Russian state-owned industrial technology holding conglomerate Rostec is allocating $44.5 million (₽3 billion) to the development of a specialist additive manufacturing technology center.
Named after a celebrated inventor and nitrogen chemistry specialist, the V.V. Chernyshev Center for Additive Technologies (CAC) will be established by Rostec in collaboration with three other members of the nation’as aviation cluster: Russian Helicopters, engineering company Technodinamics and radio electronic holdings KRET.
“Industrial 3D printing is becoming one of the indispensable attributes of modern industry,” comments Anatoly Serdyukov (source in Russian), Rostec’s industrial director of the cluster.
“We see the high potential of this technology and introduce it into our production practice.”
Additive manufacturing for Russian and global aerospace
The purpose of the V.V. Chernyshev CAC is to introduce additive manufacturing to the serial production of Russian gas turbine engines, servicing both national and international aerospace business. Overall targets are to reduce the cost of components by 44%; wight by 25%; and production times by 50%, taking care of the whole process from design through to classification.
The first products from the center are scheduled to be certified by 2025-2030 and, as previously reported, production for the Aviadvigatel PD-35 next generation airline jet engine is likely to be part of the plan.
Projected revenue generated by the center is expected to reach in the region of almost $200 million (₽13.2 billion) between 2018 and 2027, with sales profits over $53 million (₽3.6 billion).
Additive in Russia
V.V. Chernyshev CAC founding member, Russian Helicopters, has already shown its commitment to the advance of additive manufacturing in its Ka series helicopter line.
As FITNIK, German 3D printing service bureau FIT AG, recently established a joint venture in the country with Russian engineering firm NIK. The Russian state has also developed its own large format 3D printer.
Cell regeneration through 3D printed Microrobot carriers
Regenerative medicine uses healthy cells from an organism (animals, plants, or humans) to repair or replace diseased cells or tissues. However, challenges arise when transporting functional cells to a damaged location within an organism. The study states:
“The delivery of [stem]cells in vivo requires a suitable three-dimensional (3D) structure that creates an environment that supports cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation while functioning as a carrier.”
Thus, the research team created several 3D printed microrobot carriers with magnetic and porous properties to mechanically support tissue and organ in situ regeneration. Furthermore, the researchers observed that a 2D cell-culturing artificial environment would be ineffective as it quickly loses its shape.
With a minimally invasive design, the microrobot carriers have the potential to access smaller and more complex regions of the human body. This includes gastrointestinal organs, the brain, and the spinal cord. Considering this, the research used Nanoscribes’ two-photon lithography technology which is capable of high-resolution 3D patterning through photonic crystals. The microbot carries were fabricated from a negative photoresist SU-8 50 material.
In addition, the microrobots were coated with nickel and titanium solutions for magnetic actuation and biocompatibility.
The mouse and the zebrafish embryo
To test its cell-controlling and delivery capabilities, the research team dispersed a swarm of microrobots carrying HeLa protein cells, capable of generating tumors, into a mouse. Following four weeks of cultivation, the mouse developed tumors in the surrounding location of the injected microbot carriers.
Moreover, microrobot carriers were dispersed into the yolks of zebrafish embryos to observe injection accuracy and its ability to overcome viscous resistance.
Both tests were observed under a microscope and were deemed successful for precise, automatic cell transportation. Concluding the experimentation phase, the researchers found that the spherical 3D printed structure of the microbot carriers “enhanced the magnetic driving capability allowing easy fusion of the microrobot with host tissues and facilitating cell transfer from the robot to tissues.”
Industrial 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet AG (NYSE:VJET) has released its financial results for the second quarter and first half of FY2018.
Headline revenue for the three months ended June 30, 2018 was reported at €5.3 million, an increase of 2.1% on the same period in 2017 which was €5.1 million. The rise in revenue from this period was led by a strong performance in the company’s 3D printing Services segment, which experienced an increase of 26.4% to €3.4 million, compared to €2.6 million in Q2 2017.
