Archive for the ‘Suppliers’ Category

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Posted by Editor On December - 12 - 2017

The future of healthcare, aerospace, and automotives brought to life in Pasadena

By Gregory van Zuyen

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

The Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017 Conference brought a lot of talent and innovation to the Pasadena Convention Center on Dec.6-8

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Moderator Chris Young takes a question from the audience during the Dec. 7 panel discussion on aerospace. Seated from left to right: Dr. Steven Schmid of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Raymond “Corky” Clinton of NASA, Dr. Youping Gao with Aerojet Rocketdyne, Gregory Hilbert with Dassault Falcon Jet, followed by Young.

The Additive Manufacturing Americas Conference held Dec. 6-8 in Pasadena was a stellar opportunity to meet a host of dignitaries and a display of new inventive technologies. Hosted at the Pasadena Conference Center, the conference offered three days of talks and exhibitions centered on the industries of healthcare, aerospace, and automotives. The talks were revelatory and provided key insights in how these industries will be changing in the future.

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Gregory Hilbert of Dassault Falcon Jet describes additive manufacturing on a massive scale to compete in the military jet market with China

Speakers included Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery for Northwestern University, Dr. Guillermo Ameer, Mayo Clinic’s Professor of Plastic Surgery Dr. Samir Mardini, the Edward R. Clark Chair of Advanced Manufacturing for the Dept. of Industrial Engineering for the University of Louisville Dr. Kevin Chou, Program Director for Manufacturing Machines and Equipment for the National Science Foundation Dr. Steven R. Schmid, Associate Director for the Technical Science and Technology Office of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Dr. Raymond “Corky” Clinton, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Technical Fellow and Discipline Chief Dr. Youping Gao, Dassault Falcon Jet’s Gregory Hilbert, Co-Founder of Hack Rod Felix Holst, Stratasys Senior Applications Engineer Chas Sullivan, BRCHN Design House Founder Sam Birchenough, Scott Martin from Boeing, GE Healthcare’s Bill Whitford, and Jordan Noone of Relativity; all leaders of industry and research.

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Sam Birchenough of BRCHN Design House speaking at the Additive Manufacturing Americas Conference on the use of Autodesk Fusion 360’s sculptural and parabolic qualities for the use in designing ergonomic equipment

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

A highlight of the show was hearing Felix Holst of HackRod discuss how they were using VR, AI, and additive manufacturing to produce a lightweight yet incredibly durable chassis for their car called La Bandita

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

The LUMEX System using both selective metal sintering and CNC finishing in a layer-by-layer process to produce high-precision metal tooling

LUMEX Systems
Technologies revealed at the event included the LUMEX System by Matsuura USA. LUMEX uses both CNC and powder bed fusion – selective laser melting additive manufacturing functions together in the same machine, comfortably creating a print bed space operating at a warm 50c. The result is a finished metal product with the capacity for finished deep pockets and cavities like water cooling systems and heat venting. In some cases, no post production because the hybrid metal 3D printers finish the print with a CNC process every ten layers. The Avance-60 is their biggest machine with a 600 X 600 X 500mm build space and retails for approximately $1.6m.

Worldwide, Matsuura has sold 40 plus of the Avance-60 and Avance-25 models, four in the U.S. including two to the University of Nebraska where researchers are working with exciting new metal powder formations. Matsuura is also particularly proud of introducing the LUMEX System to Gillette. Tom Houle, Director for Matsuura USA, showed us the math for another customer application. Because of a ten-second savings on an 18-second production cycle, the superiority of the LUMEX System additive manufacturing technology is saving Gillette upwards of $5,000,000 annually. “That guy is going to get a raise for buying this machine,” smiled Houle.

