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Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Through the virtual engineering and manufacturing support provided by the partnership, customers will be able to reduce a two to three-year timescale of designing and testing a part to six to nine months.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division has announced a new solution with Stratasys, a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3D printed plastic components and compress time to market. Through the new partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEMTM 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform.

Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare.


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GM Accelerates 3D Printing Capability With Stratasys

GM Accelerates 3D Printing Capability With Stratasys

As the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through much of the world this year, 3D printing has emerged as an agile and effective technology for producing personal protective equipment, medical equipment prototypes and nose swabs. But General Motors (GM), which has been steadily upping its investments in 3D printing over the past couple years, is betting that the business benefits will continue long after the current crisis subsides. The company added 17 production-grade Stratasys FDM 3D printers to its fleet at the end of 2019 and has been turning to 3D printed tooling for speed, weight reduction and cost efficiency on its production lines.

“With the pace of change in modern industry accelerating and business uncertainty increasing, 3D printing technology is helping us meet these challenges and become more nimble as a company,” said GM’s director of additive manufacturing, Ron Daul. “We’ve been on this journey for more than 30 years, but 3D printing is becoming even more widespread at our company, with more than 700 employees now trained to use the technology. Additive manufacturing is consistently providing us more rapid and efficient product development, tooling and assembly aids, with even more benefits to come.”

An April 2020 study by SME Media found that 25 percent of U.S. manufacturing professionals were planning to change their supply chains in response to the pandemic, and 3D printing was the top choice (with robotics) of 11 manufacturing technologies for post-COVID investment. The technology can be used to 3D print spare parts, produce end-use parts closer to assembly, help manufacturing lines retool faster, and develop new and better prototypes more quickly.

GM is moving faster than some companies to seize a competitive advantage. The company has used 3D printing since 1989 for prototyping. In fact, 75 percent of the parts in the prototype of its 2020 Chevrolet Corvette were 3D-printed, and GM now has 3D printers installed in many production facilities around the world. The company is increasingly moving beyond prototyping to production-related applications like tooling.

A big test of this application came in April when GM entered into contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to deliver a 30,000-unit order for critical care ventilators, in conjunction with Ventec Life Systems, by the end of August. The company reverse-engineered part data for tooling fixtures from the original ventilator manufacturer, and started 3D printing them the next day. All 3D printed tooling used for critical care ventilators was 3D printed on Stratasys systems. When the company requires more 3D printing capacity, there is an automatic offload path to Stratasys Direct Manufacturing for parts on demand. This helps GM run at a high utilization rate for its existing machines, expanding in-house capacity when it can ensure it has a sustained need for it.

Material innovation and machine repeatability have made a difference. For example, Nylon12 Carbon Fiber is a composite material containing 35 percent chopped carbon fiber by weight, which translates to an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio, even in places subjected to heavy vibrations. As a result, heavy parts that would have previously required metal can now be 3D printed in polymers. And production-grade systems like the Stratasys F900 have been designed to not only perform to a high degree of precision but also consistency so that every part is as identical as possible.

“GM is making the smart investments in 3D printing to succeed in this new normal of uncertainty and disruption,” said Stratasys Americas President Rich Garrity. “As a result, GM has manufacturing lines that are more adaptable and less expensive, and products that are developed faster and better. They are a clear model for the future of additive manufacturing in the automotive industry.”


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Marshall Aerospace And Defence Using Stratasys Tech For 3D Printing Of Aircraft Parts

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Using Stratasys Tech For 3D Printing Of Aircraft Parts

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned and independent aerospace and defence companies, is now using advanced 3D printing from Stratasys to manufacture, flight-ready parts for several of its military, civil and business aircraft, while producing specific ground-running equipment at a lower cost than aluminium alternatives.

Marshall already has several pieces of 3D-printed ductwork flying on heavily modified aircraft, as well as holders for safety knives and switches for aircraft interiors. 3D printing flight-approved parts on demand enables the company to produce lighter parts than traditional methods, significantly faster and at lower cost.

According to Chris Botting, Materials, Processes and Additive Manufacturing Engineer at Marshall ADG, the ability to create accurate, repeatable and reliable 3D printed parts using aerospace-approved materials are key factors in achieving the performance requirements necessary for use within aircraft.

The company is using the Stratasys Fortus 450mc FDM Printer and ULTEM 9085 resin, a tough, yet lightweight 3D printing material with high thermal and chemical resistance. This has been crucial to overcoming the stringent requirements of the aerospace industry, as they can now 3D print parts with the desired flame, smoke and toxicity properties for use on aircraft interiors.

Marshall is also utilising its Fortus 450mc 3D printer to build final parts on the ground. Marshall recently created a ducting adapter prototype for vital ground-running equipment—essential for providing fresh air to cool the aircraft’s avionics. 3D printing this particular part helped Marshall transition from typically costly aluminium processes.

The group is also using Stratasys 3D printers for a range of complex tooling applications, including drill jigs, masking templates, bonded fixtures and composite mould tooling. The team regularly produces customised, low-volume production tools within just 24 hours of an engineer’s request. In fact, they are driving use of 3D-printed thermoplastic tools to replace heavy metal tools, reducing the burden on the operator, and crucially, reducing cost and lead times on urgent operational tasks.

