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Extraordinary advances in design and manufacturing will be on display at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in booth #S-8754. Machine tool builder GF AgieCharmilles, and market leading provider of design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) EOS will showcase an innovative start-to-finish manufacturing process chain that will create, at the show, actual titanium tibial trays for surgical knee implants.

The manufacturing process starts with an FEA/CAD design, developed using WITHIN Medical software, of a lightweight, yet strong tibial tray. The part’s extremely complex geometry involves variable pore sizes on one side (to promote osseointegration) and a smooth surface on the other (to support loads on the tibia). An EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS™) system will then automatically build the component as a single near-net piece, layer by layer. The final step is surface machining, first on a Mikron HPM 450U 5-axis milling machine, then with a CUT 20P wire EDM machine, both from GF AgieCharmilles.

“This blend of our technologies goes far beyond what most other product developers are presently doing,” says Gisbert Ledvon, Director of Business Development at GF AgieCharmilles U.S. “We have combined the visionary design and manufacturing capabilities of WITHIN and EOS with our long-established production expertise and high-precision equipment. The result is a cutting-edge turnkey manufacturing system that operates with very little human intervention and a minimum of scrap material.”

“While the demonstration at IMTS is of a medical component, this type of process chain is applicable to practically any industry,” says Andrew Snow, Regional Sales Director, EOS of North America, Inc. “A look around the booth shows attendees the range of parts possible for aerospace, automotive, tooling with conformal cooling, consumer, and other sectors as well.”

The GF AgieCharmilles booth is divided into four distinct areas, each one featuring a different industry. Within the medical area, attendees will be walked through the operating GF AgieCharmilles/EOS manufacturing production line and will be able to see each step and each system in action. Technical experts from GF AgieCharmilles and EOS will be available at the booth to answer questions.

Joining them will be Dr. Siavash Mahdavi, CEO of WITHIN. “As a manufacturing process, laser sintering affords designers so much freedom that it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin,” Mahdavi says. “Our software and the partnership between EOS and GF AgieCharmilles point the way to others who wish to explore the benefits that design-driven, additive manufacturing can bring.”

The show takes place Sept. 10-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago. GF AgieCharmilles and EOS will also hold a joint press conference Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8 a.m. in Room S-505A at IMTS. AgieCharmilles will be highlighting the 60th year celebration of their long history of manufacturing innovation.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info / us.gfac.com / www.imts.com

Published in EOS

Cookson Precious Metals (CPM) will showcase a prototype of a small Additive Manufacturing (AM) metal system at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2012, hall 11, stand 11V28. The system, PRECIOUS M 080, is designed around the needs of the international watch and jewellery industry.

Stella Layton, CEO of Cookson Precious Metals states: “For this technology, we have joined forces with EOS, market leader for design-driven, integrated e-manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications. “With this technology, 3D bespoke jewellery and watch components can be created from CAD files. This takes us on an exciting journey permitting the creation of highly complex and intricate designs that weren’t thinkable before. “The particular beauty of Additive Manufacturing is that it can be used to produce both one-off pieces as well as large scale production eliminating many process steps and tooling costs that we see today. “This technology is affordable, compact and provides a trend-setting manufacturing solution to the watch and jewellery industry.”

Just recently, CPM signed a strategic development partnership with EOS. Under this agreement, both companies introduce and further develop precious metal-based applications to the jewellery and watch industry. Product and services offerings will range from the production of precious metal parts to consulting for a Direct Metal Laser-Sintering (DMLS)-driven design process, the development and production of special precious metal alloys and the installation of a bespoke solution chain for high volume jewellery production.

To begin with, CPM offers AM capacities enabling a production of designs made of 18 ct yellow gold (3N colour). Both EOS and CPM envision customized e-manufacturing solutions that will change the economics of making jewellery or watches.

The technology time lowers the general costs of entry into the business of making quality jewellery and watch parts in precious metal. As such, e-manufacturing with DMLS enables designers to produce pieces that do not have to deal with the boundaries of conventional production techniques.

For more information, visit: www.cookson-emanufacturing.com

Published in EOS

Watch the skies: More and more, you’ll see unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) doing both commercial and public work, and a greater percentage of those devices will incorporate components manufactured with technology from EOS.

At booth 3758, EOS will display a variety of innovative laser-sintered aerospace parts, some of them difficult or even impossible to manufacture any other way. Around the corner at booth 3450, Northwest UAV Propulsion Systems and its sister company, Northwest Rapid Manufacturing, will be running a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering system from EOS.

“Laser sintering provides a competitive business advantage that is helping us find new customers,” says Alexander Graham Dick, VP Operations and Technical Sales Manager of Northwest Rapid. “It offers high quality, rapid turnaround and the ability to create efficient, integrated components.” One example is the company’s generator set, which made use of their EOS plastic laser-sintering system. The set, which consists of a combustion engine that drives an electrical generator, increases fuel capacity through a plastic tank design that takes maximum advantage of available space and incorporates the fuel tank and its enclosure in one part.

