Desktop Metal qualifies Inconel 625 on Shop System

Desktop Metal, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, has announced that nickel alloy Inconel 625 has been qualified on its Shop System metal binder jet machine. This marks the material’s qualification across Desktop Metal’s entire portfolio, spanning Production System and X-series models, as well as the Studio System.

“Manufacturers looking to produce complex geometries in IN625 now have a one-stop shop for efficient Additive Manufacturing 2.0 production,” stated Ric Fulop, founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “IN625 is a very difficult material to machine, but our technology truly makes it easy. We are proud of the work our world-leading material and process teams have done ensuring that this popular material can be offered across our portfolio.”

IN625 is a high-performance nickel alloy known for high levels of strength, temperature resistance, and corrosion resistance — making it a popular material choice for applications in the aerospace, chemical processing, and offshore energy industries.

However, IN625’s strength is what makes it a difficult and expensive material to machine into complex shapes. The process typically requires a skilled machinist and special CNC cutting tools, strategies and coolants to shape – and it’s not uncommon for cutting tools to be broken or deformed when milling Inconel stock, or for the material to deform when the outer layer hardens too quickly in response to machining, explains Desktop Metal.

www.desktopmetal.com

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3D Printing Can Be Used to Fight Against Bacteria

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic,  more than ever we are aware of how harmful and easily transmissible bacteria and other microbes are on surfaces. The mats that adhere there, some of which are slimy, are called biofilms and are often resistant to conventional disinfectants. They form complex communities and can even lead to life-threatening bacterial infections. But to eliminate this problem, a team of researchers at Montana State University in the U.S. has brought additive manufacturing into play to advance biofilm bacteria research using 3D printing technology. The goal here is to be able to produce a kind of tool that helps replicate the microbes. Researchers Zimlich and Thornton, who work at MSU’s Center for Biofilm Technology, have been working on the 3D printing device for two years.

Many tests and modifications later, however, they finally achieved their first success: the research object, which consists of a grid of individual bacteria inserted in hydrogel – a transparent, pudding-like substance – that they can precisely lay out at will, could be a great help for future bacterial transmissions. That’s because, specifically, it allows cells to be arranged and encapsulated exactly where they are needed to help fight bacteria. More specifically, the process involves imaging the microbes in the hydrogel and then solidifying the material with a laser to create an imperfect biofilm. While only one type of bacteria has been used so far in the research, if Zimlich and Thornton were to use other strains of bacteria, they could create more complex biofilms as a result.

Zimlich and Thornton conduct their research (photo credits: MSU).

A Forest Full of Bacteria

Comparable to a forest due to the sheer diversity of lifeforms present, Zimlich admits that even the simplest biofilm systems are complex species. For this reason, they felt it was their responsibility to combat microbes that may even be resistant to antibiotics. This is the case, he said, because the cells at the lowest level of the biofilm present are encapsulated from oxygen and enter a dormant state, making drugs ineffective against them. According to Phil Stewart, also a researcher at MSU, this phenomenon is explained by the fact that the bacteria have already undergone so many biological changes that such drugs are partially ineffective. Further development of such drugs is therefore inevitable, so that all forms of bacteria in the biofilm are attacked. However, Zimlich is optimistic and describes his idea for combating such a situation with bacteria, commenting, “One thing that’s becoming clearer is that there’s potential to treat these pathogenic bacteria by altering the interactive biofilm environment instead of trying to use harsh chemical products.”

But in order to further develop such treatments, numerous tests must take place in a controlled environment such as a laboratory. And that’s when the 3D printing tool finds its way. “We think it’s possible to construct analogs of how these pathogenic biofilms form naturally,” affirms Zimlich. With some 30 collaborative partners, the MSU research team also indicates in their press release that their research could even be of great interest to companies such as Procter and Gamble, 3M and NASA. More information on the project can be found HERE.

source: 3d natives.com

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Why Combine 3D Printing and Industrial Automation Applications?

3D printing is widely used in the field of automation such as in compression molding. It’s a formative manufacturing method, currently popular in industry, that involves compressing the desired amount of molding material between two heated presses to give it its final shape. It is cost-effective compared to other production processes, allowing both small parts and large components to be designed. In addition, the base mold can be 3D printed, giving manufacturers more flexibility and geometric freedom. That’s why one electrical manufacturer has invested in several 3D printers from Flashforge, including 11 Creator 4 models. With this investment, the company was able to reduce its labor costs by 80% and cut delivery times by 50%.

