During CES our industry showcased a lot of 3D printers and tried to make an impact amidst that huge tech and PR party. Meanwhile developments and baby steps forward continue apace. We’ve got metal printing news, Digital Glass 3D printed solar panels, partnerships, really big 3D Printers, dangerous 3D Printers and much more this week.
3D Printing News of the Week
Digital Glass is a technology concept whereby, 3D Printing is used to make capillaries which are made inside, “transparent sheets, distributing tiny amounts of optical fluid digitally to make embedded mirrors become visible or invisible as needed to redirect sunlight onto super-efficient solar receivers.” If the company Giant Leap and their partner Livermore could make this work it would have a significant impact on making solar power more efficient. The company is racing to make funding deadlines to receive more money from the US government. Their technology would seem to be a great concept but also a very daunting technical challenge.
Siemens has been making mayor moves into updating and improving its PLM software to accommodate for 3D Printing functionality. Now they’ve partnered with industry leaders Materialise to jointly offer their software. This powerful combination could mean that Siemens PLM can now be used for the entire product development cycle from prototype to manufacturing. Materialise has an enviable position as the largest software vendor in 3D Printing. We’d consider them a likely acquisition target in the long run by Microsoft or Siemens.
GE is going to be giving schools $2 million to buy desktop 3D printers and universities $8 million to buy metal 3D printing machines. GE redoubles its commitment to 3D printing and shows just how much impact it will have on our market for the long run. GE’s finance arm is also going to be getting into the leasing of metal 3D printers.
Markforged released Metal X this is a potentially groundbreaking way to produce metal parts by a two step process whereby a bound metal powder rod is 3D printed into a part and then sintered in an oven. The process on the $100,000 3D printer can be used with titanium and steel at the moment. Along with its composites 3D printing technology this means that the comparatively small Markforged is forging ahead with some very interesting IP.
Medicrea is a company that hopes to deliver software and 3D printing services for titanium implants and it has asked for 501 (K) approval and FDA clearance for its technology marking another new entrant to the 3D printing body parts business.
Divergent3D continues to 3D print and show off cars. It is good to note that the very same article that decries the dying down of desktop 3D printing hype is simultaneously being stupidly unrealistic.
Medical 3D printing service Supercraft3D receives $1m in funding.
MakePrintable News of the Week
We joined a very successful AmmanTT event with the 3D Printing event being one of the most visited events ever for AmmanTT. With good audience participation and great questions the presentations and the panel were useful to many of the attendants. Our own CTO, Baha Abu-Nojaim presented explaining how MakePrintable works. Kais Sabri, the founder of Eon Aligners, presented as well. He leads an innovative firm that uses 3D printing to manufacture dental aligners and other medical products.
Loay Malahmeh the Co-founder of 3DMENA showed us how 3D printing can be used in humanitarian aid and our own Joris Peels spoke about industrial applications for 3D printing.
3D Printables of the Week
This video shows you a print in place mini crossbow.
BoB the Biped is an adorable Arduino powered robot.
This chassis 3D Print is a nice way of showing the capability of 3D printing and these Adafruit fidget spinners are good fidgety spinners.
This lamp is made from a concrete mold made from a 3D print. A good idea to try if you want to construct long lasting things with 3D printing as an intermediary.
Relieve one of the most famous airplanes in the world the Spirit of St. Louis. Do you like Valve and have a Vive?
3D Printing Images and Video of the Week
Imperial Machine Tool shows you how they 3D print titanium watch cases.
Frauenhofer shows us how to do laser cladding with coaxial wires this may lead to speed advantages on direct metal deposition metal 3D printing technologies. This will lead to more versatile metal 3D printing tool heads being developed that can be integrated into existing CNC and other machines.
The BigRep studio is a 500mm x 1000mm x 500mm build volume 3D printer from Big Rep.
Sculpteo is a 3D printing service and they’ve now released metal 3D printing software that uses AI.
Texas AM University’s ETID department uses Selective Laser Melting and their overview video has good images of all the mayor steps involved in making a metal 3D printed part.
Is the Tevo Black Widow 3D printer an actual black widow that will kill you? Below are three reviews of the 3D printer. They all come to very different conclusions about the same 3D printer kit. Who do you trust?
A shipping container made into a 3D Printer.
Admaflex is a novel ceramics 3D printing technology by Admatec. This animation shows you how it works.
The BAAM 3D Printer is a very large scale 3D printer. How large? Just watch this unboxing video.
3D Printing Research of the Week
This practical article details how topology optimization can reduce weight in a diesel engine.
Using Direct Writing techniques to 3D print stretchable electronics. It points to a path to 3D printing to be used at scale to manufacture 3D printed stretchable electronics for many applications.
This is an important paper by NASA on how to use low cost 3D Printers to 3D print high temperature materials. The team at NASA looked at printing parts at 400 degrees which is just the right temperature for really interesting materials such as PEEK and PEI. The NASA team did some incredibly serious updates to a Lulzbot TAZ printer. They replaced all ABS parts on the machine with the high temperature material ULTEM which they made on the heavily modified Lulzbot.
3D Printing Patents
Dassault Systemes has a patent for adding 3D printed fonts to a 3D print.
What the Muggles are talking about…
Arconic has come up with an idea for a 4.8 Km tall building that cleans the air around it and is 3D printed. No word jet on if it will bring about world peace once we build their thought experiment.