Noted aerospace and defense analysts Teal Group observed in a recent market study that UAV spending is set to nearly double worldwide over the next decade, from $6.6 billion to $11.4 billion per year. Others predict that a sizable segment of this expansion will be civilian applications.

“Nearly every day someone recognizes a new use for UAVs for which the vehicle or payload needs to be adapted,” says Udo Behrendt, EOS’ Global Business Development Manager, Aerospace. “That means re-thinking designs and quickly remaking components—which is where the manufacturing capabilities of laser sintering are invaluable.”

UAV manufacturers can benefit from laser sintering in many ways. The plastic or metal materials are strong and durable. Lightweight parts can be built with complex shapes. Laser sintering enables instant customization and re-design without tooling, making it inexpensive to re-purpose an existing UAV from one mission to another. The technology has been used to make fuel tanks, engine housings, cowlings, nacelles, ducts, and even entire fuselages.

AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2012 will be held August 7-9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information, visit: www.auvsishow.org

Published in EOS

EOS, technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications, and Cookson Precious Metals (CPM), worldwide established supplier for the precious metal industry, signed a strategic development partnership. Under this agreement, both companies will introduce and further develop precious metal-based applications to the jewelry and watch industry. The product and services offering will range from the production of precious metal parts to consulting for a Direct Metal Laser-Sintering- (DMLS) driven design process, the development and production of special precious metal alloys and the installation of a bespoke solution chain for high-volume jewelry production. To start with, CPM offers AM capacities enabling production of designs made of 18 carat yellow gold (3N color).

As a leading supplier of fabricated precious metals – primarily gold, silver and platinum – Cookson Precious Metals has a reputation for high-quality products and services, as well as for developing a close working relationship with customers. CPM is able to supply fair-trade gold, and their own Ecogold guarantees to customers that the gold has come from a recycled source. This utilizes aboveground stocks of recycled gold instead of new metal from the mines. Moreover, CPM is UK's largest one-stop shop for the jewelry maker with over 12,000 products, including a substantial stock of silver, gold, palladium and platinum bullion cut to customer requirements (sheet, wire, tube, solder, grain, settings) as well as wide ranges of findings, loose and finished chain, gemstones, ring blanks, jewelry making tools, silver clay and beading materials.

Dr. Adrian Keppler, Executive Vice President Strategy and Business Development at EOS, states: “With CPM we found a perfect partner to introduce our innovative and paradigm-shifting technology to the luxury goods industry. We truly believe that our AM process offers a huge potential for these industries and a freedom of design that they have long been searching for. The most demanding jewelry brands can now create entirely new products and geometries that still meet their high-quality requirements. The technology challenges the designer’s imagination and pushes it to the next level. This could not be achieved with a goldsmith’s handicraft work or conventional manufacturing methods.”

Stella Layton, Global Vice President at Cookson Precious Metals adds: “With EOS, we now join forces with the market and quality leader in AM. With the EOS technology, 3D bespoke jewelry and watch components can be created from CAD files. This takes us on an exciting journey, permitting the creation of highly complex and intricate designs that weren’t thinkable before. The particular beauty of this technology is that it can be used to produce both one-off pieces as well as large scale production eliminating many process steps and tooling costs we see today.”

Both EOS and CPM envision customized e-manufacturing solutions that will change the economics of making jewelry or watches. The shorter technology time lowers the general costs of entry into the business of making quality jewelry and watch parts in precious metal. As such, e-manufacturing with DMLS enables designers to produce pieces that do not have to deal with the boundaries of conventional production techniques.

Cookson Precious Metals (CPM) is a leading supplier of fabricated precious metals in Europe, a supplier of gold, silver, platinum and palladium alloys, wire, sheet, tubing, coin blanks and casting grain. Cookson is also a major precious metals refiner with London Bullion Market Association good delivery status.

For more information, visit: www.cookson-emanufacturing.com

Published in EOS

World-renowned dental implant specialist, Andrew Dawood, bought an EOS plastic laser-sintering machine in 2009 for his Wimpole Street company, Cavendish Imaging, so that data from CT (computerised tomography) scans could be used to make anatomical replicas of a patient's jaw and teeth. The purpose was to be able to plan and carry out complex dental procedures such as zygomatic implant placement more efficiently and accurately.

After the needs of his own dental practice and those of others locally had been met, the service was extended to assist other medical professionals. A recent, high profile job was the production of surgical planning models from MRI scans taken of shared blood vessels within the skulls of Sudanese baby twin girls, Ritag and Rital Gaboura, who were conjoined at the head. Last September (2011), doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital separated the girls and they survived against incredible odds.

There was still spare capacity on the EOS FORMIGA P100 laser-sintering machine, which automatically builds finely detailed models from successive 100-micron layers of fine, white nylon powder in a process sometimes referred to as 3D printing. So Mr Dawood decided to start another firm, Digits2Widgets, to offer a similar service to designers, initially mainly in the conceptual arts and architecture.

