11 Things You Might Have Missed in 3D Printing

25th August 2022

What is new in 3D printing?

We take a look at the top stories and innovations in the world of 3D printing today. From Stratasys in space to Stratasys on the catwalk; from smart bike helmets with an airbag to accelerating market caps – we run with the latest news in 3D printing this month.

Stratasys go beyond the stratosphere

NASA is returning to the moon for the first time since 1972, the final mission of the Apollo programme. The goal of the new Artemis mission is exploration of the lunar surface, both by crew and robots.

NASA hope to explore “deep space for the benefit of all” and consider the moon landing as an integral step in furthering scientific discovery as well as offering economic opportunities and providing inspiration for a new generation.

There have been six manned crew landings completed by NASA since Apollo 11 – the famous maiden voyage where Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men on the moon. But this is the most statement-making mission since July 16 1969. Originally scheduled to take-off in August, NASA postponed the flight due to engine cooling issues.

Among the numerous technological collaborations that NASA undertook during the build of the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis mission is from Stratasys. Advanced materials from Stratasys including an ESF variant of the new Antero 800NA were used to create complex parts. The technology from Stratasys was also behind the Orion capsule’s seats for future missions.

The combination of 3D printing and traditional manufacturing processes allows companies to produce parts with complex geometries that are difficult or impossible to manufacture using traditional manufacturing methods. Together with PADT, Inc and Lockheed Martin Space, Stratasys were able to deliver next-gen additive manufacturing solutions to create components for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. 

Stratasys on the catwalk

Ganit Goldstein used a Stratasys 3D printer to develop her GnoMon Fashion Collection. The collection features 3D printed accessories including jewellery, bags and shoes. In an interview published in Design Boom, Goldstein detailed the importance of the collection:

“Mass clothing manufacturing has become one of the world’s largest concerns these days. We know that today’s consumers buy 60% more than in 2000 and keep it for half as long, resulting in 53 million tons of old clothing being burned or thrown in landfills yearly.”

“The new collection sheds light on an alternative way to think about scales and times in the fashion industry, where customization and timeless pieces could be a way to change the way we value garments. That’s where the name ‘GnoMon’ comes from — inspired by an ancient astronomical instrument that measures the length of shadows to indicate the time within a day.”

FabriX Innovation Kit attachment for J850 3D printer used to print directly onto fabric

The GnoMon fashion collection which she launched at Milan Fashion Week 2022 was the latest of a number of projects that Goldstein has worked on using 3D printing technology in collaboration with Stratasys.

Alongside Goldstein, six other globally-renowned designers were selected by Stratasys to create a collection for Stratasys’ SSYS 2Y22 Exhibition where Stratasys showcased the technology behind the J850 Prime 3D printer and the add-on FabriX Innovation Kit, allowing seamless 3d printing onto fabrics.

3D printed bike helmet comes with an AIRBAG!

PYLO have introduced a new smart bike helmet – putting motorbike safety into the future.

PYLO used the Stratasys F370 CR and J55 3D printers to print the inner lining of a Smart Bike helmet, designed for better protection against, and the prevention of injury. But it is not just the fact it is 3D printed using additive manufacturing that make PYLO’s gamechanging product standout.

It is perhaps the automatic-airbag in the PYLO that is the headline-making feature, protecting the jaw, teeth and eyes in case of an accident. Further additions to the helmet include LED lights on the back of the helmet that are easily turned on by double-tapping while driving. Together with this, the LIDAR or Light Detection and Ranging) allows cyclists to spot blind spot dangers in advance. Daniel Büning, CEO of nFrontier said:

“To enhance bike rider safety, we see the urgent need for a technology transfer from the automotive, electronic, and computer industries. Reducing the number of accidents is a key driver to bicycle utilization as a means for sustainable mobility.

World's First 3D printed bridge to be unveiled in Dubai

The world’s first fully 3D printed bridge is set to be unveiled in Dubai. The bridge was designed by US-based firm Arup and is expected to be delivered to the emirate in two weeks’ time following tests carried out by DNV GL’s Materials Performance Centre in Norway. According to Arup, the bridge took approximately three months to print using an industrial 3D printer and completed its certification by the Bureau Veritas in Paris last year after passing several structural and performance tests.

As well as allowing structures to be printed in a considerably shorter time than traditional manufacturing methods, the use of 3D printing technology could also reduce the cost of producing steel and other construction materials by up to 30%. It could also help to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated by the construction industry which is estimated to account for around 1.3 billion tonnes of material every year. According to a recent survey by the UN, up to 90% of this waste could be recycled if only proper disposal facilities were available.

