Stratasys Reveals Plan to Develop Metal 3D Printing Platform

Stratasys has announced the development of a new metal additive manufacturing platform that will aim to displace conventional methods for short-run manufacturing. 

Over the past couple of years, 3D printing companies like Desktop Metal and Markforged have transformed the metal additive manufacturing market. Once confined to industrial-sized and exorbitantly priced machines, metal 3D printing is now more accessible and affordable than ever before.

Most of the companies that are currently pioneering this metal metamorphosis are relatively fresh faces. However, one additive manufacturing stalwart is now looking to throw its hat into the metal 3D printing ring. This week, Stratasys announced that it would start developing a new metal additive manufacturing platform. The company is aiming to use this system to displace conventional methods for short-run production.

“We are extremely excited to announce our development of this new additive manufacturing platform, targeting short-run production applications for a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, machining, and metal foundries. We believe that this platform will meaningfully expand our addressable markets for the long term and provide our customers with an effective means to realize the values of additive manufacturing for powder metallurgy applications,” said Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys.

At the moment, details are sparse about Stratasys’ forthcoming metal 3D printing system. However, they have dropped a few bread crumbs for us to follow. Here’s what we know so far.

Stratasys HQ in Israel.

Stratasys Announces Development of Metal 3D Printing Platform

According to Stratasys, the metal 3D printing platform has been under development for the past several years. Although the exact process has not been revealed, the company states that it will incorporate its proprietary jetting technology.

The metal 3D printing system will take the advantages of additive manufacturing and applies them to short-run production. To accomplish this, Stratasys is attempting to overcome the existing material limitations that plague other metal 3D printer platforms.

With this new technology, Stratasys is planning to offer customers metal 3D printed parts made from commonly used powder metallurgy. The 3D printing company will start by offering aluminum at a low cost-per-part and throughput. Stratasys is also working to integrate easy post-processing and high part quality into the platform.

What we do know, at the moment, is that the newly announced 3D printing platform will incorporate Stratasys’ PolyJet process. To understand how this would work with metal additive manufacturing, we imagine it will be similar to Desktop Metal’s recently released Production System.

This industrial 3D printer from Desktop Metal uses a binder jetting technique, depositing metal powder with a binding material. Once the part is finished, it’s placed into a furnace that eliminates the binder, solidifying the metal particles together.

Strangely enough, last year, the two companies struck up a partnership that would allow Stratasys’ extensive network of resellers to sell Desktop Metal’s metal 3D printing technology. Now, the 3D printing titan os poised to unleash its own metal additive manufacturing hardware onto the growing market.

With over 30 years in the industry and a well-established binder jetting technology, Stratasys seems to be banking on the idea that they can transfer its expertise and technology towards new metallic horizons. Stratasys will reveal more information about the metal 3D printing platform at the upcoming RAPID + TCT 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Conference, which is taking place from April 23-26 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Object Connex 500 is a Stratasys 3D printer that uses PolyJet technology.

Source: Stratasys 

License: The text of “Stratasys Reveals Plan to Develop Metal 3D Printing Platform” by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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'Star Wars'-inspired researchers develop technology to create colourful 3D images in space

Researchers have developed a technology to create 3D images in space which can be viewed from different angles similar to the projections seen in Star War films, Ironman and the image-projecting table in Avatar.

Daniel Smalley, a Brigham Young University (BYU) electrical and computer engineering professor and hologram expert has developed the 3D image projection similar to those in science fiction films.

Smalley said, “We refer to this colloquially as the Princess Leia project. Our group has a mission to take the 3D display of science fiction and make them real. We have created a display that can do that.” The project has been developed by taking inspiration from the projected image of Princess Leia in distress in the Star Wars films.

The 3D projected character of Leia is actually a volumetric image, a 3D image which can float in the air and can be seen from every angle. These images are indeed different from a holographic display which is formed by lights scattered from a 2D surface.

