It is November 19th, 2019 and the fifth edition of Formnext is off to a promising start. 3dpbm’s team on the ground will be speaking with various industry partners and experts to learn about new technologies and releases as well as tracking this year’s Formnext trends. Playing a more omniscient role, I will be covering news from across the industry and compiling this year’s top stories here for you.
Feel free to peruse Formnext 2019’s 3D printer, materials, software and industry announcements, with continuous updates throughout the week.
New Hardware & Processes
Desktop Metal has made its third announcement of the month at Formnext 2019: the launch of “the world’s first metal binder jetting system designed for machine shops.” The new additive manufacturing system is fittingly called the Shop System and is available starting at $150,000.
EOS has developed new Fine Detail Resolution (FDR) technology system for processing polymers, becoming the first company to develop a CO laser solution for powder-based industrial 3D printing. EOS is demonstrating the technology this week at Formnext 2019. According to EOS, the new EOS FDR 3D printing technology will make it possible for manufacturers to produce “extremely delicate yet robust” parts with fine details and wall thicknesses as slender as 0.22 mm.
GE Additive unveiled the new Arcam EBM Spectra L system, which offers a larger build volume than existing Spectra systems as well as faster print speeds. According to the company, the improved system enables users to reduce cost per part by 10%. To accompany the launch of the Arcam EBM Spectra L, GE Additive has introduced a new automated powder recovery station: Arcam PRS 30. The closed system offers a safer means to work with metal powders, reducing the risk of exposure for machine operators.
Texas-based Essentium, Inc. is bringing to market a new printer series based on its High Speed Extrusion (HSE) technology as well as a range of new high-temperature (HT) 3D printing materials. The new HSE 3D printer series—HSE 180•S—comes with two printer options, one with a low-temperature nozzle (LT) and one with a high-temperature nozzle (HT) that can reach temperatures of up to 550°C, enabling the use of high-temperature materials and paving the way for more industrial applications.
CEAD, a Netherlands-based provider of large-scale, composite 3D printing, and Siemens are expanding on an existing collaboration and will be jointly presenting their latest development, the AM Flexbot, at Formnext 2019. The new system is a modular, hybrid technology for precision, large-scale parts.
Italian 3D printing company Lumi Industries is unveiling a new desktop 3D printer at Formnext this week. The resin-based 3D printer, called Lumi³ (LumiCube), was built for easy and accurate additive production and integrates a slew of new features that provide better efficiency and quality.
BCN3D, a Barcelona-based 3D printer manufacturer, has launched its latest professional printer, the BCN3D Epsilon. The printer, which the company will showcase at Formnext 2019, promises to “bring industrial power to your workbench.”
Admatec, a Netherlands-based ceramic AM company, has today drawn the curtain on its latest product: the Admaflex 300, a flexible, open system for high volume ceramic and metal 3D printed components. The 3D printer, designed for production, offers an increased build volume as well as integrated in-process quality monitoring and an automated feedstock system.
Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), a British industrial AM company focused on Industry 4.0, is launching its proprietary Digital Manufacturing System (DMS) at Formnext 2019. The post-processing system is a customizable automated turnkey solution for industry use.
SHINING 3D launched at Formnext the latest product in its line of additive manufacturing solutions, emerging as one of the 3D printer manufacturers with the most diversified and complete offer. The EP-M250 Pro is a dual-laser metal 3D printer that uses advanced metal powder bed fusion (MPBF) technology.
One of the keys to taking additive manufacturing to the next level in terms of industrialization is software. AM software advancements will not only unlock new designs and geometries, but will enable more efficient, connected and, crucially, automated production workflows. Here are some announcements from some of the key players in the 3D printing software game: AMFG, Autodesk, nTopology, CADS Additive, MachineWorks and 3YOURMIND.
MSC Software Corporation, a provider of CAE simulation software, has launched a new design optimization solution, MSC Apex Generative Design, at Formnext. The program provides a high degree of automation for design processes and reportedly has the potential to improve productivity by up to 80% compared to more traditional topology optimization tools.
Process simulation software provider Simufact has announced the release of Simufact Additive 2020, a software solution for optimizing metal AM processes. The company, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has also introduced a new simulation software solution to improve the quality of Direct Energy Deposition (DED) metal additive manufacturing. The software will be offered as a module within Simufact Welding 2020 software.
AM software developer Dyndrite Corporation has unveiled its Additive Manufacturing Toolkit (AMT) and accelerated production preparation build processor for 3D printing, which has the potential to improve performance and native CAD-to-print capabilities for AM users. In addition to presenting the software solution at Formnext, the company has announced a series of industry partnerships with EOS, Renishaw and others.