Global 3D dental industry forecast to hit 13.4% CAGR by 2029

A new report from The Data Bridge concludes that the global 3D dental industry is forecast to hit a 13.4% CAGR by 2029. The report identifies the four major sectors in the global 3D dental market as including scanners, CAD/CAM software, printers and materials. The report predicts that this growth will be driven by factors such as increasing global middle-class wealth, rising ageing populations and growing awareness around the importance of dental health. 

These findings suggest there is significant potential for growth in the 3D dental industry and that future developments are likely to follow a number of key trends including the continued emergence of new digital technology and widespread adoption of digital workflows.

3D printed solar panels to power developing countries

Solar power generated by 3D-printed panels could provide power to entire villages in developing countries. Researchers at Purdue University are developing a new technique to print solar cells directly onto flexible polymers using a 3D printer and ink made from organic dye molecules. The technique is low-cost and fast and allows solar cells to be printed in different shapes, sizes and designs. 

The printed solar cells have the potential to be used in a number of applications, including building-integrated photovoltaics, textiles and flexible electronics such as smart clothing. Professor Darren Lipomi believes the technology will have great potential to help solve the problem of energy poverty in developing parts of the world. He said: 

“The ability to print these solar cells on just about any type of plastic or polymer opens a lot of opportunities for generating solar power in the developing world.”

Forbes foresees new era of flexible manufacturing

Forbes, with research and reports from the Bank of America, the World Economic Forum and a recent McKinsey report, detailed the affects of the supply shortage in manufacturing leading to more flexible manufacturing. 

Forbes stated this dynamic is already shaping the companies of the future and the jobs of today. Today’s advancements in automation, nanotechnology and biotechnology coupled with the explosion in demand for health and wellness products and personalized medicine are all driving this new movement towards decentralised manufacturing and greater emphasis on health and wellness in the workplace and at home. 

3D printed prototype bike helmets

Groundbreaking F370 CR 3D printer comes to UK for first time

The F370 CR 3D printer is set to make its debut on British soil this winter. With extraordinary 3D printing capabilities, the F370 CR is set to be a huge coup for businesses ramping up their 3D printing processes to include prototyping and end-use part production in the short and medium term.

Ideal for any stage of the manufacturing process, the F370 CR can be used for:

  • Prototyping
  • End-use parts
  • Custom production

Bringing maturity to the industrial 3D printing process, the F370 CR handles multifarious product lines with ease, congregating all four corners of the production cycle. 

3D composite material sector to accelerate to £94 billion market cap

According to a study by Fortune Business Insights the global composite market is set to accelerate at 6.88% CAGR between 2020 and 2027 reaching a global market cap of £94 billion. The increased utilisation of composites in the process of 3D printing is set to be the biggest driver to growth in the market.

Other factors detailed in the research report foresee a rising demand for efficient and durable materials in the construction industry, particularly fuelled by the advancements of technologies making the likes of carbon-fibre 3D printing easier than ever before. Another listed driver of growth in the industry is the development of lightweight polymers creating promising market prospects. 

Stratasys set to acquire Covestro's 3D printing materials business

Stratasys is set to acquire Covestro’s 3D printing materials business. The acquisition will expand the company’s portfolio of thermoplastics for additive manufacturing and will accelerate its growth strategy, enabling Stratasys to rapidly deliver differentiated innovation to markets around the world. Both parties have entered into a definitive agreement under which the parties will enter into a Share Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of the businesses concerned by Covestro 3D Printing Materials.

The acquisition of Covestro 3D materials will enable Stratasys to accelerate its growth strategy as the leader in additive manufacturing solutions. This includes delivering differentiated innovation to the market more rapidly, and helping manufacturers of all sizes to adopt AM to reduce material waste, improve design freedom, and reduce product development time and costs.

New at SYS Systems

August has been a busy month at SYS HQ having collaborated on a number of exciting projects. In-house, we have added nine new faces to the building including six new apprentices application engineers from the famed JCB Academy. 

We have seen the arrival of our first batch of Tesla cars with 21 more to come. 

SYS Systems become platinum partner to Stratasys for 10th consecutive year

In July, our team celebrated 10 consecutive years as the UK’s only dedicated platinum partner to Stratasys.

Take a spin around the SYS demo centre

Get the latest industry updates

Get the latest on Stratasys, SYS and the 3D printing industry back here every month, as well as regular videos and blogs throughout the month on all things three dimensional. 

Check out our full 3D printing blog section below.

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Our expert team is always on hand to support you in sourcing, sampling and purchasing the best industrial 3D printers from Stratasys. No matter your need, from a FREE demonstration to a FREE sample or just a chat with someone who knows the machines and materials inside out – be sure to get in touch with our team today. 

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