The research paper, published in Advanced Materials explains, “Over the past two decades, prosthetic devices have been successfully applied to treat neurodegenerative disease. However, the long-term utilization is limited by adverse biological reactions in host tissues, resulting in signal failure of the implanted devices.”
“It is more important to design biocompatible coatings for the implanted devices to mimic mechanical and structural properties of brain tissues in order to reduce inevitable tissue responses for long-term utilization.”
Aerosol Jet Printing and neural implants
The AJP process involves spraying metal-based inks onto existing 2D and 3D substrates, creating emulating a multi-layer circuit board interconnections. This method also eliminates the need for complex wire bonding conducted within LED chip fabrication.
Due to its low-temperature technology and contactless nature, the team used AJP to directly fabricate nanogels onto a membrane of the microscaled patterned polyimide-based neural probe. The nanogels were created by the researchers using a “new type of anti-inflammatory nanogel,” based on the amphiphilic polydimethylsiloxane-modified N, O-carboxylic chitosan (PMSC) incorporated with oligo-proanthocyanidin (OPC), called OPMSC.
The OPMSC nanogels were constructed to mimic the structural and mechanical properties of brain tissue and sustain non-fouling (a surface’s ability to shed potential contamination) for tissue encapsulation.
“With the integration of nanomanufacturing technology and multifunctional nanomaterials into the neural implants, we can extensively reduce the reactive tissue responses, provide continuous protection of surviving neurons, and ensure long-term performance reliability of implants,” the researchers explained.
German RepRap, manufacturers of FFF 3D printers, has introduced its first Liquid Additive Manufacturing (LAM) production-ready 3D printer, the L280. The company stated:
“LAM is a very interesting 3D printing process because it works with a material that is in a liquid form that is vulcanized under heat exposure to its final form, contrary to the FFF technology.”
“In this way, objects can be produced that have the same properties as injection-molded parts – a clear advantage because insights from the 3D printed prototype can be transferred directly to injection-molded serial parts.”
Liquid Additive Manufacturing
Last year, German RepRap presented the first prototype LAM system at Formnext in Frankfurt, to demonstrate how liquid materials, such as Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR), can be processed in LAM 3D printers. Differing from FFF hardware, the LAM 3D printer deposited layers of silicone from a syringe whilst using thermal energy to ensure crosslinking.
During this process, the application direction and the vulcanization, a chemical conversion process used in the Digital Light Processing (DLP) at the macromolecular level, can be altered. As a result, parts can be made stronger when compared to injection molding.
The L280 3D printer
The L280 provides a heated print bed and high-temperature halogen lamp to enable optimal cross-linking during the LAM process for durable parts. In addition, the printer features a pressure chamber of 280 x 280 x 200mm (X x Y x Z) and network connectivity. The L280 also includes safety technology which monitors the curing process and immediately stops the process according to irregularities.
Moreover, a maintenance contract and a professional on-site service are available as an option from trained technicians using the L280. According to German RepRap, the L280 3D printer has “proven its reliability in continuous operation in extensive tests and pilot applications in practice.”
Pressure chamber * (XxYxZ)
280 x 280 x 200 mm
10-150 mm / s
10 – 300 mm / s
Repeat accuracy * (X / Y)
+/- 0.1 mm / s
Layer thickness (min.)
EVOLV3D LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)
0.23 | 0,4 | 0.8 mm
Temperature pressure plate
110 ° C
Maintenance contract, barrel removal
Data transfer with USB stick
15-26 ° C
External dimensions (WxDxH)
Printer with cartridge system: 700 x 700 x 2040 mm
Leading 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys, headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, has announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2018. Headline revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, was $162 million, up 4% on the same quarter in 2017, which was $155.9 million.
In light of this quarterly performance, and following the first nine months of 2018, the company has also chosen to update its guidance for the full year ended December 31, 2018.
On a call with investors earlier today interim CEO Elan Jaglom fielded questions on topics including the forthcoming metal 3D printer, the impact of HP’s color 3D printing system and new technologies under development by Evolve Additive Solutions and Vulcan Labs, Inc.
Regarding HP, Jaglom said, “Happy to hear HP is following us and going into color. [..] I am not concerned about it, I am happy other competitors are following.”
