SAF Technology at Objective3D

Transforming industrial machinery production through reliability, consistency, cost efficiency and expedited time to market

When it comes to manufacturing industrial equipment – be it scientific instruments, factory equipment or power tools, to name just a few – a multitude of different intricate parts are needed to ensure the product functions as intended.

For industrial manufacturers of such equipment, there is a clear and common need for parts, however complex they may be, to deliver the robustness, consistency, accuracy, and repeatability to uphold the performance expectations and functionality of the product faithfully. Failure to ensure this could result in malfunction, which in turn could lead to extra costs and damage to the brand’s image.

But the challenge for industrial machinery manufacturers doesn’t end there; the need for such parts to also be produced both timely and cost-effectively will always be an equally inherent objective.

With traditional manufacturing techniques, there is an immediate and accepted recognition that long lead times and high costs will typically be part and parcel of the process. Therefore, traditional manufacturing options often hinder the industrial equipment manufacturers’ quest to streamline efficiencies across their production operations.

The Stratasys’ industrial-grade SAF technology is a new form of powder-based additive manufacturing (AM) technology and the culmination of over a decade of R&D.

Using a single pass print-and-fuse process, industrial equipment manufacturers finally can produce robust end-use parts with the level of control, accuracy and repeatability expected from injection moulding. Better still, SAF also achieves a ‘Holy Grail’ in its ability to enable the 3D printing of tens of thousands of consistent functional production parts – and with a cost-per-part that frequently renders injection moulding or CNC machining uncompetitive. When you add to the mix that those ten thousand parts can all be completely unique and customised, then for manufacturers the business case cannot be ignored.

Additionally, with SAF technology, industrial equipment manufacturers can access the inherent benefits of a technology that delivers the production resiliency and agility increasingly demanded within a sector that continues to evolve and where adaptability is key.

Stratasys has delivered its SAF technology via the H350 3D printer, engineered to deliver the accuracy, repeatability and process control demanded by industrial equipment manufacturers to meet their need for production consistency and competitive part costs.

Just like the manufacturing requirements of Stratasys’ own customers, the development and production of the H350 itself demanded consistent end-use parts with a superior level of accuracy and consistency to ensure the 3D printer was fit-for-purpose.

Since each printer must operate in a uniform manner, it was critical that all these parts function at the same high level, with a high degree of consistency. If one of these industrial components was out of tolerance, the H350’s wouldn’t perform properly. This would negatively impact the printer’s ability to achieve high production throughput and repeatability build-to­build and reproducibility printer to printer.

In addition to part quality, a short turnaround for these industrial components was a significant factor so pressing deadlines could be met.

Taking this into account, and perfectly underscoring Stratasys’ utmost belief and confidence in the attributes of SAF technology, the H350 proudly incorporates a range of different industrial machine components that are created, and 3D printed by the company using the H350.

In total, every H350 3D printer comprises of thirty production-grade PA11 parts, each of which exhibits repeatability, excellent mechanical properties, and exact consistency. Currently, these internally produced components are added to each new printer. This demonstrates the confidence in the H350’s high-yield end-use parts since they are accurate, repeatable, and durable.

Customised industrial-grade parts printed on-demand.

Printing with the H350 enabled a faster time to market and saved unnecessary production and transport fees. As compared to days or even weeks with traditional manufacturing, accurate end-use parts for the H350 were produced and ready for implementation within hours.

In addition to producing parts on-demand, it was essential that they exhibited consistency, accuracy, and repeatability. This was successfully achieved with the H350. The unwavering confidence in the strength and durability of these parts is exemplified by their implementation in every H350 3D printer.

Additive Assurance

Additive Assurance successfully raises $4.1m as it moves to next growth phase

Additive Assurance, a leader in quality assurance for additive manufacturing, today announced the successful completion of a $4.1m funding round as it pushes forward with its international expansion plan.

The round was led by Significant Capital Ventures (SCV) and supported by Hostplus alongside existing shareholders IP Group Australia and Monash Investment Holdings.

The new investment will support growth initiatives, including the establishment of an Additive Manufacturing quality assurance centre of excellence at its Melbourne headquarters, and the expansion of research and development and international business development teams.

Additive Assurance has developed AMiRIS, a world-leading solution for quality assurance of 3D-printed metal parts, based on technology originally developed at Monash University. AMiRIS allows manufacturers to ensure the structural integrity of components as they are being made and correct any anomalies when they occur.

