Laser Printing of Functional Materials: 3D Microfabrication, Electronics and Biomedicine

The first book on this hot topic includes such major research areas as printed electronics, sensors, biomaterials and 3D cell printing.
Well-structured and with a strong focus on applications, the text is divided in three sections with the first describing the fundamentals of laser transfer. The second provides an overview of the wide variety of materials that can be used for laser transfer processing, while the final section comprehensively discusses a number of practical uses, including printing of electronic materials, printing of 3D structures as well as large-area, high-throughput applications. The whole is rounded off by a look at the future for laser printed materials.
Invaluable reading for a broad audience ranging from material developers to mechanical engineers, from academic researchers to industrial developers and for those interested in the development of micro-scale additive manufacturing techniques.

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GE Restructuring Potential for Major Change in the 3D Printer Industry

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The April 13th Wall Street Journal front page article indicates that GE is analyzing hybrid transactions whereby it could be left with investments in multiple companies acquiring various GE business lines. It is well recognized that GE has made substantial investments in 3D printing in recent years approximating $2 billion after former CEO Jeff Immelt decided to go all in for 3D printing. Even after Immelt’s departure, his legacy can still be seen recently with GE boosting their stake in Arcam at the beginning of 2018.

The resulting impact on the 3D printing industry could be enormous since it is highly unusual for the fruits of a $2 billion technology investment to potentially become available to a new group of industrial companies. Since the businesses being sold are in many cases turnaround situations, it is in the best interest of both the purchaser and the seller to optimize the benefits of all transferred assets. The 3D printer industry can help itself by having its marketing resources provide comprehensive guidance to the buyers on how to optimize new and improving 3D printing technologies specific to their business.

In previous articles, we have covered the use of 3D printing for some of the products related to GE’s major business lines.

Integrating GE’s 3D printer technology and expertise with a new industrial business is going to present R&D tax credit opportunities for new and improved products and processes.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature
  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business
  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process
  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Since GE acquired a majority stake in Concept Laser GmbH in late 2016, the company has been expanding rapidly. Before the start of 2018, Concept Laser announced that they would be opening new offices that total over 130,000 square feet and that they would be open and operational sometime in 2019. The company announced that they plan to deliver 10,000 additive manufacturing machines from 2016-2026. Concept Laser has been at the forefront of development and innovation in the additive manufacturing space with patented technologies like LaserCUSING. LaserCUSING (CUSING is derived from the C in concept and the word Fusing) uses a high-precision laser to melt the metal filaments to create a product of the users’ choosing. Technologies like LaserCUSING and others allow Concept Laser to develop products for the dental, automotive, aerospace, medical, jewelry industries and more.

Acquisitions of innovative companies only create value for the parent company if they can harness their capabilities properly. As a multinational conglomerate, GE tries to create synergies among their subsidiaries and use each individual company to help one another grow. For example, Baker Hughes is the world’s largest oil field services company and in their 2017 10-k annual report, they disclosed the following: “…we and GE currently collaborate as per terms of the Channel Agreement (e.g. additive manufacturing; digital).”  This small quote highlights just how committed GE is to additive manufacturing and its uses throughout various industries.

While shared data and other synergies would help one of these companies grow and expand their capabilities, a prospective purchaser of one of these companies would have to be very careful in negotiation and take factors like proprietary software, confidential data, IoT and patented technologies into consideration.

Dr. Louis Pasteur taught us the adage “Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind.” Hopefully the 3D printing industry is preparing for what should be a major 3D printing expansion opportunity.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 


Charles Goulding and Ian Brown of R&D Tax Savers discuss the GE restructuring. 

Tiertime Unveils Three New 3D Printers at Rapid + TCT 2018

At the Rapid + TCT show in Texas, Tiertime shone a light on not one but three new 3D printers. One sees an upgrade to a familiar face — the company’s popular Up Mini 2 — while the other two are all-new, including a 12-print-bed toting beast.

The Rapid + TCT show is a veritable wonderland of 3D printing and additive manufacturing tech. So it stands to good reason that there are a few curtains raises on eye-catching new 3D printers and products.

One company looking to make a splash at the show is Tiertime. Self-proclaimed as China’s first 3D printer manufacturer, the company has used the show to debut three new 3D printers.

Dubbed the UP Mini 2 ES, UP300 and X5, the printers each cater to differing 3D printing needs. The two UP machines appear to be the more consumer-oriented of the three, with the X5 taking a small-business/low-volume manufacturing route with an interesting print bed automation feature we’ll detail below.

Taking aim at three different use cases, the UP Mini 2 ES, UP300 and X5 all share a few commonalities that are new to the Tiertime ecosystem. In addition to being FDM filament-based 3D printers, they all feature what the company calls an “advanced touchscreen” for user interface, plus dedicated USB memory stick ports, Ethernet port and integration with the new Tiertime Print Queue software.

