Fusion3 continues to build on its open material philosophy, announcing a significant expansion of the number of materials supported by its flagship F400 3D printer. The company has certified over 35 different formulations of generic and specialty 3D filaments produced by 13 3D filament manufacturers. Tested and approved filament categories now include generic and specialty formulations of PLA, ABS, ASA, PET, PETG, PC-ABS, Nylon, Polycarbonate, Flexible (TPU/TPE), Polyester, Acrylics, and HIPS (soluble).

“Most of our customers use industrial plastics in their daily operations and tell us they will adopt 3D printing technologies more quickly when these plastics are available as printable filaments”, said Chris Padgett, Fusion3 CEO. “Fusion3 has created a rigorous filament testing and certification program for new materials with our line of affordable, high-performance 3D printers. This program ensures our customers can select quality filament manufacturers in both the US and Europe, and leverages the development of new, innovative materials, ranging from high-temperature / high strength plastics, novel flexible or metal, ceramic and organic material infused filaments.

Fusion3’s certification process is composed of 2 steps. First, the company evaluates the materials for both performance and safety. For those materials that pass those criteria, the company then creates turn-key configuration files (‘profiles’), optimized for the F400 to ensure successful results in the very first print.

“Unlike many 3D printer manufacturers, we do not sell filament to our customers,” said Chip Royce, Fusion3’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Customers have told us they don’t like being locked into high prices and a limited choice of compatible materials. Fusion3 provides our customers the ability to shop across different 3D filament manufacturers, ensuring the best quality, price and customer service.”

Each month, Fusion3 updates its list of certified materials and publishes turn-key configuration files (profiles) for each material. This month the company added three new material categories to its certification list:

ASA: A staple in industrial injection molding, ASA is now available as a 3D printing filament. ASA has excellent UV, weather, and chemical resistance and is a great choice for parts that will be outdoors or other severe conditions and need to retain their functionality.

Flexible Materials: Flexible materials are generally difficult to print. The drive system in Fusion3’s F400 3D printer is able to print most flexible materials and currently supports NinjaTek ™ SEMIFLEX, MakeShaper TPU 95A and 85A and Taulman3D PCTPE.

PETG: Specially developed for 3D printing, PETG combines good strength with high flexibility and durability. PETG is ideal for mechanical parts due to high impact resistance and durability. Many versions are approved by FDA for food contact.

These certified materials are produced by a ‘who’s who’ of leading North American and European 3D filament manufacturers including Atomic Filament, ColorFabb, E3D, Fillamentum, MakeShaper, NinjaTek, ProtoPasta, ProtoParadigm, Taulman3D, 3DXtech, 3D-Fuel, Toner Plastics, Ultimachine and Verbatim.

To participate in Fusion3’s certification program, manufacturers contact Fusion3 and request testing of currently available and pre-production materials. For pre-production materials, Fusion3 is able to provide additional value by providing feedback to fine-tune the performance of these materials and distribute configuration files to our customers, coinciding with your product launch.

Published in Fusion3

Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers, Inc. is pleased to offer working replacements for Kraton Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) compounds. Early in 2016 Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. sold its TPE compound business – including assets and technology – and caused a disturbance in the marketplace for SBC polymers.

“Disruptions in the supply chain may call into question whether a supplier can support the business long term. It will take time for the full effect of the changes to be felt, and these can have a significant impact on an organization,” stated Tom Dieschbourg, CEO of Star Thermoplastics. “Star Thermoplastics understands that the right material is critical to product performance and offers TPEs that will drop in and run just like the materials that are being re-qualified. If it doesn’t drop in and run the first Gaylord is free, that’s our guarantee.”

The change in the TPE landscape has caused manufactures to look at re-qualification and validation of material to safeguard compatibility with their processing parameters. Manufacturers must document material equivalency and acceptance.

Factors that can prompt re-qualification:

  • Change in manufacturing process
  • Change in manufacturing sites
  • Need for cost containment
  • Change in manufacturing equipment
  • Change in material
  • Change in knowledge base


Re-qualification of materials can be time-consuming and costly; many companies look to maximize their investment by expanding the material options that they put through the testing process.

Manufacturers that have been using Kraton TPEs are reconsidering their material selection for products in all end markets, especially packaging, medical devices, and personal care products. Star Thermoplastics now offers a working replacement for Kraton in the StarFlex® and StarMed® TPE lines.

Published in Star Thermoplastics

MYMAT Solutions announced the launch of 4 new filaments to market during the 2016 TCT Show.

The new filament grades include:

  • MyMat HiPro > HIGH LEVEL PROPERTIES PLA Filament through crystallization directly in the 3d printer.
  • MyMat Foodie > Flexible filament for FOOD INDUSTRY, HOSTELRY and FOODIES APPLICATIONS
  • MyMat Kimi > Flexible filament for CHEMICAL RESISTANCE FOR ALKALINE, ALCOHOLS and BASIC LIQUIDS AND SOLUTIONS
  • MyMat C4U > Flexible filament for WELLNESS and ORTHOPEDIC SECTOR APPLICATIONS


Foodie, Kimi and C4U are flexible filaments joined to specific industries and sectors, and the HiPro is a revolutionary PLA filament that gets ABS properties with a really ease of use.

MyMat Solutions has already 2 nylon grades in the market, SOFT NYLON and ULTRA NYLON (reinforced with Carbon Fibre).

Published in MyMat

Shapeways announced the launch of interlocking metals in their printing portfolio, making it the first online 3D printing company to publicly offer this capability. Available in three metals—brass, bronze, and silver—with two finishes, these new materials allow designers to have up to six interlocking parts printed together—making it an ideal offering for makers creating jewelry, games and decor.

“The launch of interlocking metals is a huge step in how jewelers and designers can use Shapeways to bring their creations to life. From chains to earrings to necklaces, the introduction of interlocking metals not only eliminates post-processing production, but also invites the potential for more complex and intricate designs,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “By consistently expanding our materials and production offerings, we move steadily toward our goal of being the ultimate creative platform for makers--their designs being limited only by their imaginations.”

The interlocking metals will be offered in two finishes, raw and polished. Products with a raw finish are briefly tumbled for a rustic, matte look, with rough surfaces and some tarnishing. It’s great for antique-looking objects, functional parts, jewelry prototypes, and for metal models that will be polished and finished by hand. Polished products are put through an extensive hand-polishing for a smooth and shiny finish, perfect for jewelry and precious products. The printing for interlocking metals ensures a more durable product construction, due to there being no interlocking seams which would have been otherwise present when manually connecting parts.

The launch comes after having successfully introduced interlocking brass and silver to the Shapeways community via the materials pilot program last year. Bronze was added to the interlocking metals portfolio launch as a result of the feedback from the designer community during that test period.

Among the designers that have already embraced the interlocking metals capability is Lana Lepper, of LanaBetty. "To design jewelry specific for 3D printing is to design a piece that could not be made any other way. What I love about interlocking metals, is that it encompasses this idea perfectly,” said Lana. “Clients look at my interlocked pieces with wonderment and curiosity, searching for the point at which the metal was cut and re-soldered together. When it clicks and they begin to comprehend how the jewelry was designed and created, is the best moment. They get it and they immediately love the piece even more.”

With 13 new materials having been released this year, Shapeways now boasts 59+ material offerings.

Published in Shapeways

X-Rite Pantone announced the launch of Total Appearance Capture (TAC™), an appearance measurement solution that brings a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the capture, communication and digital presentation of physical materials in the virtual world. TAC enables designers, 3D artists and material specifiers to bring their product designs to life with digital materials that have the exact same visual characteristics as their physical counterparts. TAC’s sophisticated technology captures physically accurate material measurements and appearance properties, reducing the need for manual adjustments to scanned materials, and improving design and approval cycles.

X-Rite President, Ronald Voigt, stated, “For nearly 60 years, X-Rite Pantone has created the tools and technologies that have helped companies across a broad array of industry segments—including printing, packaging, automotive, plastics, coatings, and textiles—to select, communicate, formulate and measure color. TAC builds on this legacy of innovation, going beyond the science of color to the more significant challenge of capturing and managing appearance. With TAC, X-Rite is taking virtualization and 3D technology to the next level by offering a new level of realism and efficiency in digital material capture.”

Dr. Francis Lamy, X-Rite Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, commented, “Total appearance is much more than just color. It is the visual sensation through which an object is perceived. It encompasses not only color but size, texture, gloss, transparency and opacity. Traditionally, the capture and virtual rendering of material appearance has been a challenging and time-consuming manual process. TAC’s precise measurements of physical materials ensure that visual appearance can be presented digitally without manual tweaks, freeing designers to unleash their creativity. With TAC, each step of the product development process—from marketing to production—has access to truly physically correct digital materials, ensuring consistency of presentation.”

By accurately scanning a material’s appearance, TAC minimizes the manual manipulation needed to accurately portray the optical complexities of physical materials. In the automotive space, it is projected that this will cut design time by up to 50%, accelerating speed-to-market and reducing waste throughout the design-to-production process. TAC also gives design and marketing teams the ability to create a single digital library of materials, ensuring consistent material renderings across all virtualization platforms used to design products and create marketing materials and point-of-sale tools.

TAC is comprised of the following suite of products:

  • The TAC7 scanner captures and stores color, texture, gloss and other surface appearance characteristics of physical material samples.
  • Appearance Exchange Format (AxFTM) files communicate scanned information to the PANTORA Material Hub. The AxF output format is vendor neutral and is easily accessed by most major Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and state-of-the art rendering applications, so there is no need for design departments to change their current information system infrastructure.
  • PANTORA, a desktop application, is the controlling hub of the TAC ecosystem. It allows users to store, manage, view and edit digitally captured materials and to exchange these materials, via AxF, with other tools such as the TAC Virtual Light Booth, PLM and CAD systems.
  • The TAC Virtual Light Booth gives designers the ability to evaluate digitized materials rendered on virtual objects under multiple lighting conditions and in direct comparison to physical samples. The booth provides accurate visual assessment even for highly complex, anisotropic materials such as special-effects paints and other materials whose appearance changes based on the angle at which they are observed.


A number of PLM and CAD system providers are building integrations with X-Rite’s AxF to leverage the powerful digital material capture capabilities of TAC. For example, Autodesk provides native integration of AxF within VRED™ Professional 2017, offering users nearly the whole spectrum of sophistication of the TAC scanning technology. As a result, Autodesk designers have the same level of flexibility and precision in working with digital materials in the virtual world as they do in managing physical materials. Virtual materials created and managed with the TAC-VRED integration behave in a physically accurately way under different illumination, scene and observation conditions, meeting a critical need of automotive designers.

“Total Appearance Capture technology has the potential to transform the automotive industry’s processes for designing products and creating marketing materials,” observed Michael Russell, automotive business line manager at Autodesk. “TAC addresses a significant pain point for automotive designers, 3D artists and marketers: the challenge of accurately capturing and virtualizing today’s increasingly complex interior and exterior automotive materials, such as special-effects paints, leather and other fabrics. TAC’s new level of realism streamlines the design process and ensures consistency across design visualization and marketing tools like online configurators, videos and product brochures. We’re excited to partner with X-Rite in bringing this exciting new capability to Autodesk’s customers.

The X-Rite TAC7 scanner, PANTORA Material Hub, and AxF are available immediately. The Virtual Light Booth will be available in Q1 of 2017.

For more information, visit: www.xrite.com/total-appearance-capture

Published in X-Rite

PolymaxTPE, a manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), has introduced two Styrenic TPE grades engineered to deliver low compression set performance expressly for gasket and seals application. These two new grades, P32-010 and P32-011, can replace TPV elastomers in a variety of sealing applications that include gaskets, seals, valves, home appliance, and food packaging requiring high resilience for seal integrity.

What makes these new products stand out is its low compression set at elevated temperatures.  Compression set is the measure of material’s ability to recover from deformation. The lower the percentage, the better the material resists permanent deformation under a given deflection and temperature range.  Measurements show that the compression set of the 60 shore A P32-011 TPE has 16% at RT, 26% at 70°C and 38% at 100 °C for 22 hours; and the 40 shore A P31-010 has 20% compression set at RT, 27% at 70°C and 48% at 100 °C. 

“The development of new TPEs with low compression set for the seal industry reflects the focus of PolymaxTPE on R&D and its strategy of working proactively with customers”, noted Dr. Martin Lu, Chief Technology Officer. P32-010 and P32-011 score further points for its excellent tear strength, cold temperature flexibility, low odor, stability at high temperature and weather resistance. The raw materials used to manufacture these two grades are compliant with food contact regulations. These material can be used in stand-alone injection molding, extrusion applications, or bonded with Polypropylene substrates.

“Thanks to their improved tear strength and easy processability, our recent commercialization successes of 35 and 45 shore A hardness TPE, D6935 & D6945, with low compression set has been well received by our customers in replacing TPV in weatherseals.  The new addition of P32-010 and P32-011 will continue to provide a low-cost alternative to TPV in gaskets, stoppers, flexible connectors, and sealing for food, beverage caps & closures requiring durable sealing performance,” added Tom Castile, VP sales of PolymaxTPE.

For more information, visit: www.polymaxtpe.com/products

Published in Polymax

Granta Design announced the availability of an updated metals data library for users of its GRANTA MI™ and CES Selector™ material intelligence software. This is the best ever single source of metals property data, covering thousands of metal standards, specifications, and grades. It includes a digital version of the authoritative MMPDS-10 aerospace alloy data, the latest Register of European Steels and SteelSpec data (including automotive steels), and ASME data on metals for the energy and chemicals sectors. Enhancements include non-linear metals data suitable for simulation and enhanced international equivalency information.

The need to identify similar or equivalent materials is a common challenge for metallic materials—for example, due to the need to find a local grade for use in an international manufacturing facility, or because of material supply disruption or material obsolescence. Such equivalency studies require information on global standards and specifications linked to property data, and the right tools to analyze that data in order to identify suitable alternatives. Engineers also need access to reliable data for materials selection, product design, simulation, qualification, and more. For many applications, for example crash simulation, an in-depth understanding of the suitability of a material needs data that describes non-linear performance as well as elastic data.

Granta brings together an unrivaled collection of materials data from widely-used and respected sources in one easy-to-access place. Properties covered include statistically-derived design values for high-performance alloys, global standards and specifications data for identification of equivalent grades, temperature-dependent data, and non-linear data.

The following five data modules have been updated:

  • MMPDS—version 10 of the premier aerospace reference
  • ASME BPVC—the 2015 version of ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel code
  • Stahldat SX—the latest complete and up-to-date Register of European Steels, including extended mechanical property data, new magnetic property data, and improved international equivalency information
  • Stahldat Sheet Steels—incorporating all the latest updates to the sheet steels data, with a particular focus on automotive applications
  • SteelSpec—including over 250 additional steel specifications.


Users of the GRANTA MI™ material information management system will be able to access these updated modules immediately, providing access to this data alongside their proprietary data managed in the same system. The modules will also be available in the upcoming release of CES Selector™, enabling use of the data with powerful selection and visualization tools that help users to compare properties and make materials decisions. Users of both systems also benefit from having metals data available alongside extensive data on plastics and composite materials, enabling comparison and analysis across material classes.

Dr Patrick Coulter, Chief Operating Officer at Granta Design, said: “These latest updates provide the best ever single ‘gold source’ for reference data on metals. When combined with our material intelligence tools, this enables users of this data to make smart materials decisions more efficiently. This will save enterprises time and money and support the development of better, safer, greener products.”

For more information, visit: www.grantadesign.com/products/data

Published in Granta Design

In a move that could help reinvigorate the metal production industry in Australia, CSIRO and Enirgi Group have joined forces to develop and commercialize an affordable and low-emission technology for producing magnesium metal.

The CSIRO developed technology, known as MagSonic, produces magnesium using up to 80 percent less energy and up to 60 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions thanks to a supersonic nozzle.

Magnesium is the lightest of all metals and is in rising demand from car manufacturers who are turning to the metal as a solution for making lightweight, low-emission vehicles.

CSIRO and Enirgi Group's Innovation Division will work together to further develop and validate the MagSonic technology.

Once the technology is proven ready for commercialization, Enirgi Group has the option to take up an exclusive global license that would see the company initially build a commercial-scale magnesium production facility in Australia.

Dr Mark Cooksey, who leads CSIRO's sustainable process engineering group, said commercialization of MagSonic would help take advantage of Australia's abundant reserves of magnesite ore that remain largely untapped.

"The growth of magnesium use has been limited because it's been too expensive and labor intensive to produce the metal from ore using traditional processes," Dr Cooksey said.

"Our MagSonic technology offers an economically-viable solution to overcome these issues and make clean magnesium more available and affordable to manufacturers.

"We're delighted to be working with Enirgi Group as our technology and commercial partners, with their experience in developing new processes to disrupt and change industry dynamics."

MagSonic uses carbothermal reduction and a supersonic nozzle to efficiently produce high quality magnesium.

It involves heating magnesia with carbon to extreme temperatures to produce magnesium vapour and carbon monoxide.

The vapour and carbon monoxide are passed through a supersonic nozzle – similar to a rocket engine – at four times the speed of sound to cool the gases in milliseconds, condensing and solidifying the magnesium vapour to magnesium metal.

"We are pleased to be working with CSIRO on this exciting opportunity to bring reliable supply of magnesium metal to the global market in an environmentally sustainable way," Enirgi Group's Vice President of Corporate Development, Anthony Deal said.

"We are confident that this process is capable of commercial production.

"The flow-through benefits to emerging industries like electric vehicle manufacturing are enormous, not to mention a substantial reduction in carbon emissions when compared to current magnesium production processes," he said.

In recent years, CSIRO has been developing new sustainable technologies to help the Australian metal production industry compete in an increasingly environmentally-conscious and globalized world.

MagSonic compliments a suite of CSIRO developed magnesium technologies, including T-mag, twin roll strip casting and high pressure die casting.

Published in CSIRO

PolymaxTPE, a manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), has developed a ultra-high flow TPE P21-093A that retains high ductility and strength. The new material was used to help satisfy the increasing needs for pet feeders specifically designed to prevent rapid and hasty eating by pets.

The TPE Feed Mat is great for feeding at home or can easily fold for on-the-go. The flexible food-safe TPE elastomer creates a playful feeding experience that pups love while the unique nonslip and flip-resistant design ensures that furry friends enjoy their food at a fun and healthy pace.

This new 78 shore A TPE compound from Polymax can be easily colored and molded into complex shapes with good surface finish. Its’ slip resistance property helps the pet feeder to prevent sliding and food spillage. Polymax TPE P21-093A material is recyclable, top rack dishwasher safe, free of PVC, metal, latex, and phthalates.

For more information, please contact Tom Castile at 847-316-9902, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Published in Polymax

i.Materialise is proud to announce a trial of a high-detail material that is perfect for scale modelers: Smooth Detail Resin! The new material features a smooth surface, an extreme level of detail due to its 50 μm layers, and a gray color that’s perfect for painting.

Models made out of Smooth Detail Resin are constructed from a hardened liquid resin, which leads to robust high-quality plastic prints. As the printing process uses layers of 50 μm, the surface of your model will be very smooth and the printing layers will barely be visible. This makes Smooth Detail Resin perfect for miniatures and scale models. Smooth Detail Resin comes in the color gray and was chosen since it makes details much more visible, and it is perfect for hand-painting.

For printing parts in this material, we use a technology that is fairly similar to Stereolithography: Digital Light Processing (DLP). So here’s how it works: Firstly your 3D model is cut into extremely thin layers by a specialized software. If support structure is needed, our software automatically calculates and designs it for your model. Then the printing process starts. DLP printers typically construct the model on a build platform that hangs downwards. A light source shines upwards on the precise spots of liquid resin that will become part of your object. The build platform with the model is then pulled up slightly, and the next layer is printed in one single pass. This is repeated until the model is finished – literally having been printed layer by layer. After the printing process, the build platform is completely raised. The excess liquid resin flows downwards, leaving the build platform ready for removal from the printer.

We currently offer this material in two types of finishes: you can order your model ‘with support’ or ‘without support’. If you order your model ‘without support’ we will manually remove the scaffolding material used for the production of your model. This option is great if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Some designer prefer to remove these structures themselves (with tools and sanding paper) and thus prefer the finish ‘with support’.

Another great aspect of this material is that the maximum printing size is pretty big for such a highly detailed material. You can print designs with a size of up to 260 x 160 x 193 mm! Smooth detail resin only requires a minimum wall thickness of 0.4 mm – that’s 60% less than most other plastics.

Do you feel like creating a 3D print in Smooth Detail Resin yourself? Then make sure you check out our material page about this amazing material! You will be able to learn even more about its applications, technology, and design rules.

For more information, visit: i.materialise.com/3d-printing-materials/smooth-detail-resin

Published in Materialise

Formlabs announced the release of Dental SG Resin, the first biocompatible resin in desktop 3D printing. Enabling professionals to push new boundaries in digital dentistry, Dental SG is a certified biocompatible Class 1 material designed primarily for surgical guide applications. The latest addition to Formlabs' material portfolio, Dental SG will allow applications never seen before in the desktop 3D printing space such as high-precision drill guides from digital scan data for implant surgeries. Dental professionals can now move from a 3D model to a directly printed surgical guide, at a quick turnaround and a tremendously affordable price.

“When practitioners and researchers have the ability and access to develop incredibly precise tools for surgical applications, it opens up a new range of possibilities for the dental industry and for the medical science industry at large,” said Dávid Lakatos, Head of Product at Formlabs. “Formlabs is leading the way in helping to advance patient care by introducing solutions that enable personalized surgical planning and mass customization. Material innovation, like with the introduction of Dental SG, is a key driver in growing the adoption of digital dentistry powered by 3D printing.”

In recent years, dental applications in desktop 3D printing have rapidly taken off. Formlabs products have become indispensable tools for dental innovation. Dentists use the Form 2 to create surgical guides, educational models, bleaching trays, retainers, aligners, and more. Some of the applications have transformed the medical field. At the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Dr. Travis Bellicchi, a resident specializing in maxillofacial prosthetics, is developing a new digital workflow with Formlabs 3D printers to create accurate prostheses for individual patients, inspired by his work with Shirley Anderson, a Vietnam veteran who suffered severe jaw loss as a result of cancer. Today’s introduction of Dental SG will continue to significantly expand the industry’s repertoire of dental applications.

The new resin has already drawn praise from leaders in the dental community like Dr. Michael Scherer, who has been using Formlabs 3D printers in his private dental office for almost two years. He will be adding Dental SG to the curriculum of his 3D printing training for dentists. “The addition of Dental SG Resin is a game-changer,” Dr. Scherer says. “Dental SG is poised to dramatically improve patient outcome of surgical procedures by making implant surgery faster, more precise, and ultimately more comfortable for the patient. Direct printing of surgical guides has traditionally required larger-scale 3D printers that are beyond the expense and comfort level of most dental laboratories and clinicians. The introduction of Dental SG Resin allows for benchtop surgical guide printing in dental offices and smaller dental labs.”

Compatible with the Form 2 3D printer, the Dental SG biocompatible resin will be available directly from the Formlabs web store. Dental SG joins Formlabs’ comprehensive library of advanced materials for its 3D printers, which includes a suite of Standard and Functional resins for a variety of capabilities.

For more information, visit: www.formlabs.com/products/materials/dental-sg

Published in Formlabs

Making headlines in science and manufacturing circles for its amazing properties, graphene is a remarkable new material with boundless possibilities. On a mission to discover who can realize the full potential of graphene, Sandvik Coromant has initiated a global competition for individuals to submit ideas of how the application of graphene could be utilized in a way that would revolutionize the modern household.

What is graphene?

From the earliest of times, materials have governed the way humans live. Whether it is rock, metal or composites, civilizations have been influenced by the materials that exist around them. Graphene is a promising new material made up of strongly bonded layers of carbon atoms. It is one million times thinner than paper and two hundred times stronger than steel. Application possibilities include water purification, energy storage, household goods, computers and other electronics. Discovered almost by accident, professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their graphene research in 2010.

About the Competition

Sandvik Coromant will consider all entries from high end industrial design to everyday useable items, beginning on April 7, 2016. Participants are asked to submit ideas based around household objects that highlight how they could be improved with the use of graphene as a next-generation, innovative and sustainable material. Whether the submission is environmentally-friendly, energy efficient, comes from recycled materials or can lower emissions, the possibilities are endless. The winner of the Graphene Challenge will be invited to Sandvik Coromant’s headquarters in Sandviken, Sweden to meet with industry professionals and to learn more about the promise of graphene.

Importance of Education

As a company continuously striving to develop, we’re committed to educating and inspiring the next generation of engineers. For this reason, Sandvik Coromant is launching the Graphene Challenge to inspire tomorrow’s engineers to explore their imaginations, and more specifically to find ways that graphene could be used innovatively and sustainably in a modern home.

According to David Goulbourne, Manager of Research and Development at Sandvik Coromant, “The material science of graphene provides us and future generations new and innovative opportunities to enhance a variety of aspects in our daily lives. We are excited to sponsor this challenge to discover who can conceptualize an idea using graphene that could potentially improve and change our way of living.”