Analysts also pressed the company on plans for “taking the fight to HP” specifically in regard to what one participant described as an attempt by HP, “to freeze the market” with the earlier announcement of Multi Jet Fusion and more recently the HP Metal Jet.
Investors were told to expect more details about the Stratasys metal system at Formnext, with few details other than that the system is a “unique technology” and very suitable for production.
Stratasys Products and Services revenue
Stratasys revenue is reported by the company in two segments: Products, i.e. 3D printers, materials and software, and Services, encompassing On Demand Manufacturing and consultancy.
As in previous quarters, Products continue to be the dominant segment for sales at Stratasys. In Q3 2018, revenue for Stratasys Products was $109.6 million, up 1.15% on the $108.4 million in net sales for the same period in 2017.
On the other hand, net sales for Services in Q3 2018 was reported at $52.4 million, a 10.40% variance on Q3 2017 which was $47.5 million.
Q3 FY 2017
Variance £ millions
For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, the accumulated revenue for Products was $332 million, a decrease on the same period in 2017 which was $344.5 million.
Revenue from Services however managed to close the gap between the first nine months of 2017 and 2018. For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, Services revenue was $154.1 million, up from $144.5 million for the same period in 2017. As a result, revenue for the first nine months of 2018 totals $486.1 million, compared to $489 million for the same period in 2017.
First 9 mnths. 2018
First 9 mnths. 2017
Variance £ millions
In terms of longer trends, the results show a steady decline over a 5 year period. However, if the results from 2014 are excluded from the analysis below then the picture appears more positive.
Stratasys guidance update for FY 2018
In summary of the remaining results, the GAAP gross margin for Stratasys in Q3 2018 was 48.7%, compared to 48.3% for the same period last year. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $0.7 million, equating to $0.01 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $10.2 million for the same three months in 2017, or $0.19 per diluted share.
Further for Q3 2018, the company increased in GAAP R&D expenses by 18.5% compared to the same period in 2017, to $25.8 million. The company ends the period with $348.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.
Customer engagement remains “encouraging”
Commenting on Q3 2018’s results Elchanan (Elan) Jaglom, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Stratasys following Ilan Levin’s resignation in June 2018, says, “We are pleased with our results this quarter, reflecting continued strength in our high-end systems orders, utilization rates and our parts services business.”
Citing the company’s presentation of its new carbon fiber 3D printing capabilities at IMTS 2018, and an ongoing partnership with American sports car racing Team Penske, Jaglom continues, “The level of engagement we are experiencing with customers in our key verticals is encouraging,”
“[…] And we are excited about the innovation we plan to bring to market to drive incremental, long-term opportunities, as we continue to invest in new products and materials across our portfolio of FDM and PolyJet technologies, our new metal additive manufacturing platform, and advanced composite materials.”
David Reis, Vice Chairman, also highlighted a number of end-use applications for Stratasys technology.
“FedEx, who are developing efficiencies in their supply chain as they work to deploy additive manufacturing facilities closer to customers as part of their FedEx Forward Depots service offering;
SSL, an aerospace customer using our FDM technology for rapid-response, customized, high-temperature lay-up tooling that previously would have been done with CNC;
Lockheed Martin, leveraging our new Antero PEKK advanced thermoplastic to create highly repeatable parts that meet the strict mechanical, functional, and dimensional requirements for space travel; and,
Penske’s NASCAR division, showing multiple 3D printed end-use parts that their production managers can create in a single day, compared to multiple days using traditional machining methods.”
The success was published in a research paper co-authored by the open-source champion Joshua Pearce. The paper explored the possibility of upcycling furniture waste into wood filament to reduce the environmental impacts of wood waste.
The wood filament was made using only open-source software and hardware.
Manufacturing wood filament from waste
According to the paper, the furniture industry in Michigan alone produces more than 150 tons of wood-waste a day.
In a four-step process, the scientists demonstrated the possibility of making 3D printing wood filament with a combination of wood-waste and PLA plastic. The mixture of these two materials is better known as wood-plastic-composite (WPC).
In the first step, wood waste was acquired from varying furniture manufacturing companies in Michigan. The waste included solid slabs and sawdust of MDF, LDF, and melamine.
These solid slabs and sawdust were reduced to micro-scale level for the preparation of WPC filament. The waste material was hammer milled, ground in a wood chipper and sifted using a vibratory de-airing device, which used an 80-micron mesh sifter.
