Ricoh hopes to enter 3D printing market by 2016

Ricoh, Japan’s leading multinational imaging and electronics will set up two offices in Kanagawa Prefecture by the end of September, one in Yokohama and the other in Atsugi, to sell 3D printers supplied by global leader Stratasys, 3D Systems and others. Ricoh will also offer prototype services, where they use 3D printing to create objects based on customer data.

Ricoh hopes to bring its own 3D printers to the market in 2016. The printers are expected to be priced at around 5 million yen to 20 million yen ($46,900 to $187,670) and targeting at the small and medium businesses.

Ricoh aims to reach annual sales of $2.8 billion for its new 3D printer business, including its own products. The company said that it will start research and development of 3D printing technology based on its inkjet and other printing technologies.

Ricoh isn’t the only imaging and electronics company in Japan with big plans for 3D printing; both Canon and Seiko Epson plan to roll out 3D printers within the next five years. Canon has already developed a 3D printer prototype, and is pursuing a high-precision technology for producing complex shapes. Canon Marketing, part of the Canon group, has also joined 3D Systems’ network of resellers to market and sell its professional 3D printers, including its direct metal printers, in Japan.

Seiko Epson, a well-known brand for energy-saving and high-precision home printer, is likely working on developing industrial, multi-material 3D printers for commercial applications – such as in large-scale production environments. Epson expects that it will launch its first industrial 3D printer within 5 years.

Sintratec – Affordable SLS 3D printer to be launched soon…


A few days ago, we reported the launch of Ice9 and Ice1 3D printers by Norge Systems, these SLS 3D printers, as proclaimed by Norge Systems – “are the first truly affordable SLS 3D printers for small and medium businesses”. However, as it seems, Norge is not the only contender on the affordable SLS 3D printers, stable.

Sintratec – a Switzerland based company is currently developing a desktop DIY SLS 3D printer, and the forecasted price is almost ½ of the Ice1, which is Norge Systems cheapest model.

What is a SLS 3D Printer?

“Selective Laser Sintering” is one of the oldest 3D printing technology around. It uses laser as the power source to sinter powdered material to create a solid structure. Unlike some other additive manufacturing processes, such as fused deposition modeling (FDM), SLS does not require support structures and can produce parts with fine details.

While there are many desktop 3D printers on the market, most of these printers use a FDM method, not SLS. SLS is often more expensive than FDM machine: a professional SLS 3D printer starts at around 200,000€.

About Sintratec and the Launch:

Sintratec is a Switzerland based company, founded by electrical engineers Joscha Zeltner, Christian Von Burg, and Dominik Solenicki. The Trio have been working on this DIY SLS 3D printer project since 2012.

Sintratec plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in October 2014, with a price that everyone can afford: 3,999€ ($5,277) for backers. Their goal is to raise money to ship at least 60 of the SLS 3D printer kits worldwide.

Do they have a DIY SLS 3D Printer Prototype?

Sintratec does have a working DIY SLS 3D printer prototype, up its sleeves. The current prototype, code named –”Bobby”, is built in sturdy aluminium, foam glass and steel and features 130mm cubed print volume. One main feature to keep the cost down is that they use a compact diode laser intead of CO2 laser commonly used in current SLS 3D printers. Sintratec’s prototype DIY SLS 3D printer uses a diode laser (445nm, blue) with an output power of over 2W. To get a good laser spot they use also beam correction optics. The compact diode laser is much cheaper than CO2 laser and pumps solid-state lasers in the visible spectral region for a more safe operation.

This is all we have for now, for more updates on Sintratec and their new DIY SLS 3D printer, please follow their website.

Note: URL links above have been shortened with “p.pw” – URL Shortening Service. They are clean and safe to browse.

The new Alta 3D printer from Polarworks

Polarworks, the company behind the Alta 3D printer, is the collaborative effort of Norwegian production and design company Bengler, mechanical engineer Thomas Boe-Wiegaard and industrial design students Hans Jakob Føsker and Alexandre Chappel. The launch of Polarworks was announced in early 2014, along with its intention of developing an ‘extravagantly simple and efficient 3D printer’. Things have been quiet since then, until a promising prototype was revealed at last weekend’s Maker Faire Trondheim.

What was shown, was the prototype of a simple but elegantly designed printer, that is quiet and unorthodox. There is no X and Y axis, as it shifts all the mechanical complexities that accompanies their movement to software. Instead, those movements are all executed by a single linear arm and a rotational disk. And interestingly, the Alta Polarworks should be compatible with all usually used software and STL formats.

