With Formnext 2018 around the corner, companies from across the additive manufacturing sector are gearing up to present their technologies, products and innovations at the annual international event. To highlight some newcomers on the scene, Formnext hosts the Formnext Start-Up Challenge which has become an integral part of the 3D printing expo. Excitingly, the winners of this year’s startup challenge have just been announced.
The five winners, selected by an international jury of AM experts, span a wide range of 3D printing technologies and applications. At Formnext, the five winners and their AM-related technologies will be presented in the designated Start-up Area.
Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for Formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, stated: “The top-quality innovation demonstrated by the prize-winners also underscores the great ability of Formnext to attract new start-ups from all around the world.”
Without further ado, let’s take a peek at this year’s five winning startups.
German startup AMendate was selected by the Formnext jury for its 3D printing software platform. The software, currently in development, offers fully automated optimization for technical 3D printed parts. The platform rapidly generates organic-looking structures that are optimized for AM in terms of cost, material usage, etc. The software’s core element comprises an intelligent optimization algorithm which interprets the simulation result and converts it into a CAD exchange format.
Formnext is also awarding French company Aerosint, which has developed a selective powder deposition system that enables multi-material production. Using either a SLS or SLM-based process, the system makes it possible to deposit multiple powder materials to form a single layer, which let’s users produce multi-material parts. The process could even be used to combine materials like polymers, metals and ceramics.
German-based Kumovis, for its part, will be presenting its medical 3D printing platform specifically developed for manufacturing plastic implants. The technology is built for PEEK, PPSU and other high-performance polymers, which are already approved within the medical sector. The printer itself relies on a fused layer manufacturing process and includes a temperature-controlled air circuit with filter units to ensure a cleanroom print environment. Kumovis’ technology could be used to 3D print patient-specific cranial bones, spinal implants and more.
From the U.S., 3DFortify is a young company specializing in digital composite manufacturing (DCM), a process which produces composite materials using AM. The company employs a technology called Fluxprint, a 3D printing technique that combines magnetics and DLP, to print parts which magnetically align fibers to the part, voxel by voxel as they are printed.
Lastly, Canadian startup Nanogrande was selected as a winner of the Formnext Start-up Challenge for its molecular-scale additive manufacturing system—the first of its kind. The machine, called MPL-1, is capable of assembling highly packed multilayers of particles (as thin as one nm) using various materials, including oxides, metals, waxes and polymers. The extremely high resolution process patented by Nanogrande is capable of producing structures in the submicron range up to a maximum volume of 10 x 10 x 2.5 cm. Notably, the process works with unconventional particles, such as fibers or flakes, and is able to combine different materials in a single print.
The Formnext Start-up Challenge, hosted in partnership with MUST 3D Printing, is, for the fourth year running, awarding companies founded within the last five years which are bringing something innovative and new to the AM industry. Prizes for the five winners include a free fully equipped booth at Formnext 2018 and integration into Formnext’s marketing and communications activities around the globe. Excitingly, the five winners will also have access to business coaching sessions with AM Ventures and various other benefits from MUST 3D Printing. Finally, all transport costs to and from Formnext will be covered as part of the prize (by Deutsch Bahn).
The five winners will be formally announced on November 13th at Formnext, where they will be presented with trophies sponsored by voxeljet. The startups will also be given the chance to present a business pitch at the new Pitchnext event.