In the spring of 2015, European 3D printing solutions provider iGo3D, headquartered in Germany, entered into a distribution partnership with Formlabs, in order to expand distribution of the Form 1+ 3D printer in the German market. Now, the company is announcing a new partnership with Spanish 3D printing solutions provider Grupo Sicnova 3D. The two companies have taken their first step into the professional 3D printing market, which is where both believe that desktop 3D printers will be used in the industry, and created a common brand together, called AMS (Additive Manufacturing Solutions), which will focus on vertical markets. The two created the AMS-Print Factory Division, which will help AMS arrive at its goal of giving manufacturing companies 3D print factory solutions, using professional-quality desktop 3D printers from Formlabs, Ultimaker, and MakerBot.
Diogo Quental, CEO of iGo3D, told 3DPrint.com, “The simplicity of producing an object with 3D Printing already made this technology a must in prototyping. Its use in manufacturing, however, was still low, mainly due to the initial low reliability and speed. Today, however, we reached such a high quality in professional desktop 3D printers that we can build a 3D Print Factory solution perfectly customised to our needs, and for a fraction of the investment. In the coming months we expect the corporate market to start investing in small solutions and then gradually scale up and integrate them in the manufacturing process.”
Grupo Sicnova, which memorably scanned and 3D printed all of the villagers in the Spanish town of Torrequebradilla in 2015, right after unveiling its JCR 1000 industrial 3D printer, is also a leading 3D printer distributor, like iGo3D. Both companies feel a certain responsibility to teach others how to take advantage of the potential that 3D printing offers.
“The great challenge of 3D printing is to go from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing. For that we need greater productivity, meaning: reliability, printing speed, payback and ease of use. The capacity to manufacture many different parts in one day with a price that is competitive with traditional manufacturing for productions of several hundreds of units is the great solution that AMS – Print Factory wants to offer to the European market,” said Angel LLavero, CEO of Grupo Sicnova 3D.
AMS-Print Factory is the AMS department specifically focused on providing 3D printing manufacturing solutions. 3D printing factories are the perfect solution for production on-demand for short manufacturing runs. As we know, additive manufacturing doesn’t require multiple tools hanging around in a workshop, and can offer complete freedom of design, so it’s expected that many major manufacturers will begin to apply 3D printing solutions in new product lines. This allows companies to quickly test the demand for 3D printed products, as the time-to-market is reduced, and only make a relatively minor investment in a process that could turn out to be a whole way of life.
A good example is Dremel, which is already nationally recognized for its line of handheld rotary tools. The company embraced 3D printing technology so fervently that it even began manufacturing and selling its own 3D printers, and focuses most of its 3D printing efforts on education.
“We still don’t know exactly how much of the traditional manufacturing can be substituted by 3D Print Factories, but there are two things we know: 1st – it has for sure the potential to substitute a very substantial part of the manufacturing process; and 2nd – this substitution is extremely easy to implement and control. Major manufacturers should start considering now these solutions in their core business, and not only in prototyping as was happening so far,” said Quental. “We’ve been talking about a 3D revolution, but I think we were only in the warm-up. The real change is to start now.”
iGo3D and Grupo Sicnova will be attending Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair, later this month. The fair runs from April 24 through April 28, and the AMS-Print Factory will be showcasing its solutions. 3D printer farms provide professional-level offerings for low-volume manufacturing, as companies like Voodoo Manufacturing demonstrate. The offerings from AMS will serve as another range of options in this partner-driven endeavor. Discuss in the AMS forum at 3DPB.com.