The enterprise has seen the machine produce a wide variety of prototypes and finished products. Work includes helping with customisation of dolls' faces, and 3D scanning, digital modification and small production runs of items such as innovative jewellery and spectacle frames, either directly in plastic or in metal via lost wax models.

Another project involved the limited production of plastic 'clones' – modified pine cones containing a light – that appeared in the list of best Christmas tree decorations 2011 published by The Guardian newspaper.

The area of London around Wimpole Street is at the epicentre of world renowned schools of Architecture, such as the Architectural Association, Westminster University, The Royal College of Art and the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture. The latter also operates a FORMIGA P100 as well as a larger plastic laser-sintering machine from EOS. Mr Dawood therefore took the logical decision to employ a qualified architect to help expand the design side of his business.

That person is Jonathan Rowley, BArch, DipArch, ARB, who joined Digits2Widgets in August 2011 and has since been responsible for producing several scale models of buildings in multiple sections for architectural practices and students.

He commented, "The big advantage of laser-sintering as a 3D printing method is that the parts produced are robust and fully functional, unlike with some other additive manufacturing methods.

"Once the 3D model has been sliced horizontally and the data downloaded to the FORMIGA control, the build process continues automatically around the clock, layer by layer, until the process is complete. You then simply lift out the hopper, allow it to cool and extract the components, dusting off the powder residue.

"Different parts can be fitted together in our CAD (computer aided design) system and produced simultaneously within the machine's 200 mm x 250 mm x 330 mm build volume in one cycle, so productivity is high, allowing us to keep down costs.

"We still have spare capacity on the machine to offer to firms in the London area, nationwide or even internationally, and may well invest in another, larger EOS 3D printer as business increases."

For more information, visit: www.digits2widgets.com or www.eos.info

Published in EOS

Inventor Dean Kamen is coming to Atlanta May 22nd. And he’s bringing the future with him. The celebrated founder of DEKA Research and Development Corporation will address the North American User Day (NAUD) meeting held by EOS, the world leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. His talk is titled “Growing Innovation and FIRST Innovators.”

DEKA has used direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) in the development of a futuristic prosthetic arm, among other devices. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is Kamen’s initiative to motivate young people to become science and technology leaders.

“It’s inspiring to see the innovative uses that young minds can make of everyday manufacturing processes,” Kamen says. “What they can achieve with a breakthrough additive process like laser sintering is beyond imagining.”

“EOS has been honored to work with Dean and his company on metal laser-sintered parts for the Luke prosthetic arm prototype,” says Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS. “We look forward to seeing what he and DEKA will design to take advantage of their plastic systems.” DEKA now has EOS FORMIGA P 100 and EOSINT P 395 plastic laser-sintering solutions, which it uses for prototyping, fixtures, and manufacturing.

NAUD coincides with RAPID 2012 (May 22-25), an SME-sponsored show in the same Atlanta venue. EOS will exhibit at RAPID in booth #109, where they will demonstrate an operating FORMIGA P 100 and display plastic and metal laser-sintered products from many industries. Dr. Siavash Mahdavi, managing director of WITHIN Technologies Ltd., will be a guest at the booth and speak at NAUD. WITHIN’s FEA/CAD optimization software works with plastic and metal laser-sintering systems to create strong, lightweight parts, including novel, load-bearing lattice structures.

Dean Kamen’s May 22nd talk is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the International South Meeting Room of the Hyatt Regency and is open to EOS users and registered press. There will also be a live musical performance during NAUD on a laser-sintered violin created in a single piece from PEEK thermoplastic.

A prolific inventor, Dean Kamen holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents in areas ranging from medicine and energy to robotics and transportation. He is widely known as the inventor of the Segway personal transporter. His many awards include a National Medal of Technology (2000), the Lemelson MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation (2002), induction into The National Inventors Hall of Fame (2005), the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers Medal (2007), and honorary degrees from more than 25 colleges and universities. Kamen founded the nonprofit FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to challenge and encourage students in engineering and technology.

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Germany, EOS is the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing Solutions. The modular EOS solution portfolio comprises of systems, application know-how, software, process parameters, materials and material development. EOS supports their customers with a variety of services, maintenance, application consulting and training offerings. The Additive Manufacturing (AM) process allows the fast and flexible production of high-end parts at a repeatable industry level of quality. As a disruptive technology it paves the way for a paradigm shift in product design and manufacturing. The technology accelerates product development, allows for freedom of design, optimized structural layouts – enabling e.g. lightweight lattice structures - and functional integration of parts, thus creating significant competitive advantages for their customers.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.sme.org/rapid

Published in EOS

EOS, the worldwide leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, today announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Phenix Systems at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The lawsuit alleges infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,753,274 and 6,042,774 through the manufacture, sale and use of the PXL, PXM, PXS and PXS Dental product lines from Phenix in the US. During the second half of 2011, Phenix had announced the commercial manufacture, sale and use of exactly these product lines publicly, even though EOS had apprised Phenix of its patent portfolio several times. As a consequence, EOS filed the patent lawsuit against Phenix on March 5, 2012.

