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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.

Biofabrication

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 info@fluency.marketing, 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."

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