Roboze Customer Integrates Roboze One+400 3D Printer Into Factory Supply Chain for PEEK 3D …

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Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze is known for releasing desktop machines that can print using high-performance, industrial-strength materials, like PEEK and PEI. Last year, the company revamped its affordable Roboze One+400 3D printer into a fully industrial 3D printer, and the updated machine caught the eye of Roboze customer Zare Srl, a self-described additive manufacturing expert also based in Italy. Zare is a veritable AM factory, capable of making both prototypes and final parts thanks to 3D printing technology and a wide knowledge of materials.

At the end of 2017, Zare was in deep conversation with Roboze, to see if it was possible for the Roboze One+400 3D printer to be introduced into its standardized, UNI EN 9100:2009 certified production processes. Zare reduces production lead time and protects the confidentiality of its customer projects by ensuring a short internal supply chain, and the Roboze One + 400 would help the company continue to do so.

“It was necessary to define new company procedures that could bring both prototype and definitive pieces to the standards that already characterize every element created by Zare,” said Torelli, the Quality Manager for Zare. “We verified on-site that the application of the new processes occurs without any slowing down or impact on the delivery conditions.”

The discussions were ultimately successful, so Zare recently set up new corporate processes in order to introduce the 3D printer into the FDM department of its factory supply chain.

“Roboze has introduced various innovations in professional 3D printing on FDM technology,” said Ilaria Guicciardini, Roboze Marketing Director. “The Roboze Beltless System allows direct mechanical transmission to the X and Y axes through the insertion of helical racks in contact with the pinion. This patented solution allows a precision of up to 25 microns, for an unprecedented level of quality. Another innovative element is definitely the HVP (High Viscosity Polymers) extruder, which is internally designed and produced. The HVP extruder has an inner channel to accelerate the speed of high viscosity polymers during the extrusion process that, along with the proper temperature, reduces viscosity and controls the swelling process, increasing the speed of printing polymers such as PEEK.”

The Roboze One+400 installed at Zare will be subjected to continuous factory stress, so the company will be able to manufacture definitive pieces for its customers out of high-performance technopolymer PEEK.

“Creating 3D printed elements using PEEK is useful in areas in which metals struggle to be an optimal choice,” said Zare General Manager Pasquali. “Offering our customers this opportunity broadens the number of applications for designs, taking advantage of the special features of the additive.”

[Image: Zare]

PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a super technopolymer that offers great 3D printed results. The unique material is stable in highly acidic or basic environments, as well as at high temperatures, and has excellent thermal stability and chemical inertia. PEEK is popular for high shock applications, as well as those requiring lengthy exposure to high temperatures, such as in the Aerospace and Defense, Biomedical, Motorsport, and Oil & Gas industries.

Ducati part 3D printed in PEEK material

Zare is using the Roboze One+400 3D printer, and high-performance PEEK material, to create small industrial instruments, like drilling templates, spacing elements, and support brackets, that can be used to make series manufacturing easier on a daily basis. The creation of aids like these in series production is what’s known as rapid tooling, which gives companies a slower, more cautious approach to industrial 3D printing as it impacts accompanying equipment that doesn’t actually change the production supply chain for industrial product construction.

By using PEEK material for these types of instruments, it’s possible to design them so they are wear-resistant and have a higher mechanical performance.

“Even with reduced print sizes on single pieces compared to the three Fortus 900mc in our FDM department (the Roboze One +400 operating chamber is 200x200x200 mm), the possibilities offered by the PEEK material are definitely cutting edge, combining excellent mechanical features and excellent chemical resistance,” said Pisciuneri, the Sales Manager for Zare. “Both in functional prototypes and for definitive applications, PEEK is a new, valuable opportunity to submit to customer assessment.”

The quality technological solution that Roboze offers in its Roboze One+400 3D printer convinced Zare that even a material like PEEK could be extruded in a way that will suit its customers’ needs, so that they in turn will take advantage of the many new production possibilities that additive manufacturing offers.