By the end of this process, the wood waste was in a powder state with a granular constituency of grain flour. The material was now referred to as “wood-waste powder.”
This whole process was necessary to make the wood mixable with PLA.
In the next step, PLA was prepared to mix with the wood-waste powder. PLA pellets were heated at 210C until they became stir-able. The wood powder was added to the melted PLA mix with varying wood to PLA weight percentage (wt%) between 10wt%-40wt% wood-waste powder.
Once the desired mix amount and quality was achieved the material was rested to cool down.
The solidified material was again put into the wood chipper to prepare for the open-source recyclebot, a plastic extruder for filament making.
The filament fabricated was 1.65mm, thinner in diameter than the standard 3D filament available in the market, i.e. 1.75mm.
3D printing with open-source wood filament
The wood filament was tested by fabricating various items, such as a wooden cube, a doorknob, and a drawer handle. Due to the mechanical properties of the wood filament, adjustments were made to the Delta RepRap and Re:3D Gigabot v. GB2 3D printers used in the study. The alterations included modifying the extruder and controlling the speed of the print.
Printing wood on an ideal temperature is also an important factor as high temperature can char the wood and clog the nozzle. In this case the wood filament was printed at 185C.
The researchers showed that it was practical to make wood filament using furniture wood waste. However, they raised significant points for future study. These included the economic and environmental impacts, details of mechanical properties, the possibility of industrial-scale production.
The paper concluded: “this study has demonstrated a technically viable methodology of upcycling furniture wood waste into usable 3-D printable parts for the furniture industry. By mixing PLA pellets and recycled wood waste material filament was produced with a diameter size of 1.65±0.10 mm and used to print a small variety of test parts. This method while developed in the lab may be scaled up to meet industry needs as the process steps are uncomplicated. Small batches of 40wt% wood were created, but showed reduced repeatability, while batches of 30wt% wood showed the most promise with ease of use.”
Formnext 2018 is nearing with less than two weeks to go. As the largest event of its kind to date, 3D Printing Industry is giving readers a weekly preview of the upcoming hardware, software and materials releases, to make sure you don’t miss out.
Today we feature upcoming materials launches from Sinterit, AM Polymer Research and KIMYA; new 3ntr, Essentium and Lumi Industries hardware; software updates from atum3D and Sigma Labs; and more.
New material releases: Sinterit, AM Polymer Research, KIMYA
In the lead-up to Formnext, Polish desktop SLS 3D printer provider Sinterit has been releasing a range of new polymeric powders. Following its PA11 Onyx, tipped to be the first of its kind for desktop SLS, Sinterit has now launched a powdered TPU material called Flexa Soft.
It has the lowest shore hardness of Sinterit’s new materials, Flexa Soft opens up more “mellow” SLS applications in medical simulation, fashion, and other industries.
German materials developer AM Polymer Research, is also showcasing new powder bed fusion materials at the show, but for industrial systems. It’s ROLASERIT family has a new addition, PP010F1, a polypropylene (PP) characterised by very good flow behaviour and 100% reusability.
In filaments KIMYA, the 3D materials branch of inkjet cartridge and thermal transfer ribbon producer ARMOR Group, is promising new products at the fair. Earlier in October 2018, the company showcased its ABS ESD filament at the Paris Enova Salon. ABS ESD is a material designed to provide electrostatic discharge protection for 3D printed parts.
The latest 3D printer hardware developments
Plural Additive Manufacturing, from Portland, Oregon, is adding a PEEK 3D printer to its 3ntr systems range. The Spectral 30 has a 300 x 300 x 300 mm build area suitable for worktops, and extrudes at temperatures up to 500°C.
In more of a showcase than an official release Hybrid Services, the exclusive UK reseller of Mimaki 3D printers, will be exhibiting the full color abilities of the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 system.
Materials and systems developer Essentium is to deliver the High Speed Extrusion Platform (HSE) tipped to be “10x faster and more accurate than any other extrusion platform” and capable of producing parts at scale.
And portable 3D printer developer Lumi Industries, that has enjoyed a string of successful crowdfunding campaigns in recent years, is reportedly demonstrating its “most compact 3D printer ever” at Formnext 2018. The LumifoldTB is a DLP 3D printer that uses tablets as a light source.