Houle was also proud of the service centers and distributors of the LUMEX System across the U.S. ready to promptly respond to client requests. He is looking forward to being at the AMUG Conference in St. Louis and at RAPID in Fort Worth next year for those interested in seeing the machines in operation and examining samples. They can be found at

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

ACEO has been able to achieve the hitherto impossible with the 3D printing of silicone, samples of which are shown here

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

The ACEO team members present at the Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017 event are from left to right: Judith Distalrath, Johanna Judas, and Dr. Florian Liesener


Another key discovery unveiled in the Americas event was the 3D printing of silicone. Not silicone-like. Silicone, pure and made simple by ACEO, the 3D printing brand division of Germany’s 103-year-old chemical company Wacker Chemie AG.

A hitherto impossible feat (silicone prints like toothpaste), ACEO has formulated a method via super-secret water-soluable support material that makes the most complex of silicone prints as easy as CAD.

“We have the most amazing team, all brought together by being really good at what we do. That is why we are able to do this,” said Dr. Florian Liesener, materials engineer for ACEO. He described how all members of ACEO have used their diverse expertise to produce the software and engineering in combination with the material to make this break-through in additive manufacturing. “It was unbelievable to see it happen; it was like being in a movie.”

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Narine Tigranyan of Junction3D displays the unique operating system of the Solus 3D printer

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

The resolution and detail maintained by the Solus — at the micro scale — had to be seen to be believed


Solus is a new way of looking at DLP, no doubt about it. In a system already establishing a base in Latin America, the Solus 3D printer uses convention overhead projection systems as the light-source for the layer-by-layer scripting of the print. A solution to difficult to repair light systems, the Solus goes a step further. It has unbelievable resolution. The booth display for Solus, sponsored by Junction 3D, had step-by-step samples of the same model descending in size, with the smallest of their prints, the size of a pencil lead, had all the detail of the original. The Solus produced truly remarkable results, worthy of attention. See more at

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

An example of what a full-size WASP 3D printer can do

Loren Boburg, industrial designer for Impresión3D, is doing research and development of additive manufacturing for low-income housing in Guatemala. As far as difficult terrains and environmental dangers go (read volcanos), Guatemala presents the impossible. Also, there’s the spotty electrical component, adding one more problem to implementing this great idea that would bring low cost structures with maximum safety to thousands of people. So Ms. Boburg was in Pasadena primarily to interface with a company uniquely qualified to provide Guatemala with an answer. Enter WASP.

World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) makes large-scale 3D printers, on the magnitude of being able to print furniture. They have also revolutionized architectural additive manufacturing techniques, capable of 3D printing cement with 1.5 kilowatts of power. With a business consciousness devoted to helping the planet through all manners of environmental concern, WASP is proving to be a welcome member of the 3D printing community.

WASP was not the only large-scale 3D printer on display at the Additive Manufacturing Americas event. 3D Platform was there with the 3DP Workbench featuring a meter by meter by meter build-envelope, and the Titan from was also on display.

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

The Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017 Conference included on site display of Titan Robotics by Chemson

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Dan McFarlane of 3D Platforms demonstrates the versatility of the 3DP Workbench

Additive Manufacturing Americas Event Report

Brent Reisender of Choice Technical Services, a licensed MarkForged distributor

Service bureaus such as Choice Technical Services (CTS) and Hawk Ridge Systems were in attendance demonstrating MarkForged and 3DEO was on hand to provide low-cost metal 3D printing options.

Raise3D, a San Diego-based 3D printer, presented a new development by their software engineers to allow a stop-start feature for 3D printing. Marc Franz of Raise3D was so delighted that at the end of the day when the convention center had to shut down power, his 3D printer was ready to resume the previous night’s print the next morning as soon as power was restored. They will have more to say at CES.

Stratasys, a principal supporter of the Additive Manufacturing event was on hand to promote the successful use of the J750. Their 3D printer received praise from a number of panelists, whose challenging use of the technology impressed attendees. One of these attendees, Merrick Campbell, an engineer for Tanner Research in Monrovia, Calif., commented, “I came away from the show with a few things that were useful.”