For more information, visit: www.sandvik.coromant.com/en-gb/aboutus/lookingahead/Pages/the-graphene-challenge.aspx

Published in Sandvik Coromant

Shapeways announced an exciting new 3D printing material, Black High Definition Acrylate, a more durable and flexible material than Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), due to a combination of its strength and elongation properties, with a smoother finish which takes to paint better. Black High Definition Acrylate is perfect for designers who want a more customizable material for miniatures and other high detail products.

“We are excited to offer our new Black High Definition Acrylate to makers all over the world. We know how much our community enjoys creating incredible, unique miniatures and scale models and we’re thrilled to provide a material that lends itself so well to the creation of high detail, customizable pieces,” said Peter Weijmarshausen, Shapeways CEO. “We aim to provide the highest quality materials for 3D modelers and designers and Black High Definition Acrylate is the next step.”

Model train designers will be particularly excited about this new material. It offers increased detail for fine-edged and intricate models which is especially valuable to miniature scale designs and a smoother finish offers a better paint surface for detailing post production. The durability and the beautiful finish of the Acrylate also make this material ideal for gadget and accessory applications as well, such as phone cases and jewelry prototyping.

Launching in R5 Grey in Black, Black High Definition Acrylate is a UV sensitive acrylic polymer similar to Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD), but with slightly different material properties and printing processes. Unlike FUD, which is printed using a Multijet Modeling process, this new material is printed using Direct Light Projection (DLP) which provides excellent resolution and accuracy.

DLP technology uses visible spectrum light to cure the liquid resin one layer at a time. A resin bath sits above a high resolution projector which projects cross-sectional images of your model. The resin cures with exposure to visible light, curing an entire layer with a single pass. Since the entire layer is cured at once, build speed is generally faster than other technologies such as laser sintering or stereolithography which trace the slice of your model while sintering or curing at precise locations. After printing, models are removed from the build platform and are post-cured by a UV light.

"We're excited that 3D printed products are catching up to the kind of quality and detail that more traditional manufacturing methods offer," said Joshua Bennett, Hero Forge COO. "Our audience is very discerning, and this new material allows for high quality, faithful translation from digital models into a physical consumer product. The incredibly fine resolution means our users don't have to trade detail for customizability. It's really just a great material for us all around."

For more information, visit: www.shapeways.com/materials/high-definition-acrylate

Published in Shapeways

Cooksongold, part of the Heimerle + Meule Group, will be exhibiting at Baselworld Jewellery Fair, Heimerle + Meule Group booth 2/G68, which is taking place from March 17 – 24, 2016. During the show they will be launching their latest Advanced Metal Powder, 950 Pt/Ru (platinum), in collaboration with the Platinum Guild International (PGI).

By combining the new 950Pt/Ru (platinum) advanced metal powder with the their already established direct precious metal 3D printing system, the Precious M 080, Cooksongold has enabled 3D Printing technology to become a viable commercial opportunity for the platinum jewellery industry for the first time.

Cooksongold's Pt/Ru alloy has been specifically developed for 3D printing. This ensures that once the designs have been printed in the Precious M 080 they can be post processed, milled and polished to the high standards required without any of the common problems associated with other Pt alloys.

David Fletcher, Business Development Manager, at Cooksongold, stated the difference this process will make; ‘This is one of the most revolutionary developments for the 3D printing technology. Helping to eliminate the common problems associated with casting platinum, it will become vital for bespoke and low volume platinum jewellery production.’

Cooksongold have been working closely, in collaboration with the Platinum Guild International (PGI), to create 3D printed platinum jewellery, which will be showcased on the stand throughout Baselworld.

950 Pt/Ru will be added to Cooksongold's existing portfolio of Advanced Metal Powders, which consists of 18k 3N yellow gold, 18k white gold, 18k 5N red gold and Brilliante 925 silver (which has anti tarnish properties). Further new powders, such as base metals and other carat gold alloys, are currently being developed and scheduled for release throughout 2016.

Cooksongold's Advanced Metal Powders have been optimised to work with the Precious M 080 system from EOS, which in turn has been developed with two key criteria in mind: accountability of materials and quick changeover times between jobs and metal.  Utilising the power of 3D CAD design, the Precious M 080 enables complex designs that have previously been constrained by manufacturing processes. The Precious M 080 utilises an additive manufacturing process – whereby it builds precious metal designs layer by layer, melting fine metal powder with a laser. With this technology, intricate one-off 3D designs can be manufactured within a few hours.

The Advanced Metal Powder range is also ideal for a number of other applications such as metal injection moulding (MIM), press and sinter technology, laser sintering/selective laser melting (SLM), and industrial applications such as brazing.

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

Published in Cooksongold

SPE® Detroit and SPE China will hold the first-ever SPE® Shanghai TPO Conference, March 22-24, 2016 at the Shanghai Marriott City Centre hotel in Shanghai, China. The new event builds on 18 years of success for the Detroit-area SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins (Auto TPO) conference and has been designed to encourage professional development and networking opportunities on the topic of automotive plastics in regions with a rapidly growing thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), as well as thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), and thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) presence, as is the case in Shanghai.

According to Dr. Sassan Tarahomi, manager-Advanced Engineering, International Automotive Components (IAC) Group and 2016 Shanghai TPO conference chair, "This new conference will draw leaders in the fields of automotive TPOs, TPEs, and TPVs to share their knowledge and experience in using these versatile materials via technical presentations, keynote speeches, exhibits, and numerous networking opportunities. Content presented throughout the three-day event will focus on advances in materials, processing, and finishing technologies and their practical application to the design, engineering, and manufacture of passenger vehicles in China and elsewhere in the world."

Show organizers have issued a call for papers (send abstracts as soon as possible to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; non-commercial papers or presentations are due for peer review by February 17 to the same address), and are still accepting reservations for sponsorship and exhibit opportunities (contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Since 1998, the SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference has highlighted the importance of rigid and flexible polyolefins throughout the automobile – in applications ranging from semi-structural composite underbody shields and front-end modules to soft-touch interior skins and bumper fascia. Engineered polyolefins have been the fastest-growing segment of the global plastics industry for more than a decade owing to their excellent cost / performance ratio. The Detroit-area show typically draws over 700 attendees from 20 countries on four continents who are interested in learning about the latest in rigid and elastomeric TPO as well as TPE and TPV technologies. Approximately 300 attendees are expected at the new SPE Shanghai TPO Conference in Shanghai, China. A variety of sponsorship packages are available for companies interested in showcasing their products and services at either event. The Shanghai show is being organized by volunteers from the Detroit Section and China Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/tpo.htm

Published in SPE

Stratasys introduced a new soluble support material called SUP706 for PolyJet triple-jetting 3D printers. The new support material significantly reduces the time and manpower required to clean 3D printed models, enabling companies to efficiently scale-up to high volume production.

SUP706 automates post-processing of 3D printed parts with a simple two-step, soak-and-rinse process, giving users the ability to maximize productivity while achieving a low cost-per-part. High-production environments including service bureaus and internal prototyping shops will experience a faster and easier support material removal process.

“The development of SUP706 provides a great combination of advantages for 3D printing users,” said David Tulipman, director of product management for PolyJet consumables at Stratasys. “Owners of PolyJet-based 3D printers can now print small, intricate features with greater reassurance, and clean several parts at once, enabling high volume 3D printing that’s both cost-effective and hassle-free.”

SUP706 is available as a software update on all Stratasys PolyJet Triple-Jetting 3D Printers (Objet260 1/2/3; Objet350/500 1/2/3; Objet260/500 Dental Selection) and is compatible with all PolyJet materials, excluding hearing aid material.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com

Published in Stratasys

GE Aviation is creating adjacent factories in Huntsville, Alabama, to mass-produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components (CMCs) for jet engines and land-based gas turbines.

GE Aviation will invest more than $200 million to construct two factories on 100 acres in Huntsville. When the factories are operational later this decade, they are expected to employ up to 300 people.

GE Aviation’s Sanjay Correa was joined by Governor Robert J. Bentley and members of the Alabama delegation at the Alabama State Capital in Montgomery to make the announcement.

“Establishing the new GE factories in Alabama is a very significant step in developing the supply chain we need in order to produce CMC components in large volume,” said Correa, Vice President, CMC Program at GE Aviation.

One plant will produce silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic fiber. It will be the first such operation in the United States. Today, the only large-scale SiC ceramic fiber factory in the world is operated by NGS Advanced Fibers in Japan, which is a joint company of Nippon Carbon, GE, and Safran of France. The adjacent GE factory in Alabama will use the SiC ceramic fiber to produce the unidirectional CMC tape necessary to fabricate CMC components.

Construction of the two plants will begin in mid-2016, with full completion by the first half of 2018. Production begins in 2018. GE has already begun hiring the technical team that will transfer to the Huntsville operation. GE expects to begin hiring the hourly workforce in late 2016.

An advanced materials revolution in jet propulsion

The use of lightweight, heat-resistant CMCs in the hot section of GE jet engines is a breakthrough for the jet propulsion industry. CMCs comprise SiC ceramic fibers in a SiC matrix, enhanced by proprietary coatings.

With one-third the density of metal alloys, these ultra-lightweight CMCs reduce the overall engine weight. Further, their high-temperature properties greatly enhance engine performance, durability, and fuel economy. CMCs are far more heat resistant than metal alloys, hence requiring less cooling air in the engine’s hot section. By using this air instead in the engine flow path, an engine runs more efficiently.

For more than 20 years, scientists at GE’s Global Research Centers and GE’s industrial businesses have worked to develop CMCs for commercial applications. The best-selling LEAP engine, being developed by CFM International, the 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France, is the first commercial jet engine to use CMCs in the high-pressure turbine section. The LEAP engine, with more than 9,500 orders and commitments, is currently completing certification testing. It is scheduled to enter airline service next year powering the Airbus A320neo, and in 2017 powering the Boeing 737 MAX.

The Alabama plants: From ceramic fiber to ceramic tape to CMC components

Producing CMCs requires complex processing steps using a synthetically produced compound of silicon and carbon. The two GE Aviation factories being established are involved in separate steps in the process – the production of SiC ceramic fibers and the production of SiC ceramic tape. The factories:

*Ceramic Fiber Plant. Supported by funding ($21.9 million) from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab Title III Office, this plant will dramatically increase U.S. capability to produce SiC ceramic fiber capable of withstanding temperatures of 2400F.

The SiC ceramic fibers plant will license fiber-producing technology from NGS Advanced Fibers Co. in Japan, a joint company formed in 2012 with Japan’s Nippon Carbon (with 50% ownership in NGS), GE (25% ownership), and Herakles Safran France (25% ownership). NGS, which already produces SiC fibers for GE’s CMC components, is establishing a second factory in Japan to increase capacity to meet growing demand. The GE fiber plant in Huntsville will complement the growing capacity at NGS.

Once the Huntsville plant is operational, it will sell fiber to the Department of Defense, GE businesses, Herakles (Safran), and other outside customers subject to U.S. regulations. It will be the first U.S.-based factory to produce SiC ceramic fiber on a large industrial scale. The two other NGS partners will ultimately have the opportunity to become equity partners in the Huntsville plant.

This adjacent plant, financed solely by GE, will apply proprietary coatings to the ceramic fiber and form them into a matrix to produce CMC tape. The ceramic tape will be used by GE Aviation at its new CMC manufacturing site in Asheville, N.C., which opened in 2014. The Asheville facility fabricates CMC shrouds for the LEAP engine’s high-pressure turbine section.

In addition, GE’s Power and Water business is testing CMCs in its newest and most efficient, air-cooled gas turbine. At GE Power and Water’s new Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville, SC, prototype CMC components are being built to replace super alloys in large gas turbines.

Rising GE Demand for CMC Components

The demand for CMCs is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade. Each LEAP has 18 CMC turbine shrouds, which are stationary parts in the high-pressure turbine that direct air and ensure turbine blade efficiency. Also, CMCs are being used in the combustor and high-pressure turbine section of the new GE9X engine under development for the Boeing 777X twin-aisle aircraft. Almost 700 GE9X engines are on order today, with the aircraft entering service by 2020.

GE is incorporating CMC components in advanced military engines including the GE3000 for the U.S. Army. GE’s advanced turboshaft demonstrator FATE (Future Affordable Turbine Engine) also for the Army increases the use of hot-section CMCs to achieve aggressive fuel efficiency, power-to-weight ratio, and lower maintenance cost goals. CMCs are currently being evaluated for upgrades to existing engines like the highly popular T700 helicopter engine.

GE Aviation’s growing commitment to Alabama

The announcement represents GE Aviation’s second significant factory investment in Alabama in recent years. Since 2013, GE Aviation has also invested more than $100 million in a 300,000-square-foot factory in Auburn, near the storied Auburn University campus, where the company is engaged in jet engine component manufacturing (super-alloy machined parts) as well as establishing the world’s highest-volume additive manufacturing center.

Over the past year, the Auburn plant has been installing and qualifying additive manufacturing capability, including more than a dozen laser melting machines. Fuel nozzles will be the first components to be built using additive processes for the best-selling LEAP engine by CFM International. It marks the first time such a complex component will be manufactured using additive technology.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.

For more information, visit: www.geaviation.com

Published in GE

Roland DGA has announced the availability of new PRF35-ST resin for use with its advanced monoFab ARM-10 3D printer. After curing, PRF35-ST delivers parts and prototypes with a better grip and greater elasticity than the company’s existing PRH35-ST (a standard hard resin), opening up new creative opportunities for ARM-10 users.

The addition of PRF35-ST to the Roland 3D product lineup enables engineers, product designers, educators, and hobbyists to easily produce flexible parts, such as grips, seals, gaskets and buttons, with the ARM-10 rapid prototyping 3D printer. Parts made with PRF35ST resin can be used independently, or in combination with more rigid parts created with PRH35-ST.

“This new flexible type resin further enhances the ARM-10 3D printer’s ability to turn ideas into reality,” said Will Seith, Roland DGA’s product manager, 3D solutions. “It allows the user to make models and prototypes that not only look real, but feel real as well.”

Roland’s ARM-10 is an advanced, precise and user-friendly 3D printer incorporating an innovative layered projection system that enables users to build complex parts and prototypes quickly and easily. Its suspended build system also keeps resin use to a minimum, making model production efficient and cost effective.

For more information, visit: www.rolanddga.com/products/3d/arm-10-rapid-prototyping-3d-printer

Published in Roland

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (DuPont) is launching a suite of in-mold electronic inks designed to help streamline electronic devices by reducing the need for rigid circuit boards.  By printing circuits directly onto plastic substrates, touch controls, such as electronic buttons, switches and slides, are readily integrated in applications such as home appliances and automobiles.  The inks offer important design, manufacturing, weight and cost advantages and mark the further expansion of DuPont advanced materials enabling printed electronics.

“In-mold electronics can simplify structures significantly while opening the door for more creative design possibilities since designers are no longer restricted to the shapes and form factors of printed circuit boards,” said John Voultos, segment manager, DuPont Microcircuit Materials.  “These new inks will enable more beautiful appliances and lighter vehicles.”

The new DuPont™ ME series in-mold electronic inks are designed to withstand demanding manufacturing processes such as thermoforming and injection molding.  They also simplify the assembly process because there is only a single connection point and no wires behind the console.  This can reduce the weight of a console by more than 70 percent.  In addition to increased design freedom and lighter weight, the technology can reduce cost by up to 50 percent compared to currently available buttons and up to 20 percent versus other electronic touch switch systems.

To help simplify implementation of the technology, DuPont also is launching a compatibility database that contains in-use testing and reliability data of DuPont’s in-mold electronic inks when used with industry-leading films and graphic inks.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) is a leading innovator and high-volume supplier of electronic inks and pastes that offers a broad range of printed electronic materials commercially available today. The growing portfolio of DuPont MCM electronic inks is used in many applications, including forming conductive traces, capacitor and resistor elements, and dielectric and encapsulating layers that are compatible with many substrate surfaces including polymer, glass and ceramic.

MCM has over 40 years of experience in the development, manufacture, sale and support of specialized thick film compositions for a variety of electronic applications in the consumer electronics, automotive, photovoltaic, biomedical, military and telecommunications markets.

For more information, visit: mcm.dupont.com

 

Published in DuPont

Nexxt Spine, LLC announced the development of NanoMatrixx, a porous bioactive titanium material designed to actively participate in the intervertebral fusion process.

Nexxt Spine’s NanoMatrixx is manufactured to exacting specifications utilizing modern 3D printing technology to replicate the cellular structure of cancellous bone. This process makes it possible to create any three dimensional complex structure or geometry with a desired modulus of elasticity that cannot be created by traditional orthopedic manufacturing processes.

Following the manufacturing process, the material undergoes a series of proprietary treatments to produce a micro and nanosurface topography which stimulates mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into bone forming osteoblast cells that produce bone growth onto and throughout the 3-D printed material.

According to Dr. Robert L. Wertz, Director of New Product Development, “A glimpse inside of the NanoMatrixx material reveals its uniform 3-dimensional cellular architecture with 70% porosity. The cubical shaped scaffold provides an optimal biomechanical and biological environment for uninterrupted blood flow. Every surface of the NanoMatrixx material exhibits a micro and nanotextured topography that’s designed to elicit a superior osteogenic response. This allows bone to attach to the internal struts and grow entirely through the material while simultaneously providing optimal mechanical support without the stress shielding effects experienced with traditional titanium implants.

“Conventional textured or coated implant surfaces only achieve bone to implant contact or on-growth; however, NanoMatrixx’s consistent open and interconnected network of pores within a specific size range have been found to be osteoconductive and osteoinductive, promoting bone on-growth and bone in-growth for total osseous integration. Bone has the potential to not only grow into the pores and around the struts, but also attach to the nanotextured strut surfaces.”

For more information, visit: www.nexxtspine.com

Published in Nexxt Spine

DuPont Performance Polymers underscores two new DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomer (AEM) products at the International Elastomer Conference, October 12-15 in Cleveland, Ohio, emphasizing its commitment to developing new materials-based solutions that help the auto industry cost-effectively lower emissions and improve fuel economy to meet global regulations.

“While very different solutions, together these new Vamac® AEM products show DuPont’s commitment to advancing material science and building up its portfolio to support the automotive industry,” said Patrick Cazuc, global marketing manager for Automotive at DuPont Performance Polymers. “Vamac® AEM Elastomers are an important and growing part of our materials portfolio.”

DuPont™ Vamac® VMX5000 AEM pre-compounds can be used in seals and gaskets, air management systems and high temperature coolant hose covers that need to perform at temperatures up to 190°C.  Compared with Vamac® Ultra compounds, which quickly set new performance benchmarks when they were launched about 5 years ago, Vamac® VMX5000 compounds increase the upper temperature limit +15 to +20°C.  In certain markets they can replace fluoroelastomer (FKM) compounds where end-use temperature requirements range between 160°C to 190°C.

“Vamac® VMX5000 takes temperature limits to new levels so components made from this elastomer family can stand up to more aggressive engine environments,” said Cazuc. “In some applications, Vamac® VMX5000 can significantly lower cost.” 
DuPont™ Vamac® VMX2122 AEM is a new dipolymer that processes significantly better than Vamac® DP.  Studies show Vamac® VMX2122 compounds can have an injection molding cycle time under two minutes and still have good compression set values – without using a post-cure process.  For extrusion applications, Vamac® VMX2122 compounds do not have the die build up problems seen with Vamac® DP compounds.

“The combination of improved processing and elimination of the post cure step are two attractive features of the Vamac® VMX2122 compounds,” said Ed McBride, DuPont Performance Polymers technology associate, who will provide insight into the science behind new Vamac®VMX2122 in a Specialty Elastomer session called “Improved AEM Dipolymer – Peroxide Curable” on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9 a.m.

For more information, visit: www.dupont.com/products-and-services/plastics-polymers-resins/articles/international_elastomer_conference.html

Published in DuPont

NanoSteel® announced the introduction of the company's first powders designed for the binder jet 3D printing process and its initial commercial application in additive manufacturing. These materials, BLDRmetal™ J-10 and BLDRmetal™ J-11, enable the 3D printing of components for highly abrasive environments that can benefit from additive manufacturing's ability to eliminate tooling, create advanced geometries, and build custom parts on demand.

Industrial components made using J-10 feature 2X the elongation and 3X the wear and impact resistance of an equivalently infiltrated 420 stainless steel. NanoSteel demonstrated this capability working with 3DX Industries, an additive manufacturing service provider, to print a security tool used by a global avionics company for removing and replacing aircraft panels. In this commercial application, the tools made with J-10 lasted 5X longer than the previous solution, significantly decreasing the risk of delays in servicing the aircraft. "The NanoSteel solution enabled us to create a tool that delivered the durability and reliability the customer required in a fast turnaround environment," said Roger Janssen, President and CEO of 3DX. The avionics service team is planning further adoption of this new technology across their global operation.

The BLDRmetal product line of binder jet powders also includes J-11, which is designed for extreme wear low-impact applications. Components made with J-11 provide 10X the wear resistance of an equivalently infiltrated 420 stainless steel. The exceptional performance of both NanoSteel products is based on the combination of complex metallic phases that provide wear resistance and a steel matrix that delivers ductility and toughness.

"These first BLDRmetal powders offer compelling alternatives to existing materials for the binder jet printing process," said Harald Lemke, General Manager and Vice President of Engineered Powders at NanoSteel. "The company's entry into the market enhances the applicability of binder jet printing by enabling the additive manufacturing of high-complexity, lower-cost components with exceptional wear performance." The binder jet process is well suited for cost effectively producing industrial metal parts due to the faster building speed.

These are the first in the company's portfolio of BLDRmetal powders for hard metal applications that will include new products for each of the current metal 3D-printing processes. BLDRmetal J-10 and BLDRmetal J-11 are intended for industries such as oil & gas, tool & die, and energy in applications such as drilling and pump components, molds, and dies.

For more information, visit: www.nanosteelco.com/products/additive-manufacturing

Published in NanoSteel

EnvisionTEC is proud to announce its collaboration with DSM's product brand Somos®, a world leader in additive manufacturing material development. The partnership will allow both companies to advance their technologies and develop new material applications.

"Somos® consistently produces cutting-edge materials for 3D printing," says John Hartner, Chief Operating Officer of EnvisionTEC. "Working together will accelerate the possibility of producing large industrial parts with a high level of performance at much faster speeds."

Melissa Lutz, Business Director for Somos® continues, "We are very excited to be working with EnvisionTEC. Their new, 3SP® large-frame machines produce parts two to three times faster than the existing, industry-leading equipment. We can't wait to develop high-performance materials that enable their equipment to expand into new industrial applications."

DSM believes that 3D printing is a major change agent for the world creating brighter lives for people today and generations to come. Somos®, a product brand of DSM, moves the Additive Manufacturing industry to a new level of performance. We are dedicated to helping our customers grow in the ever-changing world of 3D Printing and promote this growth through continuous material and application development, encouraging industry collaboration and maximizing customer asset value by providing continuous information and support.

For more information, visit: www.dsm.com/somos

EnvisionTEC is a leading global provider of professional grade 3D printing solutions for the rapid manufacture of customized products utilizing its proprietary consumables across a variety of markets. Since its first patent submission in 1999, EnvisionTEC has developed and released 3D print solutions consisting of 3D printers, print materials and replacement parts, as well as training and other services. Their proprietary, multi-platform technology delivers high precision, speed, surface quality and functionality and uses a wide range of materials at high production speeds. EnvisionTEC works with a strong customer and partner bases in diverse sectors, including jewelry, hearing aid, dental, consumer, auto manufacturing and design companies.

For more information, visit: www.envisiontec.com

Published in EnvisionTEC

Arcam AB announces that its metal powder subsidiary, AP&C, based in Montreal, Canada, is building its fourth and fifth reactors, adding significant capacity to its titanium and nickel super-alloy powder manufacturing operation.

AP&C, the high quality powder manufacturing subsidiary of Arcam, uses proprietary technology for Plasma Atomization. AP&C is continuously developing its technology and the latest advance, increased atomization rates and yield, allows higher manufacturing rates of powder distributions dedicated for Additive Manufacturing equipment.

“The need for high end titanium powder is driven by the fast growth and adoption of Additive Manufacturing. Arcam is determined to serve the industry through cost efficient solutions thus converting traditional manufacturing into Additive Manufacturing.
A requisite is to offer the highest quality powder for production at competitive cost”, says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam.

“With this new generation of atomizing technology, AP&C is now in a position to supply aerospace and medical part manufacturers’ titanium powders in volumes needed today and in the future. With a multiple reactor operation, AP&C can produce its standard products on dedicated reactors and equipment, therefore eliminating cross-contamination risks”, says Jacques Mallette, President of AP&C.

For more information, visit: www.advancedpowders.com

Published in Arcam

Filip Technologies was able to subdue an all-too-familiar parental anxiety last year when it introduced the FiLIP™ 2, a wearable phone and locator for kids. It’s unique blend of GPS, Wi-Fi location, and GSM cell tower triangulation, built into a watch-like design, helps families stay connected.

To make sure the FiLIP would be comfortable and appealing, the founder’s son was asked to choose a soft-touch material from among several samples. He selected PolyOne’s GLS™ thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material that provides smooth, silky texture for comfort along with bright colors for an added visual appeal.

To create the product, the TPE material was overmolded onto an underlying rigid thermoplastic. Further, PolyOne colorants brought the material to life with dynamic colors such as Superhero Blue, Watermelon Red, Limesicle Green, and Awesome Orange. The GLS TPE material also stands up to the demands of active kids during outdoor play and sports, staying bright and processing easily.