Flashforge is a Chinese manufacturer that entered the 3D printing market in 2012. Since then, it has offered a wide range of solutions worldwide and caters to applications in education, healthcare, jewelry, and more. Among its wide range of 3D printers is the Creator 4, an industrial FDM machine with two independent extruders and different extrusion options to expand the range of compatible materials. It’s a ideal solution for multiples industries such as automotive, medical or consumer goods. It boasts a printing volume of 400mm*350mm*500mm, a heating plate capable of reaching 130°C and a closed chamber that can rise to 65°C. It is a solution that offers optimal temperature control combined with production flexibility, allowing it to be combined with automation processes, such as compression molding.

Integrating 3D Printing into the Compression Molding Process

One of the challenges of compression molding is the design of the hoppers and mold: each hopper must match the mold cavity exactly so that the material can flow properly. However, the molds used are not all the same shape, with different or irregular cavities, which multiplies the number of hoppers needed. Flashforge’s customer, which specializes in the manufacture of electrical equipment, explained: “Each project involves dozens, if not hundreds, of different shaped molds. Each size requires over a hundred hoppers. So, a completed project represents tens of thousands of hoppers. In the past, we have had to hire trade experts or even outsource the order. However, whichever solution we chose, it was costly in time and money, as was post-project maintenance.”

That’s where 3D printing comes in: the company relied on Flashforge’s Creator 4 machines to design the hoppers, freeing itself from the various shape, labor, time, and maintenance constraints of the past. As a result, the company invested in 11 machines and is now able to complete the design and production of 40 hoppers in a single day, about 10 more than before, all with only one employee on the job.

The 3D printer is capable of creating the hoppers with an accuracy of 0.2 mm to meet the necessary requirements. In addition, the Creator 4 is compatible with a wide range of materials, allowing the company to produce stronger, more abrasion-resistant molds and hoppers. The company uses ABSnylonpolycarbonate and other technical materials to increase the durability of parts.

Benefits of Flashforge’s 3D Printing Solutions

In addition to this material compatibility, Flashforge 3D printers also allow teams to better control the manufacturing process and ensure that parts meet compression molding requirements. The resulting hoppers are lighter and easier to replace in the event of a defect.

Finally, the company estimates that it saved 10% of its labor costs in the first year and increased its output by 35%. A representative concluded: “Our customer orders are increasing and we will have to increase our production rate. Thanks to 3D printing, we can organize ourselves quickly and meet these growing needs. This is a real plus for us because we are able to meet demand in a flexible way.” If you have any 3D printing needs in terms of automation processes, feel free to contact Flashforge’s team HERE.

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Why Choose Binder Jetting? Experts Give Their Advice!

source: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/binder-jetting-expert-advice-200620225/

Binder Jetting is one of the various additive manufacturing processes currently available on the market. It works in a similar way to other 3D printing methods, but it is based on the use of a liquid binder in the form of micro droplets and powder, whether metal, sand, ceramic or even composites. Layer by layer, the desired part is manufactured and, depending on the binder and the powder used, post-processing steps, such as sintering, could be necessary. It is a 3D printing process renowned for its flexibility in terms of materials and design, and for its ability to produce large parts. This makes it a key technology for many manufacturers. But what should be considered when a company wants to integrate binder jetting? What are the strengths and challenges of the technology? Our experts have answered a few questions to shed some light on the topic!

Our first expert is Andreas Müller, Product Manager at ExOne. His main focus is on developing and improving the capabilities of sand 3D printing machines. ExOne is one of the leading manufacturers of binder jetting 3D printers, especially systems using sand. Our second expert is Lefteris Havouzis, Managing Director of Lino3D. The Greek company currently supports companies and manufacturers in their additive manufacturing projects thanks to its expertise in several processes, including metal binder jetting. Finally, our last expert is Vincent Poirier, founder and president of Novadditive, the first custom production center for ceramics in multi-process 3D printing.

How Does Binder Jetting Work?

Like any additive manufacturing process, binder jetting is used to produce a part by superimposing layers of material. In this case, a bed of powder with ideally grains that are ideally spherical and with a diameter of a micrometer. In order for the powder particles to stick to each other, a binder is sprayed onto the plate at the desired locations using a print head. The process is repeated layer by layer until the final object is obtained. Andreas Müller of ExOne adds, “Similar to printing on sheets of paper, the process is repeated layer by layer, using a map from a digital design file, until the object is complete. After printing, an entire job box filled with parts can print in about a half a day,  the parts can be removed from the print area. Depending on the material and binder used, additional curing and post-processing steps may be necessary.”