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[Images provided by Roboze]

First SPEE3D cold spray metal 3D printer in Asia with $190000 NAMIC grant for Singapore 3D …

The LightSPEE3D metal 3D printer. Image via SPEE3D.

Cold spray metal 3D printing is coming to Singapore.

Singapore Polytechnic (SP) has been awarded a grant of almost S$250,000 (US $190,000) by the country’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC).

The funds will go towards a joint R&D program involving SP, NAMIC, and Australian 3D printer manufacturer SPEE3D. The additive manufacturing research will investigate how to 3D print metal faster, aiming to manufacturing parts 1,000 times quicker than conventional 3D printing technologies.

Combining gas atomization and cold spray technologies

The year-long research program combines metal powder production from SP’s Advanced Materials Technology Centre (AMTC), with Australian 3D printing company SPEE3D’s LightSPEE3D 3D printer.

AMTC produces customised metal powders using a gas atomization system. This process forces molten material through a nozzle using pressure from an inert gas. The pressure also disrupts the flow of the gas, forming metal droplets, which cool along the length of a tower to form a powder.

This, in turn, is used as feedstock in the LightSPEE3D 3D printer. The LightSPEE3D applies supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology, a form of cold spray technology. Metal powder is fired through a nozzle on to a build plate attached to a robotic arm.

This arm moves along five axes to build a near-net shape part layer by layer, as the molten powder particles hit the substrate laden build plate (or solid particle layers) and rapidly cool. This process claims to 3D print metals 1000 times faster than existing technologies.

Australia’s SPEE3D are not the only enterprise investigating cold spray additive manufacturing. In 2013, we reported on how GE are using cold spray 3D printing and more recently looked at refinements to GE’s cold spray technology.

The LightSPEE3D metal 3D printer. Image via SPEE3D.

The first Polytechnic grant for metal 3D printing

This is the first translational R&D grant awarded to a Singapore Polytechnic in metal 3D printing, with the aim of making the technology faster and cheaper.

“We are delighted that SPEE3D has chosen Singapore as one of their key hubs for technology development, test-bedding, and market expansion,” said NAMIC Managing Director Dr. Ho Chaw Sing. Explaining the need for the R&D program, Chaw Sing added that

“The lack of manufacturing grade metal printing at production speeds, as well as the cost and quality of the metal powder feedstock are huge obstacles towards mass adoption of metal AM technologies.”

Dr. Rajnish Gupta, Director of Singapore Polytechnic’s Technology, Innovation & Enterprise department added that the partnership would “allow us to help position Singapore as a global Additive Manufacturing hub.”

Singapore Polytechnic campus. Photo via Singapore Polytechnic.Singapore Polytechnic campus. Photo via Singapore Polytechnic.

The first SPEE3D 3D printer in Asia

SPEE3D’s cold spray technology was invented by Steven Camilleri and Byron Kennedy (who contributed to 3D Printing Industry’s “The Future of 3D Printing” series), and the LightSPEE3D 3D printer found its first customer in Australia’s Charles Darwin University in 2017.

“Singapore is an ideal location to install the first LightSPEE3D printer in Asia,” said Byron Kennedy, now the CEO of SPEE3D. “Together with Singapore Polytechnic, ST Kinetics and NAMIC, we can showcase to the world how high-speed 3D printing can revolutionize manufacturing.”

Make your nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018 now.

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Featured image shows SPEE3D’s LightSPEE3D 3D printer. Photo via SPEE3D.

Mexico's CES 2018 presence is the start of something big

For many technology entrepreneurs and startups, CES is where dreams are born. It’s the place where their concepts and products are showcased to the masses for the first time ever, all with the hope to make a dent in one of the most thriving industries at the moment. Over the past 12 years, that’s been the case for Manuel Gutiérrez Novelo, a 47-year-old Mexican entrepreneur and inventor who has been attending the show since the ’00s. Gutierrez has launched a number of products throughout the years at CES, including what he calls the world’s “first” virtual reality viewer connected to a computer in 2006.