Founded in 2009 by Sten Kirkbak after he briefly lost track of his young son Filip in a shopping mall, Filip Technologies, Inc. is privately held with offices in New York, N.Y. and Raleigh, N.C.

For more information, visit: www.myfilip.com

Published in PolyOne

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) announced its Praxair Surface Technologies business will begin marketing fine, spherical titanium powder for use in 3-D printing by additive manufacturers serving the aerospace, automotive, industrial and medical markets.

3-D metal printing with titanium, in which components are built up by depositing the material in layers, can lower manufacturing and raw material costs, improve fuel efficiency and enable the design of the most advanced parts, from aerospace brackets to biomedical implants. This enables the benefits of titanium’s strength, light weight and corrosion resistance to be further adopted in advanced applications.

“Until now, there’s been limited availability of fine, titanium powder in the marketplace to create parts,” said Dean Hackett, vice president of advanced materials and equipment for Praxair Surface Technologies. “That won’t be the case for long as we move into full-scale production of aerospace-grade, fine, spherical, titanium powder starting in the third quarter of 2015. In addition to supplying the powder, Praxair also offers the associated industrial gases to the additive manufacturing industry.”

Praxair’s ability to produce large-scale volumes of titanium powders designed for additive manufacturing is rooted in its more than 50 years of experience producing gas atomized powders for the thermal spray coating industry. In recent years, research and development efforts have focused on the production of metal powders, including cobalt, iron and nickel, for 3-D printing purposes. Further development of a proprietary atomization process designed specifically for titanium allows the company to make some of the largest batches of fine, titanium powder in the world.

“What makes our production of titanium powders different from those currently on the market is that we use close-coupled, high-pressure gas atomization to produce fine, spherical titanium powder in large quantities,” said Andy Shives, additive manufacturing marketing manager for Praxair Surface Technologies. “Adding titanium powder to our portfolio enables us to better support the manufacturing needs of aerospace and other industries.”

Praxair is currently working with major aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEM) by providing limited quantities of its fine titanium powder to further OEM research and development efforts ahead of Praxair’s full commissioning of its gas-atomized titanium powder line.    

Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2014 sales of $12.3 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings.

For more information, visit: www.praxairsurfacetechnologies.com/components-materials-and-equipment/materials/additive-manufacturing-powders

Published in Praxair

Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE:PRLB) has introduced magnesium injection molding into its current rapid manufacturing services. This advanced injection molding process enables product designers and engineers to prototype using the same materials and processes used for the final part production. In addition to prototypes, Proto Labs will offer production parts in quantities of up to 5,000+ with a typical turnaround time of 15 days.

Magnesium is a strong and lightweight metal that is increasingly being used in the automotive and aerospace industries to reduce the weight of components. “In recent years, lightweighting has become a significant factor in automotive product development, for example, as engineers are being tasked with drastically reducing vehicle weight in order to improve vehicle gas mileage,” says Proto Labs’ engineer and product manager, Becky Cater. “We see magnesium injection molding as an important tool for achieving this.”

Proto Labs’ injection molding process, known also as thixomolding, is viewed as an alternative to machining and die casting processes. It involves heating chipped magnesium feedstock in the barrel of a press, where it is transformed into a gel-like state before high-speed injection into a steel mold to create the part.

Magnesium AZ-91D joins Proto Labs’ current injection molding offerings that include more than a hundred thermoplastic, liquid silicone rubber, steel and stainless steel materials. “Magnesium injection molding is yet another fast and cost-effective manufacturing method for Proto Labs’ customers to use as they race to quickly launch products to market,” explains Cater.

For more information, visit: www.protolabs.com/injection-molding/magnesium-injection-molding

Published in Proto Labs

Norsk Titanium AS (NTi), a Norway-based manufacturer of titanium components for industrial applications, announced that RTI International Metals, Inc. (NYSE: RTI), a global supplier of titanium and specialty metal products and services, has become a strategic investor and minority partner with the company. RTI made an investment of an undisclosed amount for strategic cooperation projects surrounding NTi's Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) technology, used in NTi’s patented process for the manufacture of titanium components.

“This investment is an important endorsement of the hard work and achievements of the NTi team, who are poised to accelerate the market reach of our company’s game-changing technology for the production of titanium components, delivering to our customers the benefits of reduced price, shorter lead times, and increased design flexibility,” said Executive Chairman of NTi’s Board of Directors John Andersen, Jr.

“RTI is pleased to be a strategic industrial investor in NTi. Its DMD technology, a form of additive manufacturing or 3D printing, is a game-changer," said Dawne Hickton, Vice Chair, President and CEO of RTI. "Combining NTi's innovative technology with RTI's upstream raw materials and downstream fabrication capabilities has significant applications in the titanium closed-die forging market, with commercialization opportunities within the next 12 months.”

Vice Chairman of NTi’s Board of Directors Christopher E. Kubasik, who also is President and CEO of New York-based Seabury Advisory Group and a former Lockheed Martin Corporation executive, added, “NTi has entered into an incredibly exciting time as we gain this strategically important investment. We anticipate further initiatives in the near-term which will position NTi as the unquestionable global leader in advanced industrial applications for titanium components serving the fast-growing needs of such industries as aerospace & defense (A&D), oil & gas, and marine.“

NTi has achieved technology readiness level six (TRL6), which demonstrates its ability to meet stringent A&D material requirements. NTi expects to achieve technology readiness level eight (TRL8) by the fourth quarter of this year. The A&D industry is the largest and most demanding segment for titanium components. In addition, oil & gas, automotive and other industries require high quality, complex titanium components.

For more information, visit: www.norsktitanium.no

The German company joimax®, developer of technologies and training methods for minimally invasive endoscopic spinal surgery, announced it received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its Endoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or EndoLIF® On-Cage implant.

The EndoLIF On-Cage consists of titanium alloy, produced with Electron Beam Melt (EBM) technology. The cage displays a porous surface with diamond cell structure, providing an optimal base for cell proliferation and bone growth. Two large openings, which may be filled with autogenous bone, support the creation of a straight column for fusion.

The EndoLIF implant allows surgeons to utilize an inter-muscular approach, similar to a mini transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), into the intervertebral disc, enabling endoscopic-assisted fusion. Dr. Ralf Wagner, LIGAMENTA Spine Center, Frankfurt and Dr. Bernd Illerhaus, ONZ, Datteln/Recklinghausen, two German spine specialists, have already performed more than 200 out of 600 EndoLIF procedures in Europe. “The access is dura and nerve-gentle, preserves the dorsal bony structures and we can avoid scar tissue because of the stepwise tissue dilation,” said Dr. Illerhaus.

The EndoLIF On-Cage is designed to be used with supplemental posterior fixation, such as the joimax Percusys® percutaneous pedicle screw-rod system. Cage implantation can be performed with a posterior or postero-lateral approach, either using an open or endoscopic-assisted method.

“With the EndoLIF program, joimax offers a complete endoscopic-assisted solution for spinal stabilization and fusion. In the future, we will be able to treat patients with even more gentle techniques,” comments Wolfgang Ries, CEO and founder of joimax. “Our next development will be an EndoLIF Cage on the basis of our iLESSYS Delta system for posterior lumbar inter-body fusion (PLIF).”

Founded in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2001, joimax is one of the leading medical device companies in minimally invasive spinal surgery (“joined minimal access”). The company’s U.S. subsidiary was established in Irvine, California, in 2005. The company is primarily focused on the development, production and marketing of technologies and methods for minimally invasive endoscopic spinal surgery. joimax is active in 40 countries around the globe and its methods have been successfully employed in approximately 150,000 surgeries. With a special focus on education, the company provides surgeons with specialized technique training through the three-step joimax CM3 education program. This program includes visitations, cadaver workshops and live-surgery support.

For more information, visit: www.joimax.com

Published in Joimax

Formlabs, the makers of the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer, announced a new functional resin designed for applications in engineering and prototyping. With Tough Resin, Form 1+ users can now produce strong, sturdy parts with physical properties similar to ABS plastic.

Durable parts are essential for engineering and prototyping. Now, parts produced with Formlabs’ Tough Resin will be able to absorb high-impact and other mechanical stress that would normally cause 3D printed parts to snap or shatter. From load-bearing gears to snap-fit enclosures, Tough Resin material has been engineered for applications that require performance under stress or strain.

In celebration of the material’s release, and to demonstrate the many functional properties of Tough Resin, Formlabs has created the first 3d-printed Rube Goldberg machine. This version of the popular chain-reaction machine has been assembled by printing many of the major mechanisms with Tough Resin on the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer.

Parts printed in Formlabs’ Tough Resin delivers a superior combination of yield strength, elongation, and impact resistance; the key characteristics used to assess material toughness.

“Engineering and prototyping are a really important application of 3D printing. We’re excited to release our new Tough Resin because now Form 1+ users can create high resolution prints in a really durable, resilient material,” said Formlabs co-founder, Max Lobovsky. “Developing new high-quality materials continues to be a really important focus for us. Every time we release a new material, we create new possibilities for every Form 1+ user and build a more compelling experience.”

Tough Resin is available in 1-liter bottles from the Formlabs web store immediately. The material is compatible with both the Form 1 and Form 1+ 3D Printers.

For more information, visit: www.formlabs.com/products/materials/tough

Published in Formlabs

Viridis3D, LLC has released an open materials development system called the RAM10™ 3D Printer Materials Development Kit, designed to make R&D fast, cheap, and easy.

The new RAM10™ Materials Development Kit is very simple in construction and has very fast test cycle times with a small build volume and includes: fluids manifold, electronics, and spreader bars. The RAM10™ uses ViriPrint™, which is the same software as the production printers.

According to Viridis3D CTO, Jim Bredt, "Viridis3D has taken a very different tactic from the older large format printer manufacturers. The RAM10™ 3D Printer Development Kit allows users to change powder, binder, firing parameters, tubing, and powder deposition subsystems — enabling distributed development of new materials sets. The similarities allow scale-up to the larger systems to be as seamless as possible."

"We're very eager to see the products that come out of the academic and industrial sectors as they start to use this materials development system," said Will Shambley, President of Viridis3D. We're hoping that by making this easy-to-use development kit, that we will be able to create a thriving development community around the bigger production RAM printers."

The first system was installed recently at Palmer Manufacturing & Supply, Springfield OH. Ken Strausbaugh’s efforts on binder research were quickly rewarded. "It was extremely easy and fast to get the RAM10™ up and running. With a little guidance form Viridis3D, we had a new ink working in just a few days," said Strausbaugh.

For more information, visit: www.viridis3d.com

Published in Viridis3D

Divergent Microfactories unveiled a disruptive new approach to auto manufacturing that incorporates 3D printing to dramatically reduce the pollution, materials and capital costs associated with building automobiles and other large complex structures. Highlighted by Blade, the first prototype supercar based on this new technology, Divergent Microfactories CEO Kevin Czinger introduced the company’s plan to dematerialize and democratize car manufacturing.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. “At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance. We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing, with innovative, eco-friendly cars like Blade being designed and built in microfactories around the world.”

Divergent Microfactories’ technology centers around its proprietary solution called a Node: a 3D-printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis. The Node solves the problem of time and space by cutting down on the actual amount of 3D printing required to build the chassis and can be assembled in just minutes. In addition to dramatically reducing materials and energy use, the weight of the Node-enabled chassis is up to 90% lighter than traditional cars, despite being much stronger and more durable. This results in better fuel economy and less wear on roads.

The centerpiece of the Divergent Microfactories announcement is Blade, the world’s first 3D-printed supercar. Designed and built using Divergent Microfactories’ technology, the prototype is one of the greenest and most powerful cars in the world. Equipped with a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine that can use either compressed natural gas or gasoline, Blade goes from 0-60 in about two seconds and weighs around 1,400 pounds. Divergent Microfactories plans to sell a limited number of high-performance vehicles that will be manufactured in its own microfactory.

In addition to unveiling its technology platform and prototype, Divergent Microfactories announced plans to democratize auto manufacturing. The goal is to put the platform in the hands of small entrepreneurial teams around the world, allowing them to set up their own microfactories and build their own cars and, eventually, other large complex structures. These microfactories will make innovation affordable while reducing the health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.divergentmicrofactories.com

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE: ATI) announced that it is expanding its nickel-based superalloy powder capabilities to satisfy strong demand from the aerospace jet engine market and growing demand from the additive manufacturing industry, particularly for 3D printed parts used in the aerospace, medical, electrical energy, and oil and gas markets. The self-funded expansion, which is projected to cost approximately $70 million and take two years to complete, will be located at the ATI Specialty Materials business unit’s operations near Monroe, NC.

“This strategic growth project will strengthen ATI’s position in the production of technically demanding superalloy powders used to produce advanced mill products and forgings, primarily for next-generation jet engines,” said Rich Harshman, ATI’s Chairman, President and CEO. “A significant portion of the powders to be produced from this expansion are needed to meet requirements of existing long-term agreements with jet engine OEMs that run well into the next decade. The expansion also better positions ATI to continue as a leading innovator supplying advanced powders to the new and rapidly growing additive manufacturing industry.

“This expansion builds on ATI’s existing powder capabilities located at facilities in Oakdale, PA near Pittsburgh, which are currently operating near capacity. The expansion is included in our multi-year capital expenditure target of approximately $200 million annually.”

Nickel-based superalloy powders provide extreme alloy compositions and a refined microstructure that offer increased performance and longer useful lives in high-temperature and highly corrosive environments. For more information, see www.atimetals.com then “ATI Products” and “Powder Metals.”

For more information, visit: www.atimetals.com/products/Pages/powder-metals.aspx

Published in ATI

LPW and Metalysis have formed a collaboration to develop an alternative supply chain for clean, spherical Tantalum and Tungsten metal powders for quality critical applications. It will combine Metalysis’s unique metal production technology with LPW’s spherodisation and post-processing capability. LPW will be responsible for selling the optimized powder to the additive manufacturing market. This will result in a supply chain that will be robust, quality driven and deliver high performance powders for the additive manufacturing markets.

LPW leads the way in the development, optimization and supply of metal powders into the AM industry and will be able to spherodise, size and blend high quality, free flowing powders directly from the raw material and alloys.

The Metalysis technology, which produces metal powder directly from oxide using electrolysis, has the potential to significantly increase production volumes, indeed its plant in South Yorkshire that begun producing tantalum powder this year is the first new primary tantalum metal production plant in Europe for more than 30 years. The patented process for producing metals, including refractory materials such as tantalum and tungsten alloys, offers both economic and environmental benefits over traditional metal production methods.

LPW Managing Director, Dr Phil Carroll remarked:
“Metalysis offers a greener and more cost-effective process, add our specialist industry knowledge and we can then supply a range of high quality, specially developed powders for the additive manufacturing industry”

Metalysis Chief Executive, Dion Vaughan said:
“The strategic collaboration between LPW and Metalysis will seek to develop and build the additive manufacturing market for tantalum and its alloys by pooling resources. We believe that LPW’s market expertise will complement Metalysis’s experience in metal powder production to further the development of AM”

Established in 2007, LPW Technology is a market leader in the development and supply of metal powders for additive manufacturing, and provides a comprehensive range of services for the AM industry. These services range from the development of new alloys, through expert application support, to AM machine maintenance. The company has developed a full range of optimized powders specifically for Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) with standard powders supplied from stock, and custom and development alloys available on request. LPW Technology invests heavily in cutting edge analytical technology and offers a complete powder analysis service. LPW POWDERSOLVE™, a proprietary software package, supports efficient powder lifecycle management. The company operates to quality control standards: AS 9100 & AS 9120 for aerospace, ISO 9001, and ISO 13485 for medical.

Metalysis is a UK-based company, which owns the global rights to a transformational technology capable of producing a wide range of high value metal powders and innovative alloys at a lower cost and with a smaller environmental footprint than traditional methods. The Metalysis process is a breakthrough, solid-state technology which works by introducing metal oxide into a molten salt bath where it is electrolysed to form metal powders. Metalysis has received investment from a number of private equity, public and private companies and after ten years of investing in research and development has built a prototype industrial facility in the UK to produce metal powders. The company is currently focused on the production of tantalum powders for use in conventional and additive manufacturing for a variety of applications in aerospace, electronics, bio-medical, petro-chemical and automotive.

Published in LPW Technology

H.C. Starck, one of the leading producers of customer-specific powders and components made of technology metals and technical ceramics, has acquired a minority stake in one of Sweden’s most innovative start-ups, Metasphere Technology. The company has developed an innovative, proprietary technology for the production of spherical metal powders, a material in high demand in growth industries such as additive manufacturing.

H.C. Starck and Metasphere Technology plan to build a new production line for spherical metal powders in Lulea (Sweden). The agreement secures H.C. Starck exclusive sales rights of the materials produced. H.C. Starck will also provide customer application technology support. The continued expansion of production capacity is planned as the market develops. Both partners have agreed not to disclose further details of the agreement.

H.C. Starck already produces special atomized metal powders for the additive manufacturing market and wants to expand its business activities there long-term. “With our many years of experience in the processing of technology metals and technical ceramics, we see great growth potential for our company in additive manufacturing,” says Andreas Meier, CEO of the H.C. Starck Group. “Metasphere Technology is known in the market for its proven capacity to innovate and therefore is the right technology partner for us. Thanks to our cooperation, our two companies will not only grow in the additive manufacturing market but will even provide the industry itself with impetus for growth.”

“We identified H.C. Starck as an ideal partner at an early stage. So we are pleased that we were able to win H.C. Starck as a new shareholder,” said Metasphere Technology CEO Jan Wicén. “The company has wide-ranging material expertise and long experience in the field of developing novel alloys that we can now produce in spherical shape using our unique process. The process can restructure all electrical conducting materials on a nano level and spheriodise materials to perfect spheres in a wide range of sizes. Our "meta-stable" compositions will pave the way for high precision alloys and materials in spherical form for breakthroughs in many industrial areas. With H.C. Starck on board we have got a solid validation in the international market as well as secured our long-term supply of powder raw materials for our production.”

With the unique production technology developed by Metasphere Technology, a wide variety of metals and other electrically conductive materials can be processed into spherical powders. By restructuring of the material on a nano level, they can be precisely adjusted to customer-specific requirements relating to material characteristics like particle size and distribution. The powders are characterized by the absolutely perfect spherical shape of their particles and their homogenous structure through the entire powder. This gives them unique physical-mechanical characteristics that could not or only scarcely be achieved with previously known technologies. “Among other things, spherical powders have extremely high flowability, which is a key precondition for the production of high-quality components using additive manufacturing,” Meier said. “Since a multitude of materials can be processed with Metasphere’s new technology, we will be able to offer our additive-manufacturing customers a much-expanded product portfolio with new and highly innovative powders beyond the materials processed to this point.”

Additive Manufacturing is one of the highest-growth sectors because it gives engineers new, cost-effective design options for highly stressed components with complex forms. While the technology has initially been used mostly for prototype development, it is increasingly used in series production today.

Published in H.C. Starck

GPI Prototype, located in Lake Bluff, IL, recently announced the completion of a facility expansion to double office space, accommodating new staff brought in to handle the rapid growth experienced at GPI. In addition, existing warehouse space has been remodeled to accommodate six more direct metal machines.

Historically focused on building metal prototypes, GPI has been growing the portion of its business dedicated to additive manufacturing. In preparation for this strategic commitment, GPI added two key individuals to its production and engineering departments in 2014. The team was strengthened by the addition of a metallurgical engineer as well as a metals applications engineer. This engineering strength is spearheading R&D and production capabilities on all DMLM machines.

To further support the growth of its metal additive manufacturing services, GPI has been adding to its production capacity. In 2014, GPI acquired two new direct metal machines. These machines are dedicated to the production of aluminum parts. GPI is currently one of the few companies offering production parts with AlSi12 aluminum on a ProX300.  Growth continues for GPI, especially with the scheduled delivery of a new EOS M290 in June.

In response to increased opportunities from the aerospace and medical industries, GPI recently went through the rigor of certification for AS9100:2009RevC, ISO 13485:2003, ISO 9001:2008 and is a registered ITAR facility. These certifications provide GPI with the standardized processes used to create quality products and meet regulatory requirements. During the course of certifications, GPI created an Internal Management System, providing assurances in all manufacturing processes. Requirements include internal audits, record keeping, process procedures and monitoring, management reviews and corrective and preventative action plans.

In more recent news, GPI is making a change in upper management. Scott Galloway, Founder and President, will take on the new role of CEO. Adam Galloway, has been promoted from VP Sales and Marketing and has assumed the role as President of GPI. Adam joined the company in 2003 and has been an integral member of the management team at GPI for the past eight years. “It is exciting to be part of a company that is not afraid to take risks and realize when diversification is necessary to sustain strong growth. GPI started out specializing in prototypes. As we’ve continued to make giant steps forward, the production capabilities we offer today continue to allow GPI to reach higher levels within the AM industry,” – Adam Galloway.

For more information, visit: www.gpiprototype.com

Published in GPI Prototype

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSXV: PYR.V), a company that designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products, announces that it is shipping the first of ten powder production systems for 3D printing due under a $12.5MM contract signed last year.

As reported last July, PyroGenesis signed a contract with a major international manufacturer for ten plasma-based, powder production systems for 3D printing. Under the contract, PyroGenesis is to supply ten of its unique metal powder production platforms to an Asian Customer for a total contract value of $12.5 MM. The Customer's name was withheld for competitive reasons.

"Under this contract, 9 of the 10 systems are to be built once the first system is fully installed and commissioned in Asia. With the first system being shipped, and installation and commissioning scheduled for this summer, we plan to start manufacturing the last nine systems in the fall of 2015," said P. Peter Pascali, President and Chief Executive Officer of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. "On a related note," Mr. Pascali added, "We continue to experience significant interest in our 3D powder capabilities, and we have recently decided to offer these powders on a take-or-pay basis to several key customers."

Separately, building upon its patented and proven capabilities in manufacturing systems that produce small, uniform, and spherical metal powders, which are ideal for 3D printing, PyroGenesis has made further improvements to its process, which is in the process of being patented.

PyroGenesis Canada is a leader in the design, development, manufacturing and commercialization of advanced plasma processes. We provide engineering and manufacturing expertise, cutting-edge contract research, as well as turnkey process equipment packages to the defense, metallurgical, mining, advanced materials (including 3D printing), oil & gas, and environmental industries. With a team of experienced PyroClass engineers, scientists and technicians working out of our Montreal office and our 3,800 m2 production facility, PyroGenesis maintains its competitive advantage by remaining at the forefront of technology development and commercialization. Our core competencies allow PyroGenesis to lead the way in providing innovative plasma torches, plasma waste processes, high-temperature metallurgical processes, and engineering services to the global marketplace. Our operations are ISO 9001:2008 certified, and have been since 1997. PyroGenesis is a publicly-traded Canadian company on the TSX Venture Exchange (Ticker Symbol PYR.V).

For more information, visit: www.pyrogenesis.com

Published in PyroGenesis

Eastman Chemical Company is aiding the rapid evolution of 3D printing with its Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer. Notably, the material's toughness, ease of processing and printability is helping 3D printing filament provider taulman 3D and desktop 3D printer developer Aleph Objects, Inc. introduce new, advanced materials and printers to the market. The companies' collaboration provides complementary materials and desktop printers for the strongest printed parts. taulman 3D's upcoming material, n-vent, is made with Eastman Amphora and can be used with desktop 3D printers, such as Aleph Objects' LulzBot Mini for at-home printing or LulzBot TAZ for professional use.

"Collaborations like the one between taulman 3D and Aleph Objects are why Eastman is involved in the 3D printing market," said Alex Dudal, market development representative, Eastman Chemical Company. "These two companies are key leaders in this market from a hardware and filament perspective, and collaborating with them allows us to bring Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer to a broader audience in the right way."

The newly announced n-vent material, made with Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer, is suited for creating aesthetic parts such as vases and desktop items, and will be available for purchase in summer 2015 in several colors. taulman 3D notes the new material's strength and extremely low odor. According to the company, n-vent's heat resistance, low shrinkage and higher tensile strength make it ideal for use in prototyping as well as smaller designs.

"Eastman provides quality materials, and their technical and engineering expertise round out a set of features that is ideal for 3D printing material development," said Thomas Martzall, owner, taulman 3D. "Because of trends in smaller designs, we're expecting an increase in multipart designs that need to fit together properly. The reduced shrinkage of this material, along with Eastman Amphora(TM) 3D polymer's bonding abilities, will ensure multipart designs accomplish the desired goal."

taulman 3D began providing product in October 2012 with the release of its Nylon 618 filament. Soon after, the company released additional materials, including Nylon 645, Bridge and t-glase. Aleph Objects emerged from the RepRap project and is fiercely committed to respecting user freedom. The company earned the first hardware certification from the Free Software Foundation and meets the Open Source Hardware Association definition. Now, the company provides one of the strongest desktop printer lines to the 3D market -- LulzBot. Most recently, the company launched the LulzBot Mini, which is easier to use and more reliable than other 3D printers on the market, winning editors' choice awards from PCMag and Tom's Guide, and accolades elsewhere.