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Posted by Editor On September - 16 - 2017

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

There was much to see and discover at this year’s WESTEC Conference

WESTEC 2017, the west coast’s largest manufacturing trade show and expo, delivered an impressive selection of companies on display, with much to see and discover.
Geared toward the milling and fabrication crowd, the show was a cavalcade of robotic devices, cutting tools, software engineers, filtering systems, and, of course, 3D printing manufacturers.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

VP of sales Marc Franz at Raise3D, a new 3D printer manufacturer promising superior resolution and affordable costs

A new appearance this year was 3D printing manufacturer Raise3D. Vice President of sales Marc Franz was there to promote the new company, and he was enthusiastic about the resolution quality of his company’s products, especially when their price tag is approximately $1,000 less than comparable 3D printers.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

UnionTech representative Fred Kaplan, SOMOS’s Kevin Zarkis, and internationally-recognized industry expert Frank Speck at the UnionTech booth

Another company worth mentioning is UnionTech. The Chinese company has only recently begun marketing their products here in the U.S., but they are making a significant impact in the industry with the quality of their stereolithography prints. Jeremy Owen, midwest sales manager for RP America, mentioned that adding UnionTech to their list of companies they represent has given them a tremendous advantage in providing their customers with flawless SLA printing. And since UnionTech is open-source, material availability is unlimited and maintenance on the machines is a breeze.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Airwolf3D sales representative Paul Gallagher was swamped by WESTEC 2017 attendees at the Airwolf3D booth

Airwolf3D was also there, but it was hard to get a chance to speak to the staff through the student crowd that was three-deep at the booth. With the success of their Hydrofill water-soluable support material and the growing popularity of their Axiom 3D printer, it was easy to understand why they were a conference favorite. Other 3D printers there included 3D Systems, Stratasys, MarkForged, HP, Rize, and Ultimaker.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

Taylor Dawson of Hexagon displays both the ease of use and robust functionality of the Hexagon scanning software

Matterhackers was available for guidance on materials and online rapid prototyping questions, as was Purple Platypus. 3D scanning companies were also present and they included Innovmetric, Zeiss, Creaform, FARO, Capture3D, and Hexagon. As high-end 3D scanning remains an expensive but necessary investment for companies to make, WESTEC proved to be a great venue for comparing scanning products.

WESTEC 2017 Event Report

AccuServe General Manager Charles Huang talks about his company’s recent landmark innovation in rotary cutting tools, an adapter that uses ultrasonic vibration for improved CNC performance

Every show has something new to discover, and WESTEC 2017 was no exception. This year’s surprise development in technological innovation goes to AccuServe.
While this product may not be directly related to the practice of 3D printing, the inspired genius of their newly patented device could not escape our attention.
We spoke at length with AccuServe General Manager Charles Huang regarding the creation of their CNC tool adapter and were amazed at what this device can do for milling and drilling operations.

“What we have created is the next step in the use of ultrasonic frequencies to improve the cutting tool operation,” said Huang as he held the tool. “Before this, there was UM, ultrasonic manufacturing, which uses sound waves to penetrate materials. This is RUM, rotary ultrasonic manufacturing.”

Huang pointed out that, when dealing with dense, hard materials such as tungsten and high-tempered glass or ceramics, machinists would have to increase their revolutions up to ridiculously high speeds to burrow into the material. Through the use of RUM and the application of ultrasonic frequencies directed to the cutting tool, machinists were able to burrow faster, at lower RPMs, with cleaner, tighter results. “Because the ultrasonic frequencies are able to ‘peck’ at the surface being drilled, the molecular structure of the material is weakened and the build-up of material on the cutting tool is shaken away. With the addition of this adapter, precision is increased dramatically, and the instance of material fracture is greatly reduced.” Huang went on to say that the companies using their product were reporting a 30% to 70% reduction in cutting time and a valued cost savings in their material inventory, thanks to the lessened rate of fracture. The price tag for the adapter is under $12,000 — a comparable savings to the $400,000 CNC machines that can do similar work with similar RUM technology.

To find out more about the RUM cutting adaptor, visit AccuServe at And be sure to sign up now for next year’s WESTEC conference.

