Highlights of 3D Printing News on February 10, 2024: Awards, Automated Powder Transfer, and More


6K has once again received recognition on the Global Cleantech 100 list, marking its second year of such acknowledgment. 6K Energy also garnered significant recognition by receiving a prestigious award. New printer releases are expected from Trumpf at Lab Day Chicago, with collaborations between EOS and Volkmann seeking to enhance automated powder transfer. Additionally, NCMT has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Tritone Technologies. In a rather unique development, an engineer demonstrated the practicality of 3D printing by creating a functional toilet from colorful 3D printed blocks.

Second Year Recognition for 6K on Global Cleantech 100 List

For the second consecutive year, 6K has been acknowledged on the esteemed Global Cleantech 100 list. This annual report features companies with promising cleantech ideas that can potentially shape a less carbon-dependent, digital, and resource-minded industrial future. Specializing in the creation of advanced materials for batteries and additive manufacturing, 6K stands as a leader in sustainable production. Success in the production scale process is enabled by its UniMelt Microwave Plasma Production Platform, which creates metal AM powders and battery materials in a much faster and eco-friendly manner. 6K’s consistent presence on this cleantech ecosystem list further reinforces its leadership in sustainable material manufacturing.

“The introduction of the UniMelt platform marked one of our objectives to revolutionize manufacturing of important materials. The UniMelt solution adopts a sustainability-first approach, supplanting antiquated and pollutant heavy processes with clean and efficient production, cutting down production times from days to mere seconds, and displaying markedly lower carbon emissions compared to traditional processes. We are honored that the Cleantech Group’s industry experts have recognized 6K for our contribution towards a more sustainable and productive planet,” says Bruce Bradshaw, the Chief Marketing Officer at 6K.

6K Energy Wins Prestigious 2024 BIG Innovation Award

But that’s not all – 6K Energy, a 6K division focusing on sustainable production of materials for lithium-ion batteries, was named a winner in the Business Intelligence Group’s 2024 BIG Innovation Awards. Organizations around the world submit their recent innovations for consideration, and the nominations are judged by a group of business leaders and executives. 6K Energy won because it’s pushing the boundaries of innovation with its sustainable solution for secure, local production of critical battery materials. The company’s PlusCAM production facility, scheduled to open in Q4 2024, will leverage UniMelt technology to manufacture cathode active material (CAM) for both LFP and NMC at a lower cost than Chinese suppliers, and with less energy consumption and Co2 emissions as well.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the 2024 Big Innovation Award. Our UniMelt ® microwave plasma production technology is the pinnacle of innovation for a sustainable solution for producing battery material. UniMelt replaces an outdated, dirty process with an ultra-clean, highly sustainable platform that produces cathode active material for the battery market at significantly lower cost than material processed in China,” 6K Energy’s President Sam Trinch stated. “Being acknowledged by business leaders and executives that recognize our impact speaks volumes to the 6K Energy mission to onshore battery material production.”

Trumpf Introducing Enhanced TruPrint 2000 at Lab Day Chicago

Trumpf employee in front of TruPrint 2000 holding a square build plate. (Provided by Trumpf Inc.)

Lab Day Chicago, the largest gathering of the dental laboratory community in North America, is coming up in just a few weeks, and Trumpf Inc. has announced that it will introduce the updated version of its TruPrint 2000 3D printer at the event. With its square build plate and two 500-watt integrated fiber lasers, the printer has been optimized for high productivity and mass production. Trumpf says that 36% more removable partial dentures can be printed on the square plate than a comparable round one, and each laser can process the whole build plate at the same time. In addition to dental applications, medical technology manufacturers could use the printer to make spinal cages, skull plates, or knee joints as well.

“In addition to the upgrades of the TruPrint 2000, the machine has the process monitoring and calibration features found in all TruPrint machines,” said Miguel Verdejo, additive manufacturing product and project manager at Trumpf’s Laser Technology Center in Michigan. “Ensuring repeatable and high-quality parts is the top priority for Trumpf 3D printing, especially in critical areas such as medical and dental technology.”

EOS & Volkmann Partner to Offer Automated Powder Transfer Solution

German AM companies EOS and Volkmann formed a cooperation agreement to offer an automated powder transfer solution. EOS will provide a new EOS Edition line of Volkmann’s standalone, closed-loop, automated metal powder management systems, specifically engineered for easy integration with its EOS M 400 series printers. The system controls the transfer and loading of material from storage into one or more 3D printers. Also, it manages the capture, sieving, and vacuum drying of excess powder for reprocessing. The latest EOS Edition can operate as a fully enclosed, sealed circuit to guard powders against contamination and ambient moisture, eliminate metallic dust from the workspace, and protect workers against potential exposure. These systems offer remote control and monitoring capabilities, and new accessories, including buffer storage units are also available for the EOS Edition.

“Our new systems provide EOS end-users with an all-in-one, plug-and-play, automated powder handling solution that can scale as their production needs grow. This is a natural progression in our close relationship with EOS, and one that we believe will benefit EOS customers with quicker, safer, more dependable printing and consistently high-quality printed parts,” stated Christian Mittman, Director of Advanced Solutions for Volkmann.

NCMT & Tritone Technologies Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement

NCMT has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the sale in the UK and Ireland of AM machines manufactured by Tritone Technologies. (Image of the famous Tritone Dominant AM machine was provided.)

Tritone Technologies, a firm specialized in additive manufacturing (AM) of metals and ceramics, has established an exclusive distribution agreement with NCMT Limited. Although Tritone operates in Israel, Germany, and North America, this alliance will magnify its foothold particularly in the UK and Ireland. Tritone’s AM systems, named Dim and Dominant, rely on its unique “powder-free” MoldJet technology, conceived to mass produce robust and intricate parts. Thanks to Moldjet technology, the printers can seamlessly toggle between various metals and ceramics. By incorporating Tritone’s MoldJet technology into its traditional machining equipment, NCMT can enrich its product range to cater to the industry’s needs.

Omer Sagi, Tritone’s VP Products and Business Development, expressed gratitude for the partnership, saying it underscores Tritone’s dedication to fostering AM worldwide. He said, “The move by NCMT to capitalize on Tritone’s MoldJet technology as their entry point into the AM market underlines the revolutionary aspect and adaptability of our technology. Together, we look forward to challenging manufacturing norms and sculpting the future of industrial production.”

Functional, Multicolored 3D Printed Toilet by Emily the Engineer

Coming to one of those quirky and ingenious creations that only a 3D printing hobbyist could conceive: a fully operational toilet. The catch is – it’s extraordinarily colorful. YouTuber Emily The Engineer took the challenge to see if she could pull it off, and she did. Having designed the toilet in CAD software, she 3D printed a small-scale model, fine-tuned it, and then embarked on the real-size toilet, which includes a 3D printed flush system, tank float, and flapper. Due to its large dimensions, Emily had to divide the toilet into numerous, separately printed PLA parts, each printed in a distinct color because she thought it would be fun. By using 3D plastic adhesive, metal nuts, bolts, and occasionally a soldering iron, Emily was able to pull the different parts together, and it actually did manage to flush water and toilet paper originally.

“Unfortunately, after testing, it appeared her design wasn’t strong enough to be attached to a traditional indoor plumbing system,” explained Jonathan Berisford for Technabob.com. “So what did she do? What anybody would — attached wheels, armrests, smartphone charger, cup holders, and added a bidet. Boom — mobile toilet! Goodbye porta-potty, hello sporta-potty!”

You can watch the full hilarious video here:

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