Europe has generally embraced the development and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. The continent is not only home to some of the biggest AM manufacturers and providers, but businesses across many industries have adopted AM or at the very least acknowledged its potentials. The effort to drive additive manufacturing within Europe, though reliant on individual adopters to a degree, has also been influenced by organized groups such as CECIMO (the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries) and AM-Motion.
What is AM-Motion?
Here, we’ll take a closer look at AM-Motion, its objectives and the various additive manufacturing initiatives and projects under its umbrella. In briefest terms, AM-Motion is a Europe-wide effort that aims to speed up the adoption and advancement of 3D printing through establishing networks and strategies.
As the initiative’s mandate reads: “The overall objective of the AM-Motion CSA is to contribute to a rapid market uptake of AM technologies across Europe by connecting and upscaling existing initiatives and efforts, improving the conditions for large-scale, cross-regional demonstration and market deployment, and by involving a large number of key stakeholders, particularly from industry.”
At its core, AM-Motion operates on the assumption of five key points:
- Manufacturing is key for the EU economy
- AM is a game changer
- High investments at international level
- Existence of “non-technological” barriers for market uptake
- Need to bridge complementary capabilities, resources and demand
In practice, the organization says it aims to activate the European AM community by identifying gaps in the market and proposing specific solutions and timescales. The project addresses technological aspects of the AM industry as well as other more horizontal and society-based issues such as IPRs, standardization, EHS and education.
Supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme, AM-Motion is made up of 13 partners, including Materialise, CECIMO, Siemens, Airbus, EPMA, Rina Consulting, Prodintec, TNO, TWI, CEA, ERRIN, IDEA and Brainport Development.
Under the AM-Motion umbrella is a collection of AM-related projects all aimed at driving the technology forward. Among them is a project called Hydraulic Systems, initiated by Valeria Tirelli from Aidro Hydraulics & 3D Printing and Maurizio Vedani from the Politecnico di Milano, which is centered on using AM to develop metal parts for hydraulic systems.
The abstract reads: “The project aims to investigate the microstructure and mechanical properties of hydraulic components produced by Selective Laser Melting (SLM) by Aidro Hydraulics & 3D Printing and tested in different heat treatment conditions, in collaboration with the Mechanical Department of Politecnico di Milano. There is a huge potential for applications of Additive Manufacturing for hydraulics and the research want to prove that this technology is reliable and generates unique advantages.”
As part of this specific project, the partners have redesigned a hydraulic manifold for a portable hydraulic power unit and 3D printed it using a AlSi10Mg0,3 alloy. The resulting part boasts the same mechanical properties as its machined counterpart but is one quarter of the weight of the original.
Other projects included in AM-Motion include AMamble, a service that provides SMEs and small businesses with support in the adoption of 3D printing; OpenHybrid, a novel hybrid AM approach; iBUS, a platform for 3D printing safe toys and games; and many more. More abstracts for the projects we mention and others can be found here.
On October 23 and 24th in Brussels, AM-Motion will host AMEF2018 in collaboration with the European Commission and AM-Platform. The event will focus on additive manufacturing and the challenges and key pillars of industrialization.