The Daily 3D Detail: Shapeways CEO steps down

Posted by Editor On August - 15 - 2017

Shapeways CEO steps down

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Peter Weijmarshausen during ribbon cutting of Long Island City facility

Peter Weijmarshausen, co-founder and CEO of Shapeways, has announced his departure. COO Tom Finn will assume CEO operations until a permanent CEO can be installed.

Weijmarshausen began the online 3D service bureau in 2007 with fellow founders Marleen Vogelaar and Robert Schouwenburg, whom have already left the firm.

The service bureau was formed in The Netherlands as a way of providing 3D printing to a wide range of modelers and engineers who were unable to create prints on their own. Shapeways, as part of the Royal Philips Electronics business incubator, trailblazed the 3D printing industry with their services and has been instrumental in providing rapid prototyping to designers all over the world. It has been estimated that there are nearly 37,000 outlets providing Shapeways services in the world.

Weijmarshausen commented on his departure by saying, “I am proud of all we have accomplished during ten years at Shapeways and am excited about everything that I see on the horizon for the company.”

Albert Wenger, Shapeways director, had this to say about Weijmarshausen’s years of service, “I want to thank Pete for the decade he has spent building Shapeways. Pete has really pioneered consumer 3D printing and built Shapeways into the leading marketplace. He will continue to guide the future as a director of the company.”

For more on the story, see this article at

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

A simple method of multicolor prints is now available

Type A Machines has introduced a new way of printing in multiple filaments with an add-on device called Palette+. The device, produced by Canadian company Mosaic Manufacturing Ltd, sits aside conventional FDM 3D printers and fuses multiple filaments together through a rotary cutting method. This method than allows not only multiple colors in one print, but a mix of material combinations including PLA with a soluble support material, PLA with flexible TPU, and PLA with PETG.

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

The new and improved slicing method, referred to by Mosaic as closed splicing, allows for a more even distribution of heat across the bound surfaces of filaments. This process is complemented with its own software, Chroma 2.0, which incorporates a functionality enhancement called Raft, a new G-code processing engine that supports slicing programs like Cura.

For more on the development of Palette+, visit Type A Machines.

Arduino CEO Musto Canned for Falsifying Credentials

Image shot of an Arduino Mega with pin-out descriptions from Arduino forum user Nantonos

Arduino, the open-source electronics provider of programmable circuit boards, is a favorite among 3D printrs and makerspace hobbyists who are looking for easy ways of incorporating microprocessors into their creations. The Italian company began in 2003 and is now a business staple in a niche market it almost exclusively owns.

CEO Federico Musto

Trouble first began in spring of this year when an investigation into the listed credentials of CEO Federico Musto proved that he did not actually possess a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or an MBA from New York University (NYU). The story first appeared in Wired magazine, wherein Musto admitted to the fabricated resume.

“It’s true, it’s my fault, sometimes I try to squeeze and say, yes I got the MBA,” he told Wired. “Only thing I can prove is I went to kindergarten.”

The false records were initially caught by a true MIT graduate, Adafruit founder Limor Fried: Fried commented on the discovery by saying, “When you go to MIT, there is always this murmur that they had to lower the standards for you,” she said. “And after you graduate, you get asked all the time if you were actually smart enough to have earned your credentials. It’s a little bit insane that this guy has gotten this far without ever being questioned.”

As a result of earlier corporate infighting, Arduino’s original founders Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis and Tom Igoe, founded the company BCMI in competition to Arduino. Recently they were able to acquire 100% of Arduino AG, as well as its trademarks, thus paving the way for the ouster of Musto and the installation of Dr. Fabio Violante as CEO. Banzi has assumed the chairman and CTO position.

As an afternote, Musto’s LinkedIn credentials now merely list a Montessori kindergarten year in Italy.

For more quotes on the takeover of Arduino, please see this article at

The Six Steps to a New Manufacturing Paradigm

Posted by Fred Kaplan On July - 8 - 2017

Can additive manufacturing deliver on a $12 trillion promise?

