Ultimaker and Additive Industries are two Dutch 3D printing companies that have taken diametrically opposite approaches to the industry. These very different business models have just found a common ground in the field of generative design for additive manufacturing, as Ultimaker Co-Founder Erik de Bruijn announced the winners of the Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2016.
Ultimaker started off as a low-cost desktop 3D printer manufacturer and has grown to become one of the leading companies in this segment. Additive Industries, on the other hand, entered the high-end industrial 3D printing market by developing one of the most advanced selective laser melting metal 3D printers ever conceived. In an ideal additive manufacturing workflow, the winning product designs could be prototyped with on a desktop with an Ultimaker 2 and then 3D printed in metal with the MetalFAB1.
Team AtoS AM Engineering (Atos SE, Spain) with their ‘Aerospace Integrated Bearing’ won in the professionals category. The have successfully demonstrated the benefits of additive manufacturing in their design of a ball and socket joint to orientate the solar panels on a satellite. The design combined multiple different parts into one new design which required only minimum assembly. Besides that a substantial weight reduction was achieved in combination with a performance improvement.
The winner in the students category is Cassidy Silbernagel, from the University of Nottingham, UK. He designed an innovative electric motor casing to fit into an existing crank shaft case of a regular motorcycle enabling electrification. His design reduces eight parts to one lightweight component showing one of the major advantages that can be achieved by additive manufacturing. Moreover he cleverly integrated room for heat transfer and well-rounded wiring tunnels. Special mention was for the parametric tool for customized 3D printed facade connections for glass panels in the construction industry of Juhun Lee and Paul Kassabian.
Besides the winners of the Design Challenge, Additive Industries presented two more Additive World Awards to two very different interpreters of the new possibilities in 3D printing design and manufacturing. One is Martin Schäfer of Siemens AG, chairman of the AM Platform and known for his work on standardization of the technology and processes. He accepted the Industrial Achievement award for his efforts to bring the European Additive Manufacturing together.
On the opposite spectrum is designer Janne Kyttanen, digital sculptor creating multidisciplinary work at the intersection of 3D printing, virtual & augmented reality. Kyttanen, who has been one of the first ever visionaries of consumer applications for 3D printing, received the Industrial Achievement award for being a pioneer in Design for Additive Manufacturing, inspiring many with his designs and first to commercialize high volume 3D printed products. Some say that the greatest advances take place where different technologies meet. In 3D printing this is as true as ever.