Reinventing the Mundane: rediscovering potential through AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 55)

AM is giving us the capabilities to drastically improve the performance of many of the parts and systems around us. This is because of its much greater design freedom, material choice, density control and other features that make AM a manufacturing game-changer. With this tool in our hands, we can really start to think taking mundane objects to the next level. Developing these applications shows where AM needs to improve to start making a dent. For example, special certifications need to be worked for it to be safely implemented pervasively. Currently there aren’t even 50 standards for the whole range of additive manufacturing materials. Even traditional glass blowing has over 100. The potential is there not only to get better performance out of every item, but to create a whole range of entirely smarter, more environmentally friendly products unthinkable in the past: Nuclear spare parts, efficient heat exchangers and wireless communication without electronics, to name but a few.

Westinghouse Looks to Advance 3D Printing in the Nuclear Industry

Now power company Westinghouse plans to be the first company to install a 3D printed fuel component in a commercial nuclear reactor.
Westinghouse is looking to lower the cost of replacement parts as well as to speed the qualification of 3D printed materials.

“These cost and lead time reduction estimates still look appropriate for certain replacement castings, using current cost estimates for AM casting moulds and the associated foundries/casting processes,” said Clint Armstrong, Advanced Manufacturing Expert at Westinghouse.

Read the full article here.

HiETA Uses Renishaw Metal 3D Printer to Take Heat Exchangers From Prototyping to Commercial Production

HiETA develops metal AM methods to produce lightweight, complex structures for heat-management applications, such as internal combustion engine components, turbo machinery, recuperators, and heat exchangers for fuel cells. The first successful 3D printed component was built in 17 days, which HiETA and Renishaw worked to bring down to eighty hours by optimizing the process parameters and improving both the software and hardware. According to tests, the component, which achieved 30% lower weight and volume, met the requirements for heat transfer and pressure drop.

Read more about it here.

3D Printing Wireless Connected Objects

University of Washington researchers have developed a way to 3D print plastic objects and sensors capable of communicating wirelessly with other smart devices, without the need for batteries or other electronics.

 

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Automation is coming for our jobs: are we ready? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 54)

Automation is a process that’s being on-going for the past 40 years to take ever more complex tasks and have machines take over. This means that a lot of manual, repetitive tasks have been handed over to robotic arms and minds, freeing the humans to do something more elevated, and possible more stimulating. This will constitute a monumental impact on society, with as many as 800 million workers projected to be displaced by 2030. Nonetheless, there are a few key issues in the way of that vision: skill gaps make it hard to change careers, our social systems aren’t suited to support workers through these new shifts and this phenomenon could accentuate present issues that we are pressing to eliminate, like gender and racial discrimination in the form of pay gaps. For its promises of utmost freedom, there are a few angles to iron out before it becomes reality, creating a suitable environment to guarantee innovation and social welfare (like Sweden!).

Automation Could Displace 800 Million Workers Worldwide By 2030, Study Says

A coming wave of job automation could force between 400 million and 800 million people worldwide out of a job in the next 13 years, according to a new study. A report released this week from the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts scenarios in which 3 percent to 14 percent of workers around the world — in 75 million to 375 million jobs — will have to acquire new skills and switch occupations by 2030.

“There are few precedents” to the challenge of retraining hundreds of millions of workers in the middle of their careers, the report’s authors say.

Read the full article here.

How Robots Could Make the Gender Pay Gap Even Worse

A new report published Thursday suggests that robots could make the gender pay gap even worse, stoking existing fears and uncertainty around the concept of automation. In a paper titled “Managing automation Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age,” the Institute for Public Policy Research argued that a greater share of jobs that women hold—46.8% versus 40.9% for men—have the technical potential to be automated since female workers are more likely to hold low-skill “automatable” occupations. Paired with women’s underrepresentation in high-skill occupations that may be complemented by technology, that means that automation could exacerbate gender inequality.