As you can see, two materials are needed for the process to work properly: the 3D printing material and the binder. And what is particularly interesting about binder jetting is the diversity of materials on the market.

During jetting, binder is selectively placed on the material, sand in this example (photo credits: ExOne)

Material Flexibility in Binder Jetting

Sand Binder Jetting is compatible with metal, ceramic, sand and composite powders. It is therefore a technology that will address many types of applications – for example, sand Binder Jetting is popular for the design of foundry cores or molds, avoiding the need for tooling and offering greater design freedom. Andreas Müller explains, “ExOne sand 3D printing uses foundry grade sand and binder to create metalcasting molds and cores. Sand is also printed into other complex designs and infiltrated with resin to form durable end-use parts. The combination of print media and binder is customized for each application. Our 3D printers handle a variety of sandcasting materials including silica and ceramic sands. Different binders, such as furan, phenolic, and inorganic binders are available to cast a variety of alloys from aluminum and magnesium to iron and steel.”

If we now turn to metals, the same diversity of materials exists. Lefteris Havouzis says: “In general, all alloys can be effectively sintered (mainly iron-based alloys such as stainless steel, tool steels, nickel-based super alloys, chromium-cobalt alloys, as well as difficult-to-weld alloys such as refractory alloys). The most important point is that binder jetting can work with hard-to-weld alloys, where processes using a laser fail.”

Though often used for indirect processes, sand binder jetting can also create durable end-use parts (photo credits: ExOne)

Remember that in terms of process, a sintering step after printing will be necessary. Immediately after leaving the 3D printer, the part, called a green part, is very fragile and porous and will have to be heat treated to obtain its final mechanical properties. Unlike other metal processes using powder, metal binder jetting does not require print supports since the surrounding powder supports the part.

Finally, on the ceramics side, binder jetting is also one of the technologies used by manufacturers. Vincent Poirier explains: “Theoretically, all ceramics are compatible with binder jetting, provided that a suitable binder has been developed and that powders with spherical grains or that can be spread correctly can be produced. In practice, the ceramics developed for this process must have an advantage over competing additive manufacturing technologies.” So application is key when opting for ceramic powder bonding: you have to have a very specific project in mind, otherwise, the choice of this process is not justified. Alumina, zirconia, boron carbide or infiltrated silicon carbide are all ceramics used in binder jetting.

Sand binder jetting is widely used to create molds and cores (photo credits: BMW Group)

Advantages and Limitations of Binder Jetting

As you can see, one of the main advantages of powder bonding is its material compatibility. Note that everything is relative: the range of metals for example is more limited than those used with laser processes. But it is interesting to be able to play on the powder/binder combination according to the desired application.

It is also a technology that allows the production of large parts – depending on the capacity of the machines of course. Indeed, binder jetting carries out its printing stage at room temperature, which eliminates the risk of thermal distortion – there is no warping, for example. The user will therefore be able to imagine larger and more complex parts. Lefteris Havouzis of Lino3D adds: “If we compare with other technologies in the metal industry, we should mention in general a greater freedom of design, a reduction in manufacturing and marketing time due to the absence of tools and a greater complexity of the production mix that we can achieve. In the same print, we can print dozens of different batches without any changes.”

In addition to the volume of the parts, the relative speed and simplicity of the process can also be mentioned. Andreas Müller commented: “Binder jetting is renowned among additive manufacturing methods specifically for its high volumetric output. Among additive manufacturing technologies, it’s also the most similar to traditional printing with its simple approach and speed. The binder functions like the ink as it moves across the layers of powder, which like printing on paper, forms the final product. By contrast, many other forms of 3D printing build parts with a single point — often a laser or nozzle — that extrudes, melts or welds material together. Such processes require significantly more material and time to draw out each part with a single point, layer by layer.” Binder jetting machines in contrast can deposit many droplets of binder in one pass, reducing manufacturing time and increasing productivity. Take note, however, that post-processing steps can lengthen the process.

binder jetting

The use of ceramics requires post-processing (photo credits: WZR)

Post-processing is one of the ultimate limitations of binder jetting, especially when using metal and ceramic powders. You have to go through debinding and sintering steps that will add time but also affect the final part. Lefteris from Lino3D says: “When looking at the technology, it is important to mention that the critical phase of Binder Jetting is the sintering phase where several phenomena have to be taken into account. Working with a partner that can manage the entire value stream can then be very interesting.”

