Formnext has revealed the winners of its 2019 Start-up Challenge in the lead-up to its international event in November. The winning companies are Belgium-based AdditiveLab, Latvia-based Exponential Technologies Ltd., Germany-based Glassomer and LMI – Laser Melting Innovations and Switzerland-based Spectroplast. All the startups impressed Formnext’s judging panel with their forward-thinking industrial 3D printing technologies.
The international group of winners will be presenting their respective technologies at Formnext 2019 in the Start-Up Area. There, visitors will get the chance to see and learn more about AdditiveLab’s advanced simulation software for metal powder bed 3D printing, Exponential Technologies’ production parameter software, LMI’s low-cost metal SLS 3D printer, Spectroplast’s silicone 3D printing technology and Glassomer’s glass additive process for optics and photonics.
Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for Formnect at Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, said of the winners: “The high quality of innovation, specialization and industrial focus of the winners shows that the international start-up scene is also evolving and that the Formnext Start-Up Challenge offers a globally acclaimed platform for sharing ideas and finding customers, partners and investors.”
Every year, the Formnext Start-Up Challenge recognizes and awards innovative companies in the AM industry which were founded within the preceding five years. This year, the winners of the challenge are being awarded with a number of services that will help guide them to further success. One of the key “prizes,” so to speak, is a free, fully equipped booth at Formnext 2019. The startups will also be included into all of the expo’s relevant marketing and communications and receive business coaching and other support.
Formnext Start-Up Challenge 2019 winners
- AdditiveLab BVBA
AdditiveLab BVBA is a Belgian company that has created a new simulation software specifically developed for 3D printing metal parts. The software’s mechanical analysis relies on a cutting-edge multi-scale simulation approach that predicts residual stresses and distortions for a printed part layer by layer. AdditiveLab’s simulation software enables users to identify and address potential problems in their print jobs before going to the 3D printer.
- Exponential Technologies Ltd.
Latvia-based Exponential Technologies Ltd. has developed an AI-powered software that optimizes the additive manufacturing process, especially with respect to materials. The company’s technology uses advanced machine learning algorithms to adapt new materials into machines and production processes. Specifically, the software determines the best configurations for AM, CNC machining and laser machining as well as optimized material mixes.
- LMI – Laser Melting Innovations
LMI-Laser Melting Innovations is a German startup that has developed a low-cost metal 3D printer which is geared towards SMEs. The 3D printer is significantly cheaper than existing metal AM systems—something which LMI has achieved by removing costly components from the hardware and creating a more compact, cost-effective design for the diode laser.
- Glassomer GmbH
A second German startup, Glassomer GmbH, was chosen as a winner for its 3D glass printing technology. The SLA-based process is capable of printing a specially developed silica nanocomposite (Glassomer). The company also aims to develop new technologies to enable the mass production of glass for the optics and photonics segments.
Last but not least is Spectroplast, a spinoff from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology which has developed an extremely precise silicone 3D printing technology. The Swiss startup, which already has awards under its belt, offers its SAMT service for silicones in a Shore hardness from A0-A80 in all colors.
The Formnext Start-up Challenge 2019 is organized in collaboration with German business management consulting firm UnternehmerTUM and brings together a diverse and distinguishes judging panel. The official ceremony for the winners will be held on November 19, 2019, where the five startups will be presented with trophies sponsored by voxeljet. The winners will also be given a platform to present a business pitch at the Pitchnext event.