"At Aleph Objects, our mission is to respect user freedom and offer versatile, cutting-edge technology that allows our community to bring their ideas to life," said Jeff Moe, president, Aleph Objects. "Based on our in-house testing using LulzBot 3D printers, we are confident that n-vent by taulman 3D, made with Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer, will rank among the best premium materials on the market."

For more information, visit: www.eastman.com/3D

Published in Eastman

The UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced that LPW, a market leader in the development and supply of metal powders for additive manufacturing (AM), has been awarded government funding through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

UK manufacturing supply chain projects will benefit from a total of £67 million of government investment, with £109 million being invested in the same projects by industry. The fund to help ‘rebuild British manufacturing prowess’ will see LPW receive support totalling £3 million, with the total project size approximately £13.2 million. LPW are being supported in the project by The Welding Institute (TWI) and The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The funds will drive the development of super-clean powders of novel composition made using non-conventional powder production processes, which will enable the sustainable use of AM in a wide range of critical and demanding applications.

Funding through AMSCI is available to support research and development, skills training and capital investment to help UK supply chains achieve world-class standards and improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing.

LPW have demonstrated impressive growth and a successful business strategy for sustainable development enabling the investment, which will be focused on developing new technologies in a customer collaboration to create lasting shared value innovative technologies, products and research in the aerospace, automotive, medical, defence, and tooling sectors.

A dedicated facility to accommodate new equipment will be built. It is due to create up to 137 new jobs and safeguard 30+ existing roles.

Established in 2007, LPW Technology is a market leader in the development and supply of metal powders for additive manufacturing, and provides a comprehensive range of services for the AM industry. These services range from the development of new alloys, through expert application support, to AM machine maintenance. The company has developed a full range of optimised powders specifically for Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) with standard powders supplied from stock, and custom and development alloys available on request.

LPW Technology invests heavily in cutting edge analytical technology and offers a complete powder analysis service. LPW POWDERSOLVE™, a proprietary software package, supports efficient powder lifecycle management.

LPW Technology has its headquarters in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK. In June 2014 the company formally established a US subsidiary; LPW Technology Inc. situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to provide local support and sales to a growing number of customers in the US. From these locations the company supplies high quality, certified powders to a global customer base drawn from the aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries. LPW have global partnerships with official representatives in China, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Turkey; committed to supporting adoption of AM technologies globally with combined expertise and local knowledge.

The company operates to quality control standards: AS 9100 & AS 9120 for aerospace, ISO 9001, and ISO 13485 for medical.

For more information, visit: www.lpwtechnology.com

Published in LPW Technology

When you think of copper, the penny in your pocket may come to mind; but NASA engineers are trying to save taxpayers millions of pennies by 3-D printing the first full-scale, copper rocket engine part.

“Building the first full-scale, copper rocket part with additive manufacturing is a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Additive manufacturing is one of many technologies we are embracing to help us continue our journey to Mars and even sustain explorers living on the Red Planet.”

Numerous complex parts made of many different materials are assembled to make engines that provide the thrust that powers rockets. Additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce the time and cost of making rocket parts like the copper liner found in rocket combustion chambers where super-cold propellants are mixed and heated to the extreme temperatures needed to send rockets to space.

“On the inside of the paper-edge-thin copper liner wall, temperatures soar to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have to keep it from melting by recirculating gases cooled to less than 100 degrees above absolute zero on the other side of the wall,” said Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the copper rocket engine liner was manufactured. “To circulate the gas, the combustion chamber liner has more than 200 intricate channels built between the inner and outer liner wall. Making these tiny passages with complex internal geometries challenged our additive manufacturing team.”

A selective laser melting machine in Marshall’s Materials and Processing Laboratory fused 8,255 layers of copper powder to make the chamber in 10 days and 18 hours. Before making the liner, materials engineers built several other test parts, characterized the material and created a process for additive manufacturing with copper.

“Copper is extremely good at conducting heat,” explained Zach Jones, the materials engineer who led the manufacturing at Marshall. “That’s why copper is an ideal material for lining an engine combustion chamber and for other parts as well, but this property makes the additive manufacturing of copper challenging because the laser has difficulty continuously melting the copper powder.”

Only a handful of copper rocket parts have been made with additive manufacturing, so NASA is breaking new technological ground by 3-D printing a rocket component that must withstand both extreme hot and cold temperatures and has complex cooling channels built on the outside of an inner wall that is as thin as a pencil mark. The part is built with GRCo-84, a copper alloy created by materials scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where extensive materials characterization helped validate the 3-D printing processing parameters and ensure build quality. Glenn will develop an extensive database of mechanical properties that will be used to guide future 3-D printed rocket engine designs. To increase U.S. industrial competitiveness, data will be made available to American manufacturers in NASA’s Materials and Processing Information System (MAPTIS) managed by Marshall.

“Our goal is to build rocket engine parts up to 10 times faster and reduce cost by more than 50 percent,” said Chris Protz, the Marshall propulsion engineer leading the project. “We are not trying to just make and test one part. We are developing a repeatable process that industry can adopt to manufacture engine parts with advanced designs. The ultimate goal is to make building rocket engines more affordable for everyone.”

Manufacturing the copper liner is only the first step of the Low Cost Upper Stage-Class Propulsion Project funded by NASA’s Game Changing Development Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate. NASA’s Game Changing Program funds the development of technologies that will revolutionize future space endeavors, including NASA’s journey to Mars. The next step in this project is for Marshall engineers to ship the copper liner to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where an electron beam freedom fabrication facility will direct deposit a nickel super-alloy structural jacket onto the outside of the copper liner. Later this summer, the engine component will be hot-fire tested at Marshall to determine how the engine performs under extreme temperatures and pressures simulating the conditions inside the engine as it burns propellant during a rocket flight.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov

Published in NASA

A new type of graphene aerogel will make for better energy storage, sensors, nanoelectronics, catalysis and separations.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have made graphene aerogel microlattices with an engineered architecture via a 3D printing technique known as direct ink writing. The research appears in the April 22 edition of the journal, Nature Communications.

The 3D printed graphene aerogels have high surface area, excellent electrical conductivity, are lightweight, have mechanical stiffness and exhibit supercompressibility (up to 90 percent compressive strain). In addition, the 3D printed graphene aerogel microlattices show an order of magnitude improvement over bulk graphene materials and much better mass transport.

Aerogel is a synthetic porous, ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. It is often referred to as “liquid smoke.”

Previous attempts at creating bulk graphene aerogels produced a largely random pore structure, excluding the ability to tailor transport and other mechanical properties of the material for specific applications such as separations, flow batteries and pressure sensors.

“Making graphene aerogels with tailored macro-architectures for specific applications with a controllable and scalable assembly method remains a significant challenge that we were able to tackle,” said engineer Marcus Worsley, a co-author of the paper. “3D printing allows one to intelligently design the pore structure of the aerogel, permitting control over mass transport (aerogels typically require high pressure gradients to drive mass transport through them due to small, tortuous pore structure) and optimization of physical properties, such as stiffness. This development should open up the design space for using aerogels in novel and creative applications.”

During the process, the graphene oxide (GO) inks are prepared by combining an aqueous GO suspension and silica filler to form a homogenous, highly viscous ink. These GO inks are then loaded into a syringe barrel and extruded through a micronozzle to pattern 3D structures.

“Adapting the 3D printing technique to aerogels makes it possible to fabricate countless complex aerogel architectures for applications such as mechanical properties and compressibility, which has never been achieved before, ” said engineer Cheng Zhu, the other co-author of the journal article.

Other Livermore researchers include Yong-Jin Han, Eric Duoss, Alexandra Golobic, Joshua Kuntz and Christopher Spadaccini. The work is funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.

For more information, visit: www.llnl.gov

Published in LLNL

NASA has established a public-private partnership with five organizations to advance knowledge about composite materials that could improve the performance of future aircraft.

Composites are innovative materials for building aircraft that can enhance strength while remaining lightweight. The agency selected the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia, to manage administration of the Advanced Composites Consortium, which is working to improve composite materials research and certification.

Included in the consortium are NASA's Advanced Composites Project, managed from the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); General Electric Aviation, Cincinnati; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Palmdale, California; Boeing Research & Technology, St. Louis; a team from United Technologies Corporation led by subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut; and the NIA.

"NASA is committed to transforming aviation through cutting edge research and development," said Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington. "This partnership will help bring better composite materials into use more quickly, and help maintain American leadership in aviation manufacturing."

The NIA will handle communications within the consortium and help manage the programmatic and financial aspects of members' research projects. The NIA will also serve as a "tier two" member with a representative on the consortium's technical oversight committee.

NASA formed the consortium in support of the Advanced Composites Project, which is part of the Advanced Air Vehicles Program in the agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The project's goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composites infused into aeronautics applications.

A panel of NASA, FAA and Air Force Research Laboratory experts reviewed 20 submissions and chose the members based on their technical expertise, willingness and ability to share in costs, certification experience with government agencies, and their focused technology areas and partnership histories.

Representatives from each organization in the consortium participated in technology goal planning discussions, assembled cooperative research teams, and developed draft plans for projects in three areas: prediction of life and strength of composite structures; rapid inspection of composites; and manufacturing process and simulation.

For more information, visit: www.nianet.org

Published in NASA

Siemens and thinkstep (formerly PE International) announced a new integrated material management software solution to manage the material lifecycle and streamline material driven product design. The new solution, developed by thinkstep and Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business, will help manufacturers worldwide improve product performance and reliability by connecting design, engineering, analysis, compliance and manufacturing to a single source of material information. The new offering, which is part of Siemens’ Teamcenter® portfolio, will help reduce errors, rework and recalls that result from the use of inaccurate material data. It will also assist in the re-use of market tested materials for new products, which is critical in a wide variety of industries. Siemens and thinkstep expanded their existing partnership agreement to develop this new solution.

“Selecting the right materials is critical in order to achieve maximum safety, performance and reliability in our business,” said John Probst, Technical Director, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. “The Teamcenter integrated material management solution opens up new horizons for us in agile materials management that spans design, engineering, simulation and manufacturing processes. In the racing world, where every second counts, we need solutions like this that enable us to create more innovative designs to give our team a competitive advantage.”

“Through our expanded relationship with thinkstep, we’re delivering a competitive advantage to all of our customers through true material management intelligence,” said Eric Sterling, senior vice president, Lifecycle Collaboration Software, Siemens PLM Software. “Products from virtually every industry can fail, and often times the failure results from the inconsistent use of material information. The new Teamcenter integrated material management solution provides a more holistic view of material data for use in all phases of the product lifecycle to help improve quality and reduce development cost. The new solution gives manufacturers the right information at the right time so they can react quickly and realize innovation.”

Material property management systems have evolved significantly to keep pace with the growing demand to capture, store and interrogate material test data. However, these massive volumes of data cannot be considered material intelligence unless the lifecycle of the material data is intrinsically linked with the lifecycle of the product. Teamcenter integrated material management provides this missing link between material data and true product intelligence. Establishing and maintaining integration between the materials considered for use in a product and the product’s bill-of-materials (BOM) is crucial to delivering successful, innovative products. The Teamcenter integrated material management solution enables the active management of materials throughout the product lifecycle, from design to production to retirement.

“We are thrilled to work with Siemens to help our customers create innovative new products,” said Christoph Wilfert, CEO, thinkstep. “Integrated material management significantly improves the product development cycle. The solution tracks, measures and manages key materials and substances, reducing rework and mitigating the risk of recalls and non-compliance.”

For more information, visit: www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_gb/products/teamcenter/index.shtml

Published in Siemens

Fokker and the National Aerospace Laboratory will open a manufacturing plant for composite aircraft components. The plant will produce composite landing gear components while also developing new manufacturing techniques for high performance composites. Other high-tech companies that develop composites can also use the facility for testing their materials and automating production processes. Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink, CEO of FME and initiator of Smart Industry, officially opened the Pilot Plant.

The new ‘Automated Composite Manufacturing Pilot Plant’ is widely regarded as a key step in developing expert knowledge of composites in the Netherlands. Composites are increasing replacing steel or aluminium parts in the aviation industry; moreover, composites are often stronger, more sustainable, less expensive, and capable of being applied in a wide variety of areas.

The ACM Pilot Plant will start with the further robotification of the production of composite landing gear components. In a wider context, the plant will focus on producing composites reinforced with industrial resins, for which the plant is outfitted with ultra-modern equipment, including one of the largest robotic composite fibre braiding machines in Europe.

The ACM Pilot Plant is open to other companies that want to produce their composites on a large scale, including to companies that are active outside the aviation sector. The unique knowledge and facilities available are ideally suited for developing the most cost-efficient manufacturing methods. It is often precisely this last step - between a prototype and launching the product - that proves so difficult in bringing innovations to market.

This new facility derives from a Public-Private Partnership between Fokker Landing Gear and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), in close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the province of Flevoland and the Noordoostpolder municipality. This Pilot Plant is the embodiment of the ‘golden triangle’ between government, industry and knowledge institutions. The ACM Pilot Plant is part of Smart Industry Fieldlab Flexible Manufacturing’, for which plans for further development are currently being devised.

At the Pilot Plant - which covers an area of some 500m² - highly skilled automation experts and operators are engaged in automating, optimizing and rendering sustainable the manufacturing processes.

The opening of this manufacturing plant is a crowning jewel in Fokker and NLR’s years of collaboration. Frank Mulders, Managing Director of Fokker Landing Gear, views the plant as the culmination of many years of successful collaboration in process innovation between Fokker, NLR, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, RNLAF (Dutch Airforce), regional governments and knowledge institutes. Mulders: “This automated pilot plant works on state-of-the art production processes. For Fokker, as a supplier to the global aviation industry, and also for other Dutch companies, this is an important step on the way to the sustainable production of composite components in the Netherlands.”

The Nationals Aerospace Laboratory regards the ACM Pilot Plant as a logical next step in the collaboration between science and technology, private companies and the government, for the purpose of bolstering the Netherlands’ strengths in innovation. CEO Michel Peters states that the Netherlands holds a leading position internationally in the development and application of composite materials in the aviation industry: “The Pilot Plant that we have opened today in Flevoland further establishes us on the map as an international centre for composites. It is the physical proof that institutes for applied research, such as NLR, can bolster the innovative strength of Dutch industry and SMEs. And do this together with government and industry.”

Jan-Nico Appelman, deputy of the province of Flevoland, is also pleased with the new plant. “In recent years the province has created an investment climate for Flevoland. One can find office spaces in business parks everywhere, but here in Flevoland, around the NLR’s already established Field Lab, companies also find a unique combination of theory and practice. This new plant with Fokker makes all the more interesting for companies that produce composites.“

For more information, visit: www.nlr.nl

Published in NLR

Rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacturer Proto Labs, Inc. has added optical-grade liquid silicone rubber (LSR) to its existing lineup of moldable plastic, metal and LSR materials. High-performance optical LSR is transparent, extremely flexible and starting to replace glass in many optical applications.

The engineering-grade thermoset offers a host of benefits for those developing components and products inside the lighting industry. Optical LSR does not discolor or lose transparency with age or with exposure to heat or UV light; it is significantly lighter than glass and most other plastics; and it is scratch and crack resistant, among many other advantages.

“One of the more exciting aspects that optical silicone presents to a designer is its ability to reduce the bill of materials in a final assembly,” explains Jeff Schipper, Proto Labs’ product manager for LSR. “In a lighting application, for example, you have a lens and seal that would traditionally be two parts. With optical LSR, you can combined the two into a single part, which reduces cost and overall inventory.”

Proto Labs is a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. Proto Labs provides “Real Parts, Really Fast” by utilizing injection molding, computer numerical control (CNC) machining and additive manufacturing to produce parts for product designers and engineers worldwide.

For more information, visit: www.protolabs.com/rubber-injection-molding

Published in Proto Labs

The ExOne Company (Nasdaq: XONE) announced that six additional materials are now printable in the company’s printing systems: Cobalt-Chrome, IN Alloy 718,  Iron-Chrome-Aluminum, 17-4 Stainless Steel, 316 Stainless Steel and Tungsten Carbide. Using ExOne’s printing systems – including the M-Flex™ and recently introduced Innovent™ – customers interested in 3D printing materials for their own product development are afforded the opportunity to utilize the wide variety of new materials, each offering unique properties and uses.

“ExOne developed the latest printable materials for our binder jetting process as a result of our expanding customer development programs,” said Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer. “Utilization of these materials in ExOne’s machines will allow our customers to advance our binder jetting applications with their technologies. The diversity of this group of printable materials demonstrates the breadth of industries that ExOne touches, including the aerospace, automotive, energy, foundry and medical markets – broadening our addressable market.”

The expansion of materials capable of printing in ExOne’s systems now includes:

  • Cobalt-Chrome (Co-Cr): Traditionally used in various fields where high wear-resistance is needed, including aerospace, cutlery, bearings and blades, Cobalt-Chrome alloy has recently received more attention for medical applications due to excellent resistant properties, high melting points and incredible strength at high temperatures.

  • IN Alloy 718: Commonly used for components in the aerospace, chemical and energy markets, with applications including gas turbine blades, filtration and separation, heat exchanger and molding processes, the alloy is desirable due to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities, able to retain its strength even when subjected to extreme environments.

  • Iron-Chrome-Aluminum (FeCrAl): Offering superior properties as compared to the other alloys, Iron-Chrome-Aluminum alloys are widely used in electrical furnace, electrical oven, home appliance, electrical heater and infrared settings.

  • 17-4 Stainless Steel and 316 Stainless Steel: 17-4 and 316 Stainless Steel both have broad applications in the automotive, medical and general industry markets, used to produce a range of products, including surgical tools, metallic filters, pumps, impellers and structural automotive parts. Both grades are known for their excellent mechanical and corrosion resistance properties and cost-effectiveness.

  • Tungsten Carbide (WC): One of the hardest carbides with a melting point of 2770°C, Tungsten Carbide is mainly used in the production of high wear-resistant abrasives, carbide cutting tools (knives, drills and circular saws), and milling and turning tools used by the metalworking, woodworking, mining, petroleum and construction industries.

ExOne generally qualifies materials for production printing through customer partnerships at one of its research and development centers or in its eight worldwide production service centers (PSC). The company has previously qualified the following direct printed materials:
420 Stainless Steel infiltrated with Bronze; 316 Stainless Steel infiltrated with Bronze; Iron infiltrated with Bronze; IN Alloy 625; Bronze; Bonded Tungsten and Glass. The Company has also qualified Silica Sand and Ceramic Sand for indirect printing.

These qualified materials are distinguishable from printable materials in that they are commercially available for sale in industrial densities or for finished products printed at an ExOne PSC. ExOne manufactures and sells direct and indirect printing systems as well as printable and qualified materials, binder, cleaner and other consumables for use in its machines.

For more information, visit: www.exone.com

Published in ExOne

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), a provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, introduced new colors for its ASA thermoplastic and expanded its Digital Materials.

Launched in September, ASA is an all-purpose FDM material used for the production of prototypes, manufacturing tools and finished goods. Adding to the previously launched ivory and black, the eight new color options for ASA include: red, orange, dark gray, yellow, green, dark blue, white and light gray. ASA now offers the most color options of any FDM material, allowing users the flexibility to create colorful parts that are UV resistant, strong and durable.

ASA offers an exceptional surface finish and has the best aesthetics of any FDM material available. Compared to ABS, details such as printed text and other features are greatly improved by ASA’s matte finish.

Compatible with the Fortus 360mc, 380mc, 400mc, 450mc and 900mc 3D Production Systems, ASA thermoplastic can be used by manufacturers in a variety of industries including sporting goods, outdoor tools, electrical, toys and automotive.

In addition to ASA’s new color options, Stratasys is expanding its PolyJet technology (which offers more than 1,000 material options) by adding 20 two-component Digital Materials that combine Endur with other base materials. Endur Digital Materials allow users to create parts using a range of gray-scale colors with rigid material options, as well as the ability to select a variety of Shore A values with flexible material options.

Eight new rigid Digital Materials offer a range of six gray shades and two white shades. Twelve new flexible Digital Materials offer a range of Shore A values. Six of these combine Endur with TangoBlackPlus and six combine Endur with TangoPlus.

Launched in 2014, Endur is an advanced simulated polypropylene material for use with the Objet EdenV, Objet EdenVS, Objet Connex systems, Objet30 Prime and Objet30 Pro 3D Printers. Endur offers prototyping benefits to a wide range of manufacturers in the consumer goods, household appliances, automotive parts, consumer electronics and lab equipment industries. Endur Digital Materials, available for Objet Connex 3D Printers, can produce thin walls, living hinges, snap-fits and moving or assembled parts. Examples include containers, CD cases, gaskets, shoe soles or handles.

“By introducing Endur Digital Materials, we are giving customers more flexibility and versatility to 3D print durable prototypes,” said Boaz Jacobi, director of product management for PolyJet consumables. “It’s a superior PolyJet solution for living-hinge and snap-fit applications.”

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials

Published in Stratasys

The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) opened its new 100,000 square-foot innovation acceleration center in Detroit by exhibiting new technologies that use lightweight metals and announcing its new program name, LIFT — Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow.

The $148 million center will facilitate partnerships among major research institutions and manufacturers to accelerate the transfer of new manufacturing technology from the research lab to the production floor. It will work with such lightweight metals as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and advanced high-strength steel alloys and focus on new technologies to cast, heat treat, form/shape, join and coat them. This activity will build upon the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) and Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to capitalize on recent breakthroughs in materials modeling, theory, and data mining to significantly hasten discovery and deployment of advanced materials while decreasing their cost.

ALMMII is a non-profit organization founded by three partners, The University of Michigan, The Ohio State University and EWI, an independent research and development organization based in Columbus, Ohio. It was selected last year to operate LM3I, the Lightweight and Modern Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, one of five institutes set up by the U.S. government to maintain America’s manufacturing leadership. Known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, each institute has a particular focus. While LIFT accelerates technologies using lightweight metals, others will advance technologies in power generation, digital manufacturing, additive manufacturing, photonics, and advanced composites.

“This is an important day for the future of American manufacturing jobs and the security of our country,” said Executive Director Lawrence Brown. “Taking weight out of vehicles that move people and goods and carry out military missions is a national imperative, because as we succeed, we will be saving energy, saving money, and creating jobs.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that with its history of manufacturing innovation and available workforce, Detroit was the perfect fit for LIFT.

“What you see here is not just about advancing technology, it’s about advancing people,” said Mayor Duggan. “The education and training collaborations will help prepare Detroiters for employment opportunities to design, build and repair the next generation of lightweight vehicles.”

Chief Technical Officer Alan Taub said that LIFT is an ideal public/private partnership. “Our industry partners, with input from government agencies, will set the priorities of our effort,” Taub said. We will create collaborations to focus on the opportunities manufacturing companies identify to take breakthroughs from the best research institutions around the country and commercialize them as certified, production-level processes. Our work will cross-fertilize developments in several industries — including defense and commercial applications in aerospace, automotive, marine and railroad.”

Education and Workforce Director Emily Stover DeRocco said, “You can’t sustain new processes and materials without the necessary talent, so a critical part of our effort will be preparing an educated and skilled workforce, confident in using new lightweighting technologies and processes. Our location along the I-75 Industrial corridor serves five states with the nation’s highest concentration of metal manufacturing, and we expect to be generating new opportunities throughout the region.”

Michigan is the perfect location for LIFT, said Paula Sorrell, Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Venture Capital for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

“Michigan already has the world’s highest concentration of automotive research and development facilities, so it is a terrific location for this collaborative enterprise,” Sorrell said. “We know we will have to work together as government, research institutions and private companies to grow our manufacturing base, and LIFT will be an important part of that effort.”

“The partnerships coming out of LIFT and the other institutes will have a significant impact across many industries,” said Andre Gudger, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, Department of Defense. “LIFT will make a difference because it will be working closely with a world-class network of academic and other research institutions and industry-leading companies in transportation and defense — along with smaller companies that are developing exciting new processes to work with lightweight metals. This cutting edge technology will help develop the kind of vehicles and equipment we need to ensure our military maintains its fighting edge over our adversaries today and in the future.”

Industry partners that provided exhibits for the ribbon-cutting included: American Bureau of Shipping, Alcoa, American Foundry Society, Boeing, Comau, DNV, Eaton, Flash Bainite, GREDE, Johnson Controls, Materion, Metalsa, QuesTek, TARDEC, and Tenneco.
About LIFT

LIFT is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) and was selected through a competitive process led by the US Department of Defense under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) solicitation issued by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

For more information, visit: www.lift.technology

Published in LIFT

A Knoxville-area based consortium of 122 companies, nonprofits, universities and research laboratories is partnering with the Department of Energy to create a more than $250 million manufacturing innovation institute focused on U.S. leadership in next-generation composite materials

The President announced the latest in a series of partnerships aimed at boosting advanced manufacturing, fostering American innovation, and attracting well-paying jobs that will strengthen the middle class. After a decade of decline, American manufacturing is coming back, adding 786,000 new jobs since February 2010.

The Department of Energy and a consortium of 122 companies, nonprofits, and universities led by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville will invest more than $250 million - $70 million in federal funds and more than $180 million in non-federal funds – to launch a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites.

The new manufacturing innovation institute, the fifth institute to be awarded of the eight institute competitions launched, builds on the early successes of the first manufacturing innovation institute, America Makes in Youngstown, OH.