Additive Assurance is working with leading global customers in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries to enable the use of 3D-printed parts in serial production.

“We are delighted to receive the support of SCV and existing investors to underpin our continued expansion,” said Marten Jurg, co-founder and CEO of Additive Assurance. “This investment further validates the transformative growth opportunity presented by additive manufacturing, our technological advantage in providing quality assurance and our continued market momentum.”

“The team at Additive Assurance is bringing an exceptional technology innovation to market and solving a critical pain point for high-value additive manufacturing,” added Fiona Hindmarsh, CEO of SCV. “In a world where supply chain control and quality is going to become increasingly important, Additive Assurance has the opportunity to be adopted on a global scale, reducing time, cost and waste across the industry value chain.”

Michael Molinari, Managing Director of IP Group Australia, said: “Additive Assurance is making great progress on its mission to ensure additive manufacturing is accessible to users everywhere. We are proud to continue supporting Marten and the team as they build a world-leading advanced manufacturing business in Australia.”

Additive Assurance is a specialist in quality assurance for metal additive manufacturing. As the culmination of many years of research, the technology was spun out of Monash University in 2019 by co-founders Marten Jurg and Andrey Molotnikov (see L-R in above image). The unique method of quality assurance for additive manufacturing is being rolled out across multiple industries, including aerospace, medical devices, energy, and defence. See for more information.

AML3D WAM technology contract

AML3D supporting BAE Systems Australia’s job building Hunter-class frigates

AML3D has announced a major purchase contract with BAE Systems Australia to investigate the feasibility and prototyping of components to support BAE Systems Australia’s contract to design and build nine Hunter class frigates. While the financial value of this particular purchase contract is not material, it represents an expansion of AML3D’s strategic partnership in order to meet BAE Systems Australia’s existing and future requirements around additive manufacturing for the Hunter Class Frigate Program. The prototype components intend to offer higher strength properties while providing an alternative to traditionally cast items for future builds.

As the world’s first large-scale 3D metal printing company to be accredited by Lloyd’s Register and to secure Additive Manufacturing Facility Accreditation from DNV, AML3D is a leader in providing certified high-strength components to the Marine Industry. This leadership position makes AML3D an attractive local, high-tech, manufacturing partner for BAE Systems Australia.

“Developing our commercial relationships across the marine and defence sectors are key to AML3D’s strategic growth plan,” said Ryan Millar, AML3D’s Chief Executive Officer. “We had great confidence that WAM® would satisfy BAE Systems Australia’s testing protocols and are pleased to have successfully moved this project out of the validation testing phase. Providing prototype components that will support BAE Systems Australia’s contract with the Royal Australian Navy to build the Hunter class frigates is another step in building a commercial relationship of great significance. Especially in the context of the scale of BAE Systems Australia’s wider shipbuilding initiatives in Australia.”

The purchase contract for prototype Hunter class components follows a commercial validation testing program, initiated in October 2020. The validation testing demonstrates that AML3D’s WAM technology is a cost-effective manufacturing solution with the potential to minimise lead times and meet BAE Systems Australia’s internal standards for additive manufactured components. In addition, the validation test results illustrated how WAM technology can support the continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment of sovereign capability as laid out in the Australian Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

3D printed implants halves recovery time

Precision 3D printed implants in the scan-to-surgery process can halve recovery time for patients

In 2019, it has been estimated that 600,000 implants were produced with 3D printing

Demand-driven by an aging population, joints wearing out with sports, bone loss with trauma, and medical conditions, it is no wonder the requirement for implants is projected to grow to four million by 2027.

Additive manufacturing has been used since the 1990s to customise patient-specific implants. This technique makes surgeries easier with 3D printed surgical guides and also leads to better healing outcomes for the patient. Osseointegration is the medical term for the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing implant. Because titanium alloy is around three to four times stiffer than bones, biomechanical engineers must tailor the size and shape of the implant’s lattice structure to adjust the pliability of the implant to be closer to the bone’s stiffness. Research has shown the rough texture of lattice structures in implants (that can only be made with 3D printing) promotes osseointegration and facilitates soft tissue and bone regrowth. Metal implants are 3D printed using powder bed fusion technology, including direct metal laser melting, with titanium, cobalt-chromium alloys, and stainless steel being the most suitable materials due to their excellent corrosion resistance, mechanical strength, and no cytotoxicity properties.

