2020 Year in Review

What a year it’s been – not just for the additive manufacturing sector or PostProcess Technologies, but for the world as a whole. Between the good, the bad, and the oftentimes very ugly, most of us are probably excited to move on past 2020. Though this year certainly didn’t come without its fair share of challenges, we are proud of our perseverance and the progress we made in further digitalizing the additive workflow

As we wrap up the start of the new decade, we’re taking a moment of reflection to look at our year in review and speak to some of our most notable highlights throughout this strange year.

Innovating with Product Launches
A developing industry calls for unique, novel solutions. In 2020, we launched the world’s first-ever automated post-printing solution for production SLA printing – the DEMI 4000™ Resin Removal Solution. The DEMI 4000 was developed to addresses the growing market demand for a production-ready, software-driven finishing solution for high-volume SLA with the same fast cycle times, exceptional chemistry longevity, and safety features available in PostProcess’s existing lineup.

We also rolled out our fifth technology family, Variable Acoustic Displacement (VAD) for automated powder decaking – specifically for Selective Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion print technologies. Enabled for scalability, VAD optimizes mechanical energy and leverages intelligent closed-loop thermal and displacement techniques to reduce cycle times while increasing part fidelity.

Additionally, we unveiled an advancement to our array of detergents specific to additive resin removal. PLM-403-SUB is not only optimized for safety, but lasts 6x longer than IPA, and bears a heightened flashpoint.

Receiving Distinction with Patents
In the past year, we’ve been issued not one but two new U.S. patents, helping to establish our role in the industry as true innovators. We’re pleased to now be able to call our Volumetric Velocity Dispersion (VVD) technology and Submersed Vortex Cavitation (SVC) technology patented.

Broadening Our Reach with New Channel Partners
Thanks to the hard work of our world-class team, 2020 saw us connect with new channel partners – expanding us into Asia with C. ILLIES & Co., Australia through BV Products, Southeast Europe with Lino, and into countries like Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, and Armenia with Z-Axis. Domestically, we joined forces with TriMech and GoEngineer.  As we extend our global reach, we’re helping more customers fully automate their additive workflows.

Emergency Response During The Pandemic
Of course, you can’t discuss this year without touching on the impact of the global pandemic. As the COVID-19 crisis ramped up, we went to work supporting Manhatten-based service bureau Print Parts’ Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab printing efforts with the PostProcess™ DEMI 800™ Resin Removal solution.  Additionally, our PostProcess™ BASE™ Support Removal solution was employed by our longtime customer, the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) support removal on face shield components. Locally in the Buffalo, NY area, we utilized our own in-house FDM 3D printing capabilities as part of a joint effort to produce face shields for first responders.

Driving Thought Leadership Through Virtual Events
With the widespread cancellation of industry tradeshows, virtual events seemed to be everywhere this year. In addition to a myriad of webinars throughout the year, we managed to put on two separate iterations of our virtual tradeshow, UNLOCK AM Live, taking place in March and September. September’s event, UNLOCK AM Live; Today & Tomorrow featured Fortune 100 brands like Google, Ford, and Thermo Fisher, as well as leading additive companies like Siemens, Protolabs, Henkel, Jabil, and more. Recordings from the show are available for download today.

Leading Industry Research
In 2020, we launched our second annual industry-wide additive survey, seeing an exponential increase in participation compared to 2019. Subsequently, we were able to aggregate the resulting data into a comprehensive report – our 2nd Annual Additive Manufacturing Post-Printing Trends Report. This report included key highlights like showing that the majority of respondents in high growth markets like Automotive, Aerospace, and Defense report that their current post-print methods are already a challenge to meeting their current additive manufacturing goals.

Collaborating with Customers
We continually received great feedback from recent customers who experienced transformative benefits as a result of implementing our solutions. Some of this year’s include:

  • Finnish crimping manufacturer Lillbacka Powerco Oy incorporated our PostProcess™ RADOR™ Automated Surface Finishing solution into their Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) operation to better finish custom end-use parts in shorter amounts of time.
  • Two mighty, Buffalo-based companies in the dental/orthodontic space; Orthodent Laboratory (using the DEMI 800 Resin Removal solution and RADOR Surface Finishing solution for Continuous Liquid Interface Production printing) as well as Great Lakes Dental, who reduced the bottleneck with automated surface finishing and powder removal capabilities from the RADOR.
  • Netherlands-based full-color 3D printer, Marketiger implemented the PostProcess Technologies™ DEMI 400™, which proved gentle and exact enough to effectively finish Marketiger’s Mimaki 3D printed parts.
  • As veteran 3D printers, Massachusetts-based service bureau Empire Group optimized their workflow via the DEMI 800 with proprietary SLA-formulated detergent, allowing an increase in their printing flexibility.

 

We look forward to seeing what the future holds, and more specifically, what 2021 has in store for both PostProcess Technologies and everyone in the 3D printing industry.

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