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#3DExpress: The first metal 3D printer flies into space

#3DExpress: The first metal 3D printer flies into space

It’s time once again to take a look back at some of the news that shaped the additive manufacturing sector this week. And we start with a news that really shows that not even the sky can be a limit for 3D printing as it involves space exploration. The French company AddUp, in collaboration with Airbus Defense & Space, has announced that it will send the first metal 3D printer into space! It is intended to enable the production of spare parts on board the International Space Station. We also take a look at the first FDA-certified 3D printed stomach device, an unprecedented achievement in the medical field. We will also talk about the growth of Boston Micro Fabrication, submicron 3D printing and the completion of the largest 3D printing house in Europe. Happy reading and have a nice weekend!

Airbus will send a metal 3D printer into space

AddUp, manufacturer of metal 3D printing solutions, has just announced the delivery of a working in-space metal 3D printer to the European Space Agency. In collaboration with Airbus Defense & Space, the company has developed a customized metal solution that allows parts to be designed in zero gravity conditions on board the International Space Station. The project, launched in 2016, marks a milestone in space research. The machine will be installed on board the Columbus science module and will enable the production of four parts. These are then brought back to Earth for analysis. The aim is to make the additive manufacturing of metals in space feasible. This could open up numerous opportunities for astronauts, including producing spare parts as needed.

Test parts from the metal 3D printer before its launch into space (Image credit: ESA)

Triastek’s 3D printed stomach device receives FDA approval

We continue this #3DExpress with Triastek, which recently announced that its 3D printed stomach device has received FDA clearance. The model, called T22, is the first 3D printed gastric retention device to receive this certification. The component was manufactured using Triastek’s proprietary melt extrusion and micro-injection molding (MED&MIM) process. This development could benefit the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. T22 could reduce the frequency of administration to once daily, simplifying the dosing regimen and improving compliance. Following this approval, Triastek said it was preparing to start clinical trials with T22 to accelerate product development.

The 3D printed stomach device (Image credit: Triastek)

Scrona and Avantama enable submicron 3D printing

A collaboration between Scrona and Avantama has recently produced satisfactory results: ETH spin-off Scrona’s technology combined with Avantama’s materials has proven capable of submicron-scale 3D printing for the production of MicroLED displays. Avantama produces high-performance quantum dot inks with very high absorption coefficients that are particularly suitable for the Scrona 3D printing process. Scrona’s electrohydrodynamic (EHD) inkjet technology now enables the processing of very high viscosity inks. The viscosity can be much higher than traditional printheads. With EHD technology, the material does not drip out of the nozzle, but is sucked out of it, which means that resolutions in the micrometer range can be achieved. This makes the process particularly attractive for the production of semiconductors and microdisplays.

Boston Micro Fabrication achieved 30% year-over-year growth

Boston Micro Fabrication, known for its microscale additive manufacturing solutions for ultra-high-precision applications, announced that it achieved 30% annual growth following a milestone in 2023. While many in the AM market have struggled, it appears that BMF has risen rapidly. In fact, in the same press release, the company notes that it also recently secured its Series D funding, launched in new markets including dentistry, and expanded its San Diego Research Institute (SDRI). BMF CEO John Kawlo added to the news: In a challenging economic environment both globally and for the 3D printing industry, we are very proud of the progress we have made over the last year to help our customers push the boundaries of what is possible with our technology. to postpone. And while a large part of this success is due to the strong performance of our team, a large part of it is based on our product-market focus and the fact that we are building a high-quality, differentiated business.”

BMF is known for its additive manufacturing solutions for micro parts (Image credit: BMF)

Europe’s largest 3D printed house completed in Heidelberg

Europe’s largest 3D printed house is finally finished. The Heidelberg-based company needed 170 hours to print using a special concrete developed by Heidelberg Materials. It is worth noting that it was not easy for the owners to put a roof over the wavy shape of the house. Nevertheless, the project has now been completed and the keys were handed over this week. The IT company HeidelbergiT is now moving into the building. Despite the challenges, this 3D printed house can be considered a pilot project for home 3D printing.

Photo credit: Heidelberg Materials

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