The result will be a more porous part with weaker mechanical properties. Vincent Poirier concludes: “The more the powder has the ability to settle well, the less porous the preform and then the ceramic part will be. It is therefore essential to choose the right powder and opt for spherical powders.

A Few Last Words of Advice

The most important keyword is INTEGRATION: Binder Jetting, like any other manufacturing technology, is not a stand-alone solution, but to realize its potential, it must be integrated into the company’s ecosystem, from design to post-processing. – Lefteris Havouzis

Sand 3D printing is a flexible production technology. It’s suitable as a fast manufacturing method for producing sandcasting tooling and can also be used to produce unique end-use products. The important thing to consider is the right combination of technology and material to suit those needs. At ExOne we offer an all-round sand 3D printing support, with a service center for our European customers right here in Germany where we walk customers through the different options and evaluate the best solution to solve their production challenges. – Andreas Müller

For ceramics, you need to have a very specific application that unequivocally requires this technology. As with other ceramic additive manufacturing technologies, we cannot cover all cases. In addition, it is important to understand that the know-how is not only in printing. Ceramic know-how is also important to master, for example, firing cycles and the consequences of sintering shrinkage on the finished products. – Vincent Poirier

Do you use binder jetting? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedinFacebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

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WEBINAR: Revolutionizing Jewelry Making with 3D Printing

Since the start of civilization, jewelry has been an important part of the lives of humans worldwide. From the prehistoric era to ancient civilizations to our modern era, it has always been one of the key items created in societies as it allows us to display status, decorate our bodies and, of course, has a sentimental connection. And indeed, it cannot be denied that the industry is still growing strong, with the global market expected to reach $255.42B USD by 2027. But just because a tradition is ancient, does not mean it cannot be improved upon. 3D printing, especially DLP and binder jetting, is increasingly being adopted by the jewelry industry thanks to its ability to quickly and more cheaply create intricate, detailed designs.

In our next webinar, “Revolutionizing Jewelry Making with 3D Printing,” come learn about how both resin and metal 3D printing are already being used to revolutionize the jewelry sector. We will be joined by experts from Lino and Kranias Astroroes Jewelry, a family owned jewelry business in Thessaloniki who was on the forefront of 3D printing adoption for jewelry manufacturing in Greece, on July 12th at 4PM CEST/10AM EDT/5PM EEST as they explain how 3D printing compares to traditional manufacturing in the sector. Furthermore, they will explain in detail the benefits of using 3D printing for jewelry making as well as the differences in using resins and metals and the specific advantages of both. The session will be followed by a live Q&A. Register for free HERE!

Speakers:

Maria Papageorgiou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1986. After graduating from High School, she studied Geology in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She also obtained an MSc in Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh. From 2014, she started studying and acquiring her first experiences in 3D Designing and Printing, specializing in industrial design and jewelry design. She worked as a CAD designer for jewelry workshops and industries. Since July 2019 she has been working as a Product Manager at Lino SA, specializing in plastics and metal additive manufacturing.

Evangelia Krania, is 28 years old and currently lives in Thessaloniki where she is the Managing Director of family business Kranias Jewellery Workshop. Her educational background is in Balkan, Slavic, and Oriental studies. However, after her bachelor graduation she realized that her interest for jewelry manufacturing and production was much higher, thus she decided to be an active member in the family business. She immediately got involved in the jewelry market while obtaining a Social Media and Digital Marketing diploma. Now she utilizes her working experience with her knowledge to create the best possible value for the Workshop and 3D Printers are an essential tool for their excellence.

Madeleine Prior is the English Content Specialist for 3Dnatives, the leading international online magazine on 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. As part of the team, Madeleine is in charge of defining the content 3Dnatives covers for its english-speaking audience, bringing the latest news about the additive manufacturing sector and its implications to readers.

You can register for free for the webinar HERE. Are you interested in the role of 3D printing in the jewelry sector? Will you attend the webinar? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel. 

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Maroussa Farewell Announcement

It is with unbearable grief and unspeakable pain that the LINOGROUP family bids farewell to our creator, friend and colleague
Maroussa Konstantinidou.