In a holographic image, a person needs to look at the scattering surface to see the 3D image whereas, in a volumetric image, the image is formed by scatters in the space or thin air. The person would be seeing the scatters in the 3D space and actually view it as an image. It is achieved through laser projections.

Erich Nygaard, an undergrad co-author stated, “We’re using a laser beam to trap a particle, and then we can steer the laser beam around to move the particle and create the image.”

Smalley said that images are created like 3D-printed objects. “You’re actually printing an object in space with these little particles.”

The free-space volumetric display platform is based on photophoretic optical trapping that produces full-color, volumetric images in the air. They are formed as 10-micron image points by the persistence of vision which blends multiple images into a single image.

Several other researchers have previously created similar volumetric imageries. According to the journal Nature, Smalley team is the first to use optical trapping and color effectively as their method and have used colorful lasers for trapping and illuminating particles.

The BYU researchers have so far created 3D light printed butterfly, a prism, a stretch – Y BYU logo, rings that wrap around an arm and an individual in a lab coat.

3D printer helps eye surgeon develop prototype tool

Donny Suh, M.D.

Donny Suh, M.D., changes the lives of patients with his hands and with the tools he uses.

As an inventor, Dr. Suh has discovered how useful 3D printing is for improving medical instruments used in surgery to repair eye muscles that are misaligned.

He has been working with UNMC Makers, the 3D printing club, with the support of McGoogan Library.

“I’m very excited about this project and to be working with UNMC graduate students and staff. They are as enthusiastic and energetic as I am,” said Dr. Suh, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Truhlsen Eye Institute, and chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

Dr. Suh said one of the traditional tools he uses to repair eye muscles in hundreds of children each year, called a needle driver, cannot easily maneuver into tight spaces for the surgery.

“The new tool will allow surgeons to work in a very small space with a limited view around the eye without compromising the safety to perform eye muscle surgery with a great precision,” he said.

To see if such a tool would effectively function, he and his team used 3D technology to develop a prototype to be tried in a laboratory setting.

With the help of Tyler Scherr, Ph.D. and graduate student, Tim Bielecki, Dr. Suh printed a prototype. A manufacturer is in the process of making a titanium prototype of the tool.

When the prototype is completed, Dr. Suh will test the tool in the laboratory.

“He will be able to get a feel for the tool to see if it will be workable in a clinical setting,” Bielecki said. “Dr. Suh opened the door to collaboration. He knew we had the technology to develop a prototype that could save time and money.”

“I feel privileged to be a part of a collaborative effort with Dr. Suh’s team to improve a surgical tool,” said Dr. Scherr. “Dr. Suh came to us originally to use 3D printing to speed up the process. He’s really creative. In the past, it could take almost two years for the design process with a manufacturer.”

Dr. Suh and his team plan to present his project at an international conference of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Hawaii.

Pioneering scientists use 3D printer and monkeys to develop functioning blood vessels that could …

Thousands of lives could be saved after scientists used a 3D printer to create blood vessels.

The vessels are said to be entirely organic – not prosthetic – after the world’s first 3D bio-printer was invested last year.

Chinese researchers were reportedly able to print new layers of cells to weld with old ones by using bio-ink made out of living stem cells from a Rhesus monkey.

Thirty of the monkeys were used in the experiments – and the results could be seen after just a few days.

One of the monkeys involved in the research

Scientists in China examine their results during testing of 30 monkeys to create blood vessels

The technology would be expected to help those suffering organ failure because if it can work with blood vessels then it could also be used to create livers and kidneys.

The world’s first 3D bio printer was invented last year

Sichuan Revotek chief scientists Kang Yujian said the testing was unprecedented.

“In five days, a new layer of endodermis will be formed, meanwhile, the smooth muscle cells will grow as well.

“And within 28 days, all these cells will go through tissue differentiation.

Chinese scientists are behind the innovation

“That means the tissues we implanted will have mingled with the original ones and grown into a regular vessel,” he continued. “This is unprecedented.”

Scientists discovered the 3D printed vessels were eventually completely blended into the real vessels after several months.