Read more here.

The Robots Are Coming, and Sweden Is Fine

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Sweden’s famously generous social welfare system makes this a place not prone to fretting about automation — or much else, for that matter.

Mr. Persson, 35, sits in front of four computer screens, one displaying the loader he steers as it lifts freshly blasted rock containing silver, zinc and lead. […] He is cognizant that robots are evolving by the day. Boliden is testing self-driving vehicles to replace truck drivers. But Mr. Persson assumes people will always be needed to keep the machines running. He has faith in the Swedish economic model and its protections against the torment of joblessness.

“I’m not really worried,” he says. “There are so many jobs in this mine that even if this job disappears, they will have another one. The company will take care of us.”

 

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How AM On-Demand Manufacturing Shifts Production… to Everywhere (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 53)

Additive manufacturing is taking part production and making it decentralized, capable of happening at every node of the global network. This is a transformational opportunity, making autonomous units able to attend to their needs, on-demand, upending a complex logistical headache that is the current manufacturing industry. Take for example a military ship, out at sea, with a crisis on their hands and no spare part to patch it. UCONN engineers are devising ways to implement AM capabilities on vessels so that they can have the agility to address the problem without making port. This can be the case for farming platforms or bomb defusing exercises. Crafting their own alternatives brings the problem to the people that are fully immersed in the field, who know what they need and what is lacking in current options. This is an interesting development, not to mention transportation/logistical transformation and IP sharing/securing issues. We still have a lot to figure out, but it’s exciting to be on this wave making it happen.

Full Speed Ahead: Using Additive Manufacturing to Repair Ships at Sea

Researchers Pamir Alpay, left, and Rainer Hebert, hold a sample of 3-D metal printing at UConn's Innovation Partnership Building. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

A team of UConn engineers has now developed a way for a ship’s crew to pinpoint the exact location of any mechanical trouble on board and, instead of taking the ship offline for maintenance, to repair or replace the part while the ship is still at sea. They are also developing a field-deployable manufacturing process that could produce replacement parts from electronic files using a 3-D printer on board ship after the metal-ceramic parts indicate failure or problems.

Read the full article at UCONN Today.

3D Printing Saves Time and Money in Urban Farming Product Design and Prototyping

Brooklyn-based Farmshelf wants to make it easy for anyone to grow their own food, and has developed an autonomous system, complete with custom 3D printed parts, that makes it possible for individuals, restaurants, and residential communities to do so on-site.

Andrew Shearer, CEO and Co-Founder of Farmshelf, said, “As a company, you can now look at 3D printing as a way to involve more people in the building process, and involve more in the prototyping and dreaming process, thanks to how easy it is.”

Keep reading here.

3D Printing Provides Utah Law Enforcement With an Explosive Solution

Training at WMDTech. Photo via WMDTech.

A police department in the US has invested in a 3D printer and introduced 3D printer courses for its SWAT team and bomb squad. Sgt. Harold “Skip” Curtis, from Utah County Sheriff’s office, initially 3D printed parts for a detonation exercise with the help of explosives service and training bureau WMDTech. Following the success of this, the sheriff’s office has invested in an FFF 3D printer and a dedicated server for sharing designs, while WMDTech has introduced a pilot course to teach SWAT and bomb techs how to draw and print 3D objects.

Read the full article here.

We hope you’ve had a merry and relaxing Christmas and now, we wish you a happy new year!

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How AM can Boost Manufacturing Economies (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 52)

AM is one of the technologies that are contributing to economic growth of countries across the globe. The factors at play are many: research centers bring innovation and business opportunities, businesses offer new products and services based on considerable investments, and so on. A UK review has pinpointed AM as one of the technologies that will grow its manufacturing economy to £455B over the next decade. It’s no surprise that governments are keen to keep the ecosystem thriving under the best conditions possible. This comes into play in a variety of ways: huge funds are being made available to invest in AM-related activities, govt. funded regulations and standards are being drafted (like the FDA guidance on 3D printing of medical products) and defense agencies are incorporating AM within their innovation initiatives. The fertile soil for manufacturing innovation will reward every country with the farsight to make it happen.