The Systems segment, responsible for the sale of 3D printers, peripherals and maintenance, was reported at €1.8 million, a decrease of 25.9% to on the comparative period in 2017, and constituted 35.8% of total revenues, in comparison with 49.9% in Q2 2017.
H1 2018 revenue was reported at €10.3 million, the comparative for the previous year was €9.7 million. Furthermore, the company has reaffirmed its guidance for the full year, expecting revenue within the range of €28 million and €30 million.
3D binder jetting
voxeljet 3D printers employ binder jetting technology to produce sand investment castings, plastic parts and ceramics. As of 2017, its VX2000 system is also integrated with High Speed Sintering (HSS) technology.
In addition to the hardware and materials for these systems, voxeljet offers industrial 3D printing services from facilities located in India, China, Germany, the U.S. and the UK.
The strongest growth for Services revenue contributions in Q2 2018 was generated by the voxeljet America subsidiary and operations at the company’s German base. In the U.S. revenue for Q2 2018 was reported at €1.1 million, 21% of the overall revenue for the period. In Germany, the company generated €1.2 million in revenue, a respective 23% of the total for the period.
Summary of revenues by region – voxeljet financial results Q2 2018.
Three months ended June 30,
(€ in thousands)
Overall decrease in Systems revenue when compared to Q2 2017 was due in part to a lower rate of machine sales. According to the company, two 3D printers were delivered in Q2 2018 (one new, one refurbished), as apposed to the three new 3D printers delivered in Q2 2017.
The 3D printing industry’s inflection point
Gross profit for Q2 2018 was reported at €2 million, with the comparison for Q2 2017 at €2.1 million. voxeljet reported a net loss of €2.7 million in Q2 2018. Net loss for Q2 2017 was €2.6 million.
In a statement relating to the results Dr. Ingo Ederer, CEO of voxeljet, comments,
“Today I can say that, together with our partners, we are reinventing the manufacturing landscape by launching the world’s first fully automated 3D production solution capable of replacing conventional manufacturing in serial-production,”
“The 3D printing industry is at an inflection point and this achievement marks a key milestone in our mission.”
Brooklyn-based on-demand 3D printing service bureau, Makelab, has partnered with automation software developer AMFG. With the help of AMFG’s software utilities, Makelab is to streamline it’s 3D printing service requests in response to high demand.
According to Christina Perla, Makelab co-founder, there was a clear need to partner with AMFG. Perla said, “as we scale our business, we’re always looking for innovative ways to solve key issues like keeping track of all our machines, effectively packing builds and ultimately, optimizing our workflow for maximum efficiency. AMFG answered all of these questions and more, so we can provide a faster, more efficient service for our customers.”
Makelab, the 3D printing service bureau
Makelab works with designers and technical experts to bring people’s ideas to life through 3D printing. Its services range from designing a product to 3D printing a prototype and producing a finished product.
Perla and the team elected AMFG’s workflow automation software to save Makelab valuable resources which can be concentrated on other projects and developing a wider market. AMFG’s software will manage quoting, scheduling of production jobs, parts tracking, post-processing services, and quality assurance.
AMFG and automated 3D printing AMFG, formerly known as RP Platform, provides workflow automation software specifically for the additive manufacturing industry.
AMFG’s business development manager, Felix Doerr hopes that the partnership with Makelab will expand the company’s client base outside the UK. Doerr said, “our partnership with Makelab marks AMFG’s further expansion into the US market.”
Currently validated for use titanium the method is capable of detecting particle contamination, and assessing the properties of a material to avoid potentially critical faults in 3D printed parts for medicine and aerospace.
Addressing powder recycling
The appropriate storage, qualification and management of materials is a critical part of any undertaking in additive manufacturing, especially with particulate powders.