The ambition to build this printer grew out of the simple but highly adaptable software GRBL, written by Bengler’s in-house ‘tinkerer’ Simen Svale Skogsrud. This software quickly became a staple for various ‘maker machines’ like laser cutters and writing hardware, but is also used for operating various CNC mills and the popular and open source 3D firmware Marlin. ‘It [GRBL] worked for us – it ran a little CNC mill we used to have in our office – and has also worked for hundreds of other DIY projects that shape by cutting with metal, burning with lasers or laying down minute quantities of molten plastic.’

However, Simen has long since wanted to incorporate it into 3D printers which could be, or so he felt, constructed much easier. ‘He came upon the idea of using two rotational axis instead of a gantries for the X and Y axis. This cuts part count radically and makes the printer nearly silent. No linear bearings, no timing belts, no gears. Just a few slabs of solid metal and precision motors. It also looks excellent when the printer draws a completely straight line by twisting around.’

In the past few months, the team behind Polarworks have been silently trying to realize this printer, after students Føsker and Chappel, along with engineer Boe-Wiegaard blew new life into their ambition.

And while both the design and the promises made are certainly drawing our attention, we’ll have to wait for more pictures and promotional videos before we can endorse the Alta Polarworks’ innovations. Their Kickstarter – that will be aiming for approximately $1500 – will start within the next few months, so we hope to be able to present an update on this interesting 3D printer in the near future.

HP to enter 3D Printing Market soon…

Hewlett Packard, one of the leading manufacturers of Computers and peripherals is all set to enter the marketplace of 3D printing, by the fall of 2014. HP has nearly 40% of market share of 2D printing, so it is a natural progression for HP to enter into 3D printing business. As a lot of core patents have expired or are expiring this year, it will be a good timing for HP to enter the market so they won’t have to spend time and huge amount of money on developing the technology.

HP is one of the largest computer companies in the world, with 317,000 employees and $112 billion in annual sales. In the past years, Meg Whitman – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – HP, has focused on reducing costs and has now returned the company to profit. HP has also focused on introducing new products, such as water-cooled servers and 3D printers. Whitman announced earlier this year that company is planning to enter the 3D printer space by the end of this Fiscal year (31st October.), so many people have been waiting for HP’s entry into this market.

Meg Whitman said HP’s in-house researchers have resolved limitations involved with the quality of substrates used in the process, which affects the durability of finished products. She said that the company is solving a number of technical problems that have hindered broader adoption of the 3D printing process, including the slow speed at which things print, and the quality.

Is this the first Announcement?

This is however not the first time, HP has decided to foray into the 3D printing market. The company had an agreement in 2010 to market HP-branded Stratasys 3D printers, but the deal dissolved in 2012. More recently, HP has provided inkjet print heads to Z-Corp, a 3D printing company that is now owned by 3D Systems. Meg Whitman also acknowledges that 3D printing as an industry has some areas it needs to improve before it goes main stream. She further pointed out that the quality of the 3D prints were not as good as it should be, however, she also noted that HP’s late entry into the 3D printing market may be a turning point, as she thinks HP has been able to finally solve the above problems. Although Meg Whitman, did not disclose exactly what is the “Big announcement”, but she did say that whatever HP offers will focus on large scale manufacturing primarily, before HP enters the consumer 3D printing market.

“We think the bigger market will be in enterprise space, that is, helping companies manufacture parts and test prototypes rather than helping regular folk’s 3D print Hershey Kisses at home.” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

French Man uses 3D printing to steal money of innocent ATM users

A man in southern France used 3D printed fake cashpoint facades and stole thousands of euros from bank users. The thief, named Hamid P, used the 3D printer to make fake fronts for ATM machines which could clone the card details of other people. He was recently arrested with his girlfriend at his home in Marseille.

The case is dated back to September 2013 when Caisse d’Epargne discovered two false fronts on bank machines in the towns of Nimes and Saint-Ambroix, Southern France.

Skimmers (credit card readers) which register card details were found behind the fake machine fronts. The machine would then dispense cash as normal, so nobody was aware that their bank details were stolen. A local policeman said: ‘The fake fronts were of a good quality and were different to those we normally see.’

Hamid P was on the run with €30,000 of stolen money before the bank discovered the fake fronts. The fact is, he had made a mistake by using his own card in one of the machines to test whether it worked. Police then tracked him down, and when they found the 3D printer at his home he admitted to the scam. He has been charged with fraud. Back in September 2011 an American gang was prosecuted for stealing more than $400,000 using the same 3D printed fake ATM fronts. And in 2013 Sydney police reported that a gang of suspected Romanian criminals used 3D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) to manufacture ATM skimming devices to steal Sydney residents’ funds.

Aerojet Rocketdyne gets U.S defence contract

Aerojet Rocketdyne announced on August 18, 2014 that the company was recently awarded a contract by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base through the Defense Production Act Title III Office. Under the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will make parts ranging from simple, large ducts to complex heat exchangers, and include metals such as nickel, copper and aluminum alloys. The program scope is expected to replace the need for castings, forgings, plating, machining, brazing and welding.