 

Additive manufacturing to play key role in £455bn UK manufacturing potential

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A government-commissioned review on industrial digitalisation in the UK, has pinpointed additive manufacturing (AM) as one of the major innovations that could catapult the UK manufacturing economy to £455 billion over the next decade. The ‘Made Smarter’ report, led by Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, identifies a number of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) including robotics, virtual reality and Internet of Things, as key areas of opportunity for the UK to increase growth in the manufacturing sector. Bringing together expertise from over 200 small businesses, universities and organisations including Additive Manufacturing UK, the 246-page review suggests that the UK stands to benefit from an additional 175,000 jobs and between 1.5 and 3% growth per year by adopting these technologies.

Read the full article at TCT Mag.

Statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA ushering in new era of 3D printing of medical products; provides guidance to manufacturers of medical devices

Once considered a futuristic technology on the distant horizon, 3D printing of medical devices, medications and human tissue is quickly becoming a promising reality. Patients have already benefitted from 3D printed medical products through access to personalized devices and innovative drugs that have led to significant health improvements. But the FDA is now preparing for a significant wave of new technologies that are nearly certain to transform medical practice. We’re working to provide a more comprehensive regulatory pathway that keeps pace with those advances, and helps facilitate efficient access to safe and effective innovations that are based on these technologies.

Read the full statement on the FDA website.

 

Government and 3D Printing: A New Line of Innovation to Protect

After realizing the boost 3D printing could deliver to manufacturing, the U.S. government increased funding for institutions researching AM technologies. In 2012 the federally funded National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) was launched — a $30 million pilot institute aimed at boosting 3D printing’s use in manufacturing. Also referred to as America Makes, the institute works with brilliant minds from industry, academia, and government. It is expected that these collaborations will help reduce the period of development between a lab’s proof-of-concept and commercial product. With the U.S. government investing more in AM and 3D printing techniques, governmental organizations are now starting to integrate the technology into their own processes.

Keep reading here.

 

This being the last News In Review before the festivities, we at Authentise wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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5 Ways You Can Use Data to Improve Your Additive Manufacturing Operations in 2018

In the run-up to the New Year, we’re summarizing our key learnings of 2017 into a quick checklist for your 2018 Additive Manufacturing IT endeavors. Taking these seriously will reduce your Total Cost of Ownership and make sure you are production ready.

Let’s start with the easiest:

 

Performance Measurement

The simplest initiative is to start measuring your Overall Equipment Efficiency, Failed Build levels or other Key Performance Indicators using data from your machines. With our Machine Analytics module, you can start today with an existing dashboard or incorporate the data into your own solutions.

 

Transparency

Many of you work in organizations that already operate many printers, though you might not know where they are, what they do and how often they do it. Using device data to track your assets and processes is the first step to creating a more transparent network and learning from your experience. Our Machine Analytics module includes a Gantt chart of all historical prints fed simply by data from machines.

 

Process Automation

To see immediate ROI from your data, start by identifying manual steps you could cut out with data: How can your sales team see when the printers are available? Can we alert customers or sales teams automatically if the print fails or once it goes into production? These and many other options are part of our MES solution.

 

Traceability

Additive production has many advantages over subtractive and other processes. Among them is your level of data access – let’s use it. Provide all required traceability documentation – and more – to your customers by extracting data from the machines and digitalizing process events. MES does this, and we’re augmenting it every day: We’re excited about announcements forthcoming in 2018.

Quality

This, of course, is the big one: Using all the data generated to draw conclusions about quality that could influence the incidence of testing. There’s still plenty of work to do, but it is never too late to start developing strategies to capture all that data in order to make the necessary abstractions.

