DIMECC Ltd., the leading innovation platform in the Finnish manufacturing industry, has launched an industrial ecosystem that will increase the role of 3D printing and bring together Finnish players in the field. The FAME ecosystem (Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem) will create an open 3D printing experimental center in Vaasa at the Smart Technology Hub, modular 3D printing training in Lappeenranta from the engineering level to the doctoral level, and raise Finland to the world’s leading countries in 3D printing utilization, sales and know-how. FAME involves more than 20 companies as founding members. FAME is open for companies of all types and sizes to join.
“FAME allows us to share our own facilities and equipment with companies of all sizes. We open up people’s worlds of experience across company borders, openly share information on how printouts and related technical solutions work, and thus strengthen the competence center built on our new technology center, the Vaasa Smart Technology Hub. This can expand our business, provide better spare parts service to our customers and lead to product redesign, if necessary”, said Kenneth Widell, Project Manager responsible for developing Wärtsilä Finland Oy’s Smart Technology Hub partner operations.
“Finland is currently underdeveloped in utilizing 3D printing. However, we have a huge potential to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions by leveraging 3D printing. The cooperation with the future winner of the HX project, a fighter manufacturer, may open up a huge export opportunity for Finnish companies related to this technology”, says Tero Hämeenaho, who is responsible for Etteplan’s 3D printing. In 2019, Etteplan carried out a study funded by Business Finland, which found that both the slow awakening of Finnish companies to 3D printing and the need to have a neutral party representing the private sector leadership and facilitate the development of the industry.
“DIMECC is an excellent platform to promote systemic change that individual actors would not be able to. The progress of 3D printing in Finland has so far been slowed down by the small size and fragmentation of the actors, but FAME gathers everyone to work towards common goals”, Hämeenaho continues.
Back to Finland
The key players in the FAME ecosystem are the leading companies in their fields. In the ecosystem, companies join forces and share their experience, development resources, experimental costs, and part of their equipment, and create an infrastructure for 3D printing that anyone involved in developing and expanding their business with this technology can connect to.
“Increasing 3D printing is a way to move production back to Finland, and we are already moving forward to serial production in metal printing. For us as a small company, FAME effectively opens up the world market and know-how”, says Jarmo Kastell, CEO of Delva Oy in Hämeenlinna.
“This open and business-oriented ecosystem has clear interfaces with government policy goals and economic recovery. Cooperation between companies and research organizations develops and utilizes new technologies, on which investments, new types of business and new jobs are created. In the longer term, this will also contribute to the green economy and the large-scale industrial exploitation of digitalization”, describes Petri Räsänen, Development Manager of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The companies in the FAME ecosystem aim to reach 5% of the global 3D printing market volume by 2030. This will require significant changes in how 3D printing is seen as an opportunity and an alternative to current manufacturing methods. One of FAME’s key goals is to influence education and the attitudes of graduating designers so that 3D printing is taken as an equal starting point in mechanical design alongside casting or machining.
Modularity in 3D printing education
“We create new thinking through modular training. Education related to 3D printing is expanding and diversifying at the engineering, DI and doctoral levels. We intend to offer students a more flexible way to specialize in 3D printing in their studies”, says Jaana Sandström, Vice-Rector for Education at LUT University. “FAME will bring new know-how, projects and equipment to our Lappeenranta and Lahti campuses in due course”
FAME brings together leading equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, design and printing experts, and machine builders who turn their manufacturing technology towards 3D printing.
“With FAME synergies, Finnish industry is now urgently catching up with its competitors and gaining a strong market share in the world, as it has become clear that printing volumes in the industry are growing exponentially,” emphasizes Harri Kulmala, CEO of DIMECC.
The start-up and operations of the ecosystem are financed by the member companies and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Founding members of FAM are: (the list will be finalized on Nov 16th, 2020):
3D-Step, 3D Formtech, Andritz, CITEC, DBE Core, Delva, Elomatic, EOS Finland, Etteplan, Huld, Lillbacka Powerco, MiniFactory, Origo Engineering, Patria, Raute, Vossi, Wärtsilä