Our Maroussa, who will no longer be with us, has always been an uncompromising and genuine supporter and support for all of us, both in joys and sorrows.
She was distinguished, apart from her kindness, her positive thinking and her humor, for her effectiveness in whatever she was involved in, giving us many times in her own inimitable and direct way solutions that the rest of us find difficult to find.
She fought bravely with cancer, bravely and with incredible dignity facing the unfair blow of fate as a fighter.

It is hard to fill the void that our Maroussa leaves in all of us.

For us she is a part of our lives.

Goodbye to our Maroussa.
We bid you a crushing farewell.
We will always remember you.

Your colleagues at LINOGROUP

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Lino3D will participate in Nanotexnology 2021, 3-10/7 in Thessaloniki

We are proud to announce you that Lino3D for once more year, will participate in the upcoming Nanotechnology 2021 Conference in Thessaloniki.

We are expecting you in the official Nanotechnology 2021 exhibition from 5th to 9th of July. Come visit us at our booth and learn more about Additive Manufacturing and how it is inextricably linked to Nanotechnology.

Join us and check the event’s official agenda at https://www.nanotexnology.com/

 

See you in Thessaloniki!

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Lino3D-Desltop Metal-Envisiontec

How Lino3D Benefits from Desktop Metal’s Acquisition of EnvisionTec

Published on June 2, 2021 by Madeleine P.on 3Dnatives.com website

Shop System printer

In January 2021, American manufacturer Desktop Metal announced the acquisition of a historic player in resin additive manufacturing, EnvisionTec. This was a major deal in the 3D printing market, as it redistributed market shares and paved the way for a very interesting future for the American company, which was founded in 2015. But how can the merger between these two manufacturers impact the international additive manufacturing market? What are the consequences for manufacturers? Greek company, Lino3D, has given us some insight into the topic.

Lino3D has integrated the two technologies to meet a variety of needs and applications. The company has mastered both EnvisionTec’s Digital Light Processing (DLP) and more specifically Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (cDLM); and Desktop Metal’s metal FFF technology as well as its Binder Jetting technology. Lino3D therefore has a key role to play in this acquisition because it is at the heart of the combination. The team adds: “Such an acquisition doesn’t only benefit the two companies: two top players combine their powers, it’s going to affect the evolution of  the global additive manufacturing market.

Shop System printer 2

A key merger between two market players

Keep in mind, EnvisonTec was created in 2002 and is an expert in photopolymerization. Today, it offers a wide range of machines as well as resins for industries such as dental, jewelry, bio-printing, manufacturing, and more. Desktop Metal arrived much later, at the end of 2015, and has since experienced a meteoric rise, raising several million dollars before going public.  It created Bound Metal Deposition, an extrusion technology, and binder jetting, allowing for the printing of quality metal parts. Both players are present worldwide, with a large customer portfolio. It is therefore understandable that such a takeover would not go unnoticed by the market.

 

One of the factors that played a role in Desktop Metal’s decision was undoubtedly EnvisionTec’s expertise and credibility in the resin 3D printing market. This acquisition allows the American manufacturer to access this know-how. Lino3D teams told us,    “As the inventor of DLP technology, EnvisionTEC has one of the strongest intellectual property portfolios in the photopolymer 3D printing market, with over 140 issued and pending patents, which Desktop Metal believes includes blocked intellectual property. “

In addition, Desktop Metal will be able to address markets with which they are less familiar, such as dentistry and jewelry, offering them its metal solutions as well. This way, companies will be able to truly benefit from all of additive manufacturing’s advantages. Finally, the US company is significantly expanding its global distribution network, increasing its geographic sales capabilities to 68 countries worldwide.

By acquiring EnvisionTec, Desktop Metal expands its process portfolio (photo credits: EnvisionTec)

The Lino3D team continues: “This acquisition is a strong message about the maturity of the additive manufacturing industry. It shows that the industry is changing fast, with historical players now facing younger ones, forcing them to change their strategy. Two major manufacturers joining forces is bound to change the market, redistribute market share, accelerate innovation, material development, etc. “

Lino3D uses both technologies to develop innovative applications

The Lino3D Lab integrates Desktop Metal and EnvisionTec solutions, allowing it to design applications with high added value. For example, it supported FirstWave3D in the development of the “PersonalAir” mask, a customized solution that offers more comfort, convenience and performance in terms of filtration. The startup had to meet very tight deadlines to launch its product as quickly as possible. It therefore needed a fast manufacturing method. The startup approached the Lino3D Lab to accelerate the various production stages.

