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in political science from Wellesley College.

“As I acclimate to this new role, my first move will be to reassess the dynamics of the cervical disc market with regard to reimbursement, including evaluating the latest updates on coverage and payment opportunities and challenges.” - Kim Norton

Ms. Neil has nearly 20 years of experience in the medical device industry, specializing in clinical research.  Prior to joining Simplify Medical as the Director of Clinical Affairs, she held positions with Link Spine Group and Healthtronics Surgical Services, as well as various contract research organizations.  Ms. Neil holds an M.S. degree in Physical Therapy from Duke University.

Dr. Alvis has been part of Simplify Medical since 2007, serving as Director, Quality Assurance. Prior to joining Simplify Medical, Dr. Alvis served as General Manager of Angiotech Biomaterials, where he was responsible for all business activities at their Palo Alto, CA facility. He also served as Vice President of Research and Development at NeuColl Inc. Dr. Alvis has 20 years of experience in the preclinical assessment of medical devices and pharmaceutical agents and holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University.

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.

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