The Complaint against Phenix sets forth that Phenix is directly infringing, inducing others to infringe, and contributing to infringement of the 274 and 774 Patents in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271. Phenix had actual notice of the existing EOS patent and despite such notice, has continued to engage in acts of infringement.

Johann Oberhofer, CFO of EOS, comments: “Filing this patent infringement lawsuit is an essential step in protecting our patent rights in the US. We hope that this litigation will quickly resolve the situation.”

EOS has patents granted for a considerable number of its own inventions in the field of laser-sintering. Today, the EOS patent portfolio includes more than 50 patent families worldwide. The company owns exclusive worldwide rights to all patents owned by 3D Systems Corporation applicable to the field of laser sintering which were filed prior to August 20, 2002.

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS

There’s a new Industrial Revolution sweeping through dentistry, and the results speak for themselves at LAB DAY 2012 Chicago. Laser-sintered crowns, bridges, and copings—now produced in the millions—are increasingly replacing those made with traditional casting and machining. EOS, world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering equipment, will display these innovative products and conduct two accredited clinics at the event (held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers February 24-25).

“Anyone can see that digital tools are proliferating in dentistry and being used in place of physical impressions and casting,” says Martin Bullemer, EOS manager for medical business development. “Our systems take full advantage of the individual patient geometries those digital tools capture and offer consistently high end-quality products and benefits in costs and turn-around times.”

Bill Oremus, vice president of BEGO USA (Lincoln, R.I.), agrees. “The industry’s shift to scanned digital imaging and manufacturing has made laser sintering a must-have technology for us,” he says. “As the technology advances it will be the direction of the future for making dental implant components because it eliminates production steps and cuts material waste.”

Laser sintering is an additive manufacturing process that “grows” near-net shapes, doing away with costly and time-consuming tasks such as waxing, investing, divesting, cutting, and grinding. This makes it economical for creating mass-customized crowns and bridges as well as plastic dental models or titanium dental implants. There are currently more than 40 plastic and metal laser-sintering systems worldwide dedicated to dental devices. Direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) equipment, running unattended, can produce about 450 crown and bridge units in 24 hours, currently some 2.5 million per year.

BEGO USA uses DMLS to create individual cobalt-chrome copings, crowns, pontics and bridges—including 14-unit bridges with a precision that would be difficult to match by traditional methods.

For those who wish to learn more about how this technology benefits the dental industry, this year’s clinics by EOS are titled, “Producing Bridges, Copings, Partials, Implants and Models from CAD Data via Laser Sintering.” Thomas Thiel, an EOS engineer in dental applications and a Master Dental Technologist, will show attendees why DMLS is an efficient alternative to traditional casting processes for copings, bridges, and implants. He will also highlight the use of laser-sintered plastic models for quality checks, analysis, and post-processing restorations. Participants will receive 1.5 Scientific Certified Dental Technician Credits. The clinics will be held in Parlor F (Lobby Level) on Saturday, February 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and again from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

EOS will also be demonstrating its newest polyamide, PA 2105, for physically modeling dentition. The material offers high precision for best prosthesis fit. Its color contrast facilitates the veneering of dental prostheses, and the models require minimal manual processes or finishing procedures.

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS

FourFourSixSix, a London-based international architecture practice, is delighted to be named key sponsors of the world’s biggest egg hunt. On February 21st, when the UK’s capital becomes home to 200 giant and uniquely crafted Easter eggs, FourFourSixSix sponsors an egg which has been created by them based on an architectural concept and manufactured with an additive manufacturing process called laser-sintering provided by EOS.

The first event of its kind, ‘The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt’ aims to raise vital funds for charities Action for Children and Elephant Family, inviting tourists, locals and visitors to join in a truly magical experience.

Members of the public will be able to hunt down the strategically placed, giant eggs, which have been exclusively designed, bejewelled and decorated by some of the world’s leading artists, architects, jewellers and designers including Mulberry, Sir Ridley Scott, Zandra Rhodes, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Quinn, Bruce Oldfield, The Chapman Brothers, Theo Fennell, William Curley, Bompas and Parr and Polly Morgan.

In addition, participants in the The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt will have the chance of winning the world’s most extraordinary prize. The Fabergé Tribute Egg, a fabulous creation valued at over £100,000, will be exclusively revealed on the first day of the hunt, Tuesday 21 February.

The event is set to smash Guinness World Records for the most participants in an Easter egg hunt and the world’s most expensive chocolate egg, as designed by William Curley.

The handcrafted eggs, which are destined to become highly collectible works of art, will be available to buy at auction, with proceeds going to Action for Children and Elephant Family. The jewel in the crown of the auction will be an exclusively designed, stunning 127ct emerald and gold egg pendant ‘Le Collier Plume d’Or’ by Fabergé.

