California-based Solid Concepts has been providing additive manufacturing solutions since 1991. The company was created to provide rapid prototyping and production solutions for customers. Therefore, it also offers many different forms of custom manufacturing techniques for customers to choose the best method for their needs. For instance, it offers QuantomCast, its flagship urethane product, which creates strong and stable pre-production and short-run production components. This method enables customers to quickly manufacture durable and rigid short-run components. Furthermore, Solid Concepts offers a CNC milling service. Its 5-axis milling machines have blades that can cut on the X, Y, and Z axis, as well as an A and B axis.
Texas-based Harvest Technologies was created with the vision to provide the best products in the fastest lead times at competitive prices. Its 40,000-sq-ft facility houses all types of different state-of-the-art equipment, which includes laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, stereolithography, and fused deposition modeling machines. In addition, it also offers casting and molding processes, machining services, and post process/finishing services.
Stratasys CEO David Reis said in a press release that the acquisitions will significantly expand Stratasys' offerings, help it target new applications, and build its customer base. The two new companies will be combined with RedEye, the company's printing service that sells 3D parts directly to customers. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the third quarter of 2014.
Smart move to offer expanded rapid fabrication services to customers. As general 3D printing becomes more of a mainstream commodity technology, acquisitions like this offer customers the one-stop solutions needed for all of their rapid prototyping needs (instead of just 3D printing alone).
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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