Latest 3D Printing Updates: Spotlight on EBAM, DLS, & 2GL, Construction and More – December 24, 2023


In this blog post that covers 3D Printing News Briefs published on Christmas Eve, we will be discussing EBAM, DLS, and Two-Photon Grayscale Lithography (2GL) 3D printing news. We will also touch on partnerships such as that of Airtech Advanced Materials Group with CEAD, which recently extended its reach in the US, and efforts of Madco3D in 3D printing sections of a high-rise building. The post will wrap up with interesting research carried out by Fraunhofer IWU about 3D printed load-bearing plastic structures.

EBAM-53 Announced by Sciaky for Research Facilities and Laboratories

EBAM-53 Exterior

Sciaky Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries that provides solutions for metal 3D printing and electron beam welding, has unveiled its EBAM-53 Machine for Research Facilities and Laboratories. This release is aimed at users who conduct their research on a smaller scale but aim to utilize a larger EBAM (Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing) system by Sciaky in the future. The EBAM technology makes use of wire feedstock to create intricate internal structures and consolidated assemblies, thus giving engineers the ability to optimize part performance and decrease weight, which traditional manufacturing methods fail to deliver. The EBAM-53, suitable for materials research labs and R&D settings, is budget-friendly and requires less space thanks to its smaller build envelope measured at a 26-inch cube. The machine can create small demonstrators, test coupons, and geometry trial parts, and comes with IRISS process control software and optional rotary and tilt positioners.

“This has been a goal of Sciaky for years. We have been asked numerous times to offer a system appropriate for a research environment. We can now answer this part of the industry’s demand. With the EBAM-53, users can conduct meaningful research and development that can easily migrate to larger production-scale systems in the future,” said Scott Phillips, President at Sciaky, Inc.

Fictic Added Carbon DLS Technology to 3D Printing Service

Following a major 3D printing service expansion in the U.S. to offer more industrial additive solutions for advanced engineering and high-volume production applications, Fictiv has added Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology by Carbon to its on-demand 3D printing services in the country. The company is the operating system (OS) for custom manufacturing, and has manufactured more than 25 million parts for early-stage companies and large enterprises. DLS is good for end-use production and prototyping for many industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and medical, and will definitely strengthen Fictiv’s digital manufacturing platform. Carbon’s continuous liquid interface production (CLIP) technology enables rapid print speeds, and the solution also ensures high print accuracy and repeatability. It’s now available on Fictiv’s platform for on-demand ordering, instant quoting, and design for manufacturability feedback; materials include proprietary Carbon resins with advanced engineering properties.

The trend of using 3D printing to manufacture functional, end-use parts is on the rise. The addition of Carbon DLS to the Fictiv platform makes it faster and easier than ever for our customers to go from prototype design to market-ready products through a single manufacturing partner,” said Riley Hall, Director of Additive at Fictiv.

Nanoscribe Introduced 2GL 3D Printing for Nano- & Microfabrication

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) spinoff Nanoscribe, a BICO company, has introduced a new microfabrication technology for its Quantum X align: 3D printing by 2GL, or two-photon grayscale lithography. It combines high-resolution 2PP (two-photon polymerization) with a patented voxel tuning process to achieve superior print quality, significantly fewer printing layers, and increased throughput—all of which combine to make 2GL the fastest 2PP-based 3D printing technology. The solution can open the door for new applications, like manufacturing filigree micro-optical systems with much higher quality and reduced print times. Nanscribe’s Quantum X platform is a preferred solution for industrial manufacturing of microoptics, which is why 3D printing by 2GL is now available as a new feature for the Quantum X align, supported by its advanced nanoPrintX aligner software.

The dynamic modulation of laser power during fast scanning is used in this printing process, the result being what Nanoscribe describes as an “exact size adjustment of the polymerizing voxel to perfectly complement the contours of any 3D shape.” This also enables the creation of flawless surfaces of optical grade. The technology is reportedly the quickest 2PP-based microfabrication technology available, boasting up to 60 times the throughput of other present two-photon lithography systems. It also allows the production of fine submicron details and the highest optical-grade quality. All these features together allow for the advancement of microoptics manufacturing and photonics packaging through 3D printing by 2GL.