Highlighting some of the challenges with material handling Frederic Larouche, Executive Vice President and CTO of AP&C, explains, “The competiveness of 3D printing relies heavily on the capability of machine users to recycle their powders; however, the industry is concerned that foreign particles will be introduced in the feedstock as the powder is recycled.” Here, Larouche makes reference to the so-called “Devil Particle,” tungsten. With the highest melting point of all known elements, even the smallest trace of tungsten, garnered from nozzles made from the metal, or even the tips of ballpoint pens, can cause potential problems in the 3D printing process.
As industry collectives work to establish sufficient standards to help protect powders from such concerns, companies are developing innovative technologies to help manufacturers in their material analysis.
A finer point on materials analysis
The NRC and AP&C have developed a method of materials analysis using x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT).
Larouche says, “The method we are developing could help confirm that the feedstock maintains the utmost cleanliness during processing.”
According to the research collective, this micro-CT method improves upon the sensitivity and distinction of current chemical analysis techniques. Together the parties plan to expand the abilities of the method to analyse other metals and materials, including nickel alloys.
Larouche adds, “Leveraging our complementary research and development competencies should help speed the development of 3D printing technologies.”
From strength to strength
Late 2017, AP&C expanded its metal powder production capacity with a new $31 million facility in St. Eustache, Quebec.
At 2018’s Farnborough Airshow, the company recently became the preferred supplier of TiAl powder for GE Aviation, and subsequently bolstered its titanium and nickel alloy powder production with the relocation of Avio Aero’s gas atomization facility.
According to Louis-Philippe Lefebvre, Powder Forming Team Lead at the NRC’s Medical Devices Research Centre, “As a leader with over 30 years of experience in powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing, the National Research Council is pleased to have joined forces with AP&C to improve the reliability of the manufacturing process and metal powder behavior.”
This edition of our 3D printing news digest Sliced follows the latest developments in Local Motors’ autonomous, 3D printed bus shuttle; NASA aborts flight tests of the Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 space engine; and ETH Zurich researchers create concrete structures with 3D sand printing.
News also features Renishaw, Autodesk, PyroGenesis, CGTrader, FARO, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
NASA aborts testing of 3D printed space shuttle engine
A team fromNASA’s Stennis Space Center rocket testing facility in Mississippi has aborted tests of its Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 space shuttle engine – manufactured using SLS. The test intended to run for a flight duration of 500 seconds to evaluate the performance of a new main combustion chamber (MCC), however, an early cut was issued at 319 seconds due to a “facility issue.”
Nevertheless, according to Stennis Space Center, the objectives of the engine test regarding fuel propellant conditions were achieved before the early cut of the launch. Another test will take place in September.
In other news, Autodesk has partnered with NASA’sSwamp Works laboratory in Florida, to develop 3D printed human-habitable structures made from lightweightregolith, a sediment found on Earth and the Moon.
“Additive manufacturing technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we do construction here on Earth,” said Massimiliano Moruzzi of Autodesk’s computational science research group.
“If we can repurpose plastic pollution and use readily available natural resources to robotically print houses on Mars, we can use the same approach to sustainably build streets, sidewalks, and even playgrounds here at home.”
3D printed bus shuttle Olli arrives at University at Buffalo
Based in Phoenix, Arizona,Local Motors, the manufacturer of Olli, an autonomous, electric, 3D printed shuttle, has partnered with the University at Buffalo (UB) to test the mobility of the vehicle.
“We are pleased to partner with the University at Buffalo and the State of New York to implement and customize Olli for their mobility testing and sustainability strategies,” said Matthew Rivett, Executive Vice President of Local Motors.
“This partnership showcases how campuses, states, and others can invest in and explore the future of transportation. Local Motors looks forward to assisting UB and future partners on practical solutions and research opportunities for mobility challenges.”
ZARE installs Italy’s first 3D Systems ProX SLS 6100 3D printer
3D Systems has announced that ZARE, an Italian service bureau, is the first in the country to install its ProX SLS 6100 3D printer. This printer is designed to produce heavy-duty prototypes and production parts from a range of industrial-grade nylon materials.
