Premium Aerotec Acquires APWorks

Aerospace supplier Premium Aerotec has made a big move into expanding its additive manufacturing capabilities, acquiring Airbus spin-off APWorks. Premium Aerotec is also owned by Airbus.

These titanium printed vent bends made for Airbus were the first such serial parts certified for airworthiness. Image: Premium Aerotec

“With Premium Aerotec coming on board, we can take a huge step closer to our vision of industrial mass production using additive manufacturing technology”, said Joachim Zettler, Managing Director of APWorks. “The aim is to combine APWorks’ highly dynamic approach in solving the issues posed by our clients’ additive manufacturing questions with Premium Aerotec’s decades of production experience to elicit maximum benefit for our clients from each and every industry, throughout the entire additive manufacturing value added chain.”

APWorks helps customers in the aerospace and automotive markets identify 3D-print-friendly components. The deal will give Premium Aerotec access to other customers outside of its parent company, which is expected to eventually sell the supplier.

“Our main customer is Airbus, but we have a clear strategy to open up to more customers out there,” Premium Aerotec CEO Thomas Ehm told Reuters. “Whether or not Airbus will sell Premium Aerotec is their decision. But we were founded 10 years ago in order to be sold.”

The company makes complete fuselage sections, floor structures, wing components, loading doors, and pressure bulkheads. It was the first aviation supplier to introduce 3D-printed titanium components in aircraft applications. In 2016, the company supplied additively manufactured parts for the aerial refueling system used in the A400M.

Premium Aerotec uses additive manufacturing for parts in the Airbus A350 and A400M military aircraft. The company wants to have its 3D printing processes certified by relevant regulators in Europe and the U.S. – this will save the time and expense of certifying individual parts.

Source: Reuters

Johnson & Johnson Company Acquires 3D Printing Bone Implant Technology

To repair bone injuries and encourage the growth of new bone, doctors often harvest bone from other parts of the body to create patches, or rely on implants. 3D printing has helped make it easier to create custom-fit implants made of safer, more flexible materials.

One of the companies working in this space is Tissue Regeneration Systems (TRS), and DePuy Synthes Products (a Johnson & Johnson company) has acquired 3D printing technology from TRS. The 3D printing methods will help DePuy Synthes create patient-specific, bioresorbable implants with a “unique mineral coating intended to support bone healing in patients with orthopaedic and craniomaxillofacial deformities and injuries,” according to a release announcing the acquisition. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

“We are systematically investing in building a pipeline of 3D printed products,” said Ciro Römer, Company Group Chairman, DePuy Synthes. “The TRS technology, which will be added to the DePuy Synthes Trauma Platform, is the latest example of how we are working toward developing next-generation technologies that transform healthcare delivery with individualized solutions for patients.”

DePuy Synthes began collaborating with TRS in 2014 through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, which invests in new technologies in the medical device, consumer healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. According to DePuy, Johnson & Johnson Innovation facilitated the collaboration between the two companies.

“The acquisition of the TRS technology by DePuy Synthes is testament to our ability to identify and work collaboratively with promising early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to accelerate bringing innovative new products to market,” said Robert G. Urban, Ph.D., Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation. “We are excited at the potential this technology holds to help improve patient outcomes.”

Founded in 2008, TRS sells skeletal reconstruction and bone regeneration technology based on research from the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to being bioresorbable, the implants created using the TRS method have an engineered porosity that can help bear large load and support functions. The geometry can be custom constructed based on CT scans and adapted during surgery to exactly replicate the missing bone.

The technology gives doctors an alternative to harvested bone for these surgeries.

For more in 3D printing and bone implants, see our previous coverage here.

Source: DePuy Synthes

Agile Manufacturing Acquires a Monster of a 3D Printer

logo (8)Everything about Agile Manufacturing is big. The Toronto-area company holds the distinction of being the largest 3D printing service bureau and operating the biggest fleet of additive manufacturing equipment in Canada, and their capabilities include stereolithography (SLA), laser sintering (SLS), multi-jet printing (MJP), direct metal printing (DMP), color jet printing (CJP) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing technologies as well as CNC machining, injection molding and other manufacturing methods. In addition to being the go-to service bureau for industrial 3D printing, they also sell a decent range of new and used 3D printers, scanners, and software. There’s nothing small about the company, and there’s really nothing small about their printers – especially now that they’ve added the iPro 9000 XL Stereolithography Production 3D Printer.

Even its name is big. The iPro 9000 XL, a creation of 3D Systems, is a monster printer with a build capacity of 59” x 30” x 22”. With the addition of the printer to their inventory, Agile Manufacturing will be able to churn out extra large parts in one piece rather than having to print them in several bits to be assembled.

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“With the increasing demand for production parts as well as very large prototypes, the addition of the XL to our fleet of production systems will help Agile offer the largest part 3D Printing solutions and shortest lead-times to our clients,” said Richard Smeenk, President of Agile Manufacturing.

monster-3d-printingAccording to Agile Manufacturing, the iPro 9000 XL is the largest operating 3D printer in the Americas, and – much like a Sasquatch – it’s not only big but rarely seen. The printer acquired by Agile is one of only two in North America currently being used to manufacture parts for the public, and gives the company another distinction to make them stand out as one of Canada’s premier 3D printing service bureaus. It’s a quality printer, too – in addition to its size, it produces high-resolution, smooth parts with impressive accuracy.

Agile Manufacturing is no newcomer to the 3D printing industry – they’ve been in operation for twelve years, and Smeenk has been working in the additive manufacturing field going all the way back to 1996. A few more fun numbers for you: Agile Manufacturing has 18 3D printers in operation, with the capacity for 150,000 hours and 4.2 billion cubic inches of printing each year. Their customer base spans six continents, though the majority of those customers are in Canada and the United States. Agile Manufacturing already owns iPro 8000 and iPro 9000 printers; now, with the whopping 330-pound 9000 XL added to their arsenal, there should be very little they can’t print – in the industrial sector, at least. I don’t believe Agile has any plans to 3D print human organs anytime soon, but then again, who knows?