3D printing is becoming increasingly popular in several different manufacturing, medical and consumer sectors. Meaning that, in everyday life, and perhaps without even knowing it, we are increasingly surrounded by products made with additive technology. With this in mind, in 2014, thanks to the initiative by leading Italian AM sector operators – AITA (the Italian Association of Additive Technologies) was born. AITA is an association that boasts over 100 members among Italian AM companies, with its own statute and company name. The association is open to companies, entities, and legal and physical persons who are interested in the topic of additive technologies.
This aspect naturally piques the interest of many companies. Some challenges cannot be addressed without precise criteria – where there are, in fact, numerous variations of the problem – and individual companies are not able to address some issues, but require a “common voice” to create dialogue and s network between entities and organizations of different natures.
AITA’s activities are articulated in many themes such as communication and promotion, standardization, safety, research and development, and training for the organization of events. During the fairs, organized together with UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE – of which AITA is a spin-off – an additive area is created in which members can take advantage of specific services, including showcasing free demonstration pieces and carrying out the presentation of business cases.
In events organized directly by AITA, and in collaboration with other bodies, members can participate, for free, as speakers (depending on the topic) or as listeners. Alternatively, the events can also be organized by members, on request, where AITA can give its patronage free of charge. If the event is paid for, the other members are entitled to a subsidized fee.
To better support, the evolution of additive manufacturing and the growing target of potential 3D printing operators, especially in the context of the Italian market, AITA, and EFIM-ENTE FIERE ITALIANE MACCHINE have created PiùAdditive, a new and much larger exhibition area “from additive for additive”, within the 33.BI-MU fair – which is to be held in Milan, from 12 to 15 October 2022. PiùAdditive was conceived as a highly targeted event, able to combine the peculiarities of the additive sector, the growth and innovation needs of the Italian industry, and the strength of a large location, such as the setting of Fiera Milano.
AITA has a training workgroup, and revamping activities are underway – with the support of the new partner, Kilometro Rosso. The aim is to identify the skills of basic and advanced operators destined for the additive technologies sector. A ‘study plan’ has been defined for the 1st- and 2nd-year programs of the Institute.
The Association also has a standardization workgroup – created to analyze the regulatory aspects of interest in the sector, in order to be able to contribute operationally to the ongoing activities at national and international levels. AITA, as a UNINFO member, has the right to have 5 experts in the Groups of the UNI / CT 529 – Additive manufacturing committee of UNINFO. The experts support AITA in defining a common position regarding UNI/UNINFO regulatory activities. In collaboration with INAIL, the guideline is “Safety in additive technologies for metals. Processes operating with Powder Bed Fusion / Sintering technologies.”
In AITA, there is also a workgroup to define the initiatives to be taken to promote the use of 3D printing in the biomedical sector and implement solutions through joint activities, by sharing case studies and co-creating content. Prof. Ferdinando Auricchio, at the University of Pavia’s “3D4MED” 3D printing clinical laboratory, holds the role of coordinator.
In addition to all of this, AITA has also signed an agreement with Publitec – making the magazine “Laser Applications” the official information organ of AITA. The magazine contains the insert “The Additive Journal”, with an updated list of AITA members, who can publish institutional texts, conferences, and/or trade fair initiatives.
Members always actively participate in the life of the association and receive the “Laser Applications” magazine, monthly, as well as two other magazines among those published by the Publitec group. They can also have their articles published – once approved by the editors.