America Makes in Youngstown, OH

America Makes is focused on reducing the cost of 3D printing, connecting small businesses with new opportunities, and training American workers to master these sophisticated technologies. Only in its third year of operations, the institute has research underway that will help accelerate the speed of 3D printing in metals by a factor of ten, is partnering to provide over 1,000 schools with access to 3D printers, and has launched new workforce training programs that have trained over 7,000 workers in the fundamentals of 3D printing.

In addition to launching new products and filing new patents from the research underway, the institute is serving as a magnet for investment in the region. Last November, GE announced a $32 million investment in a new 3D printing research facility in the region, citing the advantages of locating near America Makes.

As GE attests, “When you consider that manufacturing has become increasingly complex and technology-intensive, you quickly realize that all U.S. manufacturers, big and small, face common challenges that are best tackled by a diverse group of stakeholders from academia, government, and industry. These institutes have provided fertile ground to discuss the common challenges facing all of us to ensure that America has the cutting-edge technology and workforce expertise to lead the world in advanced manufacturing.”

These institutes are an important part of revitalizing American manufacturing:

  • Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing’s Competitiveness with Leadership in Cutting-Edge Technologies -  Each manufacturing institute serves as a regional hub, bridging the gap between applied research and product development by bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key emerging technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the U.S.

  • Preparing America’s Workers for Jobs in Manufacturing – Each institute, as a type of “teaching factory,” provides a unique opportunity for education and training of students and workers at all levels, while supporting the shared assets to help small manufacturers and other companies access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.

  • Co-investing with the Private Sector -  Proving the value of these technological advances to the competitiveness of industry, each institute is launched with a five year commitment of federal resources matched by that much or more invested from the private sector, with the intent that the institutes will become self-sustaining once mature.

In a significant step forward in bringing together the manufacturing institutes into a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, Congress passed the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act of 2014 in December as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, proving that strengthening American manufacturing is a goal on which we can all agree.

  • Realizing the President’s Vision for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The bipartisan legislation builds on the progress made by the President through executive action, beginning in 2012 when the Department of Defense launched the first manufacturing institute, to create a network of institutes that together provide the foundation for American leadership in the manufacturing technologies that support our competitiveness for years to come.

  • Enacting Bipartisan Legislation to Establish that Network. The RAMI Act enables the institutes to come together as a network, to leverage shared expertise and common support services, and to create a governance structure across the institutes that can guide their success over the long term.

  • Demonstrating Significant Bipartisan Leadership in Congress. Introduced by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Blunt (R-MO) in the Senate and Reps. Reed (R-NY) and Kennedy (D-MA) in the House, the RAMI Act attracted significant bipartisan support with 118 co-sponsors across the two chambers.

Background on the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation Institute:

The new institute the Department of Energy is awarding will focus on cutting-edge research on advanced composites – such as carbon fiber – materials that are three times as strong and twice as light as the lightest metals.

  • Advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics, are lighter and stronger than steel. Advanced composites are currently used for expensive applications like satellites and luxury cars.

  • Bringing these materials down the cost curve can enable their use for a broader range of products including lightweight vehicles with record-breaking fuel economy; lighter and longer wind turbine blades; high pressure tanks for natural gas-fueled cars; and lighter, more efficient industrial equipment.

  • Advanced composites are especially important for progressing clean energy generation and improving the efficiency of the nation’s fleet.

  • In the wind energy industry, advances in low-cost composite materials will help manufacturers build longer, lighter and stronger blades to create more energy.

  • By doubling the length of a turbine blade these materials can help quadruple the amount of electricity generated.

  • In automotive applications, advanced composites could reduce the weight of a passenger car by 50 percent and improve its fuel efficiency by roughly 35 percent without compromising performance or safety – helping to save American families more than $5,000 in fuel costs over the car’s lifetime.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation will work to develop lower-cost, higher-speed, and more efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for advanced composites.

  • The Institute will focus on lowering the overall manufacturing costs of advanced composites by 50 percent, reducing the energy used to make composites by 75 percent and increasing the recyclability of composites to over 95 percent within the next decade.

  • The Institute has assembled a world-class team of organizations from across the industry, including leading manufacturers, material suppliers and software developers, government and academia, with both broad and deep experience in all aspects of the advanced composite product development process from design and prototyping to manufacturing at commercial scale.

  • The new institute pairs leading carbon fiber producers and suppliers – like Materials Innovation Technologies, Harper International, and Strongwell – with key end users like TPI for wind turbines and Ford for automobiles.

  • The new hub will also unite these manufacturers with top-flight research universities, such as the University of Tennessee with its pioneering 3D printed carbon fiber research, and the University of Kentucky with the largest U.S. open-access carbon-fiber chemistry laboratory.

  • The combined resources and expertise of the team will provide a leap forward in composite manufacturing and further enhance U.S. competitiveness in clean energy as the team cultivates additional new partnerships.

The winning team, led by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, has established a new not-for-profit organization headquartered in Knoxville, TN and includes the following 86 key partners and 36 additional consortia members:

57 Companies: A&P Technology, Inc.; Adherent Technologies, Inc.; Altair; Ashland Performance Materials; Assembly Guidance Systems, Inc.; BASF Company; Boeing Company; Celanese International; Continental Structural Plastics; Convergent Manufacturing Technologies; Cytec Engineered Materials; Dassault Systemes Americas Corp.; Dow Chemical Company; DowAksa; DuPont; ESI North America; Evonik Corporation; Faurecia US Holdings; Fives; Ford Motor Company; GE Water & Power; Graco Inc.; GrafTech International; Heil Trailer International; Herty Advanced Materials Development Center; Hills, Inc.; Honda R&D Americas, Inc.; Huntsman Polyurethanes; IN3 Applications; Johns Manville; LayStitch Technologies; LM Wind Power; Local Motors; Lockheed Martin; Materials Innovation Technologies; McWhinney Real Estate Services; Michelman Inc.; Milacron Plastics Technologies Group; Momentive; North Coast Tool & Mold Corp.; Owens Corning; Phoenix Integration; PolyNEW, Inc.; PolyOne Corporation; PPG Industries, Inc.; SABIC Innovative Plastics US; SAERTEX USA, LLC; Strongwell Inc.; Thogus Products Company; Toray Composites (America), Inc.; TPI Composites, Inc.; Vestas Americas; Volkswagen; Wetzel Engineering; Williams, White & Company; Wolf Robotics, LLC; and Xperion

15 Universities and Laboratories: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Colorado School of Mines; Colorado State University; Iowa State University; Michigan State University; Mississippi State University; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Purdue University; The Ohio State University; University of Colorado-Boulder; University of Dayton Research Institute; University of Kentucky; University of Michigan; and Vanderbilt University

14 Other Entities: Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI); Abaris Training Resources, Inc.; American Chemical Council; National Composites Center; Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium; Polymer Ohio, Inc.; Southern Research Institute; Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade; Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Michigan Economic and Community Development; Ohio Development Services Agency; State of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; State of Tennessee; and University of Tennessee Research Foundation

36 Consortia Members: Alcoa Inc.; 3M Company; BioCycle, LLC; Braskem America; BST Nano Carbon; Chomarat North America; Cincinnati Incorporated; Concordia Fibers; Eaton Corporation; EWI; Fiber-Tech Industries, Inc.; FibrTech; Global Wind Network (GLWN); Harper International; Hexagon Lincoln; Ingersoll Machine Tools; Interlaken Technology; International Fibers, Ltd.; Johnson Controls, Inc; Koppers; Materia, Inc.; Mentis Sciences, Inc; Michigan Molecular Institute; Nexgen Composites; NONA Composites, LLC; Oerlikon Metco; OshKosh Corporation; Plasan Carbon Composites; PlastiComp; Quickstep Composites, LLC; Rocky Mountain Institute; The Magni Group; Techmer ES;  Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; United Technologies Research Center; and XG Sciences

For more information, visit: www.iacmi.org

Published in White House

EOS at this year’s EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany launched the PA 1102 black material. PA 1102 black is a material made from renewable resources. It is a mass-coloured Polyamide 11 material for the manufacturing of deep black, highly resilient parts. Due to its colour, the parts made based on this material are resistant to dirt or discolouration even under most extreme conditions. PA 1102 black has a high flexibility, bendability and impact resistance so that the parts will not split even under excessive load conditions. The materials excellent mechanical properties make the material a perfect fit for serial parts, highly stressed functional models as well as design prototypes.

Properties

  • mass-colored black
  • high elongation at break
  • high impact resistance
  • elasticity
  • excellent resistance to chemicals, especially hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, mineral bases and salts, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils and fats

Applications

  • mechanically loaded functional prototypes and series parts with long-term moving elements (e.g. hinges)
  • in the automotive industry, it is mainly used for interior components for crash relevant parts (PA 1101 components do not splinter)
  • well suited for abrasively stressed visible parts
  • especially suited for small to medium sized parts, thin walls and lattice structures

During material development EOS has closely cooperated with pilot customers. One of them is UK-based company 3T RPD, who, after a number of material tests, are highly satisfied: “The addition of PA 1102 black to our portfolio will be relevant for a wide range of customers and specifically those looking for a ‘true black’ without the inconsistency or bloom that has been a feature of parts produced with filled powders or surface coloured parts.  It will offer an alternative to those customers wanting serial production parts to be used in environments where enhanced mechanical properties are valued such as parts that are regularly handled or knocked” says Dr. Mark Beard, Head of R&D at 3T RPD Ltd.

Another US-based pilot customer praises the excellent serial capabilities of the PA 1102 black material: Mike Schuch, Head of Mechanical Engineering & Machine Shop at Accurate Technologies Inc. sums up the testing results as follows: “In 2014, Accurate Technologies Inc. joined with EOS to help develop and refine the PA 1102 black Nylon 11 material. This material is Accurate’s primary material and the basis for several ATI products, the first of which was the ’CANary Interface Module’. We’ve been very happy with the results. The PA 1102 black material gives us the ability to produce innovative products that are enclosed in equally innovative designs that are custom fitted to our products without compromising strength, durability and good looks. We look forward to releasing many more products in the future with this very effective combination.”

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/material-p

Published in EOS

Oxford Performance Materials Inc. (OPM) announced that it has received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore new approaches to improve the treatment of infections related to artificial hips, knees and other implanted devices through advanced applications of 3D printed poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK).

The NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) provided the funding to Dr. Adam Hacking, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, at OPM. The long-term goal of this research is to develop improved methods to treat infections associated with implanted devices. The NIH grant will support research developing new approaches for the delivery of antibiotics through OPM's 3D printed PEKK implants.

"We are extremely grateful for the NIH support, as well as the peer reviewed process that recognized the magnitude of the clinical problem and the potential for advancement that our approach offers," said Dr. Hacking. "Device related infections are a burdensome clinical issue that results in prolonged patient suffering, increased mortality, and are expected to cost $12 billion per year by 2015. With this support from the NIH, we have the potential to rapidly advance treatment for bone and joint infections, reduce healthcare costs, reduce patient suffering and improve patient care."

Dr. Hacking continued, "3D printing has enabled the combination of a load-bearing implantable material, PEKK, with the simplicity, flexibility and availability of perfusable drug delivery systems. Perfusion is a desirable approach since nearly all therapeutics are deliverable in solution. Perfusion also enables the initiation, change, cessation or restoration of therapeutic delivery at any point in time."

This multidisciplinary research program involves established and productive experts in infectious disease, orthopedic surgery, chemical engineering, fluid dynamics and biomedical engineering from the Dept. of Orthopedics at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) is a recognized leader in 3D printing and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM™). OPM has developed a range of advanced materials technology focused on the high performance polymer, poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK). OPM is the first company to successfully apply additive manufacturing solutions to PEKK by utilizing the company's proprietary OXPEKK® formulation and delivers enterprise level, functional end-use products to the biomedical, aerospace and industrial markets. A pioneer in personalized medicine, OPM became the only company to receive FDA clearance to manufacture 3D printed patient-specific polymeric implants for its cranial prostheses line in February 2013, and its Biomedical division received a second 510(k) for its patient-specific facial implants in July 2014.

For more information, visit: www.oxfordpm.com

Designed specifically with manufacturers in mind, ULTEM 1010 combines superior heat resistance, tensile strength and chemical resistance and can be sterilized using steam autoclaving for medical applications. These properties make the ULTEM 1010 the right choice for aerospace, automotive, food production tooling, and medical device manufacturing and functional prototyping applications. Available for the Fortus 900mc, ULTEM 1010 is bio-compatible and has the only food-contact certification of any FDM thermoplastic.

“The global design and manufacturing market continues to push toward creating smarter products with greater efficiency. Because we believe in, and support this trend, we have announced today a range of solutions that focus on ‘democratizing design.’ Our customers, whatever their size or industry, can now access a wide spectrum of cutting-edge 3D printing capabilities and deliver competitive advantage,” said Gilad Yron, sr. vice president, Product Management, Stratasys. “We invite every designer and manufacturer at this year’s EuroMold to visit one of our three booths to see how 3D printing is shaping the way we manufacture.”

“ULTEM 1010 offers a new level of performance to our FDM materials portfolio,” said Brendan Dillon, product manager for Stratasys. “The combination of the low coefficient of thermal expansion and the industry certifications will allow this material to enhance many current applications, and could open the door to many new users of 3D printing.”

Ideal for aerospace, automotive, food processing and medical device applications, ULTEM 1010 combines strength and thermal stability for advanced industrial tooling. Applications for aerospace and automotive include clips, housings and ducts. Food production tools include patterns, dies and fixtures. Custom medical tools include surgical guides, fixtures and trays.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/fdm/ultem-1010

Published in Stratasys

NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on an advanced rocket engine Thrust Chamber Assembly (TCA) using copper alloy additive manufacturing technology. This testing, conducted for the first time in the industry, was done with cooperation between Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate Game-Changing Development Program and NASA's Glenn Research Center under a Space Act Agreement.

"This work represents another major milestone in the integrated development and certification of the materials characterization, manufacturing processes, analysis and design-tool technologies that are required to successfully implement Selective Laser Melting for critical rocket engine components," said Jay Littles, director of Advanced Launch Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to expand the development of novel material and design solutions made possible through additive manufacturing, which will result in more efficient engines at lower costs. We are working a range of additive manufacturing implementation paths - from affordability and performance enhancement to legacy products such as the RL10 upper stage engine. We also are applying the technology to next-generation propulsion systems, including the Bantam Engine family, as well as our new large, high performance booster engine, the AR1."

The hot-fire tests used Aerojet Rocketdyne's proprietary Selective Laser Melting copper alloy enhanced heat transfer design chamber, which demonstrated a significant increase in performance over traditional combustion chamber designs and material systems. "In all, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne conducted 19 hot-fire tests on four injector and TCA configurations, exploring various mixture ratios and injector operability points. At the conclusion of the tests, the injector and chamber hardware were found to be in excellent condition, and test data correlated with performance predictions," said Lee Ryberg, lead project engineer on Aerojet Rocketdyne's Additive Manufacturing development team.

For more information, visit: www.rocket.com

Published in Aerojet Rocketdyne

Royal DSM introduces Somos® Precise, the latest material for 3D Printing that is designed to create parts and patterns for high temperature applications requiring exceptional detail resolution. In addition, patterns made with Somos® Precise display high levels of dimensional stability even under high humidity conditions. Fine detail and accuracy is a critical need of a part for the invisible dental aligners market. Wuxi Epoch Angel develops and manufactures products for this market using stereolithography, a distinct and unique type of 3D Printing.

“Somos® Precise meets all the requirements for optimizing our process of manufacturing invisible dental aligners,” says Ms. Li Huamin, CEO Wuxi Epoch Angel. “The dental molds made with Somos® Precise display a high level of accuracy which is key for producing our aligners. The introduction of Somos® Precise allows us to greatly improve the reliability of our product and enhance production efficiency by 10 to 15%.”

“We are excited to work with our customers to unlock new applications and optimize their processes,” says Jasper van Dieten-Blom, Global Marketing Manager Somos® at DSM. “We continue to collaborate with our customers and explore opportunities to develop new applications and innovative materials to drive the 3D Printing Industry forward.”

Key Benefits

  • Fast, easy processing & finishing
  • Excellent detail resolution and dimensional stability over time
  • High heat tolerance

Ideal Applications

  • Indirect manufacturing
  • Tooling
  • High temperature testing

DSM believes that 3D printing is a major change agent for the world creating brighter lives for people today and generations to come. Somos® Materials move the Additive Manufacturing industry to a new level of performance. We are dedicated to customer grow in the ever-changing world of 3D Printing and promote this growth through continuous material and application development, encouraging industry collaboration and maximizing customer asset value by providing continuous information and support.

For more information, visit: www.dsm.com/products/somos/en_US/offerings/Somos-Precise.html

Published in DSM

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS), a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, today announced availability of a new thermoplastic material option for its FDM-based production 3D printers: ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate).

ASA is an all-purpose material used for the production of prototypes, manufacturing tools and finished goods. Manufacturers in the automotive, electronics, commercial, sporting goods and construction industries can benefit from ASA's UV stability, strength and durability. Applications include jigs and fixtures, electrical boxes, recreational vehicles and outdoor tools.

Compatible with the Fortus 360mc, 400mc and 900mc 3D Production Systems, ASA thermoplastic surpasses the capabilities of ABS, offering UV resistance, so parts will resist fading and remain durable with long-term exposure to direct sunlight. ASA offers an exceptional surface finish and has the best aesthetics of any FDM material available. Compared to ABS, details such as printed text and other features are greatly improved by ASA's matte finish.

"As 3D printing becomes a more mainstream production process, and parts are used for a longer period of time and in diverse environments, UV resistance becomes a must-have feature," explains Brendan Dillon, product manager for Stratasys. "Once customers use ASA, they may not go back to ABS."

Easy to use, ASA is a "green-flag" material allowing Stratasys Insight software users the ability to produce parts using default settings with a single click. Available in black and ivory, ASA is compatible with existing Stratasys SR-30 support material and priced similar to ABS.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/fdm/asa

Published in Stratasys

Global material and innovation consultancy Material ConneXion has inducted igus’ latest material, its 3D tribo-filament, into its polymers library, voting it best material at the monthly jury. The Material ConneXion’s material library features over 7,500 cutting-edge materials in eight categories, which designers, students, and other subscribers to the library use as a resource in developing their projects. Material ConneXion’s international network of specialists provide a global, cross-industry perspective on materials, design, product development, and innovation.

Samples of igus’ filament will be sent to the various locations of the materials library, which is located 8 cities, including Bangkok, Milan, Tokyo, and New York City. The material, according to Fiona Anastas, Materials Specialist with the firm, sparked discussion on the value of “performance vs ‘pretty’ 3D printing materials.”

igus’ filament is the world’s first filament developed for moving applications, and is tested to be 50 times more abrasion-resistant than PLA filament. The material allows the expansion of 3D printing from a prototyping system to a way of creating usable components for moving applications.

For more information, visit: www.igus.com/filament or www.materialconnexion.com

Published in igus

3-D printers can create all kinds of things, from eyeglasses to implantable medical devices, straight from a computer model and without the need for molds. But for making spacecraft, engineers sometimes need custom parts that traditional manufacturing techniques and standard 3-D printers can’t create, because they need to have the properties of multiple metals. Now, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are implementing a printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.

“You can have a continuous transition from alloy to alloy to alloy, and you can study a wide range of potential alloys,” said R. Peter Dillon, a technologist at JPL. “We think it’s going to change materials research in the future.”

Although gradient alloys have been created in the past in research and development settings, this is the first time these composite materials have been used in making objects, such as a mount for a mirror, said John Paul Borgonia, a JPL mechanical engineer.

Why would you need to make a machine part like this? Say you want a metal object where you would like the ends to have different properties. One side could have a high melting temperature and the other a low density, or one side could be magnetic and the other not. Of course, you could separately make both halves of the object from their respective metals and then weld them together. But the weld itself may be brittle, so that your new object might fall apart under stress. That’s not a good idea if you are constructing an interplanetary spacecraft, for example, which cannot be fixed once it is deployed.

JPL scientists have been developing a technique to address this problem since 2010. An effort to improve the methods of combining parts made of different materials in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which safely landed the Curiosity rover on the Red Planet in 2012, inspired a project to 3-D print components with multiple alloy compositions.

Researchers from JPL, the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and Pennsylvania State University, University Park, joined forces to tackle the issue. The result has implications for space travel and machinery on our own planet.

“We’re taking a standard 3-D printing process and combining the ability to change the metal powder that the part is being built with on the fly,” said Douglas Hofmann, a researcher in material science and metallurgy at JPL, and visiting associate at Caltech. “You can constantly be changing the composition of the material.”

In their new technique, Hofmann and his colleagues deposit layers of metal on a rotating rod, thus transitioning metals from the inside out, rather than adding layers from bottom to top, as in the more traditional 3-D printing technique. A laser melts metal powder to create the layers.

Future space missions may incorporate parts made with this technique. The auto industry and the commercial aerospace industry may also find it useful, Hofmann said.

A report on this work was published in Scientific Reports on June 19. Coauthors include Douglas Hofmann; Scott Roberts, Joanna Kolodziejska and Andrew A. Shapiro from Caltech and JPL; R. Peter Dillon, Jong-ook Suh, and John-Paul Borgonia from JPL; and Richard Otis and Zi-Kui Liu from Pennsylvania State University. The work was funded by NASA. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov

Published in NASA

Sculptify today introduced David, an innovative 3D Printer that works directly with pelletized materials.

The release of David brings a new printing method to the personal 3D printing world.  The printer utilizes Sculptify-developed FLEX technology, which allows users to create objects from a wide range of pelletized materials — each with their own unique properties.

“David is an incredibly versatile device, that can be used by both consumers and prosumers alike,” said Slade Simpson, Sculptify Co-Founder and CEO. “Sculptify believes that for 3D printing to reach its fullest potential, printers need to be able to serve hundreds of different purposes. We think that FLEX technology is the next logical step in making this possible.”

David features both groundbreaking technology and commercial-grade components, all specifically designed to provide versatility, speed, and accuracy.  A removable print platform and easy loading system makes David as easy to use as it is powerful.

“We came up with the name David after being inspired by the famous sculpture created by Michelangelo.  It’s one of the most recognized works of art in the world, and reminds us that with the right tools, anything is possible,” said Slade Simpson, CEO of Sculptify, “We have poured our hearts and souls into this printer for the past year and a half, and we are really excited to get it into people’s hands.”

Fused Layer Extrusion (FLEX) technology, is a printing method only found in Sculptify products, which utilizes pelletized materials rather than plastic filament.

“We think that FLEX printing is going to open the door to hundreds of new applications in both the consumer and commercial sectors because of the unique, and growing material library — we are venturing into a new realm of 3D printing,” said Todd Linthicum, President and Co-Founder.

Mass produced consumer products often begin in the form of pelletized materials.  They are traditionally the least processed and lowest cost form of materials available.

“David provides customers with the freedom to choose from an extensive selection of materials — which range from hard and durable to soft and flexible. By eliminating the dependence on filament, Sculptify can offer exotic materials and composites never before used in 3D printing,” said Luke Daniel, Director of Business Development.

Sculptify plans to go live on Kickstarter soon. The company will offer production units to Kickstarter backers in exchange for funding contributions.

For more information, visit: www.sculptify.com/David

Published in Sculptify

CVMR Corporation (“CVMR®”) announced its intention to establish three new divisions in the United States: Metal Powder Manufacturing; Metal Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) Equipment Design and Development; & Metal Powder Innovation Centre.

The Metal Powder Manufacturing plant and Metal Additive Manufacturing Plant will be housed in Kentucky and the Metal Powder Innovation Centre will be located in Tennessee. Phase 1 of all three Divisions will be operational by December 2015, and will gradually expand over the following 3 years.

CVMR Corporation (“CVMR®”) manufactures pure metal powders, metal nano powders, and metal alloy powders of various morphologies, specifically for the additive manufacturing sector. CVMR® uses its proprietary Carbonyl and other proprietary Vapour Metallurgical processes in manufacturing these powders.

CVMR® has partnered with a number of prominent equipment manufacturers in the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing field in order to design and build state of the art equipment, using CVMR®’s metal powders as feed material. “This will create a fully integrated operation, from the mineral sources to the end-user products for CVMR®. We either own most of the mining concessions that supply the raw material for our operations, or we have long-term off take agreements with prominent mining companies who supply us with various metal ores or concentrates, worldwide. We refine those minerals, using our proprietary processes and technologies, and now our clients can actually use our metal powders using our equipment to manufacture state of the art end user products," Dr. Kamran M. Khozan, Chairman and CEO of CVMR®, announced at a press conference in New York, today.

He added, “We are currently negotiating with a number of multinational corporations, in the United States and Europe, that have the technical know-how, to partner with us in developing the next generation of additive manufacturing equipment such that they can be used in as many industries as possible, almost off the shelf.”

CVMR® has also carried out extensive research in new methods of Extrusion molding, using metal powders.

The following metals powders and their various alloys are currently being produced by CVMR®: Nickel, Iron, Chromium, Cobalt, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Vanadium, Titanium, Tantalum, Niobium, and others.