 

Call us to discuss how we can help you optimize data to improve your additive manufacturing process in 2018. The industry has tremendous opportunities if we use it wisely.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Authentise Team!

Digitize the world! (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 51)

The factory of tomorrow is made of advanced manufacturing machinery, to be sure, but increasing attention is given to the digitizing scene of industrial operations, and rightly so. 3D printing is giving businesses the possibility to store countless CAD models digitally to be manufactured on-demand, without the need for bulky and costly warehouses. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggests that around 5% of all industrial parts could be digitized, an opportunity for all businesses to obtain a competitive advantage. One such example is that of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) which, partnered with Siemens, will keep its infrastructure running more efficiently and cost-effectively. Digitizing goes much deeper than databases: simulation and analytical technologies enable factories to get “digital twins” of their operations, enabling them to predict maintenance times and complete operational awareness.

VTT Suggests 5% Of All Spare Parts Could Be Digitally Stored For 3D Printing

VTT conducts research for both private and public sectors. Photo via VTT.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has completed research [that suggests] digitalization could create a “competitive advantage” for businesses. The reasons given include increased availability, cost savings, customisation and “part intelligence.” Around 5% of parts can currently be manufactured digitally, according to need, notes VTT project manager Sini Metsä-Kortelainen. “3D printing technology has reached the stage where high-quality manufacturing is possible.”

Read the full article here.

Siemens To Bring 3D Printed Parts to Dubai Metro

Tracks of the metro and the Dubai skyline. Photo via travel-cam.net

To keep trains running, and passengers happy, the city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an MOU with the Middle Eastern branch of award-winning automation conglomerate Siemens. Speaking at the time of launch Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency, explained, “The 3D printing technology would enable RTA to keep the Dubai metro assets in service longer while driving down the cost of parts and in turn passing this saving back to the customer.”

Read more about it here.

IIoT Platform Creates A Digital Twin of F-35 Manufacturing Facilities

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has licensed Ubisense Smart Space for deployment at its F-35 program at Fort Worth, TX, to improve manufacturing efficiency with a digital twin. Delivering new levels of visibility and control, SmartSpace provides a foundation platform for manufacturers’ Industry 4.0 strategy. Creating a real-time digital twin of the production environment, Ubisense’s technology connects activities in the real world to manufacturing execution and planning systems, making real-world processes involving moving assets visible and measurable.

Read the full article here.

 

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Autonomous robots: its more than just driving (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 50)

When you say autonomous one most commonly thinks of self-driving cars. Nonetheless, the movement to make robots survey and act on their own precedes driving around no-hands. Autonomous robots have the ability to adapt to various scenarios within their scope of purpose and, as such, are being developed for a host of different applications. What is largely proceeding out of the spotlight is an ever-increasing presence within plants and other work environments of robots that are providing the tendrils for the factory-wide brain of the IIoT. These robots can sense their environment, be in constant and instantaneous exchange of information with central processing systems and execute complex directives, managing the necessary sub-steps on their own. Adidas has created a factory that uses autonomous robots to drive on-demand sneaker production. Menial tasks can be done effortlessly and efficiently by robots that, through machine vision, can see and analyze their targets and act according to their AI directives. This is why Château Clerc Milon, renowned wine producer, has implemented robots to take care of vineyards. Autonomous robots are perfect for scenarios in which unfaltering machine vision and pattern recognition enable them to see what the human eye wouldn’t catch. Like for rediscovering long-lost ’50s prototype jet fighters out in the ocean.

Inside Adidas’ Robot-Powered, On-Demand Sneaker Factory

Called Speedfactory, the facility would pair a small human workforce with technologies including 3-D printing, robotic arms, and computerized knitting to make running shoes—items that are more typically mass-produced by workers in far-off countries like China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

“What we enable is speed,” said Gerd Manz, vice president of Adidas’ innovation group. “We can react to consumer needs within days.”

Read the full article at Wired.