By Fred Kaplan

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

The quality and clarity of SL-printed parts gives the additive manufacturing a definitive advantage

The manufacturing world is in transition to additive manufacturing.

The promise of this transition is $12 trillion worth of goods. Trillion. With a T.

Recent advances in technology by HP’s (multiJet fusion), Carbon3D (CLIP technology) and Desktop Metals, have all successfully employed FDM production for short-run end-use parts with at the enterprise level of 3D printers. At the DIY level, desktop model manufacturers such as Markforged, Roboze, and AirWolf3D offer commendable end-use production with the same FDM method.

Stephen Nigro, HP’s President of 3D printing, speaking at the 2017 RAPID + TCT show, described the areas where the additive manufacturing industry can optimize the transformational future of additive manufacturing. While Nigro’s presentation was framed around HP’s multiJet fusion technology, it is a useful look at how these key points are being addressed across many technologies industry-wide.

Following are six essential keys that Nigro believes will transform additive manufacturing toward this $12 trillion goal:

    • World-Class Product and Technology Capabilities: Additive manufacturing has never been more innovative. HP, Carbon 3D, and Desktop Metals are at the very beginning stages of developing technologies that offer the possibility of disruptive short-run manufacturing. Improvements they to chose to address included printing speed, printer “up” time, and higher percentages of acceptable finished parts. While these new technological innovations are getting the media’s attention, another manufacturer, UnionTech entered the U.S. in a new product category showing great promise in both resolution and material strengths. Since 2000, this company’s large-format open source printers have been using stereolithography to produce unheard-of build times with impressive results.SL technology, as seen in the graphic below from, is shown on the very far right in the “Plateau of Productivity” as opposed to the newer technologies which could be located in either the bubble of “Inflated Expectations”or the “Trough of Disillusionment” before they are on their way to the “Slope of Enlightenment.”

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

  • Open Materials Platform to Drive Down Costs: The cost of proprietary 3D printing materials has made it almost impossible to calculate a profitable ROI in manufacturing end-use 3d printed parts. The traditional razor blade method that has been employed by 3D printer manufacturers doesn’t work in an environment in which OEM manufacturers need the broadest portfolios of available materials from the 3D printer. HP began a program to qualify open source material partners at the K2016 plastics and rubber trade show. DSM Somos, has a complete portfolio of SL materials designed to go with open source SL printers such as UnionTech. Since the late 1980s, DSM’s Somos group has earned a global reputation for stereolithography material innovation. Prototypes made from Somos resins closely replicate the functionality of engineered thermoplastics, but are delivered with increased speed and accuracy.Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

    UnionTech printers, made in China, have developed a reputation for quality prints

    Another aspect of additive manufacturing materials that has to be considered is the difference in part construction which varies from one technology to the next. Processes such FFF which depend on the adhesion of one layer to next tend to have little strength in the Z axis versus isotropic construction of stereolithography.

  • Materials Diversity: A wide array of material availability is the foundation of successful manufacturing whereas the promise of new materials in the future is an innovation driver. Open-source desktop printers have broken down the barriers closed-source manufacturers have attempted to use to control their market. Open-source printers have brought us PET-G, TPE, and ASA polymers and a variety of other filaments. Matterhackers’ matter guide is a good example of the material range and Somos lists 14 open-source stereolithography resins currently available.
  • New Design Methods for Additive Manufacturing: The development of CAD programs has increased the functionality and provided ease of use for new users. Through these applications, successful designers and engineers are creating geometries optimized for additive manufacturing. The future of CAD is in algorithm-based design that is able to iterate using tradition CAD and 3D-scanned data with programs such as SolidThinking’s Inspire that optimize topology for strength, economic material usage, and weight of printed parts. Another example is Materialise Magics, which optimizes data preparation for 3D printing intended for casting applications.
  • The Reinvention of Supply Chains: As Additive manufacturing is being perfected by organizations looking at the possibility of emailing CAD files versus shipping parts across the globe. While that reality is here, the advance of this prospect waits for the resolution of other issues on this list. Local Motors is a business whose model is built around four microfactories creating automobiles from locally sourced components. The capacity to accommodate the demand for individual vehicles through localized production is an example of the way the future supply chain is headed.

