Aerosint & Aconity3D Teaming Up to Advance Multi-Metal Applications in Additive Manufacturing

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The latest collaboration in metal 3D printing has been announced today as Belgium’s Aerosint and Germany’s Aconity3D team up to develop more advanced laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and added hardware and applications. Headquartered in Liège, Aerosint is a start-up dedicated to selective powder deposition technology. Aachen-based Aconity specialized in LPBF, along with post-processing equipment. Together, the two companies will be advancing the LPBF process in multi-metal applications, attempting to overcome current limitations.

As niche companies specializing in 3D printing hardware, software, and materials continue to evolve in the technology world, they often work together in furthering industry innovations. This is especially true in metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes as new materials and processes continually become available.

We followed Aconity3D as they opened offices in North America last year, embarking on a partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Aerosint has, in turn, been on a parallel path, making strides in multi-material powder bed 3D printing, and financing their R&D efforts with additional funding.

Now, Aerosint and Aconity will be working together to expand the LPBF process from the ability to only print with one material at a time to multi-material capabilities. In a recent press release, the Aerosint team stated that such progress was previously just wishful thinking due to technical challenges that had to be overcome first.

“We are truly excited to partner with an OEM that has the same DNA as we have at Aerosint. Aconity is innovative and driven to solve challenges that haven’t been addressed yet,” said Edouard Moens de Hase, Managing Director of Aerosint. “Together we have all the technical expertise needed to develop very unique LPBF hardware and multi-metal applications.”

Long-term photo exposure of the LBM process

The main goal of the partnership between the two European innovators is to integrate Aerosint’s re-coating technology into the AconityONE LPBF printer as Aconity continues to research materials and processing parameters that are compatible.

“What Aerosint has invented is very unique. An LPBF system with multi-material capabilities is unseen in the industry,” said Yves Hagedorn, CEO of Aconity. “Our customers have been waiting for these capabilities and we are therefore excited to start working on a potential solution for them. Multi-material is for us the next evolution of 3D printing and we are happy we can be pioneers here together with Aerosint.”

As Aerosint and Aconity continue to create and refine meaningful applications during their research, it is hoped that the Aerosint module will become available to Aconity customers who are on the machine options list. The Aconity team states that other interested companies can reach out for more information as well.

Aconity3D is a systems provider for flexible application-specific additive manufacturing (AM) systems for metals, situated in Aachen’s high-technology surroundings near the RWTH University and Fraunhofer research institutes. Their focus is on extending 3D printing in metal, finding new solutions, and partnering with customers in this growing field of research.

Aerosint is a Belgian company established in 2016. The company has developed a selective powder deposition system to enable full 3-dimensional control over material placement in powder bed fusion printing processes. Effectively, the main invention is an alternate powder re-coating system that, instead of uniformly spreading just one single powder material, selectively deposits two powders to form a single layer containing two materials. The powder can be a polymer, a metal or a ceramic.

Founded in 2016, Aerosint has developed a selective powder deposition system to enable full 3D control over material placement in powder bed fusion printing processes. Their main invention is an alternate powder re-coating system that selectively deposits two powders to form a single layer containing two materials, rather than uniformly spreading just one single powder, which may be polymer, metal, or ceramic.

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[Source: Aerosint]

Powder re-coater prototype (left); multi-material powder layers with prototype (right)

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