In today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting off with some business and then moving on to materials and some cool 3D printed items, like shoes and assistive devices. Read on for all the details!
Sintavia Appoints New Chief Financial Officer
Sintavia, which creates and 3D prints flight and launch components, announced that it has hired Brian Haggenmiller to lead the company’s accounting and financial teams as the new Chief Financial Officer. Previously the Senior Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at AerSale Corp., Haggenmiller was in charge of the company’s financial planning efforts ahead of it going public last year via a SPAC, and he also had to evaluate a variety of commercial aerospace transactions, varying from single engine deals to multiple aircraft packages.
“Sintavia is the global leader in applying raw additive manufacturing technology to targeted end uses within the Aerospace, Defense, & Space industry—specifically thermodynamic components, advanced propulsion systems, and aerostructures. My goal in joining Sintavia will be to ensure that it has the financial support it needs to seize the opportunity that lies before it within these component markets,” Haggenmiller said.
6K Appoints VP of Government Affairs
In other business news, 6K, which produces sustainable advanced materials for energy storage and AM powders, announced that it has appointed Mary Cronin, a very seasoned government relations executive, to the executive leadership team as its new Vice President of Government Affairs. She has expertise in local, state, federal, non-profit, and corporate outreach, as well as US public policy and state and federal government relations, and her ability to build relationships with the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, the Defense Logistics Agency, and on Capitol Hill will help 6K in its mission to increase the domestic production of advanced materials in energy storage and additive manufacturing and drive change in national security, the supply chain, and sustainability.
“Issues like battery manufacturing in the US, of which there is near zero capability currently, and securing critical elements like titanium domestically, pose a national threat to the country. Our UniMelt® production platform can be a key driving force in solving these issues. Having Mary leading these initiatives for 6K with the highest levels of government will give us a strong voice in DC and uncover more strategic program opportunities,” said 6K CEO Aaron Bent.
Nexa3D Wins Innovation Award at ASME Event
At the recent AM Tech Forum, hosted by ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers), ultrafast 3D printing leader Nexa3D won the “Best in Class” Innovation Award for machines and processes. The one-day virtual event, dedicated to innovations and product discovery in 3D printing, automatically entered participants into the Innovation Awards, and the companies showed off their AM solutions in a technology demonstration and Q&A session during the day. A panel of judges from multiple sectors, like aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, energy, and medical devices, reviewed each demonstration, and Nexa3D won for its advanced Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) and Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) print engines for high-speed production applications and its NexaX 2.0 software platform, which uses process interplay algorithms to optimize the production cycle, ensure consistency, and reduce energy and material usage.
“We’re determined to break the productivity and performance barriers of AM so that our customers can harvest the full potential of this technology. Being chosen as best in class in the Innovations Awards by customers and a panel of brilliant minds in the AM industry reinforces our mission to democratize access to delivering additively manufactured parts for volume production based on circular economy principles,” said Nexa3D’s CEO Avi Reichental.
Marotta Controls Adopts 3D Printing Capability
Aerospace and defense supplier Marotta Controls offers a portfolio of manufacturing services, and recently announced that 3D printing is the latest addition, validating the technology by using its patented SLS technique to create internal radial passages on an advanced air reducing manifold valve. The company is known for its ability to solve difficult engineering problems, and decided to tackle the challenge of improving the performance of the manifold in high pressure applications. While subtractive manufacturing can be used to carve out internal passages that expand in two dimensions, 3D printing makes it possible for the manifold valve to achieve a better performance by delivering increased velocity pressure control. The company has since evaluated its 3D valve concept in over 12 different design configurations with differing passage structures.
“We have a near 80-year culture of creative thinking, of challenging the status quo. And we’re proud to confirm that that mindset resulted in a remarkable evolution to a tried and true part used for generations,” stated Brian Fly, Vice President Marine Systems, Marotta Controls. “Additive manufacturing offers some very interesting opportunities that we’re inherently designed to embrace on behalf of our customers. We anticipate more unique, disruptive innovations to come out of this capability as we continue to apply it.”
CRP Introduces New Windform Material
Italian 3D printing company CRP Technology has launched its latest proprietary polyamide-based carbon fiber-filled composite material for production powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printing—Windform RS, the 10th material in the company’s high-performance Windform TOP-LINE range. The material is said to have exceptional mechanical properties, with resistance to damage, deformation, high temperature, shock and vibration, along with liquid and water absorption down to 1 mm part thickness and HB rated according to the flammability UL 94 test. The composite material would be a good choice for complex, tough, and intricate PBF printed parts, functional prototypes, and heavy duty end-use applications in harsh environments, like the military binoculars above.
“In the Additive Manufacturing world Windform® RS is unparalleled. We created a material that combines high tensile strength with high elongation at break and low density: Windform® RS is unique of its kind,” stated engineer Franco Cevolini, the CEO and CTO of CRP Technology.
“CRP Technology has been always working hard to bring forward customizable PBF 3D printing solutions for any scenario. We’re building upon CRP Technology’s legacy in materials for AM to create new ones at the highest level for our customers’ benefit, and Windform® RS proves it: our focus on innovation led to the creation of a composite material with a very high Tensile Strength (85.25 MPa) that has at the same time excellent ductility (Elongation at Break of 9.46%) and low density (1,10 g / cc).”