With advancements in technology that uses artificial intelligence to segment a patient’s radiological scan to create the computer-aided design as the precise input for the 3D printing process, surgeons are equipped with 3D visualisation tools for explaining the surgical procedures to patients, enabling more informed decision-making and peace of mind. AI-powered technology can also segment the spinal vertebrae within minutes with an accuracy rate of 95% to design custom implants. Previous segmentation methods required thousands of hours of manual identification and markups to hundreds of computerised tomography (CT) scans.

The final approved design is sent through to Additive Engineering for manufacturing. The file is checked to be suitable for 3D printing. The as-printed part is heat-treated, surface roughness and measurements checked, sterilised and sealed in tamper-resistant packaging, and sent to the surgeon within days for use in surgery.

Knaus Tabbert AG bets on S1 from AM Solutions

Absolutely clean 3D printed components for recreational vehicles with a fully automatic operation.

A significant quality improvement of the de-powdering and cleaning operation for 3D printed components at lower costs and shorter cycle times! A leading manufacturer of recreational vehicles is fulfilling this goal with the purchase of the automated post-processing system, S1 from AM Solutions – 3D post-processing technology.

With their innovative designs and powerful drive systems the motor homes, caravans and panel trucks of the Knaus Tabbert AG allow safe, comfortable and sustainable travelling. At its German headquarters in Jandelsbrunn, Bavaria, the company is using its know-how to continuously improve the materials and designs of its vehicles. Naturally, this also includes the employment of new manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing (AM). Mario Meszaros, development engineer at Knaus Tabbert explains: “On the one hand we are using the 3D printing technology for creating prototypes. On the other, we are also using additive manufacturing for producing standard components in volume such as the bracket for an alarm system or the hinge mechanism for the swing-out shower stall.”

A challenging post-processing task

To date, the de-powdering and cleaning of PA 12 components, produced by a powder-bed printing system, was done manually in a blast cabinet. Since this post-processing operation required not only a lot of labour and time but also produced highly erratic and inconsistent results, the company was looking for an automated alternative.

Therefore, comprehensive processing trials were run with different components in the Customer Experience Centre of AM Solutions – 3D post-processing technology. This division of the Rösler group specialises in post-processing solutions for 3D printed components. After the conclusion of the highly successful processing trials, the customer chose the S1 shot blasting system.

This shot blast machine was specifically developed for the post-processing of plastic components produced with the powder bed printing method. The plug-and-play S1 is the only machine on the market that allows the time-saving and cost-efficient de-powdering as well as surface smoothing and homogenisation of 3D printed components in one single machine. All that is required, is a simple change of the blast media, for example, from glass beads to plastic spheres.

The S1, equipped with a basket that rotates during the finishing operation and allows easy, ergonomic loading and unloading of the workpieces, allows fully automatic batch processing. Throughout the entire process, the basket remains in the machine housing. This, combined with a special door sealing system, prevents any powder spillage into the immediate surroundings. The control panel allows an easy and quick switch to manual operation without any retooling. “More and more companies from different industries are choosing the S1 for post-processing of their 3D printed components. This is a confirmation of our product strategy. It shows that our 3D post-processing products are in full compliance with the requirements of the market”, says Manuel Laux, Head of AM Solutions – 3D post-processing technology.

Perfect cleaning results and quick amortization

“The fact that after surprisingly short cycle times the components came out of the machine perfectly clean and without any powder residues was very impressive,” Mario Meszaros says. “With the underlying operating data, I prepared an ROI calculation. The results quickly convinced our management: Even with only three print jobs per week in the S1, we already achieve a return on investment after roughly two years. However, it is safe to assume that the quantity of 3D-printed components will increase significantly. This will drastically reduce the amortization period.”


High process stability and operational safety

The benefits of the S1 are not only limited to the excellent processing results and the quick amortization. In its standard version, it also features a system that automatically monitors and records all relevant process parameters. The integrated blast media cleaning and recycling system represent another reason for the high process stability. It ensures that irrespective of the media type the media is always available in perfect condition. Another plus is the explosion-protected design of the shot blast machine with ATEX-compliant motors and valves. “I am absolutely convinced that the simple, effective and efficient post-processing possibilities of the S1 will further promote the use of additive manufacturing in our company,” Mario Meszaros adds.