But CES 2018 was slightly different for Gutiérrez-Novelo. This year, he took on the task of bringing 20 of Mexico’s best startups to the show, as part of a project created in cooperation with the country’s government dubbed Mexico 4.0. It all began at last year’s CES, where he came across a Mexican official at the event who was taken aback by the fact that Gutiérrez’ company, Angel Inventum, was the only one from Mexico with a presence at the show. That led officials to ask him how they could help more entrepreneurs from Mexico showcase their work at CES.

Manuel Gutiérrez-Novelo.

The answer to that question was simple: They needed resources like money and, most importantly, a way to find the best talent in a country with almost 128 million people. Gutiérrez-Novelo said he worked with three government agencies, including INADEM (National Institute of Entrepreneurs of Mexico), which provides financial support to entrepreneurs and small-to-medium-sized businesses in the country. After months of conversations, what transpired was Mexico 4.0, a program designed to help inventors create companies, produce, market and export their technologies, as well as attract funding for them both in Mexico and internationally.

Gutiérrez-Novelo said there were about 2,300 applications from startups and other “well-established” firms all across Mexico, but only 20 were selected to make the trip to Las Vegas for CES 2018. Among them are companies like Happinss, a virtual reality platform that offers experiences focused on reducing stress and anxiety in the workplace. There’re also a handful that are working on 3D printing technologies like a modular device that can print different materials with ease thanks to interchangeable 3D printer heads.

3D printing is a key category for startups like MakerMex, particularly because it allows them to work with companies like Nissan, which have manufacturing plants in Mexico. According to a report by manufacturing firm The Offshore Group, automakers from all over the world have invested more than $13 billion to build their products in Mexico. That’s a huge investment in the country’s economy, one that MakerMex and other eager 3D printing startups can tap into with their machines.

The challenge for Gutiérrez-Novelo once Mexico 4.0 leaves CES 2018, however, will be to continue pushing these efforts back home. He said there’s already a plan to ensure that the show is just the start of something big, not just for the 20 lucky companies who were selected to be a part of the initial project, but for Mexico as a whole. Essentially, what the government and Gutiérrez-Novelo want to create is sort of an incubator to that helps entrepreneurs and startups grow into established entities, by providing all the necessary resources to create and develop ideas.

Of course, it’s no secret that the Mexican government doesn’t have the best reputation, what with talks of corruption always looming large over the country and its officials. Gutiérrez-Novelo believes that projects like Mexico 4.0 can help get rid of that stigma and move the country in the right direction. He added that one of the reasons he decided to work with the government is Mexico’s Minister of Innovation, Jaime Reyes, a former Vice President of Hewlett Packard for over 20 years. Gutiérrez-Novelo said Reyes was one of the officials who pushed the Mexico 4.0 project forward, and that he’s an official who truly wants to change Mexico from within.

MEXICO-CABINET-EDUCATION-PENA NIETO

Enrique Peña Nieto.

“I want to remove that bad perception of Mexico,” Gutiérrez-Novelo said, “and the only way is by setting an example. There’s more good people in Mexico than bad people.” He added that while he had never worked with the government prior to this, he was immediately interested in the idea of creating a larger tech culture in the country. “It was interesting because [the government] had a lot of years of doing things the same way, and that clearly wasn’t working,” he said.

Rogelio Garza Garza, Mexico’s undersecretary of industry and commerce, told Engadget that, since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in 2012, the goal has been to “transform to digital economy” and capitalize on the tech boom. That’s what’s driving initiatives like Mexico 4.0, which Garza Garza hopes will inspire people from all over the country and of all ages to innovate in the space. One of the main focuses after CES will be attracting that talent and providing them with the necessary resources to succeed, including improved education curriculums, scholarships and offering capital to entrepreneurs who need it.

