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3D Printing News Briefs: December 22 2017

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It’s 3D printing business as usual here on this week’s second edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, with news of agreements, expansions, medical innovations, and 3D printing materials. The European Investment Bank has signed a finance agreement with Materialise, and Titomic enters a collaborative 3D printing agreement, while both 3DZ and Arcam EBM expand into new facilities. Open Bionics reaches the second stage of its clinical trial for 3D printed bionic children’s arms, and K2M has received a CE mark for its 3D printed expandable spinal cage system. Finally, Siam Cement Group has been busy developing and testing its concrete 3D printing for the construction industry.

Finance Agreement Between European Investment Bank and Materialise

This week, Belgium-based Materialise  entered into a finance contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB). According to the signed contract, EIB, backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), will support Materialise’s continued research and development growth programs, which are sure to include 3D printing R&D, from now until 2020. The contract, which contains  customary securities, covenants, and undertakings, will provide a credit, drawable in two tranches, of up to €35 million. The first tranche can be drawn during the contract’s first year, but cannot exceed  â‚¬25 million, while the second can be drawn during the second year, though it is subject to a specified debt ratio being met. Loans under the contract are to be made at a fixed rate, plus a variable margin  initially equal to 1.86%, and the duration is between six to eight years, beginning at the disbursement of the tranches.

“One of the primary objectives of the Investment Plan for Europe is to support innovation and, on that front, it doesn't get much more innovative than companies like Materialise,” said EIB Vice President  Pim Van Ballekom once the contract had been signed. “The Bank has been expanding its support for cutting-edge technology thanks to the EU budget guarantee and we can only be proud to support European Innovation with this type of funding.”

Titomic Enters Collaborative Agreement with Callidus Welding Solutions

Australia-based metal 3D printing company Titomic announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Australian mining and oil & gas engineering services company Callidus Welding Solutions. The strategic alliance established by this agreement will incorporate Titomic’s innovative Kinetic Fusion technology into Callidus’ workflow, so it can gain a competitive edge in the market with the rapid 3D printing of its product development range. The collaboration is set to begin in February of 2018, and the first project will be 3D printing prototype parts at Titomic’s new Melbourne manufacturing facility, which meets the target performance requirements for the O&G and mining industries.

“We are very pleased to announce this collaborative agreement with Callidus, a highly successful engineering services company who share similar innovation values to Titomic,” said  Jeff Lang, CEO and CTO of Titomic. “This project will enable Titomic to illustrate how rapid additive manufacturing via the Titomic Kinetic Fusion process can put companies ahead of their peers and provide significant efficiencies.”

The end goal of the agreement is for Callidus, once the work is successfully completed, to acquire a Titomic 3D printer.

3DZ Opens New Spanish Division as Part of Planned Expansion

3DZ, one of the top EMEA distributors of industrial-grade 3D printers from the likes of 3D Systems, Formlabs, and Markforged, is working to establish one of the world’s largest 3D printer distribution networks. With this in mind, the company recently opened its Spanish division, complete with four new offices in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, and Linares, as it prepares for further European expansion. The new division is a result of the company’s commercial partnership with Grupo Sicnova for marketing their combined brand portfolio in Spain – Grupo Sicnova brings large-format FFF 3D printers and brands like  Sicnova 3D, HP, and Ultimaker to the mix. 3DZ has six offices in the Italian market, and its recently opened Dubai office alone has already surpassed $1 million in revenue, so the new Spanish division is just the latest in the company’s expansion strategy, which is also eyeing France and Germany as additional territories.

“Companies from many parts of the EMEA region have come to trust us because we offer our partners a consolidated commercial presence with a strong brand and unified marketing platform,”  3DZ Commercial Director Sandro Festa said.

“Some of the most important system OEMs are pushing us to further expand our commercial network  because they know we have a solid financial foundation, dedicated marketing, more than 10 years of experience in 3D (both hardware and software) and a 24 hour DHL consumable delivery capabilities within 24 hours all over Europe.”

Arcam EBM Moving Into New Facility