Bordeaux: Robot vineyard worker impresses at Clerc Milon

robot vineyard worker

Château Clerc Milon, under the same ownership as Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, has tested a prototype vineyard robot named ‘Ted’ to help with soil cultivation and weeding in its vines.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s MD, Philippe Dhalluin, said, ‘We see robotics as an effective solution for the future.

‘As well as helping to make our vineyard work less arduous and respecting the soil, it will reduce our dependency on fossil energies and the harm caused by traditional agricultural machinery.’

Read more here.

Autonomous sub finds long-lost supersonic aircraft from the 50s

The "Raise the Arrow" team gathers for a photo behind the AUV

Fraunhofer is reporting that one of its DEDAVEs [unmanned submersible] has located a couple of sunken flight models of a famous Canadian jet fighter, the Avro Arrow. Billed as “the world’s first autonomous underwater vehicle [AUV] to be developed from the outset with a view to series production,” the DEDAVE is designed to be easily manufactured on an assembly line, and thus relatively inexpensive to buy. At less than 700 kg it’s also quite light for an AUV and can travel autonomously for up to 20 hours on one charge of its eight batteries, diving to a maximum depth of 6,000 meters.

Read more about the discovery here.

 

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Automation: adapt or disrupt? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 49)

Automation technologies are starting to take hold in many environments of our daily lives. It’s not just the factory floor, the whole world is getting permeated by tech that makes short work of menial tasks. But how is this changing the way we think about these spaces? The factories of the future are often envisioned as highly technical spaces, with every nook and cranny tailored to the task at hand, aimed at making it easiest for the robots in place to do their jobs. However, most advanced automation technologies at our disposal are capable of navigating complex environments, react according to outside stimuli and thus safely traverse almost any workspace they find themselves in. Cobots (collaborative robots), autonomous vehicles or even Amazon warehouse handling and dispatch robots are perfect examples of this. The interesting dichotomy here is in how we can optimally plan spaces, public, private or industrial, to drive performance and flexibility. Does flexibility go in the way of peak performance layout? Or are intelligent, adaptable systems going to be the best option to keep operations agile?

 

The checkout line’s death knell


We’re all only about ten years away from sauntering into stores, grabbing whatever it is we want, then quick-stepping out like we stole it. It’ll be possible because many shops will be ringed with machine vision-enabling cameras and sensors that keep tabs on what you take while inside and then charge it to the corresponding app as you leave.

Read the full article (and watch the great video!) here.

 

Walmart is ‘secretly’ testing self-driving floor scrubbers, signaling that more robots are coming

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Walmart has been quietly testing out autonomous floor scrubbers during the overnight shifts in five store locations near the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. A spokesperson for Walmart told FOX Business that the move, which was first reported by LinkedIn, is a “very small proof of concept pilot that we are running” and that the company still has a lot more to learn about how this technology “might work best in our different retail locations.”

Read the full article here.

 

Cities Should Not Design for Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous cars are likely to be better off relying on each other than on fixed infrastructure. As autonomous vehicles capture a larger share of road traffic, they will be able to crowdsource extremely-detailed, real-time maps of urban roads. Each member of the network will benefit from the information provided by other vehicles and would likely provide its own data in exchange for access.

Read the full article here.

 

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Approaching the Modernization of Manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 48)

Upgrading to better standards and technologies is becoming easier than ever thanks to their decentralized and scalable nature, giving the opportunity to improve by gradual implementation and testing. There are many avenues of experimentation to consider. IIoT applications can be implemented as small, self-contained units, providing their own power and relaying sensible information where the most valuable data is to be found with a very small investment. Incorporating AM capabilities allows businesses to underpin numerous steps of traditional part production and logistics, assessing ROI that is clear from the start. However, the right software can sometimes be enough to jumpstart operational efficiency immensely, by automating and analyzing machine data with little effort and investment. Authentise very recently started integration of SLM machines data into its 3Diax platform. The digital age of manufacturing enables future-oriented actions to be taken at any business leisure.