If that human talent doesn’t exist or thrive, Garza Garza said it will be impossible to create an ecosystem of tech companies that the country can be proud of. “Mexico is in this [growing] process,” he said. “Sometimes maybe you think it’s going very, very slowly. But no, we work a lot. It’s difficult when you have years [of coming from behind].” Garza Garza knows it might take years before Mexico 4.0 can be called a success, but he believes the government’s heart is in the right place with the program.

With Peña Nieto leaving office next year, though, the challenge for Mexico 4.0 will be to maintain its efforts when a new president comes in. But Garza Garza said he doesn’t foresee any hurdles even if a new political party were to win the elections, noting that there are enough entrepreneurs and big corporations that “want to push the government” to continue with programs like this, regardless of which political party reigns. “The industrial side is very, very strong,” he said, “and [will] push the new government to continue with these types of policies.”

It’s no doubt that, compared to its North American neighbors US and Canada, Mexico is definitely playing catch up in tech. But at least there are people like Gutiérrez-Novelo, Reyes and Garza Garza trying to shift the paradigm, something that Mexico as a country desperately needs. And that vision for a new, tech-forward Mexico all started at CES.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

Morphi Rings in the New Year With New Materials Tool

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Morphi, the 3D design app for education, has become increasingly versatile. Over the past year, the Morphi team has integrated AR and VR into the program and integrated it into Apple’s ARKit. They redesigned the user interface, enhanced the 2D to 3D tools, added obj file export, and expanded import and export to include Google Drive, AirDrop, DropBox, as well as a host of other features.

Just before Christmas, Morphi released their new materials tool to compliment their ever evolving 3D toolset. Now designers can see their creations rendered in gold, stone, iron, brick, wood and other materials. Material colors can also be changed for greater variation in tone and texture. More material options and features are scheduled to come in 2018.

“Our goal is to help anyone, anywhere create,” says Sophia Georgiou, Morphi’s CEO and chief designer. “Materials are an important part of the design process and we are excited to be able to empower our users to visualize their designs in multiple materials. We know this will spark new ideas among our community and provide them with new avenues of creative expression.”

Rendering in the new materials has many different applications for makers. For one, material rendering of 3D designs in Morphi can be used as a visual guide for fabrication. It allows users to first visualize designs in Morphi in a particular material, and then be inspired to 3D print them on SLS machines using 3D printing services, like Shapeways or Sculpteo, where multiple material printing options are available.

Alternatively, users can 3D print their designs made in Morphi on FDM machines using different plastic filaments, including those blended with wood, iron, copper or other metals (like colorFabb or Protopasta) and refine their prints with post processing. Designers can also create molds for their designs and cast them in a variety of materials, or they can even use their Morphi designs as 3D blueprints and bring their models to life using art supplies, household materials and found objects.

With Morphi you don’t need a 3D printer to create. You can create designs and sample different materials in Morphi, and then place 3D models directly in a real environment using Morphi’s powerful Augmented Reality tools. Morphi’s other big end-of-year release is sure to be welcomed by users; it’s Morphi v2 for Mac and Windows, which provides a similar design experience as Morphi’s iPad version.

“We love tablets and designed Morphi specifically for iPads,” says Georgiou. “Mac and Windows versions were requested early on by our community members who wanted the same tools for desktops and laptops. We’re happy to be able help more people design and share ideas, regardless of what platform they are using.”

Morphi has more surprises planned for the new year. They will release a long anticipated pre-K-12th grade curriculum for school districts. They also are releasing online courses to compliment their online tutorials and the onsite professional development services in 3D Printing, AR and MakerEd that they currently provide. Also on the way are more 3D design tools and additional AR and VR features. Android and iPhone versions of Morphi App and a few other surprises are coming down the pike. For more information about Morphi please visit http://www.morphiapp.com, https://www.instagram.com/morphiapp/, or email the team at hello@morphiapp.com.

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