Let’s start with the business news in today’s briefs on 3D printing, as E3D has acquired ZODIAC, a nozzle and spare parts FDM solutions company, and EVO 3D is partnering with CEAD. Moving on to materials, Admatec launched a new 3D printer for metal and ceramics, Desktop Metal is a 3D printing closed-cell foam, and AMGTA released a process for the safe transportation and recycling of condensate waste. of metal powder. Finally, Australian researchers have developed a unique 3D printed system to harvest stem cells from bioreactors.
E3D announces the acquisition of ZODIAC
First, E3D, which provides nozzles, extruders and hotends for 3D printing, announced the acquisition of ZODIAC, a nozzle and aftermarket FDM 3D printing solutions company that has just been founded in 2020. ZODIAC supplies CRB and PRO coated nozzles to 3D printer brands like Zortrax, Raise3D, and Ultimaker, in addition to belt-driven printers like the CR-30. E3D has acquired all of the company’s intellectual property and assets, which it believes will help increase the strength of its own sourcing force across all product lines. E3D believes that by utilizing its global network of resellers, it will be able to expand ZODIAC’s existing product lines and make its offering accessible to a wider market. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“I am personally delighted to introduce the ZODIAC product line to current and new E3D customers. Their high quality offering complements the E3D brand and means we have confidence to back the ZODIAC name,” said Clare Difazio, Head of Product Strategy and Marketing at E3D. “I look forward to bringing this brilliant line of aftermarket upgrades to an even wider range of printers than we supply today. For us, that means we can rest assured that high-quality extrusion is more accessible than ever. The future of the FA is exciting and we are here for it.
EVO 3D in partnership with CEAD
3D printing solution provider EVO 3D and large format 3D printing provider CEAD, located in the Netherlands, have announced their partnership. EVO 3D strives to advance the end-to-end integration of robotic 3D printing, which requires the right materials, hardware and software, technical support and employee training to be successful. In this new partnership, the British company will offer CEAD’s technology components as part of a custom pellet 3D printer package, allowing EVO 3D to make a robot package with higher throughput. This set will include CEAD’s lightweight E25 pellet extruder, integrated on a KUKA robot, as well as CEAD’s 2 x 1 m print bed and pellet dryer. The primary target for this pellet 3D printing robot package will be the UK, especially for end part applications for design and recreational uses, such as theme parks.
“The addition of CEAD to our partnership is not only very proud, but also essential. We also have a keen eye on CEAD AM Flexbot solutions, this is something we want to offer in the future,” said Jake Hand, Marketing Director of EVO 3D.
Admaflex300 3D printer achieves over 12 million pixels per layer
Admatec, which was recently acquired by Nano Dimension, has announced that its Admaflex 300 metal and ceramic 3D printer is capable of printing over 12 million pixels in a single layer, significantly increasing its efficiency and throughput. Admatec developed its 3D printing technology, which combines DLP and tape casting and can handle high viscosity slurries without sedimentation, in 2013. Since introducing the Admaflex130 three years later, and now also offers the ‘Admaflex300, the company has shipped many printers around the world. worldwide to customers such as 3D printing contract manufacturers, universities and government laboratories, as well as producers of ceramic and metal parts. These users print high-quality metal and ceramic parts with tight tolerances and excellent material properties for multiple applications, such as opto-mechatronics, semiconductors and electronics, refractories, jewelry and watches, medical tools, aviation and aerospace, etc. The Admaflex300 is now available with a pixel resolution of 40 µm and a projection size of 202 x 102 mm, which delivers over 12 million pixels per layer.
“To answer the question ‘should I choose one large Admaflex300 printer or 3 small Admaflex130 machines’, it is good to know that the investment cost for one Admaflex300 is only 50% higher than for one Admaflex130 with comparable capacities. If your goal is R&D and material development with the smallest amount of material, the Admaflex130 is the best solution for small parts. If you plan to scale to maximum productivity, the Admaflex300 will be the most economical solution, with over 3 times the production output of a smaller machine with a 102×64mm platform. In case you have a budget for the Admaflex130 but not enough for the Admaflex300, you can even consider an Admaflex300 with specs like the 130 machine at the price point of the 130 machine, still allowing you to upgrade more late towards all the capabilities and specifications of the Admaflex300 machine.
Desktop Metal 3D Printing Closed Cell Foam
Desktop Metal introduced its new family of expandable photopolymer resins called FreeFoam, which contain heat-activated foaming agents that are 3D printed with Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology for volume production of durable closed-cell foam parts and dimensionally accurate. Part of the DuraChain category of single-component photopolymers, this material was developed by Desktop Metal subsidiary Adaptive3D and will initially be available exclusively for the ETEC Xtreme 8K top-down DLP system. FreeFoam parts can be expanded on demand during a brief oven heating cycle, and this controllable process causes the resins to constantly expand 2 to 7 times their original size. In the future, Desktop Metal plans to offer several grades of FreeFoam resins with different Shore hardness values and other material properties, including water resistance.
“FreeFoam is one of the most exciting and commercially important photopolymer solutions to come to industrial printing in years. The conventionally manufactured foam market presents many challenges – from expensive molds that limit designs, to dense and heavy foams that absorb water and are expensive to ship and drive, to the inability to easily dial values strength and Shore hardness in specific foam designs,” said Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal.
“We are especially excited to unveil our FreeFoam innovation in the Detroit metro area, where our new foam material can help cars and light trucks while maintaining the performance and comfort expected of foam seating. With FreeFoam, Desktop Metal is ready to free the foam market from its many challenges.
AMGTA’s process for transporting, recycling waste metal powder
The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), launched in November 2019 to promote the environmental benefits of AM, has released a report that outlines the requirements needed for the passivation of waste metal powder condensate for transportation and recycling. Metal condensate is the term used for the excess powder and soot expelled from the build plate during powder bed fusion processes, and until now it was treated as a hazardous material and disposed of at a high cost. AMGTA member Sintavia, together with KBM Advanced Materials, developed the unique process to recycle and transport it safely, which involves mixing the metal powder condensate with a removable resin to make it non-hazardous. This allows safe shipment to a recycling plant.
“Today’s report is essential reading for any company involved in laser powder bed fusion metal additive manufacturing. Not only does this new process reduce transportation costs, it is also reversible, meaning metal recyclers can have unsullied access to the underlying powder once it is received, allowing to recycle waste that previously had to go to a hazardous waste landfill,” said Sherri Monroe, AMGTA’s CEO.
3D printed system for harvesting stem cells from bioreactors
Finally, researchers from the University of Technology Sydney have published a study on their development of a unique 3D printed system to harvest stem cells from bioreactors. Stem cells, due to their ability to replace damaged cells, hold great promise for the treatment of disease and injury, but the technology currently used to harvest them is time-consuming and expensive. The research team, in collaboration with Australian biotech company Regeneus, used 3D printing and microfluidics to, as biomedical engineer Professor Majid Warkiani put it, “integrate a number of steps of production in a single device” that makes stem cell therapies less expensive and more widely available. The system processes mesenchymal stem cells, which can divide and differentiate into multiple tissue cells, such as muscle, bone, and connective tissue; once the cells are extracted from human blood, bone marrow or adipose tissue, they are transferred to a bioreactor and combined with microcarriers to allow proliferation. The 3D printed system combines a spiral microfluidic separator, four micromixers and a microfluidic concentrator, which all work together to detach and separate cells and concentrate them for processing.
“While this world-first system is currently in the prototype stage, we are working closely with biotech companies to commercialize the technology,” Professor Warkiani said. “Most importantly, it is a closed system without human intervention, which is necessary for current good manufacturing practices.
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