FirstWave3D mask1
The mask developed by FirstWave3D (photo credits: FirstWave3D)

Lino3D first used cDLM technology to design an initial mold using Envisiontec’s E-Mold resin. 100 to 200 parts were then created, allowing verification that the design of the mold worked well before starting the injection process. Traditionally, this first mold is made of aluminum, increasing lead time and costs.

Once the design of the mold was validated, FirstWave3D was able to manufacture its metal mold with CNC machining. Its particularity lies in the fact that it integrates 3D printed inserts on the Desktop Metal machine. The choice of additive manufacturing has several advantages according to Lino3D: “We decided to create an interchangeable mold with the possibility of modifying certain mold inserts, without having to change the entire mold! This significantly reduced manufacturing costs and production time. Desktop Metal’s technology allows us to build internal cooling channels closer to the plastic part, which also improves part quality and injection machine productivity compared to conventional technology.”

Thanks to 3D printing, the startup has reduced its manufacturing time (photo credits: FirstWave3D)

Thus, using cDLM and Metal Binder Jetting technology, Lino3D Lab offers a service covering the entire workflow, from design and prototyping to final metal mold and quick mold insert changes. You can find more information on the Lino3D website HERE.

Please do read the original Press Release by 3Dnatives.com here.
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Desktop Metal to acquire Envisiontec

Desktop Metal to acquire EnvisionTEC in $300m deal to enter the DLP 3D printing market

Metal 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal has signed a $300 million definitive agreement to acquire DLP system and material producer EnvisionTEC

Once concluded in February 2021, the cash-plus-stock deal will see EnvisionTEC become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the publicly-listed Desktop Metal. The acquisition represents Desktop’s first move into the DLP market, and provides it with access to the growing additive dental, jewelry, and bio-fabrication industries. 

Following Desktop’s announcement, its shares jumped by 7% from $23.20 to $24.99, before settling back at $23.75 by close of trade on Friday. 

“I’m thrilled to partner with Al [Siblani] and the EnvisionTEC team to bring significant growth to the additive market,” said Ric Fulop, Founder, and CEO of Desktop Metal. “Together, Desktop Metal and EnvisionTEC have an opportunity to shape the future of Additive Manufacturing 2.0, and transform how parts are made around the world.”

Machines printing parts in row
Desktop Metal’s acquisition of EnvisionTEC could enable it to access the growing 3D printed dental and medical device markets. Photo via PostProcess.

Desktop begins additive expansion 

Through its acquisition deal, Desktop Metal has purchased 100% of EnvisionTEC’s shares at an aggregate purchase price of $300 million. Not all of the funding will be paid in cash, and Desktop Metal will only be required to pay $150 million up-front, with the rest being retained by EnvisionTEC shareholders as stock in the newly-merged company. 

Although the agreement is subject to the customary closing conditions, it’s expected to be concluded in short order, with EnvisionTEC founder Al Siblani staying on as the subsidiary’s CEO. For Desktop Metal, the acquisition ends months of speculation over its potential takeover targets, which began after its merger with Trine Acquisition last year. 

The merger, which valued the new company at $2.5 billion, provided it with a $580 million war chest to capitalize on growth opportunities, and it went live on the NYSE. With its purchase of EnvisionTEC, Desktop Metal has now answered a lot of questions about its ambitions, by showing that it views DLP as vital to the success of its ‘Additive 2.0’ project.

Acquiring EnvisionTEC’s portfolio  

On a call with analysts, Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop highlighted several reasons behind the firm’s purchase. Describing EnvisionTEC as “the original innovator in DLP,” Fulop pointed out that although most of its processes are now deployed by “other players in the market,” its continuous polymer printing patents prove its founding role within the industry. 

Desktop Metal was also impressed by the potential of EnvisionTEC’s upcoming DLP 8K Xtreme machine, which it claims is significantly faster than both Formlabs’ 3L and HP’s MJF 5200 systems. Powered by the firm’s patented Projection Array technology, the 8K effectively uses a ‘closed-loop’ printing process to create parts that exhibit “desirable qualities.”

EnvisionTEC’s large-format printer is characterized by a huge 71-liter build volume, and Fulop asserted that it would provide users with “dramatically better price-performance” than its competitors. In addition, despite continued market turbulence, the 8K remains scheduled for a Q1 2021 release, meaning that Desktop could get a rapid return on its investment. 