These metals and their various alloys are produced by CVMR® from low cost feed sources, such as CVMR®’s own mineral concessions, low-grade ores, concentrates, and scrap metals. Dr. Khozan added, “Our technology allows us to refine low grade ores, quite efficiently. That has helped us to compete in quality and price, simultaneously, in the additive manufacturing market. The development of our fully integrated systems is yet another step in that direction.”

Besides metal powders, CVMR® produces net shapes, coatings and super alloys for the electronics and other high tech industries.

CVMR Corporation (CVMR®) is a privately held multinational organization with its head office and R&D Centre in Toronto, Canada. It is engaged in manufacturing of high value metal powders, net shapes and super alloys using CVMR®’s proprietary vapour metallurgy processes and providing a range of technologically innovative solutions to the mining, refining and metal powder manufacturing industries. CVMR® employs over 42,000 technicians and engineers in 18 countries.

For more information, visit: www.cvmr.ca

Published in CVMR

Mcor Technologies Ltd, manufacturer of the only line of desktop paper-based 3D printers has announced a new flexible finishing option, Mcor FLEX. Mcor FLEX provides users of Mcor’s IRIS and Matrix lines of 3D printers with the option to produce pliable 3D printed models that are water resistant, while remaining true to Mcor’s ethos of providing 3D printing technology that is low cost, accessible and durable.

Mcor 3D printers produce physical, 3D objects from ordinary letter and A4 paper. When sheets of paper are cut and bonded together, the resulting model is tough and durable enough to be tapped, threaded and hinged. Models are safe and eco-friendly and can be disposed of in the recycling bin for cradle-to-grave sustainability.

Because the paper is 70% porous, it acts like a scaffold for the infiltrant, enabling it to take on the properties of that infiltrant material. Flexible 3D printed model properties are achieved with Mcor FLEX by quickly and easily treating 3D printed models produced on Mcor IRIS and Matrix 3D printers with Mcor’s specially formulated water-based PVA coating.

“At Mcor, we continue to innovate in order to provide a wider audience with more options for accessible, safe, professional-class 3D printing technology,” said Dr. Conor MacCormack, co-founder and CEO of Mcor Technologies Ltd. “Mcor FLEX is ideally suited for use in a variety of 3D printing applications where flexible material properties are important, including packaging, product design, education, fine arts and digital arts, among others.”

Mcor FLEX is immediately available through Mcor’s network of Authorised Dealers.

For more information, visit: www.mcortechnologies.com

Published in Mcor Technologies

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) released a previously announced extension to its range of flexible and rigid material options for the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer.

Hundreds of new rubber-like color materials and many rigid ones combined with existing options, allow virtually unlimited combinations of flexible, rigid, and translucent-to-opaque colors in a single print run. The new color options are ideal for creating medical, automotive and consumer product components in popular gray along with vibrant color components that offer true-to-life aesthetics. This allows the production of complete products without manual assembly. And it allows product designers to validate designs and make decisions further in advance of tooling to improve designs and reduce tooling costs, reduce development cycle and time-to-market.

"The Objet500 Connex3 is the only 3D printer that combines colors with multi-material 3D printing. The ability to mix rigid, flexible, transparent and opaque colors offers users unprecedented versatility to design and perfect products faster," says Stratasys Director of Materials & Applications Fred Fischer. "By extending the range of material options available, users can improve workflow speeds and enhance efficiency."

Ranging from transparent to opaque and spanning a wide selection of Shore A values, the new flexible color options comprise six rubber material palettes. These consist of:

  • Three flexible 72-color palettes, composed of rubber-like (TangoPlus) and combinations of rigid opaque (VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow) materials.

  • Three flexible 68-color palettes, built with rubber-like (TangoBlackPlus) and combinations of the same rigid opaque (Vero) colors.

Further strengthening its rigid color range, Stratasys also increased the number of gray and subtle color options with:

  • Three 45-color rigid gray palettes, each of which combines rigid VeroWhite and VeroBlack with colors.

  • One 45-hue gray palette, with varying levels of translucency, and which includes a reflective luster for the production of sleek, high-quality parts for products such as consumer electronics.

The new flexible color options are available immediately to Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer owners through a free software update.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/3d-printers/design-series/precision/objet500-connex3

Published in Stratasys

Arcam launched a process for Inconel 718® as a qualified material for use in Arcam’s EBM systems. The Inconel process is initially available for the Arcam A2X platform. The machine material parameters and mechanical testing was done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Parts made in the new process are exhibited at the Rapid conference in Detroit, MI, June 10-12.

“With the introduction of the Inconel 718 our customers in the aerospace industry can now further expand the range of components that they produce in their EBM machines”, says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam.

The material properties comply with chemical requirements of UNS N07718 and properties of ASTM F3055-14 specification.

INCONEL® is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation.

Arcam provides a cost-efficient Additive Manufacturing solution for production of metal components. The technology offers freedom in design combined with excellent material properties and high productivity. Arcam’s market is global with customers mainly in the orthopedic and aerospace industries. The company was founded in 1997 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, Sweden. Head office and production facilities are located in Mölndal, Sweden. Support offices are located in the US, UK, Italy and China.

For more information, visit: www.arcam.com

Published in Arcam

As OEMs seek to develop vehicle lightweighting strategies that will allow them to cost-effectively meet fuel economy targets, they are increasingly shifting their focus to incorporate mixed-material solutions at mass produced scales.

However, applying lightweight materials to mass-produced vehicles comes with a fresh set of challenges. OEMs need to:

  • Select the optimal combination of materials including aluminum, high-strength steel, composites and magnesium
  • Source them in the volumes and specifications required for high volume production
  • Determine the optimal joining and casting techniques for mixed material manufacturing at scale

To respond to these challenges, we are delighted to announce the 3rd Annual Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Initiative: Detroit 2014, the flagship event in American Business Conferences’ world leading Automotive Lightweighting Series.

This year's event will feature presentations from the likes of Ford, GM, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Volvo to examine the latest advances in material selection & mixed-material joining techniques for lightweight vehicles.  With a totally revamped agenda, the focus of presentations will be on the technical solutions that are having the biggest success in mass produced applications for lightweight vehicles in the USA.

Features Of The Brand New Agenda Include:

1) FOCUS ON MASS PRODUCTION

  • Spotlight on the technologies that are successfully being applied at high volume to help develop cost-effective mass-produced lightweight vehicles

2) ANALYSIS OF ALUMINUM & MIXED MATERIAL JOINING INCLUDING:

  • Resistance Spot Welding
  • Laser Welding
  • Adhesives
  • Self-Piercing Rivets

3) MATERIAL-BY-MATERIAL BREAKDOWN OF SELECTION & OPTIMIZATION INCLUDING:

  • Aluminum
  • Carbon Fiber & Other Emerging Composites
  • High Strength Steel
  • Magnesium
  • Mixed Material Solutions

4) CORROSION PREVENTION

5) VEHICLE REPAIR & CRASH PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES

6) LATEST ADVANCES IN CASTING

For more information or to register, visit: www.global-automotive-lightweight-materials-detroit-2014.com

Until now the only way engineers and designers could print prototypes and parts fabricated from polycarbonate, nylon and other engineering-grade materials requiring high temperatures was to purchase large, expensive 3D printers. Today, Airwolf 3D announced a major price/performance breakthrough with the introduction of its AW3D HDx, a desktop 3D printer that prints engineer-grade materials.

Based on the proven AW3D frame, the HDx comes standard with Airwolf 3D’s advanced JRx (jam resistant) hot end. The patent-pending JRx can sustain temperatures of 315 degrees Celsius (599 degrees Fahrenheit), which easily handles polycarbonate, Bridge nylon, Nylon 645 and over a dozen other materials.

“Imagine a 3D printer that can print engineering-grade materials placed on every desktop,” said Erick Wolf, founder and CEO of Airwolf 3D. “Imagine the creativity it could unleash as engineers and artists experiment and create objects that until now were virtually impossible to affordably print. That’s our vision: to bring imagination to the desktop.”

The AW3D HDx 3D printer upgrades the current AW3D HD, with higher acceleration, faster movement and more accurate positioning. It also uses nylon gears for less wear and longer life and a finer pitch lead screw for increased z positioning accuracy. It features a class-leading build envelope of 1,150 cubic inches (12” x 8” x 12”), making it ideal for large prototyping. The printer offers layer-to-layer resolution as fine as 0.06mm and a maximum print speed of 150mm/s with a positioning precision of 0.02mm. No link-up to a computer is required and it comes fully assembled and calibrated.

For current customers, Airwolf 3D’s JRx hot end can be retrofitted on existing AW3D HD and AW3D XL 3D printers, providing an inexpensive upgrade path that enables them to print engineering-grade materials.

Airwolf 3D is committed to manufacturing high-performance 3D printers that are fast, affordable, durable and easy to use. All 3D printers are made in America, manufactured in the company’s 12,000 sq. ft. facility in Costa Mesa, Calif. Currently, Airwolf 3D printers can be found in engineering firms, government agencies and schools worldwide.

For more information, visit: www.airwolf3d.com

Published in Airwolf 3D

The ExOne Company (NASDAQ: XONE) ("ExOne") announced that its research and development department, the ExOne Material Applications Laboratory (“ExMAL”), has qualified Inconel® alloy 625, a nickel-based alloy.  This introduction represents ExOne’s first single metal alloy for 3D printing industrial applications at more than 99 percent density, utilizing its binder jetting technology.

Inconel® alloy 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace, chemical and energy markets, with applications including gas turbine blades, filtration and separation, heat exchanger and molding processes.  The metal is desirable due to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities, able to retain its strength even when subjected to extreme environments such as high pressure or wide temperature ranges.  Inconel® alloy 625 has been qualified for use on ExOne’s M-Flex and X1-Lab 3D printing machines.  The Company expects to commercialize Inconel® alloy 625 around June 1, 2014.

Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer, commented, “Our qualification of the more than 99 percent dense Inconel® alloy 625 further validates ExOne’s binder jetting technology as a cost-effective 3D printing industrial solution.  Our machines provide higher volumetric output per unit of time compared with other metal 3D printing technologies, and greater flexibility for simultaneously printing multiple production parts.  We believe that the ability to directly print highly dense metal components increases our competitive edge with both subtractive manufacturers and other metal 3D printing technologies.”

The Company’s ExMAL group continues to partner with customers in researching a variety of printing materials.  This is part of its ongoing quest to increase ExOne’s portfolio of qualified metals to address a broader opportunity set of applications.  ExMAL is in various development stages with several metals, including titanium, which has produced excellent results in preliminary testing and printing research.  New materials combined with new product designs tailored to 3D printing will create disruptive market opportunities for customers and also expand the addressable market.  In accordance with its strategy, the Company continues to be in varying stages of qualifying additional industrial materials approximately every six months.

ExOne is a global provider of 3D printing machines and printed products, materials and other services to industrial customers. ExOne’s business primarily consists of manufacturing and selling 3D printing machines and printing products to specification for its customers using its in-house 3D printing machines. ExOne offers pre-production collaboration and print products for customers through its seven PSCs, which are located in the United States, Germany, and Japan. ExOne builds 3D printing machines at its facilities in the United States and Germany. ExOne also supplies the associated materials, including consumables and replacement parts, and other services, including training and technical support, necessary for purchasers of its machines to print products.

For more information, visit: www.exone.com

Published in ExOne

Royal DSM introduces Somos® PerFORM, the latest composite material for 3D Printing, answering the need for parts that require thermal stability, extreme accuracy and a quick turnaround. Users can achieve maximum accuracy and detail with a reduced processing time with Somos® PerFORM, which is available for 355nm and 365nm photopolymer-based machines for 3D printing.

“We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Somos® product portfolio and the expansion into 365nm equipment,” says Kelly Hawkinson, Global Marketing Manager Somos®. “Somos® PerFORM creates durable parts with dimensional stability, high detail and excellent surface finish that are ideal for the rigorous testing in the automotive and aerospace industries. The added durability of Somos® PerFORM allows tooling to be designed with the strength needed to achieve more parts per mold than traditional stereolithography materials used in the injection molding industry.”

Based in Cologne, Germany, Toyota Motorsport GmbH offers design, development, testing and production services to the Toyota family, as well as external, independent clients with wind tunnel services, engine testing and electric vehicle development. TMG runs 10 stereolithography machines with a large capacity to handle a multitude of requests to deliver wind tunnel parts and even actual bodywork parts for their hybrid high performance race cars. TMG has introduced Somos® PerFORM into the portfolio of materials that they run for stereolithography, a distinct and unique subset of 3D printing.

“Toyota Motorsport GmbH is proud to have such a mutually-beneficial relationship with DSM. It has been a fascinating experience to work together on the development and first commercial use of Somos® PerFORM,” says Gerard Winstanley, Toyota Motorsports GmbH, Manager Composites Fabrication and Rapid Manufacturing. “We are extremely excited about the high-definition detail and side wall quality of the parts, along with its stability and ease of processing in our stereolithography equipment. The advances we have seen with Somos® PerFORM have allowed TMG to break into a new area of the industry and this perfectly illustrates how big of a step DSM has made with this material. Using Somos® PerFORM, TMG is now able to produce tooling for injection molding; combining the cost efficiency and fast production times of traditional additive manufacturing with the accuracy and high definition required in the injection molding industry. This has been made possible through the innovative characteristics of Somos® PerFORM and we are looking forward to sharing these advantages with our customers in the very near future.”

DSM believes that 3D printing is a major change agent for the world creating  brighter lives for people today and generations to come. Somos® Materials move the Additive Manufacturing industry to a new level of performance.  We are dedicated to customer grow in the ever-changing world of 3D Printing and promote this growth through continuous material and application development, encouraging industry collaboration and maximizing customer asset value by providing continuous information and support.

For more information, visit: www.dsm.com/products/somos/en_US/home.html

Published in DSM

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, introduced Endur, an advanced simulated polypropylene material for use with all Objet EdenV, Objet Connex, Objet500 Connex3 and Objet 30Pro 3D Printers.

Endur simulated polypropylene has excellent dimensional stability and a smooth surface finish.

As a durable and flexible addition to Stratasys' growing materials portfolio, Endur offers both high impact resistance and elongation at break, resulting in tough parts. The material also has a heat-deflection temperature up to 129°F / 54°C (HDT @ 0.45MPa per ASTM D-648-06) and has excellent dimensional stability for its material class.

These properties make the new material suitable for a wide range of form, fit and assembly applications, including:

  • Flexible living hinges
  • Moving parts
  • Assembled parts
  • Snap-fit parts such as those used for lids and packaging case applications.

In addition, Endur, which is available in bright white, features an excellent surface finish, for a smooth look and feel. This makes the material well-suited for prototyping household appliances, consumer goods, automotive parts and lab equipment.

"Beta field trials showed high user satisfaction with Endur for models and prototypes of polypropylene parts," says Stratasys product director for materials and applications, Fred Fischer. "During Beta testing, customers testing Endur acknowledged its toughness and flexibility, and they believed the material would address future needs. Due to Endur's excellent simulated polypropylene properties, testing customers were able to address a variety of applications, including moving parts, snap-fit components and small cases and containers."

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/polyjet/simulated-polypropylene

Published in Stratasys

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) has opened a new state-of-the-art laboratories building that will enable the company to provide innovative technical solutions to customers with more agility and efficiency.

The Advanced Materials & Thermal Sciences Center, with 82,000 square feet of floor space, will house 130 engineers, scientists and staff. The new laboratories will host advanced research and development in emerging technology areas like 3-D printing, energetics, thermal sciences, nanotechnology, synthesis, high temperature materials and advanced devices.

“This magnificent new facility will be home to many of the innovative technologies that will help shape the future of space payloads, satellites and missile systems,” said Dr. Kenneth Washington, vice president of the ATC. “Scientists and engineers here are creating advanced materials like our CuantumFuse™ nano-copper, which promises to make more reliable electrical connections in space and other applications. We’re also perfecting technologies to manage the heat generated by on-board satellite sensors. Our new microcryocooler is the smallest satellite cooler ever developed, another example of the ground-breaking technologies we’re advancing in this lab.”

The new building was designed and constructed to achieve a Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices including sustainability; water efficiency; energy efficiency and atmospheric quality; use of materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovations in upgrades, operations and maintenance. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Building Rating System is a voluntary national standard for high-performance sustainable buildings.

“Our new Materials and Thermal Sciences Center is not just a home for innovation, it’s a shining example of the benefits of sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices,” said Marshall Case, vice president of Infrastructure Services at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “By replacing two other buildings that are each 50 years old with this new facility, we’ll save $1 million in annual maintenance costs, cut energy costs by more than 60 percent, and reduce our carbon footprint. This new facility is better for the environment, more affordable for our business and more versatile for our technologists.”

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

For more information, visit: www.lockheedmartin.com

Published in Lockheed Martin

EOS, the technology and market leader for design-driven and industrial Additive Manufacturing solutions, expands its metal materials portfolio with EOS StainlessSteel 316L.

This stainless-steel alloy has been optimized specifically for processing on the EOSINT M 280 metal laser-sintering system. It shows a good corrosion resistance and a high ductility. Parts built from EOS StainlessSteel 316L have a chemical composition corresponding to ASTM F138 (“Standard Specification for Wrought 18Cr-14Ni-2.5Mo Stainless Steel Bar and Wire for Surgical Implants UNS S31673”). In the medical industry, this alloy is particularly suited for surgical instruments, endoscopic surgery, orthopedics and implants.

The material is also a good choice for use in the watch and jewelry industries, where the designer benefits from extensive freedom of design. Shaping and structural restrictions as such are a thing of the past. Parts such as watch cases (thanks to defined hollow spaces) can be manufactured more cost-efficiently and easily, saving resources. The material is also well suited for additive manufacturing applications such as spectacle frames or functional elements in yachts. In the aerospace industry, EOS StainlessSteel is a good choice for the manufacture of clamping elements or heat exchangers. Parts manufactured from that material can be mechanically post-processed or polished.

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Germany, EOS is the technology and market leader for design-driven, integrated e-Manufacturing solutions for Additive Manufacturing (AM), an industrial 3D printing process. EOS offers a modular solution portfolio including systems, software, materials and material development as well as services (maintenance, training, specific application consulting and support). As an industrial manufacturing process it allows the fast and flexible production of high-end parts based on 3D CAD data at a repeatable industry level of quality. As a disruptive technology it paves the way for a paradigm shift in product design and manufacturing. It accelerates product development, offers freedom of design, optimizes part structures, and enables lattice structures as well as functional integration. As such, it creates significant competitive advantages for its customers.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info

Published in EOS

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a method to carry out large-scale manufacturing of everyday objects — from cell phones to food containers and toys — using a fully degradable bioplastic isolated from shrimp shells. The objects exhibit many of the same properties as those created with synthetic plastics, but without the environmental threat. It also trumps most bioplastics on the market today in posing absolutely no threat to trees or competition with the food supply.

Most bioplastics are made from cellulose, a plant-based polysaccharide material. The Wyss Institute team developed its bioplastic from chitosan, a form of chitin, which is a powerful player in the world of natural polymers and the second most abundant organic material on Earth. Chitin is a long-chain polysaccharide that is responsible for the hardy shells of shrimps and other crustaceans, armor-like insect cuticles, tough fungal cell walls — and flexible butterfly wings.

The majority of available chitin in the world comes from discarded shrimp shells, and is either thrown away or used in fertilizers, cosmetics, or dietary supplements, for example. However, material engineers have not been able to fabricate complex three-dimensional (3D) shapes using chitin-based materials — until now.

The Wyss Institute team, led by Postdoctoral Fellow Javier Fernandez, Ph.D., and Founding Director Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., developed a new way to process the material so that it can be used to fabricate large, 3D objects with complex shapes using traditional casting or injection molding manufacturing techniques. What's more, their chitosan bioplastic breaks down when returned to the environment within about two weeks, and it releases rich nutrients that efficiently support plant growth.

"There is an urgent need in many industries for sustainable materials that can be mass produced," Ingber said. Ingber is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "Our scalable manufacturing method shows that chitosan, which is readily available and inexpensive, can serve as a viable bioplastic that could potentially be used instead of conventional plastics for numerous industrial applications."

The advance reflects the next iteration of a material called Shrilk that replicated the appearance and unique material properties of living insect cuticle, which the same team unveiled about two years ago in Advanced Materials. They called it Shrilk because it was composed of chitin from shrimp shells plus a protein from silk.

In this study, the team used the shrimp shells but ditched the silk in their quest to create an even cheaper, easier-to-make chitin-based bioplastic primed for widespread manufacturing.

It turns out the small stuff really mattered, Fernandez said. After subjecting chitosan to a battery of tests, he learned that the molecular geometry of chitosan is very sensitive to the method used to formulate it. The goal, therefore, was to fabricate the chitosan in a way that preserves the integrity of its natural molecular structure, thus maintaining its strong mechanical properties.

"Depending on the fabrication method, you either get a chitosan material that is brittle and opaque, and therefore not usable, or tough and transparent, which is what we were after," said Fernandez, who recently won the Bayer "Early Excellence in Science" Award for his achievements in materials science and engineering.

After fully characterizing in detail how factors like temperature and concentration affect the mechanical properties of chitosan on a molecular level, Fernandez and Ingber honed in on a method that produced a pliable liquid crystal material that was just right for use in large-scale manufacturing methods, such as casting and injection molding.

Significantly, they also found a way to combat the problem of shrinkage whereby the chitosan polymer fails to maintain its original shape after the injection molding process. Adding wood flour, a waste product from wood processing, did the trick.

"You can make virtually any 3D form with impressive precision from this type of chitosan," said Fernandez, who molded a series of chess pieces to illustrate the point. The material can also be modified for use in water and also easily dyed by changing the acidity of the chitosan solution.

This advance validates the potential of using bioinspired plastics for applications that require large-scale manufacturing, Fernandez explained. The next challenge is for the team to continue to refine their chitosan fabrication methods so that they can take them out of the laboratory, and move them into a commercial manufacturing facility with an industrial partner.

For more information, visit: wyss.harvard.edu

Published in Harvard

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is connecting Washington’s leaders, OEMs and composites industry executives at the Composites Executive Forum, April 1-3, 2014, at the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington, DC. This new event provides senior business executives within the composites industry a venue for understanding market development opportunities and the economic landscape that relates to structural material markets.

“There are always opportunities and risks when navigating markets, however the insights of end users and federal agencies that influence structural material selection help executives evaluate those opportunities.” said ACMA’s president Tom Dobbins. The Forum is designed to provide those insights, in an intimate setting for peer-to-peer networking. Participants will gain overview of legislative and regulatory issues affecting the composites industry, with the opportunity to visit with Members of Congress.

“This event provides attendees with intelligence on all the major markets including energy, transportation and infrastructure” Dobbins added. “Participants are going to walk away with new insights on markets and contacts with thought leaders in composites.”

Featured Speakers:

Robert Perciasepe

Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Ed Gillespie
US Senate Candidate, Virginia
Former Councilor to the President and Past Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Senior Senator North Carolina
Armed Services and Budget Committees Member
Composites Advocate

William Bryan
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration
Department of Energy

Gene Camponeschi, PhD, PE
US Office of Naval Research
Manufacturing Technology Program

Chad Moutray, PhD
Chief Economist
National Association of Manufacturers

Carol Schutte, PhD
US Department of Energy
Materials in Vehicle Technologies Program Leader

Rayola Dougher
Senior Economic Advisor
American Petroleum Institute

Gail Hahn, PhD
Technical Fellow
Boeing Research and Technology

Sanjay Mazumdar, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, Lucintel

Steve Johnson, GE Energy
Manager, Wind Advanced Manufacturing Engineering

REGISTRATION: $1,200 ACMA member/ $1,799 for non-members – Includes two breakfasts, two lunches, a networking reception and an evening dinner with Former GOP Chair and Virginia Senate Candidate Edward Gillespie.

For more information or to register, visit: www.acmanet.org/cef

Published in ACMA

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a manufacturer of 3D printers and materials for personal use, prototyping, and production, announced the launch of the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer.

A game-changer for product design, engineering and manufacturing processes, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer features a unique triple-jetting technology that combines droplets of three base materials to produce parts with virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent color materials as well as color digital materials - all in a single print run. This ability to achieve the characteristics of an assembled part without assembly or painting is a significant time-saver. It helps product manufacturers validate designs and make good decisions earlier before committing to manufacturing, and bring products to market faster.

Engineers at beta user Trek Bicycle in Waterloo, Wisconsin are using the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer for assessment and testing of accessories like bike chain stay guards and handlebar grips prior to actual production. "The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer changed the way we manufacture at Trek, augmenting our traditional, time-consuming CNC processes with fast, iterative and realistic prototyping and functional testing," says Mike Zeigle, manager of Trek's prototype development group.

"Now we produce bicycle parts that look and feel like production parts. We are particularly excited about 3D printing our models directly in color. This gives our designers the ability to graphically display color contact pressure map data on rider contact parts like seats and grips. We are also working on doing the same with FEA & CFD stress data on structural bike components," adds Zeigle.

Similar to a 2D inkjet printer, three color materials - VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow - are combined to produce hundreds of vivid colors. These color materials join Stratasys' extensive range of PolyJet photopolymer materials including digital materials, rigid, rubber-like, transparent, and high temperature materials to simulate standard and high temperature engineering plastics.

