Market leader Stratasys now has an even wider footprint in the 3-D printing space. The Minnesota-based company acquired Solidscape, Inc. for $38 million plus certain purchase price adjustments. New Hampshire-based Solidscape is a manufacturer of 3-D printers serving investment casting applications in the jewelry, medical, dental and industrial markets. The company’s technology produces patterns that are used to cast highly precise metal parts.
Solidscape is a leader for casting applications that require high-precision, ultra-fine feature detail and a smooth surface finish. The company had revenues of $13.4 million and generated approximately $4.3 million in EBITDA for calendar year 2010.
Stratasys will support Solidscape product development with the goal of producing systems that target new applications.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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