ZARE expanded its CNC machining services with additive manufacturing in 2009, and now solely offers additive manufacturing solutions to its customers. After viewing the ProX SLS 6100 at the Formnext 2017 exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, ZARE worked with 3D Systems’ Italian channel partner 3DZ on the purchase and installation. “The ProX SLS 6100 is a perfect solution for businesses like ZARE that need to produce highly accurate parts with excellent surface finish that can withstand the rigors of daily use,” said Andrea Simeoni, CEO at 3DZ.
PyroGenesis reveals powder performance results from undisclosed OEM
PyroGenesis, Canadian manufacturers of spherical metal powders for 3D printing, has announced that its TI-6AL-4V grade 23 titanium powder has “met or exceeded rigorous properties requirements under intensive chemical and mechanical analysis” carried out by an undisclosed 3D printer OEM.
The undisclosed OEM, whose name remains confidential for competitive reasons, is now discussing commercialization strategies with PyroGensis. This may lead to the OEM becoming an approved supplier of the TI-6AL-4V grade 23 titanium powder for its end-users.
“This is indeed an incredible milestone and achievement when considering the short amount of time from when PyroGenesis announced it was re-entering the powder production business,” said Massimo Dattilo, Vice President Sales of PyroGenesis.
“Of note, this is not the only printer OEM we are in discussions with. We have made significant inroads to being approved on other printer types as well, and we look forward to making additional announcements as events unfold.”
CGTrader 3D model marketplace accumulates 1.5 million members
CGTrader, a 3D model marketplace based in Vilnius, Lithuania, has reached 1,500,000 members, a six-fold increase since 2015. CGTrader has attributed this milestone to the increasing amount of Fortune 500 companies and 3D designers joining its community on a daily basis.
“With each day we are becoming a massive force that is changing the 3D industry for the better. We strive to be the most designer-friendly 3D marketplace in the world for designers, while at the same time we are attracting customers from over 180 countries,” said CGTrader in a recent post.
Renishaw graduate scheme gains national recognition
Renishaw’s Graduate Scheme has been recognized at the JobCrowd Awards as the UK’s number one in the engineering and manufacturing sector as companies employ more than 30 of its alumnae a year.
The Graduate Scheme is a two-year program which trains students in eight different divisions of the company, including additive manufacturing. The graduate employees then have the option to take on a permanent position at the end of the scheme.
“Renishaw’s graduate scheme is a challenging, rewarding opportunity that offers the potential for rapid progression,” explained Sam Bishop, Learning and Development Advisor at Renishaw.
“The company’s CEO, Will Lee, joined Renishaw as a graduate in 1997. A position at Renishaw can take you almost anywhere in the world, working in industries as diverse as neurosurgery to additive manufacturing.”
Renishaw was also ranked 42nd overall in the top 100 graduate schemes across all sectors.
Betatype, additive manufacturing technology developers based in London, and Progressive Technology, CNC machining specialists based in Berkshire, have produced 384 automotive headlight components within a single build using metal laser powder bed fusion (LPBF).
In its case study, Betatype demonstrated its optimization technology to produce cost-effective automotive part while drastically reducing lead times from 444 hours to 34 hours.
3D printing product releases
McGowans, an Irish 3D printing service bureau, has installed Ireland’s first Massivit 1800 3D printer and is planning to launch a new brand next month that will offer large-format 3D printing services throughout the UK and Europe.
“Historically, we have always been known as early adopters of new technology,” said Mal McGowan, Owner of McGowans. “I have been watching Massivit develop its machine for a few years now – I have always been keen on their passion, and now they have a machine ready to serve the different, growing markets that we are positioned to address.”
FARO, 3D measurement technologies developers based in Florida, has announced the launch of its Design ScanArm 2.5C, which includes high resolution, 3D color scanning capabilities.
Following the launch of the ScanArm 2.0., this improved 3D scanning device was created to address design challenges within computer graphics, industrial machinery, auto manufacturing and engineering services.
