Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Formnext 2021: Essentium, BEAMIT, AIM3D & Solukon Prepare for Big Announcements

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Over 450 3D printing companies will return to Frankfurt, Germany, for one of the most awaited additive manufacturing events of the year: Formnext 2021. Following almost two years of digital encounters, including 2020’s Formnext Connect, this time the event will be on-site, and the 3D printing community is keen to meet face-to-face once again. Preparations are underway for the exhibition, which will run from November 16 through 19 and will include high-caliber talks by industry experts, workshops, and plenty of exhibit booths showcasing the latest technologies, software, hardware, and materials in the industry. In addition, several companies will be presenting their newest offerings at the event.

Here are a few of the upcoming products that visitors can experience at Formnext:

Essentium

Texas’s industrial AM solutions provider Essentium announced it would debut its newest 3D printing platform, the Essentium High-Speed Extrusion (HSE) 240 HT Dual Extruder 3D printer. As the latest addition to its HSE portfolio, the compact 3D printer was designed to create highly accurate parts from different materials in a single print without sacrificing quality and performance. Featuring a new industrial design with a single, dual extrusion print head, the “small yet mighty” Essentium HSE 240 HT Dual Extruder has been designed to empower manufacturers challenged with space constraints to enjoy transformative AM opportunities at speed and scale while significantly reducing costs.

Established to bridge the gap between 3D printing and machining for the world’s top manufacturers, Essentium announced in spring 2021 that it would aggressively expand to handle the demand for high-speed 3D printing, and that is just what the startup is doing. This will be the second printer revealed this year, following the first public debut of another HSE 3D printer, the HSE 280i HT, last September.

The Essentium HSE 240 3D Printer will be showcased at Booth D41, Hall 12.1.

Essentium's HSE 280i HT 3D printer

Essentium’s HSE 280i HT 3D printer. Image courtesy of Essentium.

BEAMIT

BEAMIT Group, one of the leading premium service providers for industrial 3D printing, has developed a new AM process for nickel-based superalloy René 80 RAM1. The Italian business, partly owned by Sandvik, has recently channeled efforts to study new alloys for the energy industry. As a result, BEAMIT focused on René 80, which has quite a high melting point and excellent oxidation resistance at high temperatures. Plus, when processed with AM technologies rather than conventional ones, René 80 is one of the highest performing alloys at ambient temperature, making it particularly suited to applications in the energy sector, such as for turbines and valves. Moreover, the benefits of these 3D printed applications could even trickle down to the aerospace industry.

BEAMIT’s materials and special processes manager Jacopo Sisti says the challenge was to print an alloy that performs so well at high temperatures. However, the team successfully fine-tuned the AM technique, delivering better static mechanical properties than the alloy produced with conventional technologies.

BEAMIT’s new AM process for nickel-based superalloys will be presented in stand C21, Hall 11.

BEAMIT-Group lab technician checking René 80 metallographic samples

René 80 metallographic samples. Image courtesy of BEAMIT.

AIM3D

Premiering as a prototype at Formnext 2021, the new ExAM 510 3D printer from Germany-based printer manufacturer AIM3D will showcase its capability to additively manufacture up to three different materials in parallel. Created for the company’s pellet-based Composite Extrusion Modelling (CEM) process, the novel ExAM 510 model builds on the patented ExAM 255 machine. One of the company’s flagship products, the ExAM 255, was the first industrial 3D printer capable of processing pellets conventionally used for injection molding and printing prototypes made of metals and plastics.

Now offering a faster, bigger, hotter, and more precise CEM technology for 3D printing, AIM3D’s ExAM 510 can process up to three materials, allowing for two building materials and one support material over an extended build platform of 510 x 510 x 400 mm. According to the manufacturer, after the beta phase testing with pilot processors, the ExAM 510 will be ready for series production in time for Formnext 2022.

AIM3D CEM-E2 extruder can 3D print with metal and ceramic pellets.

AIM3D CEM-E2 extruder can 3D print with metal and ceramic pellets. Image courtesy of AIM3D.

A spin-off company of the German University of Rostock, AIM3D is on a mission to revolutionize the metal 3D printing sector by drastically reducing the cost of AM metal parts. Their guiding principle has been to create printers that are not dependent on their own ecosystem but rather can work with standardized industry materials, and with this new model, that is just what it’s doing. The ExAM 510 works with a broader range of materials, including metal alloys 316L, 17-4PH, 8620, 42CrMo4, 304, 420 W, WcCo, Ti64, and Cu99; ceramics Al2O3, ZrO2, SiC, and Si3N4; and plastics.

AIM3D’s ExAM 510 printer prototype will be displayed on Booth A66, Hall 12.1.

Solukon

Pioneer and market leader of depowdering technology Solukon will present a new system for medium-sized metal parts at Formnext 2021. Although CEO Andreas Hartmann won’t give the name away just yet, he anticipated that the machine “will set a new standard of depowdering and post-processing for medium-sized metal parts.”

3D printed medium-sized components, such as heat exchangers, are becoming highly complex inside, which translates into greater challenges in the downstream processes, especially in industrial depowdering. Solukon has now taken up this challenge by creating a platform for this in-demand application. The German AM post-processing solutions specialist was the first to ever develop an automatic process for part cleaning. Its proprietary Smart Powder Recuperation (SPR) technology uses adjustable rotation and targeted vibration to remove loose powder from 3D printed parts. As a result, many 3D printing companies, such as EOS, are using Solukon’s platform to ensure that the powder removal process of large parts is easier, more efficient, and requires minimal maintenance from its operators, resulting in cleaner parts and more sustainable manufacturing processes.

Solukon’s novel depowdering system will debut in Booth A139, Hall 12.

Solukon’s SFM-AT800-S system. Image courtesy of Solukon.

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