Once the merger has been completed, the firms plan to seek out collaborative opportunities, and they’ve already earmarked EnvisionTEC’s RAM binder jetting machine as one to watch. The device is essentially an ABB robotic system, that’s designed to offer clients a cost-effective method of producing investment casting and design models. 

Compared to legacy sanding systems, the firm claims that the RAM is 25-50% cheaper, while remaining capable of constructing builds as large as 1828 x 914 x 914 mm. Now, by integrating its Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology into the machine, Desktop says that it can “dramatically enhance” its performance, and better address the digital casting market. 

Desktop explores new verticals 

Desktop’s acquisition could open up new markets to its products too, and by absorbing EnvisionTEC’s distributor network, the firm will go from having 80 partners to over 200. Significantly, given the widespread applications of the Envision One within dental 3D printing, Desktop will also be able to expand into what is a growing $10 billion industry. 

In this light, EnvisionTEC’s customer base of 1,000 orthodontic users, and its 190-strong material portfolio (60 of which are dental), provide Desktop with a ready-made foothold in a lucrative market. According to Fulop, the firm’s wide range of qualified materials is “one of the largest in the industry,” and he emphasized that it remains “decades ahead in this area.”

Additionally, the firm has developed two new biocompatible resins called the E-Dent 1000 and E-Denture Pro, which are currently undergoing 510k clearance. Fulop described both as “industry-leading materials” in terms of flexibility and strength, which are capable of yielding novel devices such as same-day arch implants, that “completely revolutionize the market.”

Elsewhere, the two companies have also identified chrome cobalt dentures and jewelry as other areas of opportunity, where combining their technologies could provide them with better market penetration.

“Following the acquisition, our dental clients can now get the parts they want through Desktop’s technology,” Siblani told analysts during the call’s Q&A.

“We also see a lot of synergy in the jewelry market,” he added. “We’ve been a leader in that trade for the last fifteen years because of our material set, and the resolution we can deliver. [Desktop’s technology] will now be translated to some of our larger casting customers, who can go directly to using binder jetting technology for printing gold.” 

Shop System with user

Embracing bioprinting technology 

EnvisionTEC has invested heavily in biofabrication via its Bioplotter platform, and Desktop’s acquisition also allows it to access an emerging market in 3D bioprinted implants. The Bioplotter itself is capable of printing biocompatible parts for medical use within bone regeneration, soft tissue surgery, optimized drug release, and in future, fabricating organs. 

Given the technology’s relatively early stage of development, it has often been applied within R&D, and over 1,000 major publications have credited the machine with assisting scientific studies. However, bioprinting is also increasingly being used to fabricate cartilage tissues for injured athletes, and this is something that Desktop now intends to explore. 

Fulop emphasized on the call that EnvisionTEC was also a “biofabrication pioneer,” and that the acquisition provided it with “another opportunity for channel leverage in a nascent market.” Although Fulop conceded that the technology isn’t ready for end-use application yet, he expressed excitement about its “incredible potential” over the next decade. 

“It [biofabrication] has now matured in the research community to the point where we’re going to see cartilage and bone regeneration in areas such as sports medicine,” explained Fulop. “Those aren’t going to be next year, but by the end of the decade it’s going to be a major technology, and it’s something we’re going to continue to invest in.”

The deal’s industry impact 

One obvious result of the merger is that Desktop Metal has gained access to a new DLP vertical, something it views as critical to its ‘Additive 2.0’ strategy of mass-producing polymer parts. Although the move puts Desktop in competition with existing manufacturers such as Carbon, Fulop maintained that in EnvisionTEC, it has found a “diamond in the rough.” 

Desktop Metal’s acquisition also raises the question of whether it represents an ongoing trend, and if the 3D printing market is beginning to consolidate. The ongoing pandemic has hindered the recent revenue growth of many small additive companies and prompted their share prices to fall, but this has created purchasing opportunities for the better-financed firms. 

Stratasys, for instance, acquired DLP manufacturer Origin for $100 million last year. Elsewhere, 3D printed electronics producer Nano Dimension has been steadily accumulating capital, and the company has now raised over $1 billion in funding, encouraging speculation that it too is lining-up a potential industry acquisition. 

Please do read the original article published on the 18th of January by Paul Hanaphy here.

