Desktop Metal believes EnvisionTEC has “one of the strongest intellectual property portfolios in the area-wide photopolymer 3D printing market, counting over 140 issued and pending patents, which Desktop Metal believes includes blocking intellectual property.” It also mentions that they have over 5,000 customers, 1,000 of which are using it for dental end use parts. The company counts Cartier, Ford, Hasbro, as well as Celgene, among its customers. It mentions that EnvisionTEC has a “broad library of over 190 materials, featuring photopolymer resins with material properties in-line with or exceeding those of thermoplastics and multiple FDA-listed and 510(K)-cleared resins for the manufacturing of medical devices.”
The printers it has acquired are no ordinary metal 3D printing systems, but M4K-4 machines from AMCM in Germany. The 3D printers are modified versions of EOS M400-4 systems, more than double the height of the original EOS machine. All of this has been helped in part by investments from Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, which most recently infused Sintavia with further funds in August 2020. The investment surely aided in the company’s decision to purchase two more machines from AMCM. A subsidiary of EOS, AMCM develops custom 3D printers when standard systems were not suitable for their applications.
The company used its own specially developed DED-based process for the job, which it calls metal wire fusion. Sporting a 2.5-meter span and five individual 200kg blades, the propeller is reportedly the largest thruster of its kind to be 3D printed, and the first to be manufactured using Naval Group’s own process. While the 3D printing of the propeller is a major accomplishment, it is just the first step in a whole new development phase being undertaken by Naval Group. Riding off the back of the successful project, the company is set to focus on redesigning other maritime components that could benefit from 3D printing.
A team of engineers from the Delft University of Technology has used extrusion-based 3D printing to fabricate temporary bone implants made of porous iron. Much like magnesium or zinc, porous iron is biodegradable, meaning it has great potential as a temporary bone substitute that serves to degrade as new bone regrows in its place. By reabsorbing into the body, temporary implants alleviate the risk of long-term inflammation, which is typically associated with permanent bone implants made of metals such as titanium.
Following the 3D printing of a one-story house back in November of 2019, India’s largest construction company, Larsen & Toubro Construction (L&T), has now completed the country’s first 3D printed two-story building. The building was fabricated using a large-format concrete 3D printer supplied by OEM COBOD, and is made up of a locally sourced 3D printable concrete mix developed by L&T’s own in-house team.
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