The contract will secure multiple large selective laser melting machines to develop liquid rocket engine applications for national security space launch services. Aerojet Rocketdyne and its subcontractors will design and develop larger scale parts to be converted from conventional manufacturing to 3D printing.

“We have developed and successfully demonstrated additive-manufactured hardware over the last four years but the machines have been limited in size to 10-inch cubes,” said Steve Bouley, vice president of Space Launch Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

“These next generation systems are about six times larger, enabling more options for our rocket engine components. We are extremely honored to have received this contract, and foresee the day when additive-manufactured engines are used to boost and place important payloads into orbit. The end result will be a more efficient, cost-effective engine.”

 

Ice1 & Ice9 – new SLS 3D printers from Norge Systems

While there are many desktop 3D printers on the market, most of these printers use a FDM method, not SLS. SLS is often more expensive than FDM machine: a professional 3D SLS printer starts around 200,000€. However there are some inventors out there who want to build their own affordable laser sintering 3D printers. “Selective Laser Sintering” is one of the oldest 3D printing technology around. It uses laser as the power source to sinter powdered material to create a solid structure. Unlike some other additive manufacturing processes, such as fused deposition modeling (FDM), SLS does not require support structures and can produce parts with fine details.

UK based company Norge Systems started working on their project two years ago. Their goal is to build “the world’s first low-budget but high quality SLS printer that even a small or medium design studio can afford. Easy to use, small and with a nice design.” In the last eight months, team member Lica Venri, Design, electronics and laser optics experts; Alessandro Facchini, 3D artist and software developer, and Stefano Rebecchi have been working hard on developing software and optimizing supply chain and assembling process. They have finally come up with two new SLS 3D printer: Ice9 and Ice1. What makes their SLS printers interesting, apart from price/technology ratio, is the build volume. The Ice9 has a working area of 30x30cm, and a “z-axis” of 45cm, and the small Ice1 has a 20x20x25cm build volume which are big enough to print lots of full-scale prototypes without the need to resize them to fit the printers volume limits.

The Ice9 SLS 3D Printer

The Ice9 is a low-budget SLS 3D printer designed for printing plastics models (nylon or Ployamide based materials). One interesting feature of the Ice9 SLS printer is the engraving/cutter function. You will be able to draw or cut materials such as wood, paper, foam, or even felt.

Features:

SLS 3D Printer with 40W tube laser
Works with polyamide or nylon powder
30x30x45cm build volume
Arduino 2 powered controller
Multifunction display for quick operations
USB port
SD card reader
Sleek design, solid rock build, UK assembled
Navigator software for sending prints to the machine

Specifications:

Printer size: 1500x1025x410mm
Layer thickness: 0.1 – 0.15mm
Average print speed: 10 to 30mm/hour
Powder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed system
Scanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoder
Scan speed during build process: up to 4 m/s
Laser power control system: PWM Digital signal
Power Supply: 230VAC50/60Hz5KVA
Software: Manual and automatic control mode; Real-time build parameters modification; Three-dimensional Visualization; Open Source Platforms

The Ice1 SLS 3D Printer

The Ice1 the desktop version of Ice9 SLS 3D printer and will be priced lower.

Specs:

Printer size: 900x300x350mm
Layer thickness: 0.1 – 0.15mm
Average print speed: 8 to 25mm/hour
Scanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoder
Scan speed during build process: up to 3 m/s

SLS printing technology allows a wide range of materials to be used to build your prototypes. Norge Systems has up to now tested their Ice9 and Ice1 with Arzauno PA2200 Polyamide, Windform,XT,Duraform serie material and CastFormTM PS plastic.

The company is currently planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Ice1 and Ice9 on August 18, 2014, to bring high quality 3D printing to your desktop. The SLS printers will be available on the market on the third quarter of 2015.

Indian company develops new 3D printing App for building objects larger than the build volume


There are actually many desktop 3D printers rising on the market, however most of them have terribly little build volume that limits the sort of elements that may be 3d printed. Earlier, Makerbot has found a technique or a way to build an object larger than the build volume of a 3D printer, and filed a patent. However another company, the Indian startup Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (CCTech), a CAD and CAM development company, has come back up with a replacement application “3DPrintTech” that helps the maker to create objects larger than the build volume of any 3D printer.

3DPrintTech is a free app and works as CAD plugin with Autodesk discoverer 2014, AutoCAD 2014 and SolidWorks 2014. 3DPrintTech is meant to print larger objects on a desktop 3D printer quickly. The application will divide the style of enormous object into little connectable parts, in a jiffy. The App additionally provides the user, a choice to manage the cylindrical connectors as per his demand. User will outline the connective in terms of radius, length and taper angle. User additionally manages the space between the connectors, distance between connective and object surface.

