3D Printing Industry News (Weekly Digest)

This week in 3D printing was also marked by a number of companies announcing plans to construct additive manufacturing facilities throughout the world.

To start, the German industrial giant thyssenkrupp is investing several million euros into a new metal additive manufacturing center in Israel. The company’s Marine Division will work with the Israeli Impact Labs in a joint venture called Metal Point. This metal 3D printing center will work directly with companies in Israel to produce customized metal parts.

Aiming to increase productivity across the country’s manufacturing sector, Metal Point will be supported by the Ministry of Economy, the Israeli Institute of Metals at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Manufacturers Association of Israel, among other agencies.

In the United Kingdom, the global manufacturer Gardner Aerospace acquired the additive manufacturing service provider FDM Digital Solutions and announced the creation of the Gardner Technology Centre. Through the acquisition of FDM Digital Solutions, the new business model will be integrated into the Gardner Technology Centre, which will focus primarily on advanced technology, innovative solutions, and R&D initiatives.

Already capable of producing metal parts and sub-assemblies, Gardner Aerospace is planning to bring FDM’s additive layer manufacturing into the fold, allowing them to expand its offerings to customers. Prior to the acquisition, FDM Digital Solutions had already proven value in serving customers in the automotive, medical, motorsport, F1 and aerospace industries.

“Gardner Aerospace is breaking new ground in terms of technology,” said Dominic Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer at Gardner Aerospace. “The acquisition of FDM and the creation of our new Technology Centre business unit provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand our technical knowledge, R&D capability and product offering, and aligns us with our customers’ growing expectations on innovative solutions, continuous improvement and cost competitiveness.”

Finally, the medical training center AdventHealth Nicholson Center announced the launch of its Prototype Lab, which will serve as an innovative space for health care professionals to use state-of-the-art CAD and 3D printing technology to develop ideas for medical devices.

The center will utilize a full-fledged development process to take medical products from concept to working prototype. In the Prototype Lab, engineers will first take initial concepts and complete a preliminary art and patent search. From there, CAD modeling will be used to design the prototype before its send to the in-house Objet350 Connex3 Polyjet 3D printer by Stratasys.

Following the evaluation of the 3D printed prototype, the creator of the device can test it out on tissue in the same location, and can even have the product validated if it’s ready to be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Prototype Lab can also help with personalized medicine. Engineers can 3D print patient-specific anatomical models using imaging data from CT or MRI scans. These models can be used for patient consultation, surgical planning, and reference during the procedure.

“Our expert team can help bring an idea from ‘napkin sketch’ to reality, and our 3D printing capabilities allow inventors to hold an actual version of their device in their hands for evaluation,” said Jodi Fails, B.S., Biomedical Engineer and Prototype Lab lead at AdventHealth Nicholson Center. “Most product developers assist with creation but have to look externally for lab testing. However, with Nicholson Center’s Prototype Lab, we have the unique ability to take inventions straight from the printer to the lab for immediate testing on high-quality tissue.”

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