ExOne has joined the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) as a founding member. ExOne joins AMGTA to collaborate in the effort to promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) in a variety of ways, including through rigorous and independent ongoing research.
“ExOne is excited to join with other manufacturing and technology companies through the AMGTA to support independent research into the sustainability aspects of 3D printing,” said John Hartner, ExOne’s CEO, who will now also serve on the Board of Directors for the AMGTA.
In November, AMGTA published its first commissioned university research project, which served as a benchmark on the state of sustainability research into metal AM and identified areas of future opportunity for this work. The paper, “State of Knowledge on the Environmental Impacts of Metal Additive Manufacturing” was written by Dr. Jeremy Faludi from Delft University of Technology and Corrie Van Sice from Dartmouth College.
“While our team at ExOne is confident about the broad sustainability benefits of our binder jetting technology, our customers are eager to have independent data that demonstrate these benefits through the whole end-to-end life cycle,” Hartner added. “We are delighted to support AMGTA’s important work in this area.”
ExOne believes its binder jetting is a sustainable method of manufacturing that reduces material waste to less than 5%, saves energy by consolidating many assembled parts and processes into one, and can deliver end-use products that are 30-40% lighter — for more efficient cars, planes and military equipment.
Independent research has already verified the environmental benefit of binder jet 3D printing in some respects, including work that indicated the process has an overall efficiency of material consumption up to 96% for 316L stainless steel. However, ExOne believes that much more work needs to be done to assess or quantify the impact of powder creation, energy usage, emissions, and the benefit of being able to consolidate many parts into single parts optimized for lightweighting or other benefits. Additional work about how 3D printing could deliver environmental benefits through decentralized supply chains is also needed.