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COVID-19 Doesn’t Shake Reinforced Optimism of 3D Printing Businesses – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

covid-19 doesn’t shake reinforced optimism of 3d printing businesses – 3dprint.com | the voice of 3d printing / additive manufacturing

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Recent announcements regarding earnings and financial performance through the first quarter of 2020, have given some insight into the impact COVID-19 has had on major 3D Printing businesses worldwide.
Earnings Results Comparison (by Revenue, M-millions, B-billions).
While ensuring employee safety and business continuity remained paramount, public companies were simultaneously challenged by a sudden decline in consumer demand, a continuing halt or reduction in onsite activities, and global supply chain issues, which began in China shortly before impacting Europe and the Americas.
Revenues for Stratasys and 3D Systems declined by 14% and 11% respectively, whereas strong order backlogs from 2019 led to significantly higher revenues realized for SLM and ExOne. SLM had the best first quarter performance in the company’s history with a 143% increase compared to 2019.
ExOne’s latest system is the 160Pro metal binder jetting 3D printer. Image courtesy of ExOne.
3D Systems saw revenues decline across segments, except materials, which stayed flat. The company faced a drop in consumer demand in automotive, aerospace, healthcare and dental, as well as disruptions in production facilities and on-site services. Despite sustained cost reduction measures and improving operating expenses by 13%, its shares depreciated 5% with 0.04 loss per share for 2020, compared to 0.09 loss per share for 2019.
In addition …

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Falcontech set to ramp up “Super AM Factory” with 50 Farsoon metal 3D printers – 3D Printing Industry

falcontech set to ramp up “super am factory” with 50 farsoon metal 3d printers – 3d printing industry

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Falcontech, a manufacturing service provider for the aerospace industry, has announced that it will be kitting out its “Super AM Factory” with 50 Farsoon metal 3D printing systems. By first installing 20 Farsoon machines by the end of 2020, the Chinese aerospace specialist plans to enhance its manufacturing capacity, facilitating series production on a grand scale.
Farsoon metal 3D printers on the Falcontech shop floor. Photo via Falcontech.
Metal PBF with Falcontech
Falcontech covers everything from materials, manufacturing, and post-processing to applications and supporting services (all with an AS9100 certification). The company has been operating SLM machines for seven years, and has recently focused on expanding its series production capabilities – this is where the Super AM Factory comes in.
Falcontech first invested in Farsoon when it installed a number of its metal AM machines in 2019, namely the FS421M, the FS301M, and the FS271M. They also jointly worked on a custom large-format system specifically for producing aerospace parts with a huge build volume of 620x620x1100mm. Falcontech has since used its fleet of metal AM systems to produce spacecraft components for a variety of key aerospace projects.
Yu Hai, General Manager of the Metal AM Solutions Unit, Falcontech, states: “We …

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U.S. Army Researchers create 3D printed customized ear plugs for soldiers – 3D Printing Industry

u.s. army researchers create 3d printed customized ear plugs for soldiers – 3d printing industry

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Researchers from the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory have used 3D printing to produce and test customizable earplugs for members of the US Armed Forces. 
The army scientists’ new technique for producing ear protection, could be deployed to prevent hearing loss among members of the armed forces. Damage to soldiers’ hearing can cause them to become more vulnerable and lose combat readiness on the battlefield, in addition to limiting their ability to take part in social interactions. 
Earplugs are essential for soldiers that are often surrounded by loud machinery and gunfire. Photo via the US Army.
Additive manufactured earplugs 
It’s currently mandatory for soldiers to wear some kind of Hearing Protection Device (HPD), and those that are routinely exposed to hazardous noise are enrolled in the Army Hearing Program (AHP). The initiative works to prevent hearing loss through a range of clinical hearing services, but soldiers are by no means the only vulnerable group. In the US, an estimated $242 million is spent each year on workers’ compensation claims due to reported hearing impairments. 
Making ear impressions to combat hearing loss is also a risky endeavour. For instance, sometimes impression materials make it past the ‘oto-block,’ which is meant to …

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Students in Tunisia aid hospitals running out of supplies by 3D printing 1000 face shields

students in tunisia aid hospitals running out of supplies by 3d printing 1000 face shields

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Situated on Tunisia’s border with Algeria, Jendouba’s few hospitals are understaffed and often lack sufficient supplies. 
So a group of engineering students launched the “Save Ain Draham” initiative, supported by Mercy Corps and Khir Khmir Association, using a 3D printer and laser cutter to assemble over 1000 face shields.

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Meerkats dine in style with 3D printed feeder at Cincinnati Zoo

meerkats dine in style with 3d printed feeder at cincinnati zoo

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A mob of meerkats at the Cincinnati Zoo now have to work a bit harder for their food thanks to a 3D printed feeder system developed in collaboration with GE Additive. Don’t worry though, the extra effort is a good thing, as the feeder enables the meerkats to forage for crickets and other insects, more closely mimicking how their species dines in the wild.
“Something that we often think about is how to mimic natural feeding behaviors in the animals that we care for,” explained David Orban, Animal Excellence Manager at the zoo. “In the wild, animals are adapted to find, acquire, and process food – and it’s not always easy! In human care though, food is always available and of good quality and balance, and in many cases, it’s consumed quite quickly. For example, one challenge that we often see when we offer live insects to some of our birds or small mammals is that they are captured and consumed in a matter of five to ten minutes. We’ve had the idea to create a more complex feeder that will extend foraging duration, in turn, extending animals’ physical activity and mental stimulation, leading to more naturally …

