In today’s 3D printing briefs, we have business stories to share, as Xact Metal expanded to Latin America with two distribution partnerships, and NUBURU seeks to go public via a $330 million SPAC list. Enable 3D and RWTH Aachen University published a white paper on direct-to-customer production via additive manufacturing, and Intech Additive Solutions collaborated with the Bhabha Atomic Research Center to design and 3D print miniature metal components. Finally, Spanish researchers are 3D printing starch for the development of personalized medicine.
Xact Metal announces two partnerships in Latin America
Metal AM startup based in Pennsylvania Metal Xact announced that it was expanding its offering with two new sales and service distribution partnerships in Latin America. The first is with Tecnologías Computarizadas para Manufactura SA de CV (TCM), based in Mexico, where there is a strong demand for affordable metal 3D printers, and the second with USM Colombia. TCM, founded in 1996, originally worked with computer-aided manufacturing equipment, but now offers a variety of high-end AM solutions, including plastic, resin, and metal, along with software support. USM Colombia provides design solutions such as 3D printers, 3D optical metrology, 3D scanning and 3D modeling, and distributes these solutions in the educational and industrial sectors since 2008.
“At Xact Metal, we are committed to expanding the adoption and democratization of metal 3D printing by establishing a new level of price and performance in the industry. Increasing sales and service partnerships globally is key to the success of this mission, which is why we are excited to expand into Latin America through exclusive partnerships with Tecnologías Computarizadas para Manufactura SA de CV and USM Colombia,” said Juan Mario Gomez, CEO of Xact Metal. .
Blue laser specialist NUBURU seeks to raise $330 million in SPAC deal
NUBURU, which is based in Colorado, pioneered the development of blue diode lasers, which have shorter wavelengths that make welding and 3D printing valuable applications. The company is now looking to go public and raise more than $330 million via merger with ad hoc acquisition company (SPAC) Downwind. Company Focuses on Expanding Distribution Channels, Growing Customer Base, Accelerating Development of its 500W Laser Product Family, and Scaling Manufacturing Operations to Meet Global Demand . If Tailwind (TWND) and NUBURU shareholders give final approval, the transaction is expected to close early next year and it will become a publicly traded company under the symbol URU. Tailwind’s CEO says NUBURU’s new laser systems are like the “pickaxes and shovels” used during the Gold Rush, except for applications in aerospace, printing, large electronics public and electric mobility. In a message to shareholders and potential customers, Mark Zediker, CEO and co-founder of NUBURU, wrote the following:
“We have carefully considered various options to best maximize Nuburu’s shareholder value, including raising new capital through private and traditional public market alternatives.
“After considering all of these avenues, we chose to pursue a SPAC process because it allows us to quickly raise a substantial amount of capital while quickly following the path to a public company and giving existing shareholders a clear path to obtain cash if you desire.
“The proposed transaction will significantly enhance our ability to scale our technology and operations, and accelerate our growth.”
Enable 3D & RWTH Aachen Co-Publish White Paper
With the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) at the RWTH University of Aachen, Enable 3D produced and published a white paper titled “Co-production: Direct-To-Customer using additive manufacturing”, which is now available for download. AM has been used in industrial production for a number of years now, but there are, as Enable 3D explained, “complex demands” placed on the technology in these sectors. In the paper, Enable 3D and the WZL discuss AM opportunities in consumer production for industry and research, and note that involving customers in the process is often overlooked. But, as they explain, co-production has many advantages. For example, in the case of Enable 3D, users can print its accessories, lifestyle products and storage solutions from the comfort of their homes.
“Additive manufacturing is a trend that has already taken hold. At Enable 3D, we let users print accessories themselves at home in cooperation with tool brands, among others,” explained Manuel Siskowski, Founder and CEO of Enable 3D. “Nevertheless, our approach is considered unusual in the tooling industry. However, we are receiving encouragement from our customers, the 3D community and awards such as the German Gold Innovation Award and we know we are on the right track. With our case study in the white paper, we want to encourage other companies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by additive manufacturing.
Intech additive solutions and BARC 3D printing miniature metal components
Indian DfAM, metal AM software and systems provider Intech additive solutions in partnership with the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), also in India, at design and 3D print miniature metal components, which can be used for critical applications in bio-robotics, such as cosmetic skin therapy and drug delivery. Intech Additive’s iFusion LF series can fabricate metal parts for industrial applications and has been designed to deliver high build rates and cost effective manufacturing. BARC entrusted Intech Additive with their initial designs, and DfAM experts got to work, implementing modifications to further optimize component function. Together they 3D printed a miniature monolithic metal component with a conical faceplate, a cylindrical case and a length of 33 mm, which is intended to be assembled with a 6.5 mm high end cover part. The complete component assembly is now fully functional and, after additional instrumentation, can be used for multiple applications.
In a letter of appreciation to Intech Additive, Dr. Debanik Roy, Scientist, BARC Division of Remote Handling and Robotics, wrote: “In my opinion, Intech engineers have a good sense of technical brilliance, practice and leadership. I have observed that the engineers follow “first principles thinking”, which is very essential for any off-the-shelf native solution for new technologies.
“I’m proud to say that in the space of six months, Intech engineers have achieved the pinnacle of authentic product-oriented manufacturing with perseverance and passion.”
3D printing starch for personalized medicine
Researchers from the Materials+Technologies (GMT) group of University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) use 3D printing to create personalized starch tablets which can help tailor hydrophobic drug delivery for specific patients with the right optimization of tablet shape and starch type. detailing their work in a research paper, the team prepared non-soluble drug-loaded tablets based on one type of potato starch and two types of corn starch in different geometries. They performed detailed rheological analysis to ensure the materials would hold their shape when printed, and found that all did, although the potato starch tablet had a more “laborious” 3D printing process. “due to its natural properties. Although more work is needed, the team’s 3D-printed starch drugs have shown promise for personalized drug delivery.
“We observed the importance of the botanical origin of starch in almost all properties, such as porous microstructure, formation of a stable network or drug release. In the case of normal cornstarch, drug release is instantaneous and the drug is fully released within 10 minutes; in the case of waxy maize starch and potato starch, the release is more continuous and can take up to 6 hours for complete release. We were also able to demonstrate the importance of tablet geometry in drug delivery,” explained Kizkitza González of GMT, first author of the paper.
“Tablets combining different types of starch have also been printed. In this case, the release takes place in two stages. For example, in the case of an infection, in an initial stage using normal cornstarch, a drug could be released immediately to relieve pain, and in a later stage, with one of the other two types of starch, an antibiotic could be released more continuously.
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