‘The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt’ seeks to raise up to £2 million for leading children’s charity, Action for Children, and Elephant Family – the UK’s biggest funder for the endangered Asian elephant.

Daniel Welham, of FourFourSixSix and Stuart Jackson, Regional Manager for the UK and Ireland at EOS agree: “We are absolutely delighted to announce our support for this fantastic event. Not only will it be a magical day out for thousands of children and families this Easter, but it will be raising money for two incredible charities, Action for Children and Elephant family.“

Action for Children’s Chief Executive, Dame Clare Tickell, said: “The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt is a ground-breaking and exciting way to get London and all its visitors involved in raising awareness and crucial funds for the most vulnerable and neglected children, young people and families across the UK. It is an enchanting event, which will capture the hearts, imagination and interest of everyone taking part.

“We act as a lifeline to some of the UK’s most vulnerable children, young people and families and the £1 million we stand to benefit from this event will make a huge difference to the people out there that need our help the most. It’s particularly heartening to know that the money will have been raised thanks to an event which will be hugely enjoyable for the thousands of children and families who will be taking part.”

Elephant Family Director, Ruth Powys, said: “From the charity that brought you Elephant Parade, we give you, in partnership with Action for Children, The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. It’s about time to have some fun again. Forget about your worries – we’re going to put a smile on your faces and brighten up our great capital city. Like everybody, charities are up against it and you need to think out of the box, so welcome to another fun and vital initiative to protect our children and the endangered animals that share their world”.

Sarah Fabergé, great granddaughter Peter Carl Fabergé said: "Eggs have become synonymous with Fabergé and it is almost impossible to think of one without the other! The egg is symbolic to so many nations and cultures representing new life and rebirth. We at Fabergé have recently undergone a rebirth ourselves opening our first boutique in London after an absence of more than 90 years! How could we not become involved in a big egg hunt taking place right on our doorstep in support of these two wonderful charities, Action for Children and Elephant Family whose tireless work involves nurturing young people and the animals that share our planet?”

For more information, visit: www.thebigegghunt.co.uk

Published in EOS

EOS, world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems announced today that Spain-based Fundación Prodintec joined their e-Manufacturing partner initiative as of January 1, 2012. Complementing the existing network of partners both companies join forces to further increase the acceptance of the laser-sintering as a manufacturing process that offers solutions beyond prototyping, thus extending the reach to serial applications too.

Together with EOS, Prodintec offers an e-Manufacturing process from Product Design to Advanced Manufacturing Processes. Owning a number of EOS systems already – one FORMIGA, one EOSINT P 395 and two EOSINT M 280 (200 and 400 Watt) Prodintec has a substantial knowledge of the laser-sintering technology and as such can circle back to EOS valuable lessons learned which  consequently can ensure a continuous further improvement of the e-Manufacturing process. Prodintec, in return, sees EOS as their preferred supplier for laser-sintering systems and processes. Dr. Adrian Keppler, Executive Vice President Strategy und Business Development adds: “EOS and Prodintec believe that laser-sintering is currently challenging the principles of conventional design and manufacturing processes for a large variety of industry-specific applications. This partner network is a proof point for the innovative and game changing power of the technology and will help all parties involved to tap the full potential of e-Manufacturing.”

Iñigo Felgueroso, Managing Director of Prodintec adds: “We are not just sharing a vision with EOS but have build up successful business models around the technology, gained practical experiences from this and consequently can perfectly consult customers on how to reach maximum benefit from e-Manufacturing with laser-sintering. With a regional focus, though acting international, Prodintec aims to become a reference for the EOS technology when it comes to R&D in product development and manufacturing processes. Moreover, we are successful as a company when this technology helps particularly companies in Spain, Portugal and other countries to grow their businesses.”

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

Founded in 2004, PRODINTEC is a non-profit technology centre based in the North of Spain. Main activities include R&D and innovation projects related to Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Product Design and Product Engineering. PRODINTEC is specialised on supporting companies in the whole value chain for Additive Manufacturing, providing complete innovative solutions from 3D-scanning, to series production including the use of advanced software for Additive Manufacturing, quality control and post-processing. Those capabilities have made of PRODINTEC the leader in Spain in R&D projects and innovation services in Additive Manufacturing, performing more than 2.000 innovation services and 30 R&D projects in Additive Manufacturing in several sectors and applications, such as electronic equipment enclosures, medical implants, aerospace, automotive parts and conformal cooling moulds and micro-moulds.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.prodintec.com

Published in EOS

Paramount Industries, Inc., a world-class rapid product development, rapid manufacturing and rapid deployment company, today announced the acquisition of an EOSINT P 800, a new high temperature laser sintering technology capable of processing engineered polymers like polyaryl ether ketone (PAEK) and polyether ether ketone (PEEK).