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3D Printing News Briefs, May 28, 2020: Desktop Metal, DOMO Chemicals, Nano Dimension – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

3d printing news briefs, may 28, 2020: desktop metal, domo chemicals, nano dimension – 3dprint.com | the voice of 3d printing / additive manufacturing

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We’ve got some partnership news we’re sharing in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs! Cetim and Desktop Metal are working together, while DOMO and Zare have also announced a partnership. Moving on, HENSOLDT and Nano Dimension have achieved a 3D-printed electronics breakthrough.
Cetim Partners with Desktop Metal
This week, Cetim, the Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry in France, and Desktop Metal announced that they are partnering to expedite global adoption of metal additive manufacturing. Cetim, which already installed the Desktop Metal Studio System into its Cluses facility, will become one of the first adopters of the new Desktop Metal Shop System, first introduced at formnext 2019. Framed as the first metal binder jet system in the world designed specifically for metal job shops and machine shops, the Shop System is meant to be a high-speed, cost-effective way for manufacturers to 3D print end-use metal parts with excellent print quality. Desktop Metal suggests that it helps companies find new ways to increase revenue and lower costs. Now Cetim, which works to facilitate technical progress and identify market opportunities with industrial companies in sectors ranging from aerospace and automotive to oil and gas, can look into more advanced manufacturing solutions.
“When …

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University of Huelva researchers create 3D printed water purifying spirals  – 3D Printing Industry

university of huelva researchers create 3d printed water purifying spirals  – 3d printing industry

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Scientists from Spain’s University of Huelva, have used 3D printing to create a spiral structure capable of removing eighteen disinfection by-products (DBPs) from drinking water. 
Chronic exposure to such chemicals has been demonstrated to increase health risks, including the threat of cancer, and the team’s research project aims to make the purification process more efficient at removing them. The scientists’ novel approach could have applications at water treatment facilities, to identify and separate the most dangerous chemicals, and make water safer to drink. 
Disinfection by-products in drinking water
While water disinfection is essential to public health, toxic substances can be formed as a consequence of the process. These include a particularly volatile non-regulated group of chemicals called Haloketones (HKs), Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Nitrogenous disinfection by-products (N-DBPs), which are formed after several treatment processes. Many different methods exist for removing HKs, but even though the first technique was devised in 1995, research is ongoing in order to streamline the process. Researchers from the University of Cordoba for instance, developed a method of removing 14 HKs from treated water in 2015, which provided lower limits of detection than previous studies. 
According to the Huelva researchers, the Cordoba method presented drawbacks, such as poor …

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Ireland: Characterizing Mechanisms of Metallic 3D Printing Powder Recycling – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

ireland: characterizing mechanisms of metallic 3d printing powder recycling – 3dprint.com | the voice of 3d printing / additive manufacturing

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In order to cut down on material waste, and save money, laboratories will often reuse leftover metal AM powder. A trio of researchers from the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Ireland published a paper, “X-ray Tomography, AFM and Nanoindentation Measurements for Recyclability Analysis of 316L Powders in 3D Printing Process,” focusing on better understanding and characterizing the mechanisms of metallic powder recycling, and evaluating ” the extent of porosity in the powder particles,” in order to optimize how many times recycled powder can actually be reused in the powder bed fusion process.
Many “risk-tolerant applications,” like in the aviation and biomedical industries, will not use recycled powder, because any part abnormalities that can be traced back to the material can be unsafe and expensive. Parts 3D printed out of recycled powder need to have mechanical properties, like hardness and effective modulus, that are comparable to those of fresh powder parts.
“In order to reuse the recycled powders in the secondary manufacturing cycles, a thorough characterization is essential to monitor the surface quality and microstructure variation of the powders affected by the laser heat within the 3D printer. Most powders are at risk of surface oxidation, clustering and porosity formation during …

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FDM 3D Printing with Composites: Preparing & Evaluating GPET/PC Blends – 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

fdm 3d printing with composites: preparing & evaluating gpet/pc blends – 3dprint.com | the voice of 3d printing / additive manufacturing

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The role of composites continues to grow for 3D printing users engaged in a wide range of projects. In ‘Development of Thermal Resistant FDM Printed Blends. The Preparation of GPET/PC Blends and Evaluation of Material Performance,’ authors Jacek Andrzewski and Lidia Marciniak-Podsadna tackle the ongoing worldwide topic of improving materials for FDM 3D printing.
Andrzewski and Marciniak-Podsadna focus on the development of polymers with a base of polyethylene terephthalate copolymer/polycarbonate (GPET/PC). Polycarbonates are popular in applications like automotive, electronics, machine building, and more, divided into styrene polymers like acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA), and thermoplastic polyesters from which materials like polyethylene terephthalate homopolymer (PET) and polybutylene terephthalate PBT are derived.
In evaluating the potential for performance in FDM 3D printing, the authors considered thermomechanical resistance to be the most important detail in testing—in comparison to many other studies centered around polycarbonate viscosity.
“The viscosity of materials intended for fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing is also one of the important parameters that can constitute a field for modification. Due to high viscosity of PC the plasticizing temperature can reach even 300 °C or more,” explained the researchers. “However, the main issue regarding the printing of PC-based materials is …

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