We’re starting a small business in Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs as EPLUS 3D and Shining 3D made a joint statement. Optomec received an order from an OEM for five of its electronic 3D printers and Hexcel received an order for Boeing 777X 3D printed parts. A young man described as a right-wing extremist was arrested in Australia for trying to 3D print a gun. Finally, check out a concrete bridge created by researchers at Ghent University using 3D printing and topology optimization!
Joint declaration by Shining 3D & EPLUS 3D
Established in 2014, EPLUS 3D is the original designer and manufacturer of SHINING 3D’s industrial metal and plastic 3D printers, and its business includes professional 3D scanning, dental digitization and industrial 3D printing. However, the two companies recently issued a joint statement in Hangzhou, China, stating that EPLUS 3D is now a standalone company rather than a SHINING 3D subsidiary. With this structural change, the two companies have taken some precautions to enable “a smooth transition” as an independent global brand, providing industrial 3D printer solutions to customers around the world.
“For the industrial AM machines sold by SHINING3D (manufactured by Eplus3D), Eplus3D will dutifully provide services to ensure that the machines function properly, including but not limited to customer service and technical support,” said the joint statement.
Optomec receives order for 5 Aerosol Jet 3D electronic printers
An OEM who is a long-time manufacturing customer of Optomec Inc. recently ordered an additional five Aerosol Jet 3D printers for electronics manufacturing, bringing that company’s total number to 15 systems over time. This order, which cost over $ 1 million, is part of the OEM’s production ramp-up plan, which will hopefully grow to more than 25 machines over the next year. A major application for electronics printing is in semiconductor packaging – the making of 3D interconnects to connect chips to traditional circuit boards and other chips, and even to integrate them directly into end-use products such as wearables. This is exactly why this particular customer, who manufactures electronic systems, has been using Optomec’s patented aerosol jet solutions since 2018, especially for advanced semiconductor packaging in a proprietary end product for mobile devices.
“This latest multi-system order for 3D additive electronics is further proof of the production capability of Optomec’s solutions. We look forward to helping this industry leader continue to expand their production system fleet and replicating this evidence with others in need of next generation semiconductor packaging solutions, ”said David Ramahi, CEO of Optomec.
Long-term contract with Hexcel for Boeing 3D printing
In other business news, advanced composites company Hexcel Corporation won a long-term contract for 3D printed parts for the Boeing 777X family. Hexcel will use its HexPEKK material, which combines carbon fiber and PEKK, to manufacture aerospace structures for the jets at its own AM facility in Connecticut. The HexPEKK parts Hexcel will be manufacturing for Boeing later this year include airflow applications and other aircraft load-bearing elements. Commercial aerospace, defense, and space applications require lightweight, complex, and strong mechanical properties. Additionally, the company’s HexAM 3D printing process and HexPEKK end-use components were added to Boeing’s Qualified Vendors list in 2019.
“We are pleased that Boeing selected our additive manufacturing technology for these parts and appreciate their trust in HexPEKK solutions for commercial aerospace applications,” said Colleen Pritchett, Hexcel President – Aerospace, Americas & Fibers.
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Man arrested in NSW for allegedly trying to 3D print a gun
Australia has long followed a hard line on 3D printed guns when the New South Wales Parliament passed a law in 2015 banning possession of files for 3D printed guns, even fake ones. Now the NSW Counter Terror Police has arrested a 26-year-old man in the city of Orange for allegedly having digital blueprints for 3D printing a gun. The investigation into the man began shortly after Australian border guards found a package allegedly containing a firearm component destined for the Orange house and found that the name and address matched their list of known right-wing extremists. After being charged with possessing a digital blueprint to manufacture a firearm, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison.
“With the advent of technology, particularly in 3D printing, authorities are proactively investigating online activity and monitoring both legal and illegal movement of firearms and gun parts,” said Mick Sheehy, detective superintendent of NSWPF Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command.
“Police continue to discover evidence of all types of illegal firearms, including homemade firearms, which are often roughly manufactured or assembled.
“These types of firearms add another layer of risk to community safety because they are unstable and many are unable to maintain their integrity after being fired. We will not hesitate to take action if we believe a firearm could fall into the wrong hands. “
Topology-optimized, 3D-printed concrete OptiBridge
Finally, Ghent University and their embedded research institute Concre3DLab, which focuses on 3D printing concrete structures, used 3D printing and topology optimization to create a 2 x 5 meter concrete pedestrian bridge called the OptiBridge. The cooperation team based the bridge girders on a 2D topology-optimized design from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and constructed the bridge by joining four hollow 3D-printed segments that were printed in less than an hour and a half. The project, which aims to tackle complex AM problems from different angles, required a lot of experimentation and the design of the bridge is unique in that mathematical design tools were used to design the shape – by applying structural topology optimization to a 2D beam Problem, the team was able to optimize the stiffness and develop the 3D shape of the bridge.
The bridge was originally intended to be printed in two parts, but the team encountered transportation restrictions. The design was divided into four bridge segments, which were printed in 40-minute sessions on two consecutive days, but without any preparatory or cleaning work. A printing mixture and a printing system with a faster setting time and more youth resistance was developed, which makes it possible to print overhang angles of up to 45 °. After the four segments were connected and aligned, the rebars and tendons were inserted and the inner cavity was filled with self-compacting concrete; then the entire structure is prestressed. Eventually the bridge was flipped over to its final orientation. The next steps include a test program to analyze the load-bearing capacity and stiffness of the 3D-printed bridge as well as to evaluate the sustainability of 3D-printed structures.