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Massivit3D to go public on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange via IPO at $200 million valuation

Israeli large-format 3D printing firm Massivit3D is set to go public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) imminently, sources “close to the matter” have told Globes

Before the Initial Public Offering (IPO) goes ahead, market sources believe that Massivit3D aims to raise $50 million in funding, in a deal valuing the company at $200 million. Although it’s currently unclear where this investment will come from, interior design firm Klil Industries and 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys have provided funding in the past. 

“In future, one of the main barriers to adopting 3D printing will be speed,” said Erez Zimerman, CEO of Massivit3D. “That’s why Massivit has developed our technology, in which we can print at least 30 times faster than related systems, and this will allow more and more companies to adopt 3D printing on the industrial side.”

Massivit’s 3D printing technology 

Founded in 2013 and based in the Israeli city of Lod, Massivit3D manufactures and markets large-format 3D printers, in addition to an accompanying array of materials and software. The company’s product range is essentially designed to enable clients in the engineering and architectural markets to create scale one models and parts quickly and cost-effectively. 

Massivit3D’s newest system, the ‘Massivit3D 10000,’ is set to be launched in fall 2021, and is built to address the tooling requirements of those in the automotive and aerospace sectors. The printer operates using the firm’s Cast-In-Motion (CIM) technology, in which a gel is cured, cast into shape, and immersed in water to allow sacrificial materials to break off. 

The machine features a large build volume, that enables users to fabricate complex tooling designs in vast numbers, while accelerating the process of iterating new product designs. Although Massivit3D hasn’t specified the exact build area of its upcoming machine, it does claim that it’s “at least 30 times faster” that similar casting-based systems.

At present, the company holds 52 technology patents, and it has received five contingent purchase orders from clients in the U.S, U.K, France and Taiwan. With its application to be listed on the TASE, Massivit3D is now attempting to accelerate the commercialization of its technology, and expand further into the architecture and renewable energy markets.

The $200 million TASE IPO 

Given that Massivit3D isn’t a publicly-listed company just yet, there’s very little information about its finances in the public domain. However, it’s understood that the firm has raised around $20-$30 million in previous funding rounds, with investors including Klil’s Zvi Neta and Tzuri Daboosh as well as Stratasys. 

Whether Massivit3D’s IPO is financed by these investors again or the company finds new backers remains to be seen, but it has been confirmed that equity firm Poalim IBI will underwrite the offering. Massivit3D’s valuation appears to be based on its earnings and technological potential, and it reportedly turned over $50 million in revenue from 2017 to 2019. 

Although it has also been reported that the company’s sales in 2020 were impacted by the pandemic, it’s now understood to be entering revenue recovery like the rest of the 3D printing industry. 3D Systems, for instance, recently posted strong initial Q4 2020 results, while PyroGenesis’ financial guidance projected growth of over 300%.

Massivit3D was also co-founded by Gershon Miller, a seasoned entrepreneur who has sold firms like Idanit to Scitex before, and most recently sold Objet to Stratasys. As a result, the company’s offering appears to be in safe hands, while more generally, its progress reflects a growing industry enthusiasm for IPOs. 

Desktop Metal went public on the NYSE last year after a merger with Trine Acquisition, which saw the company raise $580 million in capital, effectively funding its $300 million acquisition of EnvisionTEC. Israeli tech firms have also been active on the TASE recently, with additive food company Meat-Tech 3D filing for an IPO in November 2019. 

3D printing on a grand scale

Massivit3D isn’t the only company that manufactures large-format 3D printers, and a range of other scalable systems have developed in recent years. 

Intech Additive Solutions, for instance, has launched its large-format iFusion LF series of metal 3D printers. The machines’ 450 x 450 x 450mm build volumes and broad metal compatibility are geared towards Indian manufacturers operating in the aerospace and automotive sectors. 

Last year at Formnext Connect, German 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions launched its large-format challenger with its new NXG XII 600 system. The machine includes a huge 600 x 600 x 600 mm build envelope and twelve optimized 1 KW lasers, that allow it to address the needs of large-volume serial production clients. 

Elsewhere, in a more application-focused approach, 3D Systems is developing the “world’s largest 3D printer” for the U.S. Army. The machine’s 1m x 1m x 600mm build area is designed to enable the fabrication of parts that address the ammunition, vehicle, helicopter, and missile defense demands of the Armed Forces. 

Please do read the original article by Paul Hanaphy here.

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