The digital manufacturing revolution gathering pace in the UK

3D printing is in the process of turning the world's $12-trillion manufacturing industry on its head. It is changing the way we conceive, design, make, …

Q&A: Digital dentistry becomes the new standard

As digital dentistry becomes the new standard, dental practitioners are rushing to adopt 3D printing technologies and transition away from traditional …

Boeing HorizonX invests in low cost metal 3D printing with Digital Alloys $12.9 investment round

Digital Alloys, a Boston based developer of metal 3D printers, has received a $12.9 million investment during a series B financing round led by G20 Ventures.

3D Printing Industry readers will be familiar with Digital Alloys who, as we previously reported, has being developing a new approach to metal additive manufacturing since 2014. The latest round of investment comes after a $5 million round in 2017.

G20 Ventures was joined by Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Lincoln Electric, and Khosla Ventures in the series B financing.

Digital Alloys’ new metal additive manufacturing technology will be called Joule Printing. Today the company also announced two US patents for this wire feedstock 3D printing process – “Systems for Printing Three-Dimensional Objects” and “Magnet fabrication by additive manufacturing”.

What is this new metal additive manufacturing technique called Joule Printing?

3D Printing Industry discussed Joule Printing with Digital Alloys CEO Duncan McCallum. McCallum explained that Joule Printing was, “created to free manufacturers from the shackles of slow, complicated and expensive metal 3D printing.”

One of the recent patents describes how a “wire is heated upon contact with the fabrication platform or a previous layer of the structure being fabricated via a pulse of electric current.” This enables the formation of “ a molten droplet (or “particle”) at the point of contact.

The metal additive manufacturing system is expected to find early application in “the production of conformally cooled tools for the automotive and consumer products industries, and the delivery of high-quality titanium parts for the aerospace industry,” according to Digital Alloys.

Investors comment on potential of Joule Printing

Bill Wiberg, co-founder and Partner of Boston-based G20 Ventures, said, “When you look at the process required to produce practical hard metal parts using the much-hyped early generation of metal printing, what you find is a Rube Goldberg machine of complexity, touchy materials, and complex finishing steps. This great team has invented and now commercialized an entirely new approach that’s both faster and cheaper to the point that – once you see it – you have to wonder why anyone would do it any other way.”

Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said, “Our investment in Digital Alloys will further Boeing’s ability to produce a higher volume of metal structural aerospace parts faster than ever before.”

“Through emerging additive manufacturing technologies, we aim to accelerate the design and manufacture of 3D printed parts to transform production systems and products.”

Tom Matthews, senior vice president, technology and research and development at Lincoln Electric, said, “Our investment in Digital Alloys and Joule Printing™ technology extends Lincoln Electric’s presence in metal-based additive manufacturing and helps advance development of value-added solutions in areas such as tooling and low-volume cast parts.”

“Support from Boeing and Lincoln Electric will expand our expertise, technology and services,” said Duncan McCallum, CEO of Digital Alloys. “We are committed to providing the products and services manufacturers need to take advantage of metal 3D printing in production. We will save customers time, money, and hassle by enabling great engineers to solve manufacturing problems in new ways. The next industrial revolution is here”.

More information about Digital Alloys is available here.

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Featured image shows a render of the Digital Alloys metal 3D printer. Image via Digital Alloys.

How Digital Technology Will Impact Healthcare

Technology is developing rapidly with several futuristic innovations emerging in every industry. These developments are always at the forefront of the healthcare landscape, constantly pushing the limitations of practice in newer and more exciting directions. Walking into a hospital will give a drastically different experience over time. A few of these innovations forecasted to emerge, include 3D printed organs and chatbots that could diagnose patients.

Development of IoT is one of the most anticipated advancements, which will lead to a great level of automation.

When it comes to the medicine ecosystem, one of the most anticipated technological innovations revolves around the development of the IoT, which will lead to unparalleled levels of automation. With medical devices connected to the internet, not only will devices be able to give reminders to patients, but huge amount of information can be sent back to healthcare providers, creating updated records for each patient. Wireless inhalers alerting patients to take a dose, USB handheld pulse oximeter which checks blood oxygen lever are some of the technologies that have already entered the industry’s marketplace.

3D printing is expected to be, in the next couple of years, playing an important role in medicine, to help create prosthetics and implant devices. By 2019, the technology is predicted to be used in 35 percent of medical processes. Also, the 3D bio-printing market is anticipated to be worth 150 billion dollars by 2010.

AI technology also promises to improve patient outcomes by enabling practitioners to access enormous data at any instant. Although primarily designed as a support system, AI chatbots are predicted to diagnose patients and even be used to perform some regular surgeries by 2030.

Such innovative advancements certainly offer great benefits for medical students as well, especially for healthcare training.

The role of a doctor remains totally important despite these developments. It is therefore increasingly important to help medical students attain medical knowledge along with an awareness of the developments in technology.

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