3D Printing News Briefs, December 4, 2021: Formnext USA, Scale Models, & More


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, the organizers of Formnext have announced a partnership that will lead to a brand new event in the US, and Quickparts 3D printed scale models for a client’s trade show booth. Moving on, a company called Axtra3D has introduced new 3D printing technology, and material adjustments are no longer necessary with ViscoTec’s vipro-HEAD series. Finally, Sandvik has increased its manufacturing capacity for metal 3D printing powders.

AM Trade & Media Organizations Partner to Launch Formnext USA

Formnext organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt has announced a strategic partnership with AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and Gardner Business Media (GMB), the result of which will be a brand new trade show in North America that’s focused on industrial additive manufacturing: Formnext USA, in 2025. The three will first hold a series of Formnext-branded events in the US to build up its presence here, starting with the multi-use AM4U Area in the additive manufacturing pavilion at Chicago’s IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show in September of 2022. In 2023, the AM4U Area will be co-located with the Additive Manufacturing Conference in Austin, Texas, and again at IMTS 2024, the 2024 Additive Manufacturing Conference, and Formnext Forum Austin, a standalone conex that will launch in 2024. The official launch of Formnext USA will take place at Chicago’s McCormick Place in March of 2025. The show will showcase industrial 3D printers, software, post-processing solutions, materials, service providers, and more, and seems like it will be a good match for the three partners.

“Formnext has been a resounding success as the global meeting point in Europe, and we are confident that the combination of additive manufacturing, materials and innovative process technologies will also perfectly address the current and future needs of the North American manufacturing industry,” said Sascha Wenzler, Vice President for Formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt.

Quickparts 3D Prints Models for Client’s Trade Show Booth

On Site Gas Systems Australia develops nitrogen and oxygen gas-generating systems used in many industries, including oil and gas, chemical, and medical, and wanted to make more of a splash at industry trade shows. The company’s General Manager, Rodney Rodrigues, thought that realistic scale models of their equipment could help them stand out from the crowd, which includes big names like ExxonMobil and Chevron, and better explain their business to event attendees. So he contacted on-demand manufacturing services provider Quickparts to collaborate on 3D printed scale models for five of its products to showcase at the company’s Gastech show booth. Using CAD models and photographs of the products, Quickparts scaled the files, modified the structure of the models for design integrity, printed them with SLS technology, and then hand-painted them to make detailed replicas. The models were extremely successful at drawing more people to the company’s trade show booth.

“I felt we were on the same level or beyond the biggest stands in terms of the presentation of our products. We truly had a world-class display at the show. The models were a great starting point to communicate what we do,” Rodrigues said.

“If your objective is to get people to stop and notice your products, 3D printing is a sensible and cost-effective way to make a big impact.”

Axtra3D Showcases New Additive Manufacturing Technology

Technology company Axtra3D, headquartered in the US with R&D and manufacturing in Italy, specializes in developed advanced additive manufacturing solutions, and introduced its first product, the Lumia 3D printer, at Formnext last month. The system uses Hybrid Photosynthesis (HPS), which the company calls its “revolutionary technology” and offers the combined benefits of SLA, LCD, and DLP printing—fine resolution, high speed, large print area, excellent surface quality—in one machine, which also delivers isotropic part performance and continuous printing. Axtra3D explained that users of photopolymer 3D printing have always had to choose between those three methods, which meant choosing only some of those features, and said that its HPS technology can deliver it all, “poised to transform every industry that relies on 3D Printing.”

“Our patented Hybrid PhotoSynthesis technology is not an evolution. It is a breakthrough that I truly believe will replace all of the current Photopolymer 3D Printing Light Engines,” said Axtra3D’s CEO and Co-Founder Gianni Zitelli.

ViscoTec’s vipro-HEAD Series for 3D Printing Standard Materials

ViscoTec, which develops dosing technology for industrial applications, also creates and manufactures innovative printheads that are used on many additive manufacturing systems. As such, the company knows a thing or two about AM materials, and how time-consuming of a process it is to validate new ones for various sectors and industries. ViscoTec wondered if it would be practical to enable 3D printing with standard materials, as opposed to the “replica” materials often used by newer manufacturing technologies.

The company really wanted to focus on AM’s ability to process standard materials while it was developing the vipro-HEAD series: for example, if a component is 3D printed from silicone, then the original silicone used in injection molding can also be processed without requiring any material adjustments. With its vipro-HEAD series, ViscoTec claims that there are no additional costs, no need to purchase and qualify specially developed filaments, and “no risk that the materials will behave in any way other than the original material, which has been qualified at great expense.”

Sandvik Continues to Invest in Metal 3D Printing Powder Capacity

Finally, Sandvik, which has plenty of materials and gas atomizing experience, continues to invest in its capacity for metal 3D printing powders, with the installation of two more atomization towers at its UK production site. The company, which also recently invested in a new plant for manufacturing titanium and nickel-based AM alloys, says that it offers the market’s widest range of metal AM powders, including titanium, aluminum, copper, stainless steels, and many more, all of which are atomized in-house and customized to meet customers’ exacting needs in demanding industries.

“Sandvik offers extensive capabilities in terms of providing high-quality and consistent metal powders, to customers engaged in a range of additive manufacturing processes such as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), electron beam melting (EBM), and binder jetting. By installing these new atomization towers – one of which is already fully operational and quality assured, while the other is under construction – we bring our total tower count to twelve, and thereby significantly increase our ability to produce even larger quantities of premium metal powders,” said Annika Roos, Business Unit Manager of Sandvik’s metal powder business.

“Materials technology is very much integrated with Sandvik’s DNA. From our own AM service business, we have first-hand experience of printing in a wide range of materials for additive manufacturing – from tool steels and duplex steels to titanium and super alloys for high-temperature applications – and understand the importance of using premium raw materials in order to obtain an optimal end result. Gearing up our manufacturing capacity means we are now even better positioned to meet the increased demand in terms of metal powers for AM.”

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