“High temperature laser sintering is a 3D printing process that is growing in popularity for making strong plastic production parts,” said Paramount CEO Jim Williams. “As early adopters, our goal is to integrate this technology across all industries so manufacturers can benefit from the unique advantages additive manufacturing technologies can offer. While it is true that aerospace, defense, energy, medical and transportation are natural consumers, there are many more industries that will benefit from this processing and material technology.”

An increasing number of government agencies and manufacturers are sourcing laser sintering for direct part production. In contrast to traditional manufacturing methods, laser sintering can deliver plastic parts with highly complex geometries with impressive strength-to-weight ratios. In many cases, hundreds of parts can be directly manufactured from 3D CAD digital models long before tooling is available and in certain applications eliminating tooling costs altogether. As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) continue to make system enhancements and service providers develop new processing techniques for biocompatible and high temp laser sintering materials, Paramount anticipates that demand will continue to rise.

The EOSINT P 800 can process temperatures up to 385°C (725°F) which enables the laser sintering process of engineered polymers like PAEK. “The P 800’s elevated processing temperatures and range of high performance engineered polymers are critical components necessary for the growth of this industry and complementary to our ongoing laser sintering R&D effort and direct part manufacturing operations,” said Williams.

Laser sintering offers the highest levels of manufacturing flexibility for end-use parts. PAEKs offer the highest levels of performance among polymers. Since 2008 Paramount Industries has led the development of the high temperature laser sintering process. The company qualified the process through an extensive U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) R&D effort integrating laser sintering technology and materials science into a robust manufacturing solution package to deliver complex parts for military weapon systems. Paramount is successfully moving into SBIR Phase III, transitioning this high temperature laser sintering process to production with these new PAEKs and carbon-fiber-reinforced PAEKs.

The laser sintering PAEKs offer temperature resistance, processing stability, mechanical performance, resistance to hydrolysis, and flame retardant characteristics that make them ideal candidates for aerospace applications. The carbon-fiber-reinforced PAEKs offer additional electrostatic dissipative characteristics and higher tensile modulus. These new materials combined with Paramount’s advanced coatings and surface finishes broaden the material selection and design options and increases the range of applications.

For over 45 years Paramount has demonstrated a strong commitment to the early adoption of new manufacturing technologies and since the late ‘80s was a thought leader in the democratization of rapid technologies. In the mid ’90s, Paramount was an early adopter of laser sintering metals for the manufacture of injection molds and metal sintered parts. These early efforts were foundational in helping to elevate awareness and integration of advanced additive manufacturing technologies.

“Much of the excitement in what we do every day as a product development and manufacturing company is to create innovative ways to integrate advanced technologies that enable our customers’ rapid product deployment regardless of the industry. Paramount continues to advance the development of laser sintering materials and processing. My team is absolutely thrilled to add the EOSINT P 800 to Paramount’s additive manufacturing tool box,” Williams added.

Founded in 1966, Paramount Industries, Inc. is among the world's most experienced providers of product development services, including design engineering, additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing, rapid manufacturing, rapid tooling, urethane casting, injection molding and contract manufacturing. Paramount is AS9100C and ISO 9001:2008 certified and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registered. The company holds active memberships with the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG), Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Keystone Chapter AUVSI (founding member), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and ASTM International.

For more information, visit: www.paramountind.com

Published in Paramount Industries

For proof positive that laser-sintering is changing the face of medical design and manufacturing, attendees of this year’s American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting can stop by the EOS booth. The world leader in laser-sintering systems is showcasing a working EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) system to demonstrate the extraordinary benefits the technology offers for orthopedic applications. The evidence includes a wide range of innovative medical products and prototypes used for instrumentation as well as spinal, joint, and cranial surgeries. The show is being held February 8-10 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (California).

“An entire new world of orthopedic treatment and procedures has opened up,” says Martin Bullemer, EOS manager for medical business development. “Because our laser-sintering systems can cost-effectively manufacture any imaginable geometry, and any variation on it, they are changing the way we think about medical products.”

Laser sintering is an additive manufacturing process involving next-to-no tooling, molding or machining costs. As a result, devices can be economically mass-customized to conform to the requirements of individual doctors or patients. Orthopedic suppliers use DMLS and plastics laser sintering to create a diverse array of drill guides, clamps, implants, and surgical instruments.

EOS-related activities at the AAOS meeting include:

• EOS customers C&A Tool (booth 4017), Morris Technologies (booth 359), and Oxford Performance Materials (booth 2821) are exhibiting laser-sintered products and prototypes. C&A and Morris both focus on DMLS, while Oxford Performance Materials uses the EOSINT P 800 with high-performance polymers to manufacture customized medical implants.

• Highlights from WITHIN Technologies Ltd include their FEA/CAD optimization software that works with EOS’ plastic and metal laser-sintering systems to create strong, lightweight parts including innovative lattice structures.

• FHC is exhibiting its new line of patient-customized stereotactic fixtures for cranial targeting. The new fixtures are more accurate and comfortable for the patient than standard stereotactic frames and are suitable for a broad range of head types, and for targets not easily reached with a traditional frame. They also reduce operating room times for the procedure by as much as two hours.