Industrial and AI softwares
atum3D, a specialist in open platform DLP 3D printing, has prepared its Operator Station software for visitors to Formnext. Built using the company’s proprietary MAGS AI technology, the Operator Station helps users prepare models for DLP by offering them the option to specify the area of an object which requires least scarring/support removal, and the most detail.
And Sigma Labs will launch its PrintRite 3D 4.0 product suite at the event – the latest in the company’s Process Quality Assurance System. Of the new software John Rice, CEO of Sigma Labs, says, “Our latest PrintRite3D® suite of products presents a significant value proposition to OEMs and manufacturers,”
“ […] We believe our IPQA® technology is transformational and our team looks forward to demonstrating at Formnext how Sigma Labs is bringing the industry from prototype to industrialized manufacturing.”
Unspecified hints and exhibits
And finally, without any specifics, Rize, the augmented polymer deposition (APD) 3D printer company, has hinted that it will “redefine Industrial 3D Printing forever” with a “game-changing user experience that will provide unprecedented versatility to address the needs of engineers, designers, consumers, architects, marketing professionals and many more.”
Israeli industrial 3D printer provider XJet will also be exhibiting at the show, reportedly “ramping up attention on the metal side of its business, demonstrating its rapid growth since the show last year, and promising new developments at formnext 2018.”
Photocentric, a Peterborough-based 3D printer and materials manufacturer, has introduced the largest LCD 3D printer. The Liquid Crystal (LC) Maximus is designed to be used for mass production and large-scale prototyping.
The British manufacturer is known for pioneering 3D printers which use light from LCD screens to cure resin layer by layer.
Sally Tipping, Sales Director at Photocentric said, “LCD screen-based 3D printers have been the fastest growing area in 3D resin printing; this machine cements our position as the leading innovator in this exciting sector.”
The LC Maximus will be ready for commercial release in the second quarter of 2019.
LCD 3D printer
Photocentric’s technology is referred to as Daylight Polymer Printing (DPP). DPP uses a low energy light source to polymerize liquid resins, in contrast to a high-intensity UV laser or a light projector used in SLA/DLP methods.
The light source in SLA/DLP is purpose-built, whereas Photocentric’s 3D printers use mass-produced LCD screens from mobiles, tablets, and large screen televisions. For this reason, LCD 3D printers tend to be cheaper than SLA/DLP printers but offer the same print quality.
As the DPP uses LCD screens to harden the resin, the chemistry of the liquid material needs to be different from the one used in UV printing. Photocentric manufactures and sells specific daylight resins which harden with exposure to LCD screen light.
Photocentric LC Maximus 40” LCD 3D printer
Photocentric printers offer high quality and affordable alternative to SLA/DLP 3D printers. This year, the company’s Liquid Crystal Precision was also shortlisted for the 3D Printing Industry Award in the category of personal 3D printer of the year.
The latest 3D printer from Photocentric, the LC Maximus, uses a 4K 40” LCD screen to cure each individual layer at an interval of 15 seconds with XY resolution of 230 microns.
The massive 700 x 893 x 510mm build size of the printer makes it ideal for mass producing parts, such as dental models and manufacturing large-scale prototypes. To demonstrate these capabilities, Photocentric is currently running a Facebook campaign.
Photocentric is prototyping a life-size model of a motorbike. Every Sunday at 6 p.m (GMT) leading up to formnext 2018 Photocentric’s team 3D prints and assembles a motorbike prototype part.
With the rear wheel, exhaust system and the engine 3D printed, and assembled, the project is now 45% complete. The finished bike will be exhibited at formnext 2018, where Photocentric will be in Hall 3.1, Stand A10.
To gain speed over its competitors, Photocentric has also announced a partnership with Germany’s BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. The collaboration will see the development of photopolymers and 3D printers for mass production.
3D Printing Industry recently visited Munich for the MUST 3D Printing event. Taking place twice annually, the event is organised by the Munich Summit (MUST) – a project started in 2014 by LMU Entrepreneurship Center, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship SCE and the UnternehmerTUM.
MUST 3D Printing brings together international Additive Manufacturing startups and provides targeted networking opportunities at an event intended to advance new business models for industrial 3D printing.
