This is a segment of the website where we do a quick list of the week’s smaller stories. Generally, this refers to stories that we couldn’t do a full length article about. It also gives us the opportunity to identify wider trends in the weekly 3D printing news. However, it’s worth noting that the purpose of these rundowns is identifying wider trends rather than listing off news items.
This week we’re covering the 21st till the 27th of February. It’s been quite a busy week for the world of 3D printing (as you’ll see below).
New technologies have been surfacing as of late. This week is no different. First off, we have a new method similar to SLA. Researchers at the University of Akron have unveiled a method termed “Direct-print photopolymerization for 3D printing”. The method uses pours inks in rather than relying on a vat. The inks have a honey-like texture till a light is used to cure it.
Similarly, AON3D unveiled their new printer. The printer dubbed AON-M, is an industrial 3D printer that can print thermoplastics at a low cost. Another similar story involves Optomec’s LENS series. Optomec featured the machine at the LAM conference this week. Like the AON-M, it is a metal manufacturing device meant to cut costs for industrial production.
Business and Market Developments
The shutdown of Tiko has led to the company announcing that it cannot provide refunds for its backers. We reported on the dissolution of this project just recently. This comes at a particularly tumultuous time for 3D printing start-ups. Seeing as how, NexD1 also collapsed earlier this, many within the industry are re-examining its prospects.
But it’s not all bad news in the world of investing money. Materialise recently reported a revenue of $121 million dollars for 2016. This is a momentous development for the company. Google has also announced plans to invest in Additive Manufacturing. GV, Google’s investment division, have put down $45 million for research and development related to 3D printing.
Additionally, Sigma labs appears to be doing well. They announced a partnership with Morf3D this week. The impetus for this pairing is aerospace and defence R&D. Another partnership making waves in the news is between Millenium 3D and RepRap. The former has made a deal to distribute the latter’s industrial 3D printers. This will allow them to break into new markets.
Another significant development was BeAM’s new office in Cincinnati. The French-based company is now also operating in the state of Ohio. This will allow the company to open up new market possibilities within the states. In similar fashion, Oerlikon has announced its intent to partner with universities like the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich) and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech). Oerlikon aim is to further R&D in 3D printing.
A Big Week for Medical developments
3D printing continues to show promise in the world of medicine. A recent report shows a 16% rise in the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in Healthcare 3D printing. Companies are using 3D printing for surgical instruments, implants, bioengineering, and surgical guides. As a result, the increased use of Additive Manufacturing has led to the growth in healthcare manufacturing.
In keeping with this developmental trend, UR medicine workers have come up with a method of repairing damaged bones. According to the researcher, the damaged bones are analysed under CT scan and then replicated via 3D printer. Additionally, workers are hoping to eventually move forward with stem cell research. Similarly, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reportedly made some headway with sternum implants.
Adding to the list, India has made great strides in the world of 3D printed body parts. The developments are aiding Indian doctors in providing more accurate, tailor-made replacements. They hope to soon be able to make part from living tissue. So far the doctors have used the technology to create vertebrae. Researchers are expecting more developments in this field in the future.
3D printing has also been applied to dentistry. This week, Singapore-based company Structo unveiled their DentoForm 3D printer. The printer is meant to be the world’s fastest dental model 3D printer. This is in keeping with Structo’s previous dentistry based releases.
3D Printing Around the World
3D printing developments have been showing promise in all corners of the world. We already mentioned India’s medical manufacturing marvel above. Along with Dentaform from Singapore and BeAM from France mentioned earlier, there have been other worldwide progressions. Dubai has also stepped up its manufacturing game. A new company called Cazza technology is offering 3D printed homes. They promise that they can build a 200 sq. meter home using only 2 workers and mobile printing robots. Dubai have also made waves in dental 3D printing this week.
Accordingly, Malaysia also has major construction news. MinNature is a project that took 8 years to complete. As the name suggests, it is a miniature wonderland that spans 17,000 square feet. The project was started in 2008 and is now the largest miniature wonderland in Malaysia.
The world of metal additive manufacturing is particularly promising. As a result, facilities are cropping up all over the world. RAMLAB in Rotterdam is a new facility that specialises in WAAM. WAAM stands for wire arc additive manufacturing. The Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, runs the lab. Consequently, they are primarily using the technology for producing parts for ships and sea vessels.
New Zealand also saw a rise in metal manufacturing facilities. This was due to RAM3D creating more AM250 metal 3D printing systems. This was part of an effort to make 3D printing more accessible to Australian and New Zealand markets.
- 3D Printed Colonies on Mars?: NASA set to use Martian soil to create 3D printed objects. The research will allow NASA to make leaps and bounds in space exploration and construction. It utilises a method called Contour Crafting.
- Fabrisonic’s Patent: Fabrisonic have obtained the patent for a new form of 3D printing. This new method utilises ultrasonic waves for Additive Manufacturing.