Airtech Advanced Materials Group Upgrades AM Capabilities with CEAD

Airtech Advanced Materials Group recently incorporated Flexbot systems from newcomer CEAD into its progressive manufacturing selection, significantly pushing forward its additive manufacturing capacity. Flexbot is a large-format 3D printing robotic solution from CEAD, which recently increased its presence in the U.S. to enhance customer support by establishing CEAD Group Inc. in Detroit, Michigan. The Flexbot, now situated in Airtech’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Tennessee, boasts CNC milling abilities, Dynamic Flow Control, as well as a 3 x 1 m construction capacity. Airtech will utilize it to develop 3D printing resins and investigate fresh applications across various market segments.

“CEAD’s industry-leading, fully integrated, robotic printing and milling hybrid solution equips Airtech to support its continued growth in the additive manufacturing market segment, offering unparalleled support for CEAD and Airtech customers around the globe,” quotes Gregory Haye, Airtech’s Director of Additive Manufacturing, about the significant addition to the company.

Madco3D Printing Parts of Brooklyn High-Rise

Startup Madco3D, located in NYC, is still in the pre-revenue stage of business and specializes in manufacturing large, autonomous, robotic 3D printing systems for building applications. The firm, led by architects, aims to revolutionize construction, restore the coastal marine environment and tackle the issue of housing shortage using 3D concrete printing (3DCP). Madco3D collaborates with investors and developers and has set up a testing location in the North-East US, including a large 3D printer. Potential applications for the technology include coral restoration, infrastructure such as bridges and dams, seawall assembly, emergency housing, custom art, municipal projects such as park benches, commercial building and regular housing, such as a skyscraper in NYC.

“In only a year, we’re seeing a surge in significant developments in our pipeline; we’ve received requests for over a hundred houses in New Hampshire and we’ll be printing components of one of the first-ever high-rises in NYC (or in the USA) with 3d-printed concrete features. Our goals are to achieve a 15% faster development schedule, labor reduction of 300%, 10% savings on costs, a NET profit margin of 20%, all while reducing our carbon footprint.”

Fraunhofer IWU 3D Printing Load-Bearing Plastic Structures

Dyna Light Project: Load-bearing frame construction for the electric cargo scooter from a 3D printer. (Source: Fraunhofer IWU)

Even in closed material cycles, it’s possible to design, and economically produce, highly durable products using granulate-based plastic manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing. Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU) demonstrated how Screw Extrusion Additive Manufacturing, or SEAM, was used to fabricate two load-bearing plastic structures: a resilient vehicle frame and an EV cargo shelf. Developed at Fraunhofer IWU, the SEAM process is said to be eight times faster than conventional 3D printing, and is also much more economical than extrusion-based methods that use filament, as it processes cost-effective plastic granulates. Plus, it contributes to a circular economy by using granules from recycled thermoplastics.

CO2 emissions in the transportation sector are significantly reduced in battery EV vehicles, but these need to be more lightweight, as heavy high-voltage systems unfortunately come “at the expense of allowable payload.” Fraunhofer IWU partnered with Mosolf Special Vehicles on a solution to optimize cargo space and reduce weight at the same time: a 3D printed rear shelf, which can hold up to 100 kg. It fits right into the vehicle’s exterior, with no additional attachments or reinforcements, and provides an 8% enlarged storage area. Additionally, electric cargo scooters can also help reduce emissions, and extra payload capacity is enabled with weight optimization, but safety must remain paramount. The designers of the Innvelo Cargo-Scooter, from ICM Chemnitz, first used a steel frame, but its partners in the Dyna Light project—including Fraunhofer IWU and Sauer Creations—suggested a 3D printed plastic one instead. Made with SEAM technology, it saves about 10% in costs and weight, and can still support a total payload capacity of about 200 kg, including the rider.

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