September 2017 saw 3D Printing Industry visit the TCT show in
Birmingham, UK. This was an opportunity for hardware, materials
and software manufacturers to make teaser releases ahead of
formnext in November, and it did not disappoint.
In September 3D Printing Industry also visited Taiwan to get
the first look at the
T3D smartphone powered 3D printer and visit some of the
countries leading additive manufacturing enterprises and
New releases from companies not traditionally associated with
the 3D printing industry caught our eye, while our stories
about medical applications caught the eye of our readers.
3D Printing Industry exclusives
In September we visited EOS for an exclusive preview of the EOS
P 500 laser sintering system. 3D
Printing Industry was given an insight into the technology
at the company’s Customer and Technology Center in Krailling,
Germany. The P 500 is capable of producing double the
output of its P 396 predecessor, with a 30% reduction of cost
According to EOS, the new system was developed with a
reproducible part quality job-to-job and between machines,
automation for Industry 4.0, and material versatility in mind.
The P 500 saw its launch at formnext 2017.
3D printing industry also managed to get an early look at the
Voxeljet’s High Speed Sintering (HSS) VX2000 system. The
HSS technology uses an infrared reactive ink that is
polymerized by a sweeping print-arm, and it was invented
by Neil Hopkinson at the University of Loughborough in the
early 2000s. The VX2000 notably features
an open-materials platform.
The P 500 is made to
complement EOS’s existing polymer range of industrial laser
sintering 3D printers. Photo by Beau Jackson for 3D Printing
TCT 2017 and beyond
After visiting XYZPrinting’s home country of Taiwan, TCT 2017
at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham provided
an opportunity to get a second look at the
companies full-color da Vinci 3D printer.
The event also brought 3D printers and 3D
printing systems, including the Liquid Crystal Maximus 3D
printer. Also on display was the SHR3D IT recycling system
from 3Devo, and samples (although no 3D printer) produced by
the Formlabs Fuse SLS 3D printer.
The Formlabs Fuse marked another trend in the 3D printing
industry, that of more affordable SLS 3D printers. Early movers
in this space are Sinterit, who in September further dropped
the price of
their LISA 3D printer. In November, the
Natural Robotics VIT desktop SLS 3D printer would
complete a successful Kickstarter. The VIT caused much
initial excitement, not least for the promise of 3D printing in
white nylon. At 3D Printing Industry we are looking forward to
seeing samples and of course having the opportunity to test the
3D Printing Industry also
visited the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London,
for the institute’s first Advanced Materials Showcase since
becoming a public corporation. Here we saw some of the additive
manufacturing and destructive testing that the NPL was
conducting, as part of its effort to boost advanced
manufacturing in the UK.
Across the Atlantic from these events, the
Maker Faire New York 2017 was held at the New York
Hall of Science. The Faire featured 3D food printing
projects such as 3DigitalCooks, fabrication products from
Dremel, and multi-material filaments from FilamentOne.
3D printing applications for McClaren at TCT 2017. Photo by
Michael Petch for 3D Printing Industry
Under the skin, the readers’ favourite stories
The medical applications of 3D printing made a significant
impression with readers and gave us our most-read stories of
the month. A
3D printed tibia saved the leg of Australian patient Reuben
Lichter. The 3D printed tibia acted as a scaffold to merge
existing cells from the body, and will eventually allow the
patient to walk again.
From bones to skin,
Harvard researchers used a hybrid 3D printing method combining
direct ink writing (DIW) with automated pick and place (P +P)
of pre-fabricated components to produce a second electronic
skin. Envisioned as having future use in wearables, the
researchers 3D printed a flexible strain sensor for the
elbow and a foot-sole pressure point reader as a
general medical assistance in war, Gaza’s Glia Project
continued its work 3D printing stethoscopes and began teaching
doctors how to assemble and use 3D printers for essential
University of Harvard’s
Hybrid 3D Printing of Soft Electronics. Photo via the Wyss
Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
3D Printing Industry’s favourites
The city of Chongqing in China decided to
check the prevalence of 3D printers within its boundaries
by ordering the registration of all additive manufacturing
industries. The authorities stated that this action would help
keep dangerous and illegal products from the public.
smartphone market took forays into 3D design and VR in
September, with Sony introducing the the 3D Creator app on
its Xperia XZ1 smartphone, and Apple’s release of the
iPhone X, which features 3D scanning, facial recognition, and
augmented reality (AR). While not yet a serious replacement for
dedicated software, the progress of major enterprises is always
on our radar.
From the palm of the hand to out of this world, 3D printing
also continued produce permanent parts for the aeronautical
Airbus installed a 3D printed titanium bracket on to its
in-service A350 XWB plane, and it will form part of
the part of the aircraft pylon, the segment of a plane
attaching jet engines to the wings.
Not be put out of orbit,
NASA announced that they had successfully complete 30 firing
tests on a bi-metallic 3D printed rocket igniter at
the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Essential to the start sequence of a rocket engine, engineers
considered it a technological achievement to 3D print and test
rocket components made with two different alloys.
3D printed titanium
bracket assembly. Photo by F. Lancelot/Airbus
Nominations for the second annual 3D Printing Industry
Awards are now open. Make
your selections now.
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Featured image shows the TCT 2017 Logo. Photo by Michael