DyeMansion is one company that has benefited from attending previous editions, where co-founders Felix Ewald and Philipp Kramer met Arno Held, Chief Venture Officer at AM Ventures. Ewald told 3D Printing Industry that after a lengthy wait he was able to discuss the nascent company and received advice about the future direction of the business. “In just 15 minutes he was able to explain to us that we really should pivot our business and focus on industrial grade post-processing. Together with Arno we developed our business plan and nine months later AM ventures backed us. That was the beginning of DyeMansion.”
The most recent event took place at the University of Applied Sciences Munich and featured approximately 150 attendees – some who may be the additive manufacturing stars of the future.
3D printing startups
Dominic Solenicki, CEO and Co Founder of Sintratec, opened the event with a keynote presentation regarding Sintratec’s vision for the future of additive manufacturing. This was followed by pitches from 8 startups.
AMendate make automated topology optimisation software designed to optimise parts for additive manufacturing. Thomas Reiher, CEO and Co-Founder of AMendate highlighted the lack of an accessible and rapid solution for generating and preparing designs for Additive Manufacturing which led him to create his own software. AMendate is one of the winners of the formnext 2018 startup challenge.
Another formnext 2018 startup challenge winner is SLS printer manufacturer, Aerosint. Edouard Moens, CEO and Co-Founder of Aerosint described how his company’s selective powder deposition system allows for Multi Material SLS printing. Aerosint recently closed an €850k financing round.
A Swiss startup presenting at the event was Spectroplast, CEO Manuel Schaffner presented patented technology for 3D printing with silicone. Applications include food and beverages, aerospace and transportation. Spectroplast plan to enter the healthcare industry for exo-plants such as hearing aids and orthopedic insoles.
9t Labs are the developers of an FDM 3D printer that processes continuous carbon fibre reinforcement. The company plans to bring this technology to market within the coming months as a modular add-on for FDM machines.
Glassomer took to the stage with an innovative product, allowing fused silica glass to be 3D printed. Not commonly known as a 3D printable material, fused silica glass is more commonly modeled using wet chemical etching. Glassomer uses a silica nanocomposite available as a liquid or solid. As a liquid Glassomer can be structured by stereolithography 3D printing to create complex models. The Company demonstrated that once sintered, printed parts are chemically and physically indistinguishable from commercial fused silica glass, maintaining the same optical transparency, thermal and chemical stability and mechanical strength.
Cellbricks focuses on 3D bioprinting via a proprietary stereolithography based platform. CEO Lutz Kloke explained the company’s aim to set the benchmark for bioprinting offering high quality, speed and accessibility to 3D printing cell culture systems.
Bernstein Innovation presented an automated blasting solution for polymers and metals. Providing an end to end solution, Bernstein Innovation’s portfolio of capabilities ranges from bespoke material production, post processing and finishing to provide their customers with functional end use parts.
Youmawo founder Sebastian Zenetti presented his unique approach on how he aims to bring additive manufacturing into the luxury eyewear market. Youmawo uses 3D scanning in order to provide customers with bespoke fitted glasses optimised for their individual head shapes. 3D printed on EOS SLS machines, Youmawo eyewear is 30% lighter and more durable than traditional acetate frames.
The four meters tall, five-tonne concrete structure, called KnitCandela, integrates over two miles of 3D printed yarn into four strips of between 15 and 26 meters supported by a steel cable-net, demonstrating cost and time effective construction.
“Knitting offers a key advantage that we no longer need to create 3D shapes by assembling various parts. With the right knitting pattern, we can produce a flexible formwork for any and all kinds of shell structures, pockets and channels just by pressing a button,” explained Mariana Popescu, PhD researcher at the Block Research Group, part of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich.
Paying homage to the influential Spanish-Mexican architect, Félix Candela, Popescu and Lex Reiter, Chair of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials, ETH Zurich, developeda new 3D knitted textile technology, KnitCrete, to generate curving concrete structures, without the need for molds.
Using a conventional knitting machine, the KnitCrete method implements technical textile shuttering coated with a special cement paste to create rigid molds. Layers of the structure also contain 1000 modeling, creating the desired shell shape. KnitCandela was assembled in the MUAC inner courtyard. This involved the knitted formwork being tensioned between a temporary boundary frame and sprayed with the formulated mixture.
The KnitCrete formwork produced the material in 36 hours and weighs 25 kilograms. “It took only five weeks from the initial work until completion – much less time than if we were using conventional technology,” said Matthias Rippmann, project manager for KnitCandela and senior researcher in the Block Research Group.