“By integrating exceptional quality color into the design process, we have created a best-in-class 3D reality experience by allowing users to capture more information, in true-to-life detail richness and color, in less time than ever before,” said Thorsten Brecht, Senior Director of Product Design at FARO Technologies.
Wiiboox, a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, has introduced its second metal 3D printer, the SLM250. With a build size of 250x250x300mm, the SLM250 is the larger version Wiiboox ’s first metal 3D printer, the SLM150.
The SLM250 features include a 200W laser and a high-accuracy scanning galvanometer with speeds of 8 m/s. The printer is also said to deliver strong metal parts (including stainless steel, and nickel-based alloys) with a layer thickness of 0.02 to 0.1 mm.
German 3D printing software company, 3YOURMIND, who recently established an online on-demand 3D printing portal with Swedish communications company PostNord Strålfors, has announced the launch of the AM Summit, a one-day virtual conference for businesses integrating 3D printing technologies.
The AM Summit will host talks from 3D printing experts in four sessions on August 28th, 10 am – 3.30pm CEST. Register for the AM Summit here.
3D printing and the healthcare sector
CoreLink, a Missouri-based spinal implant manufacturer, has announced 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its 3D printed Foundation Anterior Lumbar (ALIF) Interbody device.
“The Foundation 3D ALIF demonstrates our increasing capabilities with 3D printing titanium alloy which will allow surgeons to maximize endplate contact area and hold up to 8cc’s of graft,” said Jay Bartling, CEO of CoreLink.
Earlier this month, at the Invisalign conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dr. Faline Davenport of Gainesville Dental Associates (GDA) was recognized as a top “Platinum Plus” Invisalign provider. The Invisalign range of clear-aligner orthodontics is manufactured using 3D scanning and printing to adapt to each of its wearers.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 28 projects with funding totaling $38 million to support early-stage research and development of new hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
As a result, Clemson University in South Carolina has received $1,600,000 to support its research into “Laser 3D Printing of [a]Highly Compacted Protonic Ceramic Electrolyzer Stack”.
“As an energy carrier, hydrogen can help unite all of our nation’s abundant fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy resources. It’s part of the Department’s diverse energy portfolio focused on providing affordable, reliable energy to American families and businesses,” said Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Dubai’s RSA Global has become the latest logistics company to adopt on-demand 3D printing services. In a new partnership with Immensa Technology Labs, a company dedicated to the advancement of 3D printing throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE) RSA Global plans to develop a ‘Virtual Warehouse’ for 3D printable parts.
Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder and Group CEO at RSA Global stated, “Technology has been one of the three pillars of RSA’s business strategy, aside from focusing on niche markets and being a value driven solutions provider,”
“RSA Global prides itself in adopting technology quickly to create advantage for our customers.”
RSA Global offers physical storage, distribution, transportation, and international freight with multiple locations around the world. With Immensa Labs’ ‘Virtual Warehouse’, RSA Global will be able to provide customers with on-demand inventory production capability.
Additionally customers will be able to experience a greater scope for customization in the production line. With the ‘Virtual Warehouse’, only the necessary number of parts are printed which could reduce material waste for RSA Global.
“We are proud to be working with leading groups such as RSA Global and their forward thinking leaders,” said Fahmi Al Shawwa, CEO of Immensa.
“RSA Global has positioned itself at the forefront of this technological evolution by choosing to adopt this game-changing solution, which will provide impressive added value by freeing up cash and reducing shipping and storage costs through a virtually managed inventory.”
3D printing changes logistics
The partnership between Immensa Technology Labs and RSA Global marks a growing trend for logistics companies implementing 3D printing into its stores.
On the partnership with RSA Gloabl, Immensa’s Al Shawwa reinforces this trend stating, “[3D printing] is catching the attention of logistics companies on a global level, with companies like UPS, FEDEX and many others taking steps to integrate it into their business.”
Shah concludes, “Immensa is a leader in its field and we are delighted to have this exclusive partnership with them as it comes to support our vision of being a third party supplier with the ability to offer customers a complete and seamless, integrated solution.”