The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer also features six palettes for new rubber-like Tango colors, ranging from opaque to transparent colors in various shore values to address markets such as automotive, consumer and sporting goods and fashion.

"Since its introduction in 2007, the Objet Connex Multi-material 3D printing platform has paved the way for the development of advanced 3D printing materials with unique mechanical and thermal properties," says Stratasys VP of product marketing and sales operations Igal Zeitun. "The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer produces models and parts using photopolymers in vivid colors so you can create colorful models from investigating concepts to pre-production pilot runs.

"As the first true multi-purpose 3D printer, we believe the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer is in a league of its own, enabling you to dream up a product in the morning, and hold it in your hands by the afternoon, with the exact intended color, material properties and surface finish."

Ideal for over-molding with Digital ABS and complex multi-material parts, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer is designed to enable designers, engineers and manufacturers to create models, molds and parts that match the characteristics of production parts. It 3D prints models and parts with the color, durability and surface finish of end products. This includes achieving excellent mechanical properties such as tensile strength, elongation at break, and multiple hardness shore values, which simulate high performance thermoplastics. It also allows overmolding using durable Digital ABS materials and introduces new Shore A values for Digital ABS, ranging from A27 to A95, a major advantage in manufacturing consumer products.

Featuring a large build envelope, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer is ideal for high capacity production. Print jobs can run with about 30kg of resin per cycle. True to the high resolutions available with PolyJet 3D printing technology, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer prints as fine as 16 micron layers for models with superior surface finish and ultra-fine detail.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/Objet500Connex3

Published in Stratasys

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the acquisition of Village Plastics, a manufacturer of filament-based ABS, PLA and HIPS 3D printing materials. Through its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Norton, Ohio, Village Plastics delivers the highest quality, precision 3D printing filaments. 3DS plans to immediately integrate Village Plastics materials and manufacturing technologies to accelerate its development of advanced filament-based materials for its growing Cube® and CubeX™ 3D printers. Additionally, the company plans to support all of Village Plastics’ existing customers by providing full access to its complete portfolio of design-to-manufacturing products and services.

“Village Plastics brings significant filament-based material development know-how and large scale manufacturing expertise that are vitally important to our Cube 3D printer consumer and prosumer growth initiatives,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3D Systems. “With the Village team on board, we expect to be able to enhance the profitability of this growing category and fast track the delivery of new high-performance filament-based products for the benefit of our users worldwide.”

Village Plastics Co. is a precision manufacturer of thermoplastic 3D printing filament. The company offers an extensive product line and possesses manufacturing capabilities to extrude custom sizes, shapes and profiles to meet customer requirements for extruded products. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is located in Norton, Ohio, with completely customized extrusion lines. Combined with in-house tooling capabilities, the company can provide cost-effective extrusion solutions. Delivering near perfect consistency, monitoring with laser micrometers gives Village Plastics Co. an absolute edge over the competition by providing a superior level of precision and quality at competitive prices. Village Plastics Co. is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations.

For more information, visit: www.villageplastics.com

Published in 3D Systems

Arcam has signed an agreement to acquire the AP&C division from Raymor Industries for a total of 35 million Canadian dollars (“CAD”) in a combination of upfront cash payment and installments.

AP&C is a global manufacturer of high quality metal powders and has been a supplier of titanium powders to Arcam since 2006. Titanium powder is an important part of Arcam’s offering to its customers. With this acquisition, Arcam has secured access to high quality titanium powder for its customers’ quickly growing business.

AP&C uses proprietary Plasma Atomization technology to produce metal powders where titanium alloy powder today is the largest product. A significant part of AP&C sales is to the 3D-Printing industry. Other markets include Metal Injection Molding (MIM), powders for spray coatings as well as powders for HIPed components. Arcam and the team at AP&C intend to continue expand the powder business and advance the Plasma Atomization technology.

The AP&C division is expected to generate CAD 6.5 M of revenue during 2013 with an EBITDA result of about CAD 1.5 M. The acquired business, with currently 29 employees, will become a subsidiary of Arcam and continue operating with the existing management team.

The total purchase price amounts to CAD 35 million where a cash payment amounting to CAD 20 million will be paid on closing and the remaining part as two installments to be made in 2015 and 2016 subject to certain targets being met. The acquisition is expected to have a positive effect on Arcam’s earnings per share in 2014.

Closing of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to take place in the first quarter 2014.

Financing is secured through existing cash and a bank credit facility. Arcam also has the possibility to issue up to 400,000 new shares through the authorization given to the Board of Directors by the extraordinary general meeting held on December 6, 2013.

“With this acquisition Arcam secures access to the optimum production of high grade metal powders for our customers and we also add technology and expertise in powder metal production for 3D-printing in general and other advanced applications,” says Magnus René, President and CEO of Arcam. “This acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy, complements our technology and product portfolio, and is immediately accretive. We are very pleased to welcome the skilled team at AP&C to the Arcam group“

“With this deal we will be a part of the leading company in 3D-printing in metals. Because of our long term close cooperation with Arcam we know that this deal will give us a very good platform for continued growth in the 3D-printing industry. Being part of a larger group will also help in accelerating growth to better service the overall metal powder market”, says Jacques Mallette, President of Raymor Industries and future President of Arcam’s powder business.

The above information has been made public in accordance with the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was published on December 13, 2013.

For more information, visit: www.arcam.com

Published in Arcam

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a manufacturer of 3D printers and materials, introduced FDM Nylon 12, the first nylon material specifically engineered for the company’s line of Fortus 3D Production Systems.

Stratasys believes that with FDM Nylon 12, its Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology creates tougher, more flexible unfilled nylon parts than other additive manufacturing technologies can. FDM Nylon 12 offers up to five times greater resistance to breaking and better impact strength compared to even the strongest FDM materials. The new material’s elongation-at-break specification surpasses that of other 3D printed nylon 12 material by up to 100 percent based on published specifications.  This can create new opportunities for manufacturers in aerospace, automotive, home appliance and consumer electronics to more easily create durable parts that can stand up to high vibration, repetitive stress or fatigue. Examples include end-use parts, like interior panels, covers, environmental control ducting and vibration-resistant components, as well as tools, manufacturing aids, and jigs and fixtures used in the manufacturing process.

“Nylon is one of the most widely used materials in today’s plastic products, and among FDM users it has been one of the top requested materials,” said Fred Fischer, Stratasys materials product director. “It is also the first semi-crystalline material and the toughest material Stratasys has ever offered. We expect it to be used for applications requiring repetitive snap fits, high fatigue endurance, strong chemical resistance, high impact strength or press-fit inserts. This material offers users a clean, simple way to produce nylon parts with an additive process.”

FDM Nylon 12 is available for the Fortus 360, 400 and 900 systems. FDM Nylon 12 is initially offered in black, and is paired with SR110, a new soluble support material optimized for FDM Nylon 12. Support removal requires virtually no labor and is conveniently washed away in the same cleaning agent as other FDM soluble supports.

In other Stratasys news, today the company also introduced Xtend 184 double-capacity canisters for three popular Fortus materials: ABS-M30, Polycarbonate, and UltemTM 9085. Xtend 184 canisters have twice the material capacity in the same size container as current Fortus material canisters. Xtend canisters reduce downtime for canister swapping by enabling up to 100 hours of unattended run-time, which allows weekend builds for extra-large parts.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/fdm/nylon

Published in Stratasys

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a manufacturer of 3D printers and materials for personal use, prototyping, and production, debuted the second generation of its Digital ABS material, named Digital ABS2. The new material, designed for Stratasys PolyJet 3D Printers, is designed to enable users to produce thin-walled models with high dimensional stability. It is now available in ivory in addition to the existing green color.

Enhanced software increases the material’s rigidity, durability and functionality of thin wall elements. This is aimed at improving form, fit, and assembly for prototyping or production applications.

In addition, the material’s rigidity makes it ideal for 3D printing cores and cavities for use in low-volume injection molding applications using thermoplastics. Benefits include sharper edges, which hold up better, and the improved ability to 3D print small parts such as pins and other thin features that are strong enough to handle the high stresses of the injection molding process.

“In addition to general purpose applications, Digital ABS2 is ideal for prototyping consumer electronics and other consumer goods, including small appliances and cell phones, which require high stability with thin-wall geometries,” says Fred Fischer, director of materials and applications product management at Stratasys.

Stratasys PolyJet digital materials are composite materials created by simultaneously jetting two distinct PolyJet materials. The two are combined in specific concentrations and structures to provide unique mechanical properties and to provide a closer look, feel and function to the end-product. Stratasys Digital ABS materials combine high-temperature resistance with enhanced strength and stability to produce models that can sustain high impact.

Digital ABS2 is available for Objet Connex systems.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/materials/polyjet/digital-abs

Published in Stratasys

EOS is introducing two new plastic materials and one metal material for industrial 3D printing. PrimePart ST (PEBA 2301), a soft, flexible, and elastic material, belongs to the group of thermoplastic elastomers and is available immediately for EOSINT P 395 systems. In the coming months, availability will be extended to the EOS FORMIGA P 110 and EOSINT P 760 systems. PrimePart® FR (PA 2241 FR) is a flame-retardant Polyamide 12 and is available now for both the current EOSINT P 395 and P 760 systems, as well as for the EOSINT P 390 and P 730. EOS NickelAlloy HX is their new heat and corrosion resistant nickel-chrome-iron-molybdenum alloy.

PrimePart® ST: Characteristics and Potential Applications

Possessing an elongation at break of two hundred percent, together with a good elastic restorative capacity and rebound elasticity PrimePart® ST was developed to support the production of flexible, rubber-like parts. The optimized design ensures that parts will return to their original shape, even after significant deformations. Post-production infiltration is not necessary for achieving the excellent mechanical properties and surface qualities. In the temperature range of -40 to 90°C the material demonstrates a very good fatigue performance. If desired, it supports many post-production options for treating the manufactured part, including roto-finishing, flame-treatment, flocking, paint finishing, and smoothing. This facilitates the realization of specialized surface-finishes that meet the specific and varied requirements of customers.

One key sphere of application is in the manufacture of sporting goods: In the production of winter sport accessories, such as impact protectors, the resilience of the material opens up a broad range of possibilities. Another potential application is in the consumer-goods sector, particularly in housings where there exists the risk of breakage through falling, being-dropped, and other instances of impact. Within industry, the automobile sector is one of many potential users: Fitting accessories such as grips, corner/edge, and paintwork protectors can be realized, as are, for example, soft door-lock components. Medical applications would include instrument-grips as well as significant applications in orthopedic technology. In addition, the material is suitable for the manufacture of, for example, hoses, grips and handles, or flexible cable holders and sheaths, across the spectrum if industrial production.

PrimePart® FR for the Aerospace Sector

The new flame-retardant material is especially suitable for application in the aerospace sector. PrimePart® FR (PA 2241 FR) is a flame-retardant Polyamide 12 for processing on the EOSINT P 3xx and P 7xx systems. This replenishable material – the recommendation is to use at least 60 percent new powder - meets the relevant flame-proof requirements at wall thicknesses of just 1.0 mm. The replenishability significantly cuts the costs of part manufacturing. In addition, the material demonstrates improved mechanical properties: A tensile strength of 49 MPa with an elongation at break of fifteen percent. This means that PrimePart® FR exceeds the extremely successful PA 2210 FR, which, until now was the only flame-retardant PA 12 material in the EOS portfolio. Typical applications in the field of airplane interiors would include ventilation ducts and outlet vents.

“With these plastic materials we are reacting to two needs that our customers have brought more and more to our attention - the provision of materials that allow for new applications, while keeping a firm eye on cost-efficiencies. The soft, rubber-like PrimePart® ST has received euphoric feedback from our test-customers, which bodes well for the material's introduction to the market. It's a similar story with PrimePart® FR. The rising cost pressures in the aerospace sector and the increasing demand for light-weight parts mean that PrimePart® FR is ideally suited for meeting today's requirements”, summarizes Fabian Müller, Product Marketing Manager Polymers at EOS.

EOS NickelAlloy HX

EOS is also expanding its portfolio of metal materials with the immediate commercial introduction of EOS NickelAlloy HX. The heat and corrosion resistant nickel-chrome-iron-molybdenum alloy distinguishes itself through a high degree of strength and its resistance to oxidization, even at high temperatures. For this reason it will see frequent application in temperatures up to the region of 1,200ºC. The material is optimized for processing in the EOSINT M 280 metal system, and is typically processed with a layer-thickness of 20 µm.

Christiane Krempl, Product Marketing Manager Metals decribes the potential application for the alloy: “The material is particularly well suited for deployment in applications that are exposed to high thermal forces giving rise to a significant risk of oxidization. Typical areas of deployment that we are seeing include aerospace, for example, with combustion chambers and their components parts. The material is also ideal for use in heating elements, in conveyor ovens, or industrial blast furnaces.”

Andreas Graichen, Product Developer (Gas Turbines) at Siemens Energy adds: “We use EOS' additive manufacturing process for constructing prototypes, for 'rapid manufacturing', and 'rapid repair'. Thanks to this technology we are able to cut repair times and thereby reduce costs for customers commissioning us in the repair of industrial gas turbines. In the construction process we use the Nickel Alloy HX. Its material properties make it ideally suited for repair works, as it is able to withstand the high temperatures to which the gas turbines are constantly exposed. For the repair, the complete burner is brought into the tailor-made EOS-Metal System: We leave the structure intact, remove the outer 20mm, and then simply print a new combustion-head. This process ensures significant savings both in terms of repair times and costs.”

Parts build from EOS NickelAlloy HX can be subsequently heat-treated in order to partially modify the characteristics of the material. Whether hardened or in their original built form, parts can be finished as required, and surplus unexposed material can be re-used.

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/systems_solutions

Published in EOS

The ExOne Company (Nasdaq:XONE) ("ExOne" or "the Company"), a global provider of three-dimensional ("3D") printing machines and printed products to industrial customers, announced that it added iron infiltrated with bronze as a new 3D printing material and has also increased its suite of binder solutions for its 3D printing process.

ExOne's strategy is to expand its direct metal printing capabilities to increase opportunities in the industrial marketplace. Iron is widely used in the manufacturing of machine tools, automotive parts and general support structures. Part of the reason for iron's popularity as an industrial product is its cost effectiveness. Manufacturing iron-based products using ExOne's 3D printing technology allows for the direct creation of more intricate products than traditional manufacturing processes, and creates a more cost effective alternative to current 3D printing materials such as stainless steel. ExOne believes that the addition of iron to its metal portfolio will be well received by customers in the traditional markets for iron. ExOne prioritized its development of iron infiltrated with bronze as a result of general customer interest and the breadth of the manufacturing market.

To further develop its reach into the molds and casting industry, ExOne has added phenolic and sodium silicate to its suite of binders for use in its 3D printing process. Phenolic binder, used with ceramic sand in the 3D printing of molds and cores, offers customers three benefits:

  • Casting higher heat alloys,
  • Creating a higher strength mold or core, and
  • Improving the quality of the casting due to reduced expansion of the mold or core.

These capabilities address challenges faced by the automotive, aviation, hydraulic/heavy equipment and pump industries.

ExOne believes that sodium silicate binder will appeal to casting houses that are in search of cleaner environmental processes. It is further believed that the use of sodium silicate will reduce or eliminate the release of fumes and gas in the casting process, helping to reduce costs associated with air ventilation, and electrical and maintenance equipment.

Rick Lucas, ExOne's Chief Technology Officer, commented, "We are excited to add iron infiltrated with bronze to our product offerings. We continue to focus on the development of our other metals and materials. We remain committed to releasing at least one new material every six months. Our priorities are defined by the needs of our current customers and as we uncover new opportunities with prospective customers."

ExOne's Material Applications Laboratory (ExMAL), currently has eleven other materials under various stages of development. ExOne has been focused on 3D printing for industrial customers since 2005.

For more information, visit: www.exone.com

Published in ExOne

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of a new plastic injection molding-like material– VisiJet® M3 Black for use in its ProJet® 3500/3510 professional 3D printers. VisiJet M3 Black further expands the range of use cases of the company's ProJet printers into more demanding, functional, end use parts and products.

VisiJet M3 Black is the strongest, most durable ProJet 3500/3510 material yet, with excellent toughness and flex properties that make it suitable for snap fit and assembly applications. The beautiful jet-black color mimics injection molded plastic performance so engineers and designers can prototype, test and use parts that look and feel like the final product. Game changing materials like VisiJet M3 Black and VisiJet M3 X turns the ProJet series professional printers into a "factory-in-a-box", further democratizing rapid manufacturing for designers, inventors, entrepreneurs and manufacturers.

"VisiJet M3 Black material is a revolutionary breakthrough in ProJet plastic materials," said Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product and Channel Management for 3D Systems. "VisiJet M3 Black parts have the toughness and durability for rigorous testing and direct end use. When used in assemblies with other high performance materials like VisiJet M3 X, VisiJet M3 Black allows for design and testing capabilities that are unparalleled."

For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com/materials/visijet-m3-black

Published in 3D Systems

3D Systems  (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of VisiJet® SL Impact plastic for use in 3D Systems’ ProJet® 6000 and ProJet® 7000 crossover 3D printers. VisiJet SL Impact provides nearly 50% higher impact strength with unmatched durability for direct manufacture of end use parts.

VisiJet SL Impact is highly versatile, powering a wider range of applications that require higher throughput Polypropylene, Polyethylene and ABS performance. It is ideal for functional parts that must stand up to the harshest, most demanding environments, and use cases, include snap fit parts, functional assemblies, master patterns for vacuum casting and other applications requiring outstanding toughness, such as automotive parts, drill/tap and mechanisms that are bolted together.

“The step-change impact strength of our new VisiJet SL Impact material is a revolutionary breakthrough in 3D printing plastics,” said Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product and Channel Management for 3D Systems. “VisiJet SL Impact parts have the toughness and durability of ABS for both prototyping and manufacturing uses.  Best of all, these parts reflect a stunning white finish that replicates the look and feel of injection molded parts.”

For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com/materials/visijet-sl-impact

Published in 3D Systems

As we move ever closer to the 2020 fuel economy targets and CO2 emissions standards, solutions must be found for cost-effectively integrating lightweight materials into multi-material vehicles.

Developing technical strategies for overcoming cost pressures by identifying the right material for the right application, leveraging existing infrastructure and overcoming manufacturing challenges of joining dissimilar materials clearly are key to unlocking mass market potential.

It is the mission of the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Initiative to support delivery of aggressive lightweighting by providing a unique per material analysis to showcase technical innovation for successfully integrating multi-materials into vehicles.

What Makes GALM The Industry Leading Event?

  • In-depth per material, per application analysis to practically demonstrate and identify the right materials for the right applications at the right cost
  • Material Suppliers’ panel: Revealing plans and perspectives of material suppliers addressing global availability to support increased automotive demand of lightweight materials
  • More OEM speakers than any other lightweighting forum with extended panel discussions and designated Q&A sessions to promote constructive debate

What's New This Year?

  • Material Characterization for CAE Workshop: This pre-conference, interactive workshop (August, 20) will bring together the views of OEMs, Tier 1s and Material Suppliers to evaluate practical solutions for accurate modeling of multi-material vehicles including pre-competitive cross industry collaboration and the democratisation of material characteristics for lightweight materials and new alloys.
  • Practical Demonstration Of The Total Benefits Of Lightweighting: This three-part session has been designed to bring together the experiences of body, chassis, powertrain and sub-system experts to evaluate the total contribution and knock on effects of lightweighting across the entire vehicle.
  • Per Material, Per Application Analysis For Joining And Forming: Taking a deep dive into practically overcoming manufacturing challenges to form and join mixed material lightweight vehicles.
  • Extended Panel Discussions: Compare and contrast new advancements and participate constructive industry debate
  • Overcoming Global Challenges Of Lightweighting: Addressing the global availability of raw materials, manufacturing capabilities and Tier 1 support for vehicles produced on a global scale
  • Optimizing Through Lightweight Design: Briefings on part consolidation, packaging efficiency and designing for fiber reinforced composite structures

Vehicle OEM Led Agenda Of Experts Include:

  • Scott Miller, Director of Global Mass, Energy and Aerodynamics, General Motors
  • Patrick Blanchard, Supervisor- Composites Group Leader, Ford
  • Paul Krajewski, Engineering Group Manager, General Motors
  • James Dykeman, Metalurgist – Materials, Honda
  • Craig Renneker, Chief Engineer- Component & Pre-Program, Transmission & Driveline Engineering, Ford
  • Kai Salzmann, Director Vehicle Engineering, Lotus Engineering
  • Ali Alkelani, Senior Fastening Specialist, BMW
  • Leland Decker, Development Lead – BIW Structures Group-, Chrysler
  • Joseph Polewarczyk, Technical Lead Engineer Body & Exterior Advanced Technology, General Motors
  • Shawn Morgans, Body Structure Technical Leader, Ford
  • Sukhbir Bilkhu, Executive Safety Specialist, Chrysler
  • Umesh Gandhi, Advanced Research Scientist, Toyota Research Institute of North America
  • Stephen Logan, Senior Engineering Specialist, Chrysler
  • Hesham Ezzat, GM Technical Fellow-Body, General Motors
  • Ralph White, Senior Engineering Specialist, Chrysler
  • Greg Peterson, Senior Technical Specialist, Lotus Engineering
  • James Trusker, Development Lead - CAE Integration, Chrysler
  • Venkat Aitharaju, Senior Researcher, Polymer Composites, General Motors Global R&D
  • Don Malen, Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Michigan
  • Tonja Sutton, Global Strategic Marketing Manager – Adhesives, Dow Automotive
  • Allan James, North American Field Marketing Manager, Composites, Dow Automotive
  • Prabhat Rastogi, Manager Automotive Worldwide Sales And Marketing, ArcelorMittal
  • Philippe Lequeu, Research and Development Director, Constellium

For more information or to register, visit: www.global-automotive-lightweight-materials-detroit-2013.com

Cereplast, Inc. (OTCQB:CERP), announced a new bioplastic resin grade Biopropylene® A150D, an injection molding grade manufactured with 51% post-industrial algae biomass.

The post-industrial algae grade is the first offering with 51% algae content and will be commercially available this quarter. Additionally, the biomass content dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of the final product while reducing the petroleum-based plastic content. Biopropylene A150D has low to no odor due to the discovery of a post-industrial process that significantly reduces the distinctive smell that is inherent to algae biomass. The color of the material is medium to dark green and can be colored to dark brown, black or a darker green for color consistency. A matte or shiny surface can be accomplished based upon mold surface and process conditions. Biopropylene A150D can be processed on existing conventional electric and hydraulic reciprocating screw injection molding machines, and is recommended for thin wall injection molding applications. Biopropylene A150D meets CONEG and ROHS requirements.

"Our technology is at the forefront of the algae bioplastics market," commented Mr. Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. "We consider this new grade to be an important milestone in our quest for new polymers. Our R&D and manufacturing team has done tremendous work and we are excited about the potential outcome. The introduction of our newest grade Biopropylene A150D is significant due to the high percentage of algae biomass content; the greater the algae content, the lower the carbon footprint of the final product. This is an important achievement as our subsidiary Algaeplast works toward the goal of manufacturing polymers made from 100% algae content. We believe Algaeplast can reach this next frontier within the next three years. Algae will allow us to serve a large market of highly engineered polymers at very competitive pricing."

Cereplast subsidiary Algaeplast will continue the research for all algae grades, and Cereplast will distribute all research made by Algaeplast.

For more information, visit: www.cereplast.com

Published in Cereplast

BASF has launched two new Catamold® products for customers in the metal injection molding industry. The two cost-effective stainless steel variants, Catamold® 17-4PH K and Catamold® 316L K, allow metal parts to be manufactured at lower cost but with the same high quality and performance.

Thanks to a new formulation, BASF has improved efficiency in the production process. "We're passing on this economy of scale to our customers," says Dr. Matthias Pfeiffer, who is responsible for global Business Management for Catamold ®. "Thanks to the lower feedstock costs, our customers will be able to exploit new markets and be more competitive in the face of competing technologies."

The new products are available around the globe, even for industrial-scale projects, and technical support is offered in all regions by an expert team.

As announced in December 2012, a new Catamold® plant will go into operation in Kuanyin, Taiwan in the second half of 2013. A few months ago, the Technical Service Lab for Catamold® in Ludwigshafen, Germany was joined by another application technology lab in Shanghai, China. "These investments reflect our commitment to driving growth in the metal injection molding industry," says Dr. Stefan Koser, Vice President Metal Systems at BASF.

Catamold® is a ready-to-use raw material for metal and ceramic injection molding (MIM and CIM). The wide product range includes low-alloy and stainless steels, special alloys, and ceramics. Catamold® is used in a wide range of applications, especially in the electronics industry as well as in the automotive and consumer goods industry. With Catamold® , geometrically complex parts can be economically manufactured with conventional injection molding machines. It makes metal and ceramics to mold as plastic, opening up new possibilities for making complex components with economic and technical benefits including a high degree of automation, a wide range of shapes, near-net-shape manufacturing, and good mechanical properties.

For more information, visit: www.basf.com/catamold

Published in BASF

DSM, an innovative leader in stereolithography materials development for additive manufacturing applications, introduced the second material in its Somos® NeXt family of thermoplastic-like products — Somos® NeXt LV Grey.