Botting foresees the use of Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing to increase across all elements of the business and to drive new applications.


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Merger Of Canadian Additive Manufacturing Firms To Create ‘Powerhouse’

Merger Of Canadian Additive Manufacturing Firms To Create ‘Powerhouse’

Canada: Javelin Technologies—specialist in 3D design engineering, additive manufacturing, automation and product data management, and Cimetrix Solutions—which provides additive manufacturing and laser scanning solutions to the industry and education sector, have merged to create a new 3D printing ‘powerhouse’.

With this new merger, they are well-equipped to serve their collective 6,000 customers and to offer new standards of service and support. The companies’ names will remain unchanged, and Cimetrix Solutions will be a division of Javelin Technologies.

Under this agreement, the new joint company’s senior management will comprise John Carlan and Ted Lee from Javelin Technologies, and James and Kirsten Janeteas from Cimetrix Solutions. All current employees will be part of this integrated company.

“Our focus has always been on taking care of our customers by understanding what drives their business and providing solutions that affect the bottom line. By combining our expertise and resources, we can be even more responsive and provide even deeper application knowledge and advice,” said James Janeteas.

The new company has branches at various locations across Canada—including Calgary, Dartmouth, Edmonton, Kitchener, Montreal, Oakville, Oshawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. Both partners have been contributing to high-growth sectors like energy, healthcare and manufacturing.

“We shorten the distance between idea and production, and help people and businesses execute well. Joining Javelin and Cimetrix means we are putting ourselves exactly where our customers will be and will need us to be,” Mr Lee said.

Casey Thivierge, director of engineering at A.V. Gauge & Fixture— an industrial gauges and fixtures manufacturer, agrees that the merger between Javelin and Cimetrix will help customers.

“Javelin and Cimetrix have been an integral part of our growth and development through the years. Now as a unified team, they will become an even stronger force with even more tools and resources to help us. Working with both of them has been and continues to be an outstanding experience. They will continue to propel us, as well as other Canadian businesses, into the future of advanced manufacturing,” Mr Thivierge commented.

Rich Garrity, president at Stratasys in the Americas, also said: “For the past 17 years, Stratasys has had strong representation in the Canadian market with our veteran partners Cimetrix Solutions and Javelin Technologies. The additive manufacturing landscape is changing at an ever-increasing rate and we value and need strong, industry-defining partnerships to help customers navigate.”

Stratasys Launches Vulcan Labs To Advance Powder-Bed Fusion Technology

Stratasys Launches Vulcan Labs To Advance Powder-Bed Fusion Technology

Texas, US: Stratasys, industrial 3D printer manufacturer spun off its 3D printing operation into an independent entity, Vulcan Labs Incorporated, based in Belton to further develop Powder-Bed Fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing on 3 April 2018.

Vulcan’s solutions are catered to meet the complex demands of end-use production applications—to overcome the typical deficiencies of productivity, quality and certification. Focusing on metals first, the company serves to improve the quality verification, repeatability, and efficiency of the PBF technology.

Built to be an independent entity to take on the qualities of a fast-moving entrepreneurial organisation, Vulcan Labs is aimed at the rapid introduction of advanced PBF-based solutions.

The new company finds roots in the 2014 acquisition of the production-based service bureau, Harvest Technologies. With this background, it currently collaborates with application partners to advance technology accessibility, and to meet the strict requirements of production-ready applications.

With a management team that includes David K. Leigh—the original founder and chief executive officer of Harvest Technologies, the company is equipped with decades of experience across practical production applications in both polymers and metals. He is also able to contribute expertise in additive manufacturing specifically compatible with end-use parts applications across industries, including aerospace, automotive, defence, and oil and gas.

Currently working towards furthering PBF platforms to reach end-use production applications, particularly metals, quality-oriented solutions are currently being developed in five areas:

  • Optimised build environments and unique multi-laser scan strategies
  • Closed loop melt pool quality control
  • Detailed Data Logging and integration to the factory floor
  • Automated powder handling and in-situ powder quality characterisation
  • Automated calibration and build set-up capabilities

Voicing his appreciation for the collaboration with Stratasys that began 2014, Mr Leigh commented: “We’re looking forward to delivering new solutions for customers to take control of their applications, while having the tools in place to manage their own quality.”

Ilan Levin, chief executive officer of Stratasys, describes the partnership as having “both the experience and technical know-how necessary to bring PBF into real-world production—a vision aligned and complementary to our other activities in this space, including Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and our investment in LPW.”

Upcoming months will see Vulcan engaging with partners and customers to analyse and further develop its solutions. The new company also encourages parties interested in joint development opportunities to contact them.



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PTC & Stratasys: 3D CAD Software

PTC & Stratasys: 3D CAD Software

The PTC Creo 3.0 is an integrated workflow developed by PTC and Stratasys, in a joint effort to enable users a seamless workflow from design to 3D print.

Users can perform informed design specification, file preparation, print optimisation and print execution for Stratasys 3D printing solutions using the PTC software.

This integrated solution also overcomes conventionally cumbersome and inefficient processes in additive manufacturing by combining the use of multiple tools with 3D CAD software. This would essentially benefit all additive manufacturers of the different industries.


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