3D Printing: The Stories We Didn't Cover This Week — April 30

This week’s 3D printing news moves from Nano Dimension’s PCB Survey Results to a new finish from Materialise aimed at 3D printed eyewear and wearables. The first (3D printed) drone to be used for a delivery in the US has been accepted at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and a 3D scanned Alien replica from the 1979 film is available as a free download on SnapTank in honor of Alien Day (which was April 26, by the way). CRP USA is displaying at JEC Americas in Atlanta from May 3-5, 2016, and finally, Ellen J. Krugman, former DuPont CEO, has joined the Carbon3D Board of Directors.

Nano Dimension Releases PCB Survey Results

pcb_prototyping_spendingAccording to a recent survey conducted by Israel-based Nano Dimension, maker of 3D printed PCBs (printed circuit boards), PCB prototyping is costly and time-consuming, and the market appears ready for a change. This is according to a PCB Printer Readiness Survey, conducted by Nano Dimension over several months. Almost 300 electronics manufacturers and designers (mainly, but not all, from North America) responded to the survey — including designers, engineers, and project managers who fill a variety of production roles. Industries covered in the survey include defense, manufacturing, engineering, electronics, aerospace, medical, telecommunications, sensors and wearables, and energy. 93% of the industries responding use “short-run, low-volume external PCB prototyping services” and almost half of all surveyed spend between $10,000 and $50,000 annually on prototyping services.

All of these results led Simon Fried, Chief Business Officer at Nano Dimension, to conclude that people are ready for lower cost and more efficient in-house PCB prototyping capabilities:

“The off-site PCB prototyping process is rife with downsides: it’s expensive, it’s time consuming, and it puts intellectual property at risk. The market has seen 3D printers rapidly prototype other kinds of products and the results of our survey reflect a market that is ready for 3D printing to now usher in a new era of PCB engineering. The time is now for engineers to print their own quality multilayer PCB prototypes in house – cheaply and quickly.”

The company appears to have made a great case for its products and services.

Materialise Launches New Wearables Luxura Finish

glas13D printed eyewear is a luxury, to be sure. People will not be able to resist opportunities to indulge themselves in the high-end design of customized wearable accessories. In response to this growing demand for high quality and aesthetically appealing materials and finishes in the wearables and eyewear sector of the 3D printing industry, Materialise has introduced a new finish, called Luxura. The finish, which is available in fifteen contemporary colors, is intended to provide a tactile feel and communicate the quality assurance that wearable products require. The finish’s silky surface and in-depth color is skin-contact safe, durable, perspiration-proof, and UV-resistant. Alireza Parandian, Business Developer for Materialise, explains how the Luxura finish prioritizes aesthetics and tactility:

“We understand that when creating consumer products the look and feel is of absolute priority. It needs to attract attention and draw the consumer, reflecting the high-end quality of the brand. With Luxura we have created a finish that engages the senses and can stand out in the competitive landscape of wearables and consumer products.”

The finish is available now.

Flirtey Drone Accepted for Smithsonian Museum Collection

kit1The 3D printed Flirtey Drone, which made the first autonomous, FAA-approved drone delivery to an urban area in the United States just over a month ago, has been accepted into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The delivery, which consisted of emergency food supplies, bottled water, and a first aid kit, was made in Hawthorne, Nevada.

The Air and Space Museum also displays the Space Shuttle Discovery, the SR-71 Blackbird, and the first aircraft operated by FedEx. Describing itself as “the premier independent drone delivery service,” Flirtey’s mission is to “create the fastest, most efficient and customer-centric delivery service in the world.” Flirtey has worked with NASA, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Virginia Tech on the joint project of developing technology and logistics systems “for a mass-market drone delivery network.”

A mass-market drone delivery network? Whoa. The future just landed.

3D Scanned “Alien” Replica

alien-3dscan-renderSpeaking of futuristic technology, it looks like we have a new kid on the block in the 3D scanning space. SnapTank is a new initiative that manages 3D scans online. Artists looking for a platform for their captures can utilize the service, and this is exactly what Jonty Smith did with that horrifying creature from the 1979 film Alien. Smith made a 3D model from a scan using Reality Capture photogrammetry software, and shared it at SnapTank for all of science fiction fandom’s enjoyment.

April 26, 2016 was Alien Day, in case you didn’t get that. Smith did: the scan and model was done in the spirit of the day. According to Smith:

“The subject was small, about 6 inches tall, with lots of tiny details. It made it really difficult to scan, so I had to be careful. It’s an accessible technology, but it did mean I had to take a lot of photos, 437 to be exact…It’s definitely the best 3D scan I have ever produced. Really glad I was invited by SnapTank to be a part of it all. Happy Alien Day.”

SnapTank’s Ross Martin states that this scan is one of the best they have ever seen: just look at all the gory and terrifying details! If you are an Alien fan, you will be able to download the scan for free through May.

CRP USA Displaying at JEC Americas

wind1CRP USA will be displaying at Atlanta’s JEC Americas 2016 from May 3-5, 2016 at booth 3718. CRP USA’s Windform materials use laser sintering technology to create high-performing, high-functioning, beautifully finished, and reliable parts. At the CRP USA exhibit, people can see examples and demonstrations of Windform‘s many uses for designing and prototyping, as well as solutions that CRP USA has produced using rapid prototyping in the past.

“Windform is a material family developed for motorsport, space, medical, automotive, aerospace and design that makes prototypes fully functional and end-use parts,” states a press release from CRP USA.

You can check out the company’s exhibit, and the paper that will be given on Thursday May 5 by Stewart Davis, Director of Operations for CRP USA. The paper “Racetrack to Orbit, an Additive Revolution” will discuss the application of Windform in space structures. If you are in Atlanta in early May, don’t miss the JEC Americas events!

DuPont CEO Joins Carbon3D’s Board of Directors

Ellen%20KullmanNotable for being a powerful industry leader, despite controversy that includes a 2014 pesticide plant chemical spill that killed four Texas employees, chemical giant DuPont has now merged with Dow Chemical. The two companies are valued together at an estimated $130 billion, and former DuPont CEO Ellen J. Kullman has now left the company to help “catalyze” the 3D printing industry.  Carbon3D welcomes her onto its Board:

“Ellen brings unparalleled experience in market and supply chain development, having led DuPont for over six years, and will bring incredible value to our team. Her commitment to innovation in science and engineering, and excellence as a business leader make her a natural fit for our Board of Directors.”

Carbon3D’s technology, according to its website, “makes it possible to 3D print isotropic parts with mechanical properties and surface finish like injection-molded plastics,” and it is certainly one of a kind. Kullman’s chemical industry background has her excited to join Carbon3D. Kullman states:

“I am excited to join the Carbon board and look forward to contributing to the company’s continued growth. I believe Carbon’s technology will be a catalyst for the creation of a new vertical within the chemical industry, driving product and business model innovation in industries as varied as automotive, consumer products, medical and more.”

As the promise of 3D printed industrial parts production (that may help avoid chemical spills and all) looms, we will see more multinational corporate attention from key players like Kullman. It will be interesting to see how these new business ties merge with the 3D printing space’s parallel commitment to humanitarian values and ecological principles shaping green technology.

That’s all of this week’s 3D printing news. Have a great weekend! Which story are you most glad you didn’t miss? Discuss in the 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.

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