Somos® NeXt LV Grey produces durable, grey parts with high resolution detail. The ABS-like parts have a high modulus while maintaining a low viscosity for easier cleaning and reduced part processing times. This third-generation, high-impact Somos® material is designed for creating tough, high-quality, complex parts that are more resistant to fracture and cracking than standard SL resins. Somos® NeXt LV Grey also offers superior water resistance and thermal properties. It is ideal for use in functional testing and low volume manufacturing applications, as well as functional end-use performance parts; especially snap-fit designs, impellers, connectors, and sporting goods.

“We are thrilled with the Somos® NeXt LV Grey parts that are coming off our equipment,” says Bruce LeMaster, president of Applied Rapid Technologies Corporation. “The lower viscosity of this material has allowed us to optimize the style files for faster throughput. The finished parts are strong and durable making them a great option for silicone molding patterns.”

Kelly Hawkinson, Global Marketing Manager, Somos® Materials, DSM Functional Materials, said, “We are excited to evolve the Somos® NeXt product line. Our customers are amazed at the precise level of detail they have been able to achieve by using Somos® NeXt LV Grey, with the functionality they’ve come to rely on from the original Somos® NeXt. This product will truly make your parts stand apart from the rest with its thermoplastic-like properties and grey color.”

For more information, visit: www.dsm.com/en_US/somos/public/home/pages/offerings-somos-next-lv-grey.jsp

Published in DSM

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of Accura® Xtreme™ White-200 plastic for use in 3D Systems'iPro SLA® printers. This next generation SLA material extends 3D Systems' unmatched solutions for direct manufacture of end use parts further.

As the toughest and most durable SLA material available today, Accura Xtreme White-200 offers high elongation at break, high impact strength and the stiffness and durability of ABS plastic, making it the top choice for functional assemblies that must stand up to the harshest, most demanding environments. Use cases include snap fits, functional assemblies, master patterns for vacuum casting and applications requiring outstanding toughness, such as automotive parts, drill/tap and mechanisms that must be bolted together.

"The new Accura Xtreme White-200 exhibits faster build speeds, better detail fidelity and nicer sidewall quality than other durable materials we've previously offered," said Steve Grundahl, President of MidWest Prototyping. "All this while providing incredibly durable parts."

"Our new Accura Xtreme White-200 material is a revolutionary breakthrough in SLA plastics," said Steve Hanna, Global Director of Materials, for 3D Systems. "Accura Xtreme White - 200 parts have the toughness and durability of ABS for both prototyping and manufacturing uses.  Best of all, these parts reflect a stunning white finish that replicates the look and feel of an injection molded part."

For more information, visit: www.production3dprinters.com/materials/accura-xtreme-white-200-plastic

Published in 3D Systems

The organizing committee for the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced the dates, theme, and location for this year’s show and issued its annual Call for Papers. Now in its thirteenth year, the SPE ACCE is the world’s leading forum for automotive composites and draws exhibitors, speakers, and attendees from 15 countries on five continents. This year’s show, whose theme is Composites: Lightweighting the Cars of Tomorrow, returns September 11-13, 2013 but to a new venue.

Creig Bowland, senior research associate at PPG Industries, 2013 SPE ACCE conference co-chair explains, “Our conference has been fortunate enough to enjoy excellent growth the past few years - so much so that we have literally outgrown our home of 12 years. We and management at our previous venue tried everything we could to make the most of the space we had, but it became clear during last year's ACCE that we needed to make a change. We've moved our 2013 conference to The Diamond Center, which is part of the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich., U.S.A. We believe it will give us the best of both worlds - the friendly, intimate feel of our old facility and the flexibility to grow and spread out that we so badly needed.

Adds conference co-chair, Antony Dodworth, managing director, Dodworth Design, "It'll be great to have all our exhibitors together in a single room for the first time since 2007, and this facility is still convenient to major highways in the Detroit area. In fact, a brand-new hotel is being built adjacent to the Diamond Center and that will make the show even more convenient for out-of-town guests."

Those interested in speaking at this year’s event should submit abstracts by March 29, 2013 and full papers or presentations are due May 31, 2013 to the review committee via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Authors who submit papers (not presentations) in the proper format will be considered for the conference’s Best Paper Awards, which will be presented during the event’s opening ceremony.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 650 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. SPE’s Automotive and Composites Divisions work to advance plastics and plastic-based composites technologies worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. Both divisions are dedicated to educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments, including materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and testing, and application development.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm

Published in SPE

Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE: PRLB), a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer, announces the availability of several additional high temperature resins through its Protomold injection molding service.

Beginning today, customers can upload their 3D CAD model at the Protomold website, and have quick-turn injection molded parts made in a variety of high temperature resins including Ultem™ (PEI) and PEEK. Parts made from these resins are often used in medical/healthcare and food contact applications. Customers uploading parts will quickly receive back an interactive ProtoQuote, from which they can easily place an order.

“We’re excited to announce the addition of these high-performance resins to our Protomold service,” says Brad Cleveland, President and CEO. “These additional materials complement the hundreds of existing engineering-grade resins we currently offer, and allow us to make a wider variety of parts for our customers.”

Proto Labs is a leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. Proto Labs provides “Real Parts, Really Fast” to product developers worldwide. Proto Labs utilizes computer numerical control (CNC) machining and injection molding to manufacture custom parts for our customers.

For more information, visit: www.protomold.com/MaterialSelection.aspx

Published in Proto Labs

Teknor Apex Company has developed two high-hardness grades in its Medalist® MD-200 series of thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) elastomers, extending the already broad durometer range of these resilient, high-purity compounds for replacing rubber in medical applications. Teknor Apex will introduce the compounds in the United States at MD&M West (Booth 2526) and in Europe at MedTech (Stand 1L44).
 
Previously ranging in Shore A durometer from an ultra-soft 15 to a semi-hard 80, the Medalist MD-200 Series now includes an 87 Shore A compound, MD-240, and a 43 Shore D grade, MD-245. The 43 Shore D durometer is roughly equivalent to a Shore A hardness of 93.
 
The new compounds can be extruded, injection molded, and blow molded. Suggested applications include peristaltic tubes, collection and drainage tubes, stoppers for vials, caps and plugs, seals and gaskets, device handles, ergonomic soft grips, valves, and diaphragms.
 
The rubber-like properties of Medalist MD-240 and MD-245 include low long-term compression set, high fatigue resistance, prolonged flex life, stability at high temperatures, abrasion resistance, and long-term sealability. [A table of properties accompanies this news release.]
 
“Among the benefits of the TPV technology developed by Teknor Apex for the MD-200 series are the elimination of the need for pre-drying, since all grades are non-hygroscopic, and a light natural color that permits efficient use of colorants,” said Keith Saunders, senior market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division. “What also sets us apart is that we manufacture our TPV compounds ‘from scratch,’ starting with polymers and all other basic ingredients, rather than using a masterbatch intermediary. This gives us tight control over properties and considerable freedom to formulate custom compounds that precisely meet customer requirements.”
 
Teknor Apex produces Medalist compounds in dedicated ISO-13485-certified facilities. All standard grades are FDA, RoHS, Coneg, and REACH compliant, are Drug Master File (DMF) listed with FDA, and are biocompatibility tested in accordance with ISO-10993-5. Teknor Apex has developed extensive data for all grades on chemical resistance and resistance to steam, gamma, and EtO sterilization. Medalist compounds are free of animal-derived materials, phthalates, latex proteins, and bisphenol A.
 
MEDALIST® THERMOPLASTIC MEDICAL ELASTOMERS make up a broad array of high-purity styrenic, olefinic, vulcanizate, and alloy compounds. Hardness offerings range from ultra soft gels at 25 Shore OO to hard yet ductile compounds at 85 Shore D. Teknor Apex can further broaden customer options by customizing the surface aesthetics, haptics, clarity, and color. An expandable registered binder on Medalist products provides a comprehensive body of test data and resources for designers and processors and is available to qualified professionals in the medical device and healthcare product industries.

For more information, visit: www.medalistmd.com

Published in Teknor Apex

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that its Paramount team was selected by Pennsylvania as one of the state’s Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania, RAMP, awardees.  3D Systems has committed resources and know-how to the development of novel Nano composites to be used with its proprietary Selective Laser Sintering 3D printing technology to meet Pennsylvania’s custom manufacturing vision and requirements.
 
3D Systems’ Paramount team offers world-class AS9100C and ISO9001:2008 certified rapid product development and manufacturing. Paramount, in collaboration with Lehigh University, was chosen on competitive merit by RAMP after demonstrating technology and manufacturing readiness.

“This award represents our unwavering commitment to the research, development and commercialization of rapid manufacturing solutions,” said Jim Williams, Managing Director, Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing, 3D Systems. “The success of this project will benefit Pennsylvania directly, as well as our nation, as the interest in 3D printing and advanced digital manufacturing continues to grow.”
 
For more information, visit: www.ices.cmu.edu/ramp

Published in 3D Systems

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of Dreve FotoTec hearing aid material for use in the ProJet® 6000 professional 3D printer.  
 
As a leader in additive manufacturing for healthcare, 3D Systems’ printers transformed the production of hearing aids almost a decade ago from labor-intensive, hand-crafted devices to fully automated, 3D printed, personalized in-ear hearing aids. The ProJet 6000 combines the ease of use of an office printer with the performance of genuine SLA® parts to deliver a nearly 2X improvement in throughput for hearing-aid production with a printed surface so smooth that it results in 50% less finishing time.
 
“We are pleased to expand our 3D Systems partnership with the addition of the ProJet 6000 to our own fleet of 3D Systems production printers,” stated Dr. Volker Dreve, CEO Dreve GmbH. “Our customers, like Comfoor B.V., will benefit by upgrading to the new ProJet 6000 using our new Fototec Otoplastik SL.E material based on its proven performance.”
 
“We are thrilled to offer our hearing aid customers a proven, integrated solution that combines the latest products from two leading providers into a powerful and affordable manufacturing tool,” said Lee Dockstader, Vice President of Business Development for 3D Systems.
 
For more information, visit: www.printin3d.com/projet-6000

Published in 3D Systems

Albright Technologies, Inc. has announced the release of an entirely new version of their popular Silicone Molding Design Manual, a valuable resource used by design engineers in medical and other industry applications.

The Silicone Molding Design Manual 6th Edition, now over 200 pages, is searchable and offers users the most extensive compilation of silicone data in the industry. The manual was downloaded over 2,000 times in 2011 alone by a wide variety of industry professionals.

The 6th Edition manual now features white papers from Nusil Silicone Technology, Applied Silicone and Bluestar Silicones. These white papers include information on factors to consider when selecting medical grade silicones, adhering to difficult substrates with silicone adhesives and treatment systems, silicone molded tubing assembly, as well as a review of the benefits obtained by providing the molder control of the LSR cure kinetics.

Also included in the manual is valuable information from Wacker Silicones and Dow Corning on topics including: short and long term implantable components, silicone gaskets, o-rings and diaphragms, as well as high temperature silicones and vibration dampening silicones.

For more information or to download the manual, visit: www.albright1.com/manual

Published in Albright Technologies

BASF is strengthening its activities in the field of Metal Injection Molding (MIM) in the Asia Pacific region with two new facilities for Catamold®, its ready-to-mold feedstock for MIM.

BASF will set up a new Catamold® production facility at its Kuanyin site in Taiwan. The new plant will have an annual production capacity of more than 5,000 tons and will start-up in the second half of 2013. In addition, BASF has opened a new technical service lab for the company’s MIM feedstock business in Shanghai, China.The new technical service lab for Catamold® is located within BASF’s Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Pudong, providing technical support as well as customer training.

Currently, the region Asia Pacific represents approximately 50% share of the global MIM market. “At BASF, we expect that this share will increase to 60% by the year 2020,” said Dr. Stefan Koser, Vice President of BASF’s Metal Systems Business Unit. “ The Asian market is therefore one of the major growth drivers for our Catamold ® business. The investment shows our strong commitment towards the Metal Injection Molding Industry in Asia and will enable further substantial growth potential for this technology ,” Koser added.

“With the new lab we are now able to better and faster serve our customers” said Steven Hung, Head of Regional Business Management Metal Systems Asia Pacific.

Catamold® is BASF's ready-to-mold feedstock for metal injection molding (MIM) and ceramic injection molding (CIM), offering a diverse portfolio of low-alloy steels, stainless steels, special alloys and ceramics. Catamold® is successfully used in various applications: From the automotive industry to consumer goods, from the construction industry to medical or computer and communication technology. With Catamold ® , geometrically demanding parts can be economically manufactured with conventional injection molding machines. It makes metal and ceramics as easy to mold as plastic, opening up new possibilities for making complex components with economic and technical benefits including a high degree of automation, a wide range of shapes, near-net-shape manufacturing, and good mechanical properties.

For more information, visit: www.basf.com/catamold

Published in BASF

Turning lignin, a plant's structural "glue" and a byproduct of the paper and pulp industry, into something considerably more valuable is driving a research effort headed by Amit Naskar of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In a cover article published in Green Chemistry, the research team describes a process that ultimately transforms the lignin byproduct into a thermoplastic - a polymer that becomes pliable above a specific temperature. Researchers accomplished this by reconstructing larger lignin molecules either through a chemical reaction with formaldehyde or by washing with methanol. Through these simple chemical processes, they created a crosslinked rubber-like material that can also be processed like plastics.

"Our work addresses a pathway to utilize lignin as a sustainable, renewable resource material for synthesis of thermoplastics that are recyclable," said Naskar, a member of the Department of Energy laboratory's Material Science and Technology Division.

Instead of using nearly 50 million tons of lignin byproduct produced annually as a low-cost fuel to power paper and pulp mills, the material can be transformed into a lignin-derived high-value plastic. While the lignin byproduct in raw form is worth just pennies a pound as a fuel, the value can potentially increase by a factor of 10 or more after the conversion.

Naskar noted that earlier work on lignin-based plastics utilized material that was available from pulping industries and was a significantly degraded version of native lignin contained in biomass. This decomposition occurs during harsh chemical treatment of biomass.

"Here, however, we attempted to reconstruct larger lignin molecules by a simple crosslinking chemistry and then used it as a substitute for rigid phase in a formulation that behaves like crosslinked rubbers that can also be processed like plastics," Naskar said.

Crosslinking involves building large lignin molecules by combining smaller molecules where formaldehyde helps to bridge the smaller units by chemical bonding. Naskar envisions the process leading to lower cost gaskets, window channels, irrigation hose, dashboards, car seat foam and a number of other plastic-like products. A similar material can also be made from lignin produced in biorefineries.

For more information, visit: www.ornl.gov

Published in ORNL

Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rocks through a 3-D printer and making something useful – like a needed wrench or replacement part.

"It sounds like science fiction, but now it’s really possible,’’ says Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University.

Bandyopadhyay and a group of colleagues recently published a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal demonstrating how to print parts using materials from the moon.
 
Approached by NASA
 
Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, are well known researchers in the area of three-dimensional printing for creation of bone-like materials for orthopedic implants.

In 2010, researchers from NASA initiated discussion with Bandyopadhyay, asking if the research team might be able to print 3-D objects from moon rock.
 
Because of the tremendous expense of space travel, researchers strive to limit what space ships have to carry. Establishment of a lunar or Martian outpost would require using the materials that are on hand for construction or repairs. That’s where the 3-D fabrication technology might come in.

Three-dimensional fabrication technology, also known as additive manufacturing, allows researchers to produce complex 3-D objects directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models, printing the material layer by layer. In this case, the material is heated using a laser to high temperatures and prints out like melting candle wax to a desired shape.

Simple shapes built
 
To test the idea, NASA researchers provided Bandyopadhyay and Bose with 10 pounds of raw lunar regolith simulant, an imitation moon rock that is used for research purposes.

The WSU researchers were concerned about how the moon rock material - which is made of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and magnesium oxides - would melt. But they found it behaved similarly to silica, and they built a few simple shapes.

The researchers are the first to demonstrate the ability to fabricate parts using the moon-like material. They sent their pieces to NASA.
 
"It doesn’t look fantastic, but you can make something out of it,’’ says Bandyopadhyay.
 
Tailoring composition, geometry
 
Using additive manufacturing, the material could also be tailored, the researchers say. If you want a stronger building material, for instance, you could perhaps use some moon rock with earth-based additives.

"The advantage of additive manufacturing is that you can control the composition as well as the geometry,’’ says Bose.

In the future, the researchers hope to show that the lunar material could be used to do remote repairs.

"It is an exciting science fiction story, but maybe we’ll hear about it in the next few years,’’ says Bandyopadhyay. "As long as you can have additive manufacturing set up, you may be able to scoop up and print whatever you want. It’s not that far-fetched.’’
 
The research was supported by a $750,000 W.M. Keck Foundation grant.

For more information, visit: www.mme.wsu.edu

Solvay’s Engineering Plastics business unit announced the launch of Sinterline™ the first range of PA6 powders developed specifically for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).

“Laser sintered parts manufactured using Sinterline™ display a thermal resistance and stiffness similar to those injection-molded in polyamide 6, ”explains Ralph Rissé, Business Development Manager for Solvay’s Engineering Plastics business unit. “This innovation extends the limits of rapid manufacturing enabling cost-effective production of functional prototypes and small series components.”

Solution F/E2R, a leading company specializing in engineering and rapid prototyping techniques for recreational vehicles and aerospace applications, has manufactured parts such as air-intake ducts and brake fluid tanks which highlight the inherent qualities of Sinterline™. Other parts are being developed to equip the cockpit of the Solar Impulse, the pioneering solar powered plane for which Solvay is the first main partner.

“Thanks to a resistant and excellent surface finish, Sinterline™ will broaden the range of laser sintered parts,”comments Hermann Hanning, Technical Manager, LSS Laser Sinter Service GmbH, one of Europe’s rapid prototyping specialists. “We are convinced that it will quickly establish itself as the ideal material for numerable automotive and electronics applications.”

SOLVAY is an international chemical Group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence. Its recent acquisition of specialty chemicals company Rhodia created a much larger player, which is realizing over 90% of its sales in markets where it is among the top 3 global leaders. Solvay offers a broad range of products that contribute to improving the quality of life and the performance of its customers in markets such as consumer goods, construction, automotive, energy, water and environment, and electronics. The Group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,000 people in 55 countries and generated EUR 12.7 billion in net sales in 2011 (pro forma). Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB – Reuters: SOLBt.BR).

For information, visit: www.solvay.com

Published in Rhodia Group

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today the immediate availability of its new VisiJet® X Plastic Material, the first jetted plastic available with the look, feel and performance of injection molded ABS plastic ideal for prototyping, product mockups and end-use applications requiring extreme toughness and high temperature resistance.
 
New VisiJet X plastic works in 3D Systems’ ProJet® 3500 3D Printers including the SD, HD, HDPlus and new HDMax models, and provides new levels of durability and functionality previously unattainable with a jetted plastic.
 
“Our new VisiJet X material is a revolutionary breakthrough in jetted plastics,” said Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product & Channel Management for 3D Systems. “VisiJet X parts have the toughness and durability of ABS for both prototyping and end use applications, and a heat deflection temperature of 88oC right out of the printer with no additional tempering needed.  Best of all, VisiJet X parts look great with a stunning white finish that really looks like it came from an injection mold.”
 
3D Systems’ ProJet 3500 series, together with its expanded range of other affordable ProJet printers, ZPrinters® and BfB™ printers are sold and serviced through its global network of Authorized Reseller Partners.

For more information, visit: www.printin3d.com/3d-printer-materials/projet-3500-5000-3d-printer-materials

Published in 3D Systems

EOS will be presenting two new materials at this year's EuroMold in hall 11, booth E148 – PrimePart® PLUS and PA 1101. Peter Klink, EVP Sales at EOS: "With these two new materials, EOS is extending its range of plastic materials clearly towards ecology, technical performance and low manufacturing costs, allowing standard components to be manufactured even more efficiently using laser-sintering."

PrimePart PLUS (PA 2221): high performance combined with cost efficiency

The material PrimePart Plus (PA 2221) represents a breakthrough in polymer development. The material can evidently be refreshed using only a thirty per cent share of new powder, resulting in a powder cycle with minimum scrap quantities. This improves the cost efficiency and sustainability of the laser-sintering process, since conventional laser-sintering materials are usually refreshed using fifty per cent or more new powder. This does not lead to diminished technical performance of the material and the key performance indicators achieved are only slightly lower than those of PA 2200.

PA 1101: new polymer class made of renewing resources  

The PA 1101 material is a natural-colored polyamide 11 which is characterized by high elongation at break and impact resistance with a balanced performance profile. The material is based on renewing resources and can thus be classified positively in environmental terms. On account of its material properties, the material is particularly suitable for applications with functional elements which require high material ductility (e.g. integral hinges) and ones where high impact resistance is important. Another typical application for this material is for components which do not allow chipping (e.g. passenger cell in vehicles). Klink adds: "Our customers expect material solutions that support the ever widening range of applications in the best possible way. With PA 1101 we have been able to significantly extend our portfolio previously dominated by polyamide 12. We are looking forward to new and exciting applications which have not been possible with the materials available so far, or only by adapting the design accordingly."

For more information, visit: www.eos.info/en/products/materials/materials-for-plastic-systems.html

Published in EOS

Four projects have been funded by the Composites Growth Initiative (CGI) of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) that will help grow the market for composites and allow them to compete on a level playing field with traditional materials like steel, concrete, wood and aluminum.

CGI committees are comprised of industry leaders exclusively from ACMA-member companies who lend their expertise to market growth and expansion for composites. ACMA members get access to potential customers and project leads. The CGI Fund provides the means of implementing these ideas into action.

“Funding these projects is one of ACMA’s investments in the future to help build and secure a vibrant, expanding market for composites,” says Leon Garoufalis, president and COO of Composites One, LLC, and co-chair of the CGI Committee. “The quality and breadth of the submissions was impressive. We believe that the selected projects will help to advance the industry by addressing three critical areas: increasing market outreach, developing standards and specifications and penetrating new and emerging markets.”

The projects funded were as follows:

Market Outreach: Taking Composites to End Users

  • Exhibit at the International Bridge Conference. The Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012 (MAP 21) is paving the way for composites to become the material and product of choice for transportation structures repair and replacement. The Transportation Structures Council has exhibited at this leading industry conference for 13 years. This grant will ensure their continued presence and support their efforts to educate this market about the benefits of composites for transportation infrastructure.

Standards and Specification: Leveling the Playing Field with Traditional Materials

  • Recommended Practice and Guide Specification for Architectural Fiberglass Products. Architects, building engineers, construction specifiers, general contractors and others will be able to confidently recommend composites in place of traditional materials in the architectural and building segments. The third printing of this critical document will include new information and updates.

  • National Specifications for Utility and Communication Structures. Greater acceptance of composites across the utility industry and in government agencies will be possible with an ACMA/ANSI approved standard for utility poles. The standard will help establish guidelines for specifiers that will enable more widespread purchasing of composite poles.

Penetrating New and Emerging Markets: The Promise of “Green” Growth

  • Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Tool to Calculate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Traditional materials are already establishing their environmental impact in competition for “green” contracts, but composites lags behind in this burgeoning market. This tool will take the data established in phase 1 with the development of LCI data and make it accessible and usable to members allowing them to calculate LCA for their products.

The CGI committees were established to help fulfill ACMA’s Mission Statement to “increase awareness of potential market advantages of utilizing composite materials.” Membership and participation in CGI committees are open only to ACMA members.

Representing more than 3,000 companies, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is the world's largest trade group representing the composites industry, providing strong, proactive leadership in technical, government and regulatory affairs. In the U.S. alone, the composites industry employs about 550,000 people and generates almost $70 billion in revenues per year.

For more information, visit: www.acmanet.org

Published in ACMA

Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, today announced the release of a new and improved Objet Rigid Black Material. The new material provides enhanced dimensional stability and surface smoothness making it ideal for fine detail, all-purpose rapid prototyping.

Based on the new and improved Rigid Black Material, Objet also introduces 16 new Rigid Black and Rubber-like Digital Materials (composite materials made by combining Objet Rigid Black and Objet Rubber-like Material).

For Objet Connex systems exclusively, these 16 new Objet Digital Materials enable the simulation of a variety of rigid/rubber-like properties including:

  • A higher toughness material, simulating polypropylene.
  • A range of flexible materials with different Shore A values from 27 to 95.

The new material combinations enable the easy and accurate prototyping of seals and packaging for consumer goods, consumer electronics and automotive parts. Such models require the combination of rigid and flexible properties within a single prototype of consistent black coloring (see headphones example in image).

For more information, visit: www.objet.com/3d-printing-materials/overview

Published in Objet

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today the immediate availability of VisiJet® PearlStone for the ProJet® MP 3500 dental model printer.  This new material prints dental models that are accurate, economical to produce and offer the appearance of dental stone.
 
VisiJet PearlStone is compatible with all intraoral, impression and plaster scanners and prints models for crowns, bridges, orthodontic devices, implants and partial dentures.

Normal dental lab practices, including drilling, grinding and waxing, can be used with VisiJet™ Pearlstone.
 
“We are pleased to offer this new material with the appearance of dental stone for the ProJet MP,” said Lee Dockstader, Vice President Business Development, 3D Systems.
 
For more information, visit: www.toptobottomdental.com/working_models.html

Published in 3D Systems
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