3D Systems has announced the general availability of VisiJet M2S-HT90, its 10th new 3D printing material since September. The company is exhibiting the new material at Formnext along with other new offerings. VisiJet M2S-HT90 is an engineering-grade plastic designed for use with the ProJet MJP 2500 3D printer, featuring “best-in-class” high heat deflection temperature (HDT) and meeting USP Class VI biocompatibility standards.
SiCeram and Spectrum Filaments are introducing an innovative series of ceramic materials for use in filament extrusion (FFF) 3D printing technology. The four new specialized filaments, which include silicon carbide, silicon nitride, zirconia and alumina, position themselves as the first commercial solutions for 3D printing of advanced ceramic filaments using common desktop 3D printers.
3D printing company EnvisionTEC and Sartomer, a business line of Arkema, are introducing a new water-soluble resin material at Formnext 2019. The material, E-Aquasol, was jointly developed by the two companies and is compatible with EnvisionTEC’s proprietary cDLM 3D printing platform.
After acquiring a 30% stake in Italian metal AM service bureau BEAMIT, Swedish company Sandvik and its Italian partner are showcasing a combined metal powder and AM offering at Formnext. At their joint Sandvik-BEAMIT booth, the companies are displaying a range of Sandvik’s Osprey metal powders and customer use-cases, as well as introducing new nickel-based superalloys and titanium powders.
6K (formerly Amastan), a leader in microwave plasma technology for the production of AM materials, has debuted a new premium additive manufacturing powder at Formnext today. The nickel-based material, Onyx In718, is being showcased at the Frankfurt trade show along with fifteen other metal alloys and ceramic powders.
Italy-based SLA 3D printing company DWS has formed a partnership with global chemical company Huntsman to develop and launch a new polyurethane-based resin, IROPRINT R 1801. The SLA material, characterized for its soft and flexible properties, has applications in the footwear market, among others.
GE Additive has had an impressive showing at Formnext this year, presenting new AM systems in its Concept Laser and Arcam families and more. On the Arcam side, GE Additive has also announced the upcoming general release of development material (D-material) support for pure copper and highly alloyed tool steel in 2020.
New Partnerships & Industry News
Automotive AM company Divergent Technologies (Divergent 3D) has signed a letter of intent to purchase five pre-production next-generation AM systems from SLM Solutions, with the ultimate aim of manufacturing 3D printed components for hypercars. The two companies have been working under a Joint Development Partnership (JDP) since 2017.
Perhaps some consolidation may finally be taking place in the all-too-fragmented global AM industry as materials giant BASF has acquired Sculpteo, a pioneer in exploring the opportunities of on-demand part production via AM. BASF has been taking AM very seriously lately, incrementing the company’s exposure in the market with a series of new products and partnerships.
Shortly after the official announcement about AIDRO entering into a partnership with EOS, to develop AM for petroleum and natural gas sector applications, the Italian hydraulics and AM specialist has now been added to the EOS Ecosystem of companies which will be officially unveiled at Formnext.
German DLP 3D printer manufacturer Rapid Shape has entered into a partnership with materials company Henkel in order to accelerate the mass production of 3D printed functional parts. As part of the agreement, Rapid Shape has become the latest member of Henkel’s open materials platform and will work to certify materials for its DLP 3D printing systems. Henkel, for its part, will integrate Rapid Shape’s technology into its AM ecosystem.
After unveiling its QLS350 3D printer for the first time in May 2019, California-based AM company NXT Factory has announced the commercial release of its Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) platform. In addition to the commercial launch, the company has also announced a strategic collaboration with materials company Evonik, through which it will expand the material offering and production applications for the QLS350 system.
Siemens has announced the official launch and availability of the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network, which will provide an advanced cloud-based solution to facilitate collaboration and process orchestration along the workflow—from engineers, to procurement and suppliers. The launch follows a successful pilot period with partners at Siemens Gas & Power, Siemens Mobility, HP, Materialise and Decathlon.
Global standards organization ASTM International and German certification organization TÜV SÜD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at developing programs to drive the adoption and overall trust of additive manufacturing. The partnership creates further global ties between global AM standards organization—a critical step in establishing industry-wide regulations.
Oerlikon AM, the additive division of Swiss tech group Oerlikon, has announced a partnership with United Launch Alliance (ULA) at Formnext today. The AM company will additively manufacture and provide qualification and flight components to ULA—one of the world’s most recognized launch service providers—for its next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket.
GKN Additive has announced a new partnership with Germany-based Kueppers Solutions, an expert in industrial combustion technology. Through the collaboration, GKN Additive will mass produce highly energy-efficient mixing units for industrial burners using additive manufacturing, which will help to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in the industry substantially.
Oerlikon AM has revealed an alliance with Hirtenberger Engineered Services, a specialist in post-processing metal printed parts. Through the partnership, the companies are striving to industrialize 3D printed parts for end-use and prototyping applications.