HILOS Presents 100% Recyclable 3D Printed Shoes
Portland, Oregon-based circular footwear company HILOS truly believes that “how we make things matters,” and is on a mission to change how the world makes products so that nothing goes to waste. The company of artists, designers, and engineers uses sustainable, on-demand 3D printing to offer zero-waste manufacturing paired with circular design, creating custom, personalized shoes that they say are 100% recyclable. The traditional insole, midsole, and outsole are combined into one 3D printed platform, and inset into this platform is a woven lattice mesh for supportive cushioning. HILOS offers inclusive sizing, with over 60 size options ranging from 4 narrow to 14 wide, and pays for returns and exchanges if your shoes don’t work. You can also add your name, or a personal message, to the bottom of your left shoe, and, even more importantly, HILOS says that each pair uses 85% less water than traditional footwear requires, which saves 1,7000 gallons of water per pair.
“Every pair of HILOS is engineered to be disassembled and repurposed for a second life. Circularity for us means designing with intention from concept to production. It means making products that not only last but have an end of life plan,” the company writes on its website. “Every order comes with a return label to make it easy to send your used HILOS back to us for recycling, earning you 15% off your next purchase. We’ll then disassemble them and send the materials off to a network of partners who can recycle and reuse the leather uppers and 3D printed platforms for new products.”
Angled 3D Printing Assistive Devices for Makers Making Change
Makers Making Change, a volunteer initiative of Canadian non-profit the Neil Squire Society, is partnering with Angled.io to make 3D printed assistive devices available to those without 3D printer access. Neil Squire Society works to develop a network of volunteer makes who make 3D printed assistive devices to support people with disabilities in their communities, and Makers Making Change is using Angled’s Slant 3D printing farm to create affordable assistive products that can help disabled people complete everyday tasks.
“The problem with making products for people who are disabled is that often company’s do not target this market because it is so small. These products tend to only help a small amount of people making it hard to sell. So in order to combat this they often have to make these tools more expensive to make up for the production and manufacturing costs. With Angled, we print products on demand so we only will make an item if it has already sold. With this business model, we are able to make these tools by Makers Making Change at an affordable price. They also will never sell out!”
If you want to help, you can submit your assistive device design to Angled’s product submission page and start selling it. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a specific product, check out the Angled contact page to submit a request.
Tower with 3D Printed Columns to Become Cultural Site
Mulegns, a Swiss village on the Julier Pass with only 16 inhabitants, will soon be the home of a 23-meter-high tower made of 3D printed columns that’s set to become a cultural site. The White Tower structure, designed and planned by architects and engineers with ETH Zurich, the Digital Building Technologies research group, and the Origen Foundation, will begin construction next year, with robots 3D printing the components onsite out of concrete. The columns will support four floors between four and eight meters high, with a dome formed at the top that will surround a performance stage. The goal of this unique project is to bring culture to the area in order to revitalize it—a plan dreamt up by Giovanni Netzer, theatre director and founder of the Origen Cultural Festival.
ETH Professor Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer from Digital Building Technologies designed and planned the White Tower, which was recently presented for the first time in Mulegns. Additionally, three other ETH professors from the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication (DFAB) are involved, with Andreas Wieser focusing on inspection and metrology, Robert Flatt working on concrete mixing, and Walter Kaufmann is responsible for the connections and structural integrity of the 3D printed concrete columns. If all goes to plan, a public site will be set up in April of 2022 so visitors can watch the robot construct the structure.
3D Printed Hot Wheels Version of Car Built in 1769
In the past, Hot Wheels, owned by Mattel, has created some 3D printed versions of its more iconic cars, and we’ve seen at least one maker who made a 3D printed Hot Wheels racetrack. Jason Torchinsky, Senior Editor of Jalopnik, wanted to get in on the fun when a friend loaned him a 3D printer, and decided to create a model himself, rather than just duplicate an existing one. He thought about the first working automobile from 1769—Nicholas-Josef Cugnot’s fardierà vapeur—and then landed on an exaggerated version of the Cugnot car, in Hot Wheels-Fatbax style. In Torchinsky’s words, the 1769 Cugnot Steam Drag kind of resembles a cart pushing a giant tea kettle, and he had fun combining the “Hot Wheels Fatbax design language with the clunky complexity of the 1700s-era industrial design,” though he did admit to making plenty of “neophyte mistakes” with the project, mostly having to do with the support material.
“The removal process was tedious and nervy, an unpleasant combination that combined the requirement of a lot of force in very specific, tiny areas and zero force in others, so you could remove the plastic you didn’t want while keeping the plastic you did.
“Inevitably, some parts were too thin and broke, like the steering yoke column, one of the little ladders, and the piston rods, but I was able to keep the rest intact, mostly.”
If you’re interested in your own 3D printed Hot Wheels Fatbax-style Cugnot Steam Drag car, you’re in luck, as Torchinsky put his model on Thingiverse!