For today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with business as usual, and then moving on to some pretty interesting 3D printing projects from around the world. First up, Ultimaker has opened a new office in Singapore to meet the growing demand for its 3D printers in the APAC region, and Renishaw has offered a closer look at its new InfiniAM Spectral software. Now for the projects – not only are we covering a 3D printed, full-sized R2D2, but a company in China is using 3D printing to make its realistic sex dolls. Finally, Branch Technologies has built what it calls the world’s largest 3D printed structure.
Ultimaker Opens Singapore Office
Over the last seven years, Ultimaker has shown remarkable growth, and is now one of the top global 3D printer manufacturers, with production facilities and offices in Europe and the US, and now in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. In order to meet growing demands for Ultimaker 3D printers in APAC, the company has expanded its global activities and opened a new office in Singapore. The former Channel Director for Dassault Systèmes, Benjamin Tan, is now the Vice President Asia Pacific at Ultimaker in Singapore.
“There is a greater understanding of additive manufacturing in Asia Pacific. And, as per the Wohlers Report 2018, Asia-Pacific is poised to take a 30% share of the global 3D printing space,” Tan said. “We will leverage our business development efforts to target Asia-Pacific multinationals, and work closely with them to improve the supply chain. It is not only the perfect alignment between accessible and reliable hardware, software, and materials that distinguishes Ultimaker from all of its competitors. The open, innovative spirit of its employees and strong sales partner network has also contributed in bringing the company to its global leading position. I am very happy to be part of this team.”
Additionally, Ultimaker’s growth is opening up new positions at its various locations; learn more about available jobs here.
Renishaw’s InfiniAM Spectral Software
Last year at formnext, global metrology company Renishaw formally launched its InfiniAM Spectral, an addition to its existing process monitoring and production planning tool suite. The package for this new process monitoring software for Renishaw systems has now been released in order to help manufacturers get around the usual barriers to 3D printing by improving the technology’s consistency. InfiniAM Spectral offers both a LaserVIEW module, which measures the laser energy’s intensity with a photosensitive diode, and a MeltVIEW module, which captures melt pool emissions in the near-infrared and infrared spectral ranges; when compared, the two sensor signals can help find discrepancies, so manufacturers can analyze real-time process monitoring data.
“For additive manufacturing to become a truly ubiquitous manufacturing technology, users and practitioners require a deep understanding of the process. The software will be hugely beneficial to manufacturers looking to achieve consistent processing with AM,” said Robin Weston, Marketing Manager at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division.
“The amount of process data generated during an AM build is immense, which means it can be difficult to make practical use of it without the correct interpretation tools. InfiniAM Spectral enables manufacturers to easily interpret data and gain a more detailed understanding of their AM processes. Access to real-time data opens the door to future developments in process control – detecting and correcting problems in real-time.”
UK Maker 3D Prints Full-Size R2D2
Mike Baddeley, a UK artist, designer, and maker who goes by mrbaddeley on Thingiverse and shares his 3D printable models and instructions for making them at no charge on Patreon, is obviously also a big fan of the Star Wars franchise. He recently completed his latest replica project: a full-sized, 3D printed R2D2, which seems to have taken him at least two years to complete judging by his collection of Makes.
“I love all 3D printing, I have always loved making things and 3D printing allows me to create and print them! Love Sci-Fi and Props, so constantly making full scale replics of things I’ve seen in movies,” Baddeley wrote.
The time spent on this project was clearly worth it, as the life-size 3D printed R2D2 replica, radio controlled through the Padawan 360 system, can light up and move its head just like the real one. To see this R2 in action, check out the video below:
Chinese Sex Doll Manufacturer Using 3D Printing
China-based DS Doll, one of the country’s top sex doll manufacturers, is using 3D printing to make parts for its boudoir-style wares. The company fabricates 400 custom sexbot models per month, with prices for its premium sex dolls as high as $5,000. Searching for a way to increase its production efficiency and speed, DS Doll has embraced 3D printing, and is now using the technology to produce its sexbots for customers all around the world. 3D printing helps the company reduce its material waste and development timeline, as well as making it possible to create and manufacture specific, uniform shapes, so that all of the sex doll parts are identical.
Sam (no last name provided), who works for the Cloud flagship European reseller Cloud Climax, said, “DS Doll is using the 3D printer to make many parts for the robotic doll prototypes.
“They are using this technology to improve the speed and processing times for making improvements to the doll robots. Whilst previously casts would need to be made and them moulds, we can now input and print in a much faster time.
“This type of technology is excellent for creating new doll bodies and faces, as they can be developed from a real human. It is inevitable that this technology will become a large part of making robotic products in the foreseeable future for DS Doll.”
Branch Technology Reveals 3D Printed Pavilion
Three years ago, Tennessee startup Branch Technology successfully manufactured walls with its robotic arm freeform 3D printer, which it claims is the largest in the world. Now, it’s claiming another large victory, with the announcement that it has created the world’s largest 3D printed structure for the LEED ND-targeted OneC1TY neighborhood in Nashville. The images of the gorgeous, gigantic pavilion are almost unreal, and while it’s not been confirmed by any official committee as being the largest 3D printed structure, it is still pretty awe-inspiring.
The startup unveiled the 20-foot-tall, 42-foot-wide open-cell structure, which weighs 3,200 lbs and took ten weeks to 3D print with its Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab) technology, at the 2018 International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures at MIT. Dallas developer Cambridge commissioned the carbon fiber-reinforced ABS pavilion, which was designed to Nashville building code standards and fabricated by Branch Technology, together with CORE STUDIO, the R&D Incubator of New York structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti.
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