Stephanie Benoit December 29, 2017

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to look back at the past year to see what we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve come. It was really tough to narrow down our favorite blog posts to just 10 – we’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in so many collaborations, technological innovations and inspirational stories – and we want to share the cream of the crop with you. Read on to discover our favorite stories of 2017!

1. The New HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Machine: Testing in Full Swing

This year, HP launched their new 3D printing technology: HP Multi Jet Fusion. We worked closely together with HP to develop Build Processor technology for their machine, which connects the machine’s software to the Materialise Software Suite for 3D Printing. We also acquired several printers and received early access to experiment with the technology’s capabilities. Read all about our experiences here!

Giovanni Vleminckx, Project Manager in charge of testing HP's new printer

2. How Do You Make an Optimized Titanium Aerospace Part as Light as Possible?

In the aerospace industry, every gram counts. Thanks to the freedom of design allowed by 3D Printing, it’s perfectly suited to redesign aerospace parts to be as lightweight as possible, while still retaining the same structural integrity and strength. Read about how we optimized a titanium aerospace part to make it as light as possible.

The final, lighter design of the part

3. 5 Key Takeaways from the Materialise World Summit 2017

In April 2017, we held the Materialise World Summit, an event designed to bring together key innovators from across industries. We invited attendees to think about the future of the 3D printing industry, and after two days of presentations, interviews and networking, some key trends emerged. Discover them in this blog post!

4. Groundbreaking Surgery for Jaw Reconstruction

In a case broadcasted on the BBC’s One Show, football fan Tommy Innes underwent a complex jaw reconstruction in order to remove a tumor from his lower jaw. The procedure was planned with help from our ProPlan CMF software, as well as the use of 3D-printed guides during surgery to make the right cuts. Learn more about Tommy’s story here.

Image courtesy of the BBC

5. World’s Fastest Electric Racecar Breaks Record at Zandvoort by 16 Seconds

A team of passionate students is trying to create an electric racecar fast and durable enough to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Along the way, they broke the current electric racecar record at Zandvoort, the largest racetrack in the Netherlands. How did they manage to optimize the design of their racecar to keep weight low and aerodynamics sleek? It involves some nifty 3D-printed parts.

The InMotion electric racecar

6. How Medical 3D Printing is Gaining Ground in Top U.S. Hospitals

3D Printing is becoming increasingly common in U.S. hospitals, as indicated by the numbers. We took a closer look at the adoption rate across the years, and which hospitals, departments and medical disciplines are heading the momentum.

Hospitals in the U.S. with a centralized 3D printing facility that uses Materialise Mimics technology
Hospitals in the U.S. with a centralized 3D printing facility that uses Materialise Mimics technology

7. Tips and Tricks for Metal 3D Printing: Recoaters

Metal 3D Printing is more complex than people initially think. But if it’s done right, the results are spectacular! Here we focus on recoaters, a device that spreads layers of powder across the powder bed in metal 3D printers. How do you ensure a perfect build and avoid snags and deformations? These handy recoater tips will help you print perfect metal parts!

A metal 3D printing system

8. 3D Printing Your Own Production Line: How Materialise Does It

One area where 3D Printing can make a real difference is in production lines. It’s easy and cost-effective to design custom grippers and machine components for specialized production lines, and we should know because we’ve been doing it for years! Discover how we’ve been optimizing our production facility with 3D printing technology.

The RapidFit smart cubing system

9. Patient Suffering from Gunshot Wound Gets 3D-Printed Shoulder Implant, and Her Mobility Back

Two years ago, Nathalie Dufaut Danjon was shot by a man with a hunting rifle. The bone in her shoulder was destroyed, leaving her unable to use her arm, but her nerves were undamaged. Determined to come through this horrifying experience, she went in search of a surgeon who could restore the use of her arm with a 3D-printed shoulder implant.

10. First Impressions of Materialise e-Stage for Metal: An Interview with Process Engineer Hannes Brenning

Support structure plays a crucial role in getting high-quality metal parts that stay upright on the printer bed. However, designing support structure by hand is incredibly time-consuming and requires meticulous work. We developed Materialise e-Stage for Metal, which completely automates this process. Read about our Process Engineer Hannes Brenning’s first impressions of the software!

Metal parts with support generated by Materialise e-Stage for Metal
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