ASU and PADT are currently cooperating to accelerate the development of bioinspired 3D printed structures which will ultimately enable strong and lightweight parts for use in spacecrafts.
“We’re honored to continue advanced research on biomimicry with our good friends and partners at ASU,” said Rey Chu, Principal and Co-Founder of PADT.
“With our combined expertise in 3D printing and computer modeling, we feel that our research will provide a breakthrough in the way that we design objects for NASA, and our broad range of product manufacturing clients.”
Now, ASU and PDAT, are looking to replicate the hexahedron structures found in honeycombs and bamboo using additive manufacturing. Which will provide lightweight strength within carbon fiber composite aircraft and spacecraft components.
“New technologies in imaging and manufacturing, including 3D printing, are opening possibilities for mimicking biological structures in a way that has been unprecedented in human history,” said Dhruv Bhate, Associate Professor of Additive Manufacturing at ASU.
“Our ability to build resilient structures while significantly reducing the weight will benefit product designers and manufacturers who leverage the technology.”
As a result of further biomimicry research, ASU and PADT will design and manufacture high-performance materials for use in heat exchanges, lightweight structures, and space debris resistant skins. Depending on the success of this initial research first phase, the partners will be eligible for a second, larger grant from NASA.
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies aids the Orion Mission
Recently, PADT, Lockheed Martin, and Stratasys partnered to help NASA develop over 100 3D printed parts for its manned-spaceflight to Mars, the Orion Mission. This collaboration leverages advanced materials from Stratasys, such as the ULTEM 9085 a flame-retardant high-performance thermoplastic, its high-performance, PEKK-based thermoplastic Antero 800NA. The materials used are well-suited for NASA’s heat and chemical resistance requirements and can withstand high mechanical loads.
Commenting on the ASU and PADT partnership as well as NASA’s STTR grant, Ann McKenna, School Director and Professor, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, ASU stated:
“PADT has been an excellent partner to ASU and its students as we explore the innovative nature of 3D printing. Between the STTR grant and partnering to open our state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Center, we’re proud of what we have been able to accomplish in this community together.”
On the lookout for new talent or seeking a career change? Search and post3D Printing Jobs for opportunities and new talent across engineering, marketing, sales and more. Featured image shows 3D printed prototypes of honeycomb structures. Photo via PADT.
Mirroring the process of additive manufacturing, engineers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have created a 3D stretchable electronic device, dubbed as the “smart bandage”, that wirelessly monitors human body signals such as eye movement, temperature, and heart and brain activity.
By fashioning elastomer films on top of each other, the smart bandage, which is the same size and width of a U.S. dollar coin, is able to accommodate more circuitry for a variety of functions.
“Our vision is to make 3D stretchable electronics that are as multifunctional and high-performing as today’s rigid electronics,” said Sheng Xu, a Professor in the Department of NanoEngineering and the Center for Wearable Sensors, both at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering.
3D stretchable electronics
According to the UCSD research paper, stretchable electronics, an emerging technology, create devices with the ability to conform to dynamic surfaces such as the human body.
Standard stretchable configurations are limited to single-layer designs due to the lack of material processing capabilities in soft electronic systems. Therefore, the Xu Research Group, inspired by the process of additive manufacturing, built a four-layer silicone elastomer substrate 3D integrated stretchable electronic device. Professor Xu stated:
“Rigid electronics can offer a lot of functionality on a small footprint—they can easily be manufactured with as many as 50 layers of circuits that are all intricately connected, with a lot of chips and components packed densely inside. Our goal is to achieve that with stretchable electronics.”
Each layer is patterned with an “island-bridge”, a small, rigid electronic connecting component including sensors, antennas, a Bluetooth chip, an amplifier, an accelerometer, a resistor, a capacitor, and an inductor.