Tiertime UP Mini 2 ES

Tiertime UP Mini 2 ESThe Tiertime UP Mini 2 ES

Three New 3D Printers from Tiertime

The UP Mini 2 ES is an upgrade over the company’s established UP Mini 2. We credit the UP Mini 2 as a top 3D printer for beginners, so it’s nice to see some fresh upgrades find their way to the machine.

Like its predecessor, the UP Mini 2 ES features a HEPA filtration system to remove ultra fine particles (UFPs) from the emissions released when printing. We’ve yet to see a specification breakdown of the UP Mini 2 ES, but would surmise it to be mostly identical to the existing UP Mini 2.

In addition to the beginner friendly UP Mini 2 ES, Tiertime revealed the UP300. A 3D printer that is “more industrial” than the company’s previous machines, it’s clear that Tiertime mean business with the all-new printers it has announced.

Tiertime UP300

Tiertime UP300The Tiertime UP300

Featuring a 205 x 255 x 225mm print area and HEPA and Carbon air filters, the UP300 also debuts a couple of company-firsts: double-sided removable print plates and three material specific print heads.

The three prints heads are custom-designed to specifically handle the printing of 1.75mm PLA, ABS and TPU filaments. Meanwhile, for print adhesion the removable print bed is glass on one side with an adhesion-friendly perforation on the other. Other quality of life features include automatic bed-leveling and calibration, filament run out detection and blackout-foiling print resume functionality.

Tiertime X5

Tiertime X5The Tiertime X5

Tiertime X5, a Short-Run Workhorse

Capping off a producterific Rapid + TCT for Tiertime is the X5 3D printer. A decidedly more robust offering positioned as a “short-run workhorse”, the TierTime X5 boasts one particularly cool party trick in its print job automation.

To complement the new print queuing ability Tiertime is adding to its machines with the Tiertime Print Queue software, the X5 has the physical capability to automatically eject a completed print on its print plate, load in a fresh one from its internal magazine and continue straight on to the next print.

The X5 can accommodate 12 print beds at once and, best of all, print beds that have been cleaned of completed prints can simply be loaded back into the system from the other side. This should add up to virtually endless printing with minimal intervention require on the user’s part.

At 180 x 230 x 200mm, the X5’s print area doesn’t quite match up to the UP300, but it does retain the quality of life features and air filtration system of the aforementioned printers.

No word yet on pricing or release dates, but we’ll provide further coverage as we learn more.

Source: Tiertime

License: The text of “Tiertime Unveils Three New 3D Printers at Rapid + TCT 2018” by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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HE3D Acrylic 3D Printer Tabletop Filament Holder for 1 spool used for ABS/PLA/wood/TPU/other 3D printing material

Product Material : acrylic
Package List: 1set of filament holder(Filament is not included)

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TecUnite 10 Pieces MK8 Nozzle Extruder 5 Sizes and 5 Pieces 5 Sizes 3D Printer Nozzle Cleaning Kit Drill Bits for 3D Printer Nozzle Cleaning


10 Pieces MK8 nozzle extruder 5 sizes and 5 pieces 3D printer nozzle cleaning kit drill bits for 3D printer nozzle cleaning

Wide range of compatibility:
This set of printer nozzle kits is compatible with most 1.75 mm 3D printers on the market, such as Duplicator, MakerBot, RepRap, etc.

Specifications:
Nozzle extruder:
Size: 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm
Hexagon diameter: 6 mm
Input diameter: 1.75 mm
Material: brass
Quantity: 10 pieces
Nozzle drill:
Size: 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm
Material: stainless steel
Quantity: 5 pieces

Package includes:
10 x MK8 nozzle extruder (5 sizes, 2 pieces in each size)
5 x Nozzle drills (5 sizes)

Note:
Sharp parts, please keep away from children.

Product Features

  • Nozzle extruder measurement: the extruder has 5 sizes, 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm, different sizes can meet your multiple needs
  • Matchable nozzle drill: this set of nozzle drill has matchable sizes with nozzle extruder, 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.6 mm, and they are held in a box, in case of missing or hurting
  • Quality material: the nozzle extruder is made of brass, while the drill is made of stainless steel, not easy to get rust or erosion, providing long servicing life
  • Wide range of compatibility: this set of printer nozzle kits is compatible with most 1.75 mm 3D printers on the market, such as Duplicator, MakerBot, RepRap, etc.
  • Quantity: the package includes 10 pieces of MK8 nozzle extruder (5 sizes, 2 pieces in each size) and 5 pieces of nozzle drills in 5 sizes, applicable in your daily life

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