The 3DPrintTech app additionally provides the practicality to pack little objects in one print batch. 3DPrintTech app features a feature referred to as ‘3D Packing’ that collects those little parts and packs them in a given build volume. “In our benchmark testing, we found that for several cases our 3D packing technology helped to scale back the 3D printing batches from ten to one. This is positively aiming to facilitate manufacturers to print a lot of objects in less time and by investing lesser cash.” notes the team.

In addition, the app additionally provides associate interface to feature your custom printer and lots of utility functions like exportation processed objects to 3D printable STL file, Explode objects for fast examination, scaling the item for unit conversion or fitting into printer.

Sandip Jadhav, (Co-Founder & Business Executive, CCTech) says, “3DPrintTech was built to facilitate Makerbot ‘s to boost productivity by a nice degree. It’ll additionally facilitate the 3D print club to push the envelope by creating massive 3D objects.”

3D printing technology to bring new life into antique musical instruments

Researchers at the University of Connecticut are using 3D printing technology to bring new life into some antique musical instruments. After seeing how 3D scanning makes precise 3-D images of body parts, Dr. Robert Howe, a reproductive endocrinologist in East Longmeadow, Mass., realized identical CT technology could help him study delicate musical instruments from the past.

Dr Robert Howe, who is additionally is a doctoral student in music theory and history at UConn, last year shared his thoughts with music theory professor Richard Bass, who contacted Sina Shahbazmohamadi, an engineer and also the school’s director for advanced 3D imaging. Together, they developed a brand new process: they first made images of these instruments using CT scanning technology so as to create 3D copies of parts using 3D printing.

Before using this technology, to form a duplicate of the handmade part an artisan would have got to measure it with metal calipers and other instruments, which might have left marks. Then the artisan would have got to translate those measurements into tooling. It absolutely was a time-consuming and expensive process.

Using the new 3D imaging technology, the UConn team was able to show the development of an 18th-century double reed and also the result shows it absolutely was way more complicated than experts originally thought. Because it’s unimaginable to chop the rare and delicate instrument open, and traditional X-ray didn’t show the development also because the pins are manufactured from identical material because the horn, Shahbazmohamadi then came up with a brand new idea which allowed the team to scan metal and wood at the same time. This breakthrough allowed them to urge exact 3-D images of things like a mouthpiece from one in every of the primary saxophones made by a shaper within the 19th century.

“Only three original saxophone mouthpieces are known to exist within the entire world,” Howe said.

The UConn team scanned the initial mouthpiece and so produced a plastic replica on a 3D printer that may be fitted to the initial saxophone. And it costs only $18. The team also has scaled the imaging data to size to form mouthpieces for a variety of Sax’s horns, from B-flat bass to E-flat sopranino. Shahbazmohamadi believes that at some point, 3D printers can make exact copies within the original materials, or print out broken parts to repair the initial ones. Paul Cohen, a saxophonist who teaches at the University, said the UConn team’s work could help experts understand what centuries-old music was meant to sound like.

“The universal availability of 3D printing, which is going on as we wait, will make all this work very relevant and not only for musical instruments,” Howe said. “The ability to live and replicate items that are difficult to live and replicate is bound to explode.”

MadeSolid launches powerful new resin for SLA 3D printers

MadeSolid, an YC-backed 3D printing materials startup out of Emeryville, CA, is doing R&D to make additional type of resins with distinctive properties for your 3D printer. On Tuesday, MadeSolid proclaimed the launch of its powerful new resin. “This new 3D printable material is meant to face up to the structural demands of purposeful prototyping.” writes MadeSolid. “We have created a resin that has great accrued tensile, flexural, and impact strength.”

The formula stems from the frustration of SLA prints that always very brittle, and most of those prints aren’t sturdy and may not be used as purposeful components. MadeSolid’s powerful new resin is meant for 3D prints that require a lift in strength and sturdiness. MadeSolid hopes the powerful new resin formula can help users to print more purposeful 3D objects.

The resin may be utilized to create gadgets, prototyping wearable objects / jewelry, and components that require to require some stress. MadeSolid’s powerful new resin is offered in orange and yellow and is compatible with quite a few existing SLA/DLP printers. Presales have begun and cargo is expected to start shipping by the end of August. Pre-order value is 1L of Madesolid’s powerful new resin is $119.00.

What does MadeSolid have to say?

MadeSolid’s Tough Resin is designed for prints that need a boost in strength and durability. The formula stems from the frustration of prints breaking too easily and not meeting the demand of functional prints. So we made a resin that will enable you to print functional end parts that survive in the wild better than other resins on the market.” – As quoted on MadeSolid’s website.

This new Resin would definitely improve the quality of SLA 3D Prints.