“Many surgeons and medical designers are only just now becoming aware of the breadth of applications made possible by this manufacturing technology,” says Fred Haer, CEO of FHC. “The laser-sintered products on display at this meeting are at the forefront of a revolution in personalized patient care.”

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.aaos.org/education/anmeet/anmeet.asp

Published in EOS

German industrial control and automation company, Festo, a world leading supplier of pneumatically- and electrically-actuated automation systems, is using additive manufacturing (AM) to produce a bionic gripper that can pick up and put down objects flexibly, reliably, gently and safely. Fast and economical batch production of the complex components at the company's Esslingen factory is achieved using a FORMIGA P 100 plastic laser-sintering machine from EOS.

The advantages over conventional manufacturing practices are many. Due to the design freedom afforded by layer-by-layer AM, the number of individual parts has been reduced, making assembly less costly. As injection mould tools are not needed, further time and cost savings result. The weight of the gripper is lower, as it can be made from polyamide instead of metal, which is an advantage in some applications.

The so-called Bionic Handling Assistant was awarded the 2010 Deutscher Zukunftspreis, a technology and innovation award endowed annually by the German Federal President. Unlike conventional industrial robots, the pneumatically controlled unit has the particular benefit that direct contact with people is not hazardous, as in the event of a collision the system yields immediately. The design allows for smooth movement, with 11 degrees of freedom and an unparalleled weight / payload ratio.

Festo has been gathering experience with AM since 1995. What began with concept models and functional prototypes has developed into the manufacture of several thousands of parts per year.

Products derived from nature are often of complex design. The flexible bionic handling assistance system is based on an elephant's trunk and consists of three elements for spatial movement. At the end is a 'hand', called a DHDG adaptive gripper, modelled on a fish fin.

Klaus Müller-Lohmeier, head of advanced prototyping technology at Festo AG, said, "The gripper's functionality and structure, incorporating components of complex geometry, makes it impossible to produce the product by any means other than AM.

"Just four components produced in a FORMIGA P100 are sufficient to make a complete Bionic Handling Assistant.

"Thanks to the design freedom that laser-sintering gives us, we can manufacture movable, flexible but also specifically rigid shapes, just as they occur in nature.

"Our designers can operate independently of the restrictions of conventional manufacturing techniques and concentrate fully on the implementation of the natural principles they have analysed.

"We are using laser-sintering more and more for projects in which limited annual quantities of a complex part are required. In these cases, the process is a real alternative to existing, often tool-based methods."

The fish fin-inspired DHDG adaptive gripper is now integrated into Festo's product range and is already used by customers all over the world. Its structure may be adapted for a user's specific application. The gripper fingers adjust precisely to the contour of a workpiece and even sensitive objects or those of complex shape can be gripped and moved safely.

Noteworthy is that the gripper elements have their final functionality immediately after laser-sintering, without the need for expensive assembly. Accordingly, laser-sintering is a manufacturing precondition. Festo says that there is no practical alternative.

Moreover, the DHDG adaptive gripper is 80 per cent lighter than conventional grippers made of metal. The fact that plastic is able to replace metal is due to the ability of the laser-sintering process to produce lightweight, elastic yet very strong structures. Studies have shown that the gripper elements can withstand more than five million bending cycles.

Müller-Lohmeier concluded by mentioning that tool-less production with AM is especially cost-efficient. In an unrelated customer project, Festo manufactured 12,000 components by laser-sintering as an alternative technology, saving 40 per cent of the unit cost compared with injection moulding.

All parts were finished within one week in just four build cycles, whereas conventional production would have taken two months. The company was therefore able to launch the product much faster.

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world's leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimises production processes. EOS completed its business year 2009/2010 with revenues of 64 million Euros. The company employs 300 people worldwide, 250 of them in Krailling near Munich, Germany.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info or www.festo.com



Published in EOS

At this year’s EuroMold World Fair for Moldmaking and Tooling, EOS highlighted integrated e-Manufacturing solutions that meet the need for quality assurance in series manufacture of customised products.

The company announced that its Integrated Process Chain Management for plastic applications is being developed further to optimise powder handling. The new IPCM will be scalable to fit into production environments where management of powder quality, traceability and storage is essential. EOS is working closely with selected customers and their input is being integrated in the further development of this concept.

The latest direct metal laser sintering system was exhibited, EOSINT M 280, of which over 30 systems have been sold globally since it was introduced at EuroMold 2010. EOSINT P 760 for plastic applications also featured on the stand.

Emphasis was placed on Laser Power Monitoring, which records the laser power during the build process to ensure that the specified level is maintained. Results are reported via the EOSTATE 1.2 quality assurance module.

New plastic powder

Designed to make plastic laser-sintering more economical and sustainable, PrimePart PLUS is a new, translucent polyamide suitable for fully functional parts with excellent mechanical properties.