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

An example of the quality of SL prints

  • Regulations and Standards: One of the obstacles to the adoption of additive manufacturing is the uncertainty regarding 3D printing materials. There are currently few certifications for 3D printing materials due to the expense of certifying proprietary materials and the absence of regulatory groups. Typically 3D printer materials are referred to as “ABS-like,” as opposed to being actually ABS or any specific material. This lack of definition can lead to unexpected parts failure if produced without significant testing. Companies such as 3D Systems, Envisiontec, StrataSys and Somos are leading the industry with medical-grade and aerospace-approved materials. In order for manufacturing to embrace additive manufacturing, the industry needs to provide better materials information and a standardized rating system of material properties from the additive material suppliers.

There are a couple basic points to look at when choosing a 3D printer or a new 3D printing material:

  • Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT): which is the temperature at which a material deforms under a specific load. The importance of the number is a reflection on the functionality of the 3D printed part; such as whether the part will be functional under the hood of an automobile. Carbon- or silica-filled materials have a high HDT while PLA has a low HDT which makes easier to be printed on an FFF printer.
  • Tensile Modulus is the measurement of stresses that a material can take along an axis and return to its original shape or the measurement of the stiffness or brittleness of a solid material. Rubber is an example of a material with a low tensile modulus and glass or ceramics have a high tensile modulus.
    • Flexural Strength: is depicted in the graphic below. The “F” arrow is the force at the fracture point when factoring the length and width of the material. Flexural Strength is the stress a material can tolerate before yielding. ABS has a flexural strength of 75 MPa compared to StrataSys’ Nylon12 PA flexural strength of 47 MPa.

Delivering on Additive Manufacturing's $12 Trillion Promise

While Additive Manufacturing is experiencing one technology breakthrough after another, the prospect of one 3D printer being replaced by the fleet of 3D printers will take the combination of 3D printer reliability, along with material functionality, to provide a dependable and predictable manufacturing process. As the industry awaits the roll out of HP’s, Desktop Metals’, and Carbon3D’s new printers, time will show if they are pushing the envelope of dependability and functionality. While open-source 3D printers provide more functionality by being able to print multiple materials, there may an additional benefit: the competition which open-source provides can only result in more user-friendly operations and more reliable 3D printers.

Fred Kaplan is a 3D printing material specialist, who has worked with SLA, SLS, FDM, ColorJet, ADAM, DLP, LOM, FFF, MultiJet, Polyjet, and SDL 3D printers. Specializing in matching the best technology to a particular 3D printing application, he has also worked with many brands of 3D scanners and many CAD packages.

Prior to his work in additive manufacturing, Fred received a Los Angeles-area Emmy and other awards for documentary filmmaking.

Purple Reign: Prince to Spend Eternity in 3D-Printed Urn

Posted by Editor On October - 15 - 2016

Purple Reign: Prince to Spend Eternity in 3D-Printed Urn

Bulent Yusuf reports for on the recently-passed musician’s final resting place

Visitors to the Paisley Park museum were greeted with a surprise; Prince’s remains stored in a custom 3D printed urn. Foreverence, a company that specializes in custom 3D printed urns, has shared more details on the urn they created for Prince. The cremation urn is an artistic rendering of Paisley Park, the artist’s legendary recording studio and residence. Foreverence, a company that specializes in custom 3D printed urns, has shared more details on the urn they created for Prince.

The cremation urn is an artistic rendering of Paisley Park, the artist’s legendary recording studio and residence. Foreverence — which is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota — worked closely with Prince’s family to create a memorial art-piece to house his remains.

