In this week’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ve got some business news to cover first, then moving on to software, and finally to microscale 3D printing. Titomic has appointed an interim CEO, Etteplan’s AM manager will leading the national 3D printing ecosystem in Finland, and BCN3D has announced a new partnership. Concre3DLab has created two plugins for Grasshopper, and Interspectral released a visualization software for the AM market. Finally, Nanofabrica is showing off what its Tera 250 is capable of with some truly tiny prints.
Titomic Names Interim CEO
Australian company Titomic Limited (ASX: TTT) announced that it has named industrial veteran Norbert Schulze as its interim CEO, succeeding Titomic Founder Jeff Lang, who will remain as a Director of the Board but move down to Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer. Schulze has more than 40 years of experience in the global defense, automotive, and manufacturing industries, and owns a consulting company that advises global defense companies on various strategies and growth opportunities. He served previously as the Senior Executive of Rheinmetall and RENK Group in Europe and Africa, and will work to continue strengthening Titomic’s vision to commercialize its Titomic Kinetic Fusion technology around the world.
“It’s an honour to accept this position on an interim basis. As a team, Titomic’s employees have worked hard to position Titomic as a leading global additive manufacturing company. Our mission won’t change and I’m committed to driving the transformation, creating value for our shareholders and clients, and fulfilling my role as interim CEO of this outstanding Company,” Schulze said.
The Titomic Board has begun the search to find a permanent CEO.
Etteplan’s 3D Printing Department Manager Leading FAME
Finland-based Etteplan provides solutions for industrial equipment, plant engineering, and software to the manufacturing industry. It recently partnered with several other companies to form the Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem, or FAME, which was launched in October, is financed by member companies and the country’s the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and has a goal of reaching 5% of the global 3D printing market volume by 2030. Last year, Etteplan conducted a survey funded by Business Finland, which showed that Finnish companies were slowly warming to 3D printing, but wanted a neutral party to facilitate development and represent the private sector. In that role, FAME will bring design and printing experts, equipment manufacturers, and material suppliers together to work on adoption. Now, Etteplan’s Department Manager for 3D Printing, Tero Hämeenaho, has been appointed to lead FAME as the ecosystem’s chairman.
“It is a great honor to lead this systemic change ecosystem crossing organizational borders. We have already for years worked in the field of additive manufacturing. Now, together with Etteplan’s Additive Manufacturing and Optimization team and several other companies we can take actions to industrialize 3D printing,” Hämeenaho said.
“The progress of 3D printing in Finland has so far been slowed down by the small size and fragmentation of the players, but FAME gathers everyone to work towards common goal.”
BCN3D Partnering with 3DGBIRE
Barcelona’s 3D printing solutions manufacturer BCN3D has announced that it is partnering with 3DGBIRE, a premium AM solutions and training provider in the UK and Ireland that helps companies easily integrate the technology within their workflows. 3DGBIRE will now be the exclusive distributor of BCN3D’s solutions across Ireland and Britain, which will help expand its growth in these markets. This announcement comes soon after BCN3D has released the next generation systems in both its Epsilon Series and Sigma Series, and now that the company is working with 3DGBIRE, professionals in several industries across the UK will be able to take advantage of these new 3D printers.
“We are very excited about the partnership between 3DGBIRE and BCN3D, as this aligns with our global growth initiatives to provide strong local relationships with our customers. With 3DGBIRE’s in-depth understanding of the additive manufacturing industry and its excellent reputation, we count on the optimal conditions to deliver the best solution to customers,” said Xavier Martinez Faneca, CEO of BCN3D.
Concre3DLab Creates Plugins for Grasshopper
As its name suggests, Concre3DLab, a research institute embedded within the Department of Structural Engineering at Ghent University, is focused on 3D printing concrete structures. It’s currently developing several apps for Grasshopper, which will be shared in order to help others with the design and manufacturing of concrete prints. The first of these is VoxelPrint, a Grasshopper plugin that can construct simulation files specifically designed for applications in concrete 3D printing. It’s able to create Input files for ABAQUS simulation by voxelizing any 3D shape into a set of identical finite elements, and is free to use for academic and educational use, though you’ll need to contact Concre3DLab if you’re interested in commercial use.
“The main contribution of this plug-in is providing an extensive, yet easy-to-use plugin to be used by both non-experts (e.g. architects and designers that are familiar with the parametric toolbox that is provided by Grasshopper) and more advanced users (that can experiment with the broad range of input parameters in an attempt to optimize their print design). The core component generates .INP files for ABAQUS; and is based on state-of-the art numerical methods for simulation of concrete printing,” the researchers wrote.
The team is also working on a Grasshopper plugin called CobraPrint, which can be used to create finite element models without having to know any numerical modeling.
Interspectral Releases AM Explorer Visualization Software
Swedish company Interspectral, which develops intuitive software with volumetric rendering and 3D visualization of real captured data, has created a new software package called AM Explorer that’s specifically for users working with layer-based metal AM. Interspectral originally created the software exclusively for and with Siemens Energy, but AM Explorer is now being released on the full AM market, so that other users can explore and understand process data to better fuse and analyze simulation and machine monitoring data, design files, and post-print metrology data. The software package is data and machine agnostic, and can be easily plugged into existing systems, which will help companies using metal 3D printing analyze their data more quickly.
Thomas Rydell, Interspectral’s Co-Founder said, “We are very pleased with the launch of AM Explorer to the market as we believe that it will bring value to the industry. We are looking forward to partnering up with additional innovative companies so we can learn even more about issues in the industry and further develop AM Explorer to overcome these challenges.
“With AM Explorer users can explore data from their own process regardless of their infrastructure. In the same visual environment they can explore data ranging from design files, simulations, machine monitoring data and powder bed images to more complex data such as optical tomography and melt pool data, it’s even possible to explore CT scan data.”
Nanofabrica Shows Off New Micro-sized 3D Prints
Israeli micro 3D printing provider Nanofabrica has released some information about, and incredible images of, tiny industrial parts printed on its Tera 250 micro AM system, which show just how precise it is. Based on a DLP engine but combined with adaptive optics and multiple sensors for a closed feedback loop, the Tera 250 is able to offer accurate, repeatable micron levels of resolution. The first part is an industrial impeller, with sharp edges and complex curves, that measures 5.66 (X) x 5.66 (Y) x 2.87 (Z) mm, and the second is a 9 x 6 x 6 mm fiber optic adapter. Impellers increase pressure and flow rate of fluid measuring in MEMS, and this tiny replica shows how customizable it is Nanofabrica’s capable hands. The adapter has complex internal curved cavities used to feed optical fibers, and this small version illustrates that the Tera 250 can be used for short series runs of this part.
“We are delighted to be able to release details of some of the successes we have had using our 3D printing technology. It is only through the unique combination of hardware, software, and material innovations at Nanofabrica that we can claim that the Tera 250 is the first 3D printing machine to not just be able to achieve such precision and accuracy, but to be able to do so while at the same time being commercially viable in terms of speed of production and cost of production. The Tera 250 is now proven to be a game changer when it comes to opening up the advantages of 3D printing to the micro manufacturing world for the very first time. Design engineers and OEMs can now see that restrictions that they have to work within when designing and manufacturing for traditional manufacturing processes are no longer there. As such the Tera 250 and the use of 3D printing for micro manufacturing will be the spur to innovation and increasingly cost effective, speedily produced mass customizable micro parts and components into the future,” said Avi Cohen, the EVP Global Sales at Nanofabrica.