Owing to the optimised refresh rate, whereby only about 30 per cent virgin powder has to be added to used material, instead of 50 per cent for conventional polyamide polymers, material consumption is significantly reduced. It leads to lower cost per part, less material wastage and a more efficient production process.

AM meets art

Additive manufacturing is not only showing huge potential for short run production of complex components, but is also opening up new creative avenues. For example, on show at EuroMold was work by artist and product designer, Lionel T Dean, including a 3D printed titanium gearshift.

“Direct digital manufacturing offers much more than complex structures to creative industries: it is a revolution that will allow us to invent new relationships with customers,” stated Dean, whose work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

"In contrast to mass production, direct production decreases the need for investment and allows designers to respond to niche markets and individual requirements."

Successful 2010/11 financial year for EOS

Over 1,000 EOS laser-sintering systems have now been sold worldwide, a landmark reached in 2011. At the end of September, the company completed a successful year's trading which showed higher growth rates than expected. Sales revenue increased by around 40 per cent compared with the last financial year, taking turnover to more than 90 million Euros.

The number of staff is increasing too, with currently more than 350 employees globally. To support this growth and with a focus on further investment in R&D, the company plans to build a 12,000 m2 building next to its headquarters in Krailling, near Munich, with construction starting in Spring 2012.

Dr Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, said: “Twenty-two years after EOS was founded, we see the technology challenging the limits of traditional manufacturing. Many prototyping companies already use laser-sintering for design and manufacture, while more and more OEMs are adopting the technology for high-end manufacturing.

"Last year saw a number of organisational changes which will support further progress. As a result, a broader management team has been established which can now better support the key divisions of the company.

"Sustainability will remain one of the core strategic pillars for the coming years and will strongly influence EOS' plans, for example how we can further optimise the powder consumption in our laser-sintering systems.

"We already see enormous benefits of our technology, which enables cycle time reductions, reduced material consumption, the possibility to reuse materials, and weight reduction through change of material and the integration of lattice structures.”

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS

At the end of September 2011, EOS completed a very successful fiscal year which showed much higher growth rates than expected after a short phase of economic downturn in 2010. Terry Wohlers, industry consultant and analyst, just recently summarized the potential he sees for the market of additive manufacturing technologies, such as laser-sintering: “The additive Manufacturing (AM) industry continuous to have tremendous untapped potential. A product development company may spend five-to-ten percent on design and prototyping for a given program. The remaining 90-95 percent is spent on production, which is why so many companies are aggressively pursuing this segment of the market.”

EOS also recently surpassed 1,000 laser-sintering systems sold worldwide and completed the fiscal year with a revenue increase of around 40 percent, with more than 90 million Euros. The number of staff is increasing too, with currently more than 350 employees globally. In order to support this growth, and with a focus on further investments into R&D, EOS plans to build a 12,000 qm building next to their current headquarters, with construction starting in spring of 2012.

Dr. Hans J. Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, adds: “22 years after EOS was founded we see a technology challenging the limits of traditional manufacturing. A lot of prototyping companies already have adopted the laser-sintering way to design and manufacture. Meanwhile, more and more OEM’s are adopting the technology for their high-end manufacturing needs too. Together with lighthouse customers, we’ll further develop this segment.” He adds: “Where markets change and new target groups develop, EOS has to prepare for the new challenges and market opportunities ahead. As a consequence, the last fiscal year saw a number of organizational changes which will be supporting further progress.”

As a result, a broader management team has been established which can now better support the key divisions of the company, For example, Quality Management has taken a central role at EOS with a focus on prevention and continuous system and process improvement as well as monitoring and control to enable adequate product and process quality-one of the key prerequisites to meet the particular requirements of EOS’ new industrial customers. In addition, EOS’ service and application consultancy offerings are continuously strengthened by increasing local service and support teams. As a result, customer-specific applications can be optimized upfront, offering a competitive advantage to the customer. Overall, EOS supports its customers in maximizing the benefits arising from the use of the laser-sintering technology.

In addition, EOS further invested into laser-sintering process specialist Advanced Laser Materials LLC (ALM), developer and provider of polyamide materials and processes for additive manufacturing. And, as of January 2012, EOS will enter into a joint venture for the German market together with partner BESTinCLASS called “First Surface Oberflächentechnik GmbH” (see separate press release) to extend the offering of post processing services for this region.

“Apart from all of these changes and further developments in and around EOS, sustainability will remain one of the core strategic pillars for the coming years”, adds Langer. “This will strongly contribute to how EOS plans and sets up the new company building, how we further optimize power consumption of our laser-sintering systems. And how – already today – we see enormous benefits of our technology for our customers by enabling cycle time reduction, reduced material consumption or the possibility to re-use materials, weight reduction through change of material (from metal to plastics), and integration of lattice structures, to name but a few.”

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser-sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser-sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. EOS completed its business year 2010/2011 with revenues of more than 90 million Euros (more than 120 million US$).

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS
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