According to People Magazine, Foreverence CEO Pete Saari said:

“We are truly honored and humbled to work with Prince’s family to pay tribute to one of the greatest musical artists of our generation. We believe that everyone’s a legend to the people who love and miss them the most.”

The urn was first unveiled at a private memorial last August, and is a surprise attraction for visitors to the Paisley Park museum in Minneapolis.

For more on the People Magazine story on the custom urn, Paisley Park Museum, and Prince’s legacy, see:

A Visit with Type A Machines

Posted by Editor On June - 29 - 2016

A Visit with Type A Machines

Sheer brilliance resides in a converted factory in Oakland. Inside, perfection is being pushed to a new standard.

Espen Sivertsen is the CEO and operating guru of a team of people far more intelligent than your average Caltech graduate. They instinctively know their tasks like seasoned trailblazers in a virgin land, working their way into the new territory of 3D printing designs and drawing the maps for others.

You collaborate. You inspire greatness by doing the one thing you do very, very well. This is how you run a company.

A Visit with Type A Machines

Espen Sivertsen standing before a pod of Series 1 Pro 3D printers

If you want to drive the dream car of 3D printers, you drive a Type A Machines Series 1. Designed like a car with model years designations for its improvements, Series 1 printers run, and run, and run. The extrusion head is designed to be consistent and so simple to handle your grandma could drive it. Yet it will go fast, bank and turn and scribe out an object in nothing flat, if that’s what you need. Or you can slow it down and craft masterful works that are ready to be put to use. That’s their intention. They are made to be end-product providers.

Much of what was discussed on a visit with Type A Machines cannot be revealed. Let’s just say Olympic gold is one of their goals. The team behind the Series 1 are not challenged enough it seems with simply designing a better 3D printer every year, they need to occupy themselves with essential questions of physics. At RAPID in Orlando, they announced their recent developments of a beta release of the Cura slicing software addressing the problem of irregularities in the structural strength of objects created by the current infill of the program.

Cura Type A 1.5 Public Beta is an update to the application that utilized an infill of squares extending vertically inside printed objects but not laterally. Objects had their strength extending upward, but not outward. The objects resulted with the ability to support weight but not impact. Sivertsen’s team developed an antidote by coding the infill to reorient the cubes by sitting them on their points rather than on their faces. By shifting the cubular lattice into a 54.7° alignment (as opposed to a 45° angle as one would think), the objects held structural integrity in all directions. Simple, right? Only when you have geniuses like Elijah Wood and Vaibhav Sharma explaining it to you.

Credit for the perfecting of 3D printers belongs to CTO Andrew Rutter. Raised in a RepRap makerspaces, Rutter was the one to hear the clarion call, building his first 3D printer with a collapsable frame (furniture drawer rails can do a lot it seems) so he could fit the printer into the boot of his car. It’s a small price to pay to get it over to the community hackerspace of San Francisco for a chance to work on it. At the time, Sivertsen lived in Rutter’s building and their wives knew each other. Teaming together, they took their place at the hackerspace, working on 3D printers other people soon started wanting for themselves. It was a company the grew out of necessity. Somebody approached them with a large order and they couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do what they loved doing on a business scale. Think of it like racing. Once you start winning, it compels you to keep going.

All the more appropriate then that this company has made its residence in the old Chrysler Dodge factory of Oakland where employees drive up the factory ramps to their second floor offices. Inside the massive structure are nine other 3D printing businesses, complementing Type A Machines ability to deliver and perform ever-expanding business challenges and innovations, including new materials like their ProMatte printer ink. Once inside the completely refurbished factory, one is taken aback by the clean, accommodating spaces of the massive factory, which includes a creative greenspace shared by all and benefitting from the contributions of visionary artists and craftsmen, which includes the organizers of Burning Man.

It’s clear from a visit to Type A Machines that work is a welcome extension of life and fulfillment is achieved by enterprise and exploration. This is not merely an office, or even just a factory. It is a laboratory recalling the days of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park facility where the excitement percolated daily from the stream of innovative ideas it generated.