Powering The IIoT With Industrial Grade Solar/Li-Ion Hybrids

[Small photovoltaic (PV panels) in combination with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries], two well-proven and synergistic technologies are providing highly cost-effective solutions for both consumer and industrial grade applications, including many connected to the IoT and the IIoT. All sorts of industrial applications are currently deploying PV/Li-ion battery hybrid technology, including GPS sensors and asset trackers, environmental monitoring systems, smart agriculture (monitoring moisture, temperature, and rainfall), marine buoys, and many other M2M and systems control and data automation (SCADA) applications.

Read the full article at Sensors Online.

Sembcorp Marine To Apply AM In Shipbuilding Revolution

A LAAM made part on display at the Sembcorp Marine MOU signing. Photo via A*STAR

Sembcorp Marine is seeking to revolutionize the offshore & marine (O&M) sector by adding cutting-edge technologies to its shipbuilding and repair efforts. In collaboration with three partners across industry and the Singapore government, the company will develop water-tight production applications with a Digital TwinAM and drone assistance.

Read the full article here.

SLM Solutions: Cooperation agreement signed with Authentise Inc.

SLM Solutions Group AG , a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology, has recently signed a cooperation agreement with Authentise Inc. Software developed by Authentise helps SLM Solutions customers expand additive manufacturing capacities through greater efficiency, transparency and quality in deploying SLM machines.

Read the full press release here.

 

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Authentise Now Leader in Additive Manufacturing Data Connectivity

Data being used to reduce cost and scale additive manufacturing to production

 

Sandy, UT; 14 Nov 2017 – Authentise, a leader in process automation software for additive manufacturing, today announced that it has connected to and receives data from more additive manufacturing device types than any other software developers.

Authentise has worked with a number of additive manufacturing equipment providers, such as EOS or the recently announced partnership with SLM, to connect their devices to the Authentise 3Diax platform and Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Data can now be received from ARCAM, 3D Systems, EOS, SLM, Stratasys, and HP additive manufacturing devices, among others, with more to come.

The information provided by them is used to automate actions through Authentise MES. Examples of these actions include automatic order updates, in-depth traceability report creation or the training of machine learning models that can, for example, improve the accuracy of cost, time and maintenance
estimates. This reduces cost, improves reliability and increases output.

The machine data is also available independently through the Machine Analytics Module of the Authentise 3Diax platform. The Module allows users of additive manufacturing technology to create and use their own additive manufacturing automation workflows or to tie the data back into existing IT systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools. Machine and software suppliers may also use the Machine Analytics Module to create and distribute their own Industry 4.0 solutions.

“In many ways additive manufacturing is not taking advantage of its digital opportunity” says Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “We’re the first to use data to really scale up and take cost out of the process. In doing so we’re also providing a test bed for all of digital manufacturing as we’re going beyond predictive maintenance and analytics to enable immediate automation based on data. That drives nearly immediate return on investment of our customers.”

***

additional information overleaf
To find out more about the 3Diax modules, please visit www.authentise.com/modules.html

About Authentise: Authentise delivers software that enables the production-scale deployment of additive manufacturing. Its landmark products include the 3Diax modular platform as well as the Authentise Manufacturing Execution System. These tools use device data to solve discrete automation challenges and provide an avenue to fully automated order execution and tracking in additive manufacturing, reducing Total Cost of Ownership and speeding up product delivery. The company was founded in Silicon Valley in 2012 and has been covered by Bloomberg, the BBC, Wired, and others.

Find out more at www.authentise.com and follow on Twitter @authentise.

Media:
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Contact:
Andre Wegner
+16506918615
info@authentise.com

“ARCAM”, “3D Systems”, “EOS”, “SLM”, “Stratasys” and “HP” Brands and Trademarks are copyrights of their respective owners.