The islands-bridges are supported by thin, spring-shaped copper wires, which allows flexibility within the circuits while maintaining electronic function. To create the smart bandage, the Xu Research Group used 3D microfabrication which uses laser beam soldering on elastomeric substrates to create electrical connections between layers – vertical interconnect accesses (VIA).
The multi-purpose 3D smart bandage
The smart bandage sticks onto various parts of the human body to monitor different electrical signals. When worn on the chest or stomach, the bandage records heart signals – much like an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine.
On the forehead, it records brain signals, mimicking the functions of an electroencephalography (EEG) sensor, and when placed on the side of the head, it records eyeball movements. Placing the smart bandage on the forearm will record muscle activity and can also be used to remotely control a robotic arm.
“We didn’t have a specific end use for all these functions combined together, but the point is that we can integrate all these different sensing capabilities on the same small bandage,” said Zhenlong Huang, co-author and visiting Ph.D. student in the Xu Research Group.
3D printing and dynamic surfaces
Similar to the smart bandage, UCSD researchers have previously used 3D printing methods to conquer dynamic, non-planar (asymmetrical) surfaces, outside of the human body.
Industrial 3D printing process control developer Sigma Labs (NASDAQ:SGLB) has reported its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2018. For Q2 2018 the company has reported a headline revenue of $98,633, compared to over $290 thousand in the same period in 2017. For the first half of the 2018, total revenue was reported at $202,078, compared to H2 2017 revenue of $405,075.
Though a noticeable hit has been taken to company’s revenue John Rice, Chairman and CEO of Sigma Labs, assures that the reduction is part of the company’s progress from an R&D company through to commercialization.
In a supporting statement with the results, Rice said, “We had an active quarter of strength building as we continued to transform ourselves from an R&D company with a high potential R&D product into a commercialization company with reliable high-performance market-ready products to sell,”
“I am proud of what we have achieved so far in 2018 internally strengthening Sigma’s product, operations, and balance sheet. Now, going forward we must thrust our product effectively into the marketplace.”
Sigma Labs activity
Sigma Labs’ flagship product is the PrintRite3D additive manufacturing quality assurance package combining SENSORPAK hardware and sofware for reading the print bed, with software features: INSPECT, CONTOUR and ANALYTICS. The package is third party independent, and offers layer by layer analysis of 3D printed parts, to asses potential faults, strengths, and areas for process optimization.
Throughout Q2 2018, which ended June 30, the company completed a private placement financing of $1 million and closed a public offering of $2,390,000. Expressing its sentiments to expand throughout Europe, the company hired its first employee in the continent, and has been granted a patent relating to a “Method and System for Monitoring Additive Manufacturing Processes.”
Summary of Condensed Balance Sheets
The cost of revenue in Q2 2018 was reported at $68,568, with the comparative in Q2 2017 at $111,41,.
Gross profit for Q2 2018 was $30,095, and net loss for the same period was reported at -$988,741. For comparison, in Q2 2017, gross profit was reported at $179,141, with a net loss of -$1,388,804.
Brief Summary of Condensed Balance Sheets
Cost of Revenue
As hinted by Rice’s statement, operating R&D costs have decelerated in this period, from $131,908 in Q2 2017 to $95,045 in Q2 2018. Total operating expenses for Q2 2018 were reported at $1,422,511 and, for the same period in 2017, operating expenses were $1,108,234.
Operating R&D Costs
Total Operating Expenses
R&D as % of Total Operating Expenses
A “mixed year”
This second quarter of 2018 marks a full year since Rice joined Sigma Labs as CEO. In a letter issued to company shareholders, Rice highlights the challenges the company has faced in the past 12 months, including the recruitment of new team members.
“Overall, the past year is certainly one of mixed results, and we hope and believe that we did get the mix right,” comments Rice,” In exiting the R&D business, we caused a reduction in company revenues for the period from which we have not yet emerged. We traded those lost revenues for a major overhaul of the company: reworking our culture, rapidly advancing our technology from its bench R&D characteristics and high potential into a rapidly evolving high performance commercially deployable product.”