In this week’s 3D printing news, Bulgaria’s B2N has added office space, colorFabb launches its new HT filament, and another luxury shoe brand has adopted 3D printing as one potential manufacturing method. We also see that another campus, Penn State, has opened a MakerBot Innovation Center, and Ira3D now offers a turnkey printer, filament, and software package for all your 3D printing business needs. Let’s begin with news from Bulgaria, as the 3D printing space in Eastern Europe will surely expand following new B2N office/showroom space.
Bulgaria’s B2N Announces New Office/Showroom Space
B2N is a Bulgarian company that has been offering architectural design and consulting services since 2006. More recently it has added a 3D printing and rapid prototyping workshop, and the company now focuses on everything 3D printing related, including 3D scanning, software, consumables, and services. Recenty, B2N has announced its addition of a new office space/show room in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where the company enhances its ability to provide increased customer support, sales, and services.
In an email to 3DPrint.com, Boyan Pehlivanov, the B2N CEO, describes the purpose for this new space:
“B2N new office space will allow us to increase our capabilities in key areas that align with our current and future growth plans. The new space will support our expansion and the growth we are experiencing while giving us dedicated facilities to host customer briefings and other activities such as 3D modeling, scanning and printing. Our team is excited about this new development and the commitment to build on the success our team has already accomplished.”
Over the years, B2N has partnered with influential players in the 3D industry seeking to develop the 3D printing market in Bulgaria, including: Ultimaker, 3D Systems, Zortrax, Artec Group, RangeVision, SolidThinking, Blueprinter, Mcor Technologies, and MarkForged. This expanded office space will solidify and strengthen these partnerships, leading to more 3D printing opportunities in Bulgaria and broader Eastern Europe.
colorFabb Launches new colorFabb HT Filament
Dutch materials company colorFabb has already made quite a name for itself as a provider of high-quality 3D printing filaments, and as of March 22, 2016, it has released a new co-polyester filament we’ve been looking forward to seeing: colorFabb HT. This filament is low-odor, styrene-free, BPA-free, and heat resistant to 100°C, and it is made with Eastman Amphora HT5300 3D polymer. colorFabb HT was made for more advanced 3D printer users wanting an industrial quality material that is supported by standard desktop 3D printers. FDA compliance makes it suitable for many different applications, and it will be available in five different colors: light gray, dark gray, clear, white, and black.
colorFabb advises its HT material users to “fine tune the first layer settings in order to prevent warping of printed parts. We advise 110/120C bed temperatures, in some cases combined with adhesion tools such as BuildTak.” You can find out more about the new durable filament at its dedicated website.
Luxury Shoe Brand to Use 3D Printing
While we see evidence everywhere of how 3D printing continues to transform traditional manufacturing, another area that it is also likely to transform in the near future is luxury shoe design. The brand Nicholas Kirkwood is already known for bridging fashion and art with its sculptural show designs, and now Kirkwood’s Beya loafer (S/S16 collection) features a “limited edition laser-cut style in white and a crystal loafer in black.” This design is sleek and pointed, featuring “a geometric polished heel that elevates the humble flat to new heights and has fittingly been given its own altar within Harrods Shoe Heaven where customers may worship.”
In the brand’s factory, its artisans experiment with 3D printing (alongside traditional methods). Kirkwood explains:
“I’m always up for the newest way of making something. Having the expertise of the past combined with the brilliance of modern technology and what this can offer really excites me. Again, it’s about that tension.”
We will surely be seeing more 3D printed styles from this future-looking designer!
Penn State University Unveils MakerBot Innovation Center
While we see advances in using 3D printing in industries such as shoe design, we also see more higher education spaces adopting the technology as a critical teaching tool to train and prepare the future workforce. Penn State Is just one of the most recent US campuses to add a MakerBot Innovation Center to its campus. This 3D printing lab, known as Maker Commons, features 32 MakerBot 3D printers. Maker Commons is housed within Pattee Library’s Knowledge Commons at the University Park campus, but students from all Penn State campus locations, including the Penn State World Campus, can send projects to the 3D printers.
Sig Behrens is General Manager of Education at MakerBot’s parent company, Stratasys, and he is a Penn State alumnus. Here he comments on the new Maker Commons lab:
“It’s not about what you make but what you learn while you are making it. Penn State is doing something with 3-D printing we have never seen before by integrating the design process into multiple disciplines. In the past, 3-D printing in higher education was reserved only for engineers. But now, Penn State is pioneering a different path, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Ira3D Offers Turnkey System for All Your Needs
It’s also time to get excited about another option for 3D printing businesses. The Poetry X Center from Ira3D now offers a turnkey system allowing you to quickly prototype and conduct serial production in any size business. With “aerospace, footwear, nautical, eyewear, jewelery, precision mechanics, taps and heating and plumbing among the main areas of application,” the system includes the Ira3D Poetry Infinity printer, filaments, and software to make up the whole 3D printing package. The Poetry Infinity 3D printer has a resolution of 15 microns, a speed of 400 mm per second, and extruder resistance up to 350°. The printer also has interchangeable nozzles with “0.25 mm for high resolutions and 0.8 mm for very high speeds.”
For filament, Ira3D also offers 15 filament thermoplastic polymers with very high technical and mechanical resistance, including “carbon fiber, graphene, Peek, POM, PC, gypsum, copper, bronze, ivory PLA, Nylon, Crystal, PLA, ABS, and Gummfy, soluble filaments H-Limofy and Idrovanish” with a final metalizing option as well.
Regarding software, the Infinity Slicer is “the beating heart of Poetry Manufacturing.” This software easily transforms 3D designs into 3D printing machine language, working within parameters set and optimized for the Poetry Infinity 3D printer and Ira3D filaments for all of your prototyping and serial production needs.
And that’s all of this week’s 3D printing news! What do you think of the latest updates and product releases? Let’s talk about it over in the Weekly 3D Printing News forum at 3DPB.com.