Simply being in the presence of Sivertsen, Rutter and the rest of the team at Type A Machines is to be drawn into that excitement and see the future of 3D printing being made in a place where manufacturing history had already been made before.

Check out what Type A Machines are doing at http://www.typeamachines or contact Head of Sales Nate Spohn directly to find out more about the brilliant people in Oakland turning out some of the finest 3D printers on the market today.

Flying Through Space with Kapow3D

Posted by Editor On June - 21 - 2016


Nathan Looyenga and Marissa Frosst of Kapow3D

Nathan Looyenga is making an impact in Southern California running Kapow3D. Kapow3D provides scanning, digital modeling, and 3D printing services for Los Angeles-area residents and beyond. Assisted by the capable and curious Marissa Frosst, Looyenga has found that running this business is like flying a ship through spatial realms. He’s delivering one-of-a-kind objects from out of space, so to speak. And one thing Looyenga is learning is that space is time. At Kapow3D, time and space have to both be navigated.

To better imagine Kapow3D, think of the show “Firefly” and the pioneering ship captain Malcolm Reynolds. Cool, calm, collected, and daring — that’s Looyenga. Dashing, even. He’s the sharp-looking man in charge who saw the vision to begin a rapid prototyping business in the arts district of Santa Monica. He’s doing everything from helping motorcycle riders create new visions to designing prosthetic devices to assist injured dogs. It’s all part of a day’s work and it’s an expanding universe daily.

Looyenga began his journey to rapid prototyping through the world of material science. His education in how objects can be articulated in these materials gave him the vision to start his own company. He has an enthusiasm for collaboration and it is easy to see why there are knocks on the door all day long. It’s clear he knows what he is doing. Recently, a world-renown motorcycle racer approached Kapow3D with the request of a radical new design involving the 3D printing process. They also partnered with a nearby dog rescue facility to design prostheses and mobility aids for injured dogs. They do all this with a deft shift of their ship’s gears; a balancing act of objects forming around them. The variety of items coming out of his shop demands a lot of the never-sleeping array of Taz Lulzbot 3D printers he has running around the clock. Helping him in running these workhorses is the smiling Frosst. Frosst joins him as part of an intern program from Toronto’s Ryerson University where she is part of their makerspace team and a general whiz kid. To describe her is to extend the “Firefly” comparison. If Looyenga is Capt. Reynolds, Frosst is Firefly’s mechanic Kaylee Frye.

The ever enthusiastic and knowledgeable Frosst attends to the Taz 5 Series printer’s needs much like the affable Frye kept the Firefly flying through space with an experienced hand and a wholesome heart. It’s clear the power of 3D printing illuminates all of Frosst’s thinking faculties. She’s eager to show off the Formlabs SLA printer as it produces another detailed object and she admits it’s her favorite printer. Have a question on materials? Frosst can quote textbooks at length. Or how about 3D printing in wood? “Yes,” they both say in unison, “it really smells like wood.”


Marissa Frosst holds up a 3D-printed box made from processed wood

They love what they are doing. They are turning time and printer ink into spatial objects, both for prototyping and for end product use because it works well for companies who can take advantage of the low print run values in additive manufacturing. Whether they are making trophies or new toy creations for famous toy designers, they are at it with the drive of pilots light years ahead of the other 3D printing service centers. Do you want to know who that famous toy designer is? So do we. Kapow3D observes strict non-disclosure agreement responsibilities. As you would expect from an honorable Capt. Looyenga, flying through spatial dimensions to safeguard your personal and precious deliveries.

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Underwriters Laboratories Partners with EOS to Fine Tune 3D Printing Curricula

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is partnering with metals additive manufacturing (AM) supplier Electro Optical Systems (EOS) to provide AM training to EOS’s customers. The training will include some specific to EOS’s machines and technology, and some from UL’s own existing curriculum. Like UL’s training partnership with the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), this agreement will help promote correct usage of AM technologies by OEMs and others in manufacturing.

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