Formnext 2022: 3D Printing Business News Roundup

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While additive construction is being deployed at this very moment to aid in a military conflict between India and China, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry is focused on Germany. We’ll see how the numbers stack up after the event, but there’s a sense that Formnext 2022 is the largest trade show the AM industry has seen so far. To tackle all of the news out of the conference taking place in Frankfurt, Germany right now, we’ve publishing several roundups dedicated to 3D printing hardware, software, materials and more. In this post, we’ll provide a brief overview of the business deals that we haven’t gotten a chance to dedicate entire articles to.

Roboze and Quickparts

Since it was sold by 3D Systems, Quickparts has been quick to re-establish itself as a provider of on-demand production services, with a team of 370 experts around the world. The latest move is a partnership with Roboze, a manufacturer of high-temperature extrusion 3D printers. Now, Quickparts is adopting Roboze 3D printers in its machine portfolio just as the latter firm establishes microfactories for 3D printing parts around the world. Quickparts has so far installed its first Roboze machine, the ARGO 500, at its Seattle headquarters.

Vertex and Velo3D

A cross-sectioned thrust chamber printed on a Velo3D Sapphire system in GRCop-42. The chamber walls contain internal channels for regenerative cooling.

PrinterPrezz subsidiary Vertex Manufacturing has proven to be a big fan of Velo3D (NYSE: VLD). Having already purchased metal 3D printers from the startup, Vertex has now ordered two more Sapphire XC 3D printers. This includes the first dedicated to GRCop-42, a specialty copper, chromium, and niobium alloy developed by NASA for use in regeneratively-cooled rocket engines. The other system is calibrated for Inconel 718. Both are capable of printing parts 600 mm in diameter and 550 mm in height.

Saint-Gobain and AMT

Signing the Agreement (L-R) – Laurent Tellier (Saint-Gobain Surface Solutions CEO), and Joseph Crabtree (AMT CEO and Founder)

French glass and construction materials provider Saint-Gobain is making its use of AM increasingly known. The latest is through a deal between Saint-Gobain Surface Solutions (SGSS) and Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) to develop AI-driven automated software enhancements for AMT’s PostPro chemical vapor smoothing (CVS) technology. The companies are working together on new materials and applications to integrate into customer finishing systems and expect the Technology Upgrade Package to be available on a subscription basis in early 2023.

Lincotek and MMB VOLUM-e

Italian global contract manufacturer Lincotek has acquired a stake in French AM specialist MMB VOLUM-e, allowing the two to expand in the aerospace market. Founded in 1973, Lincotek Surface Solutions is a larger processor of industrial gas turbine blades and vanes. Through its joint venture with GE Aviation, ACC, the company has been able to navigate into the aviation sector. MMB VOLUM-e was established in 2007 and has more than 100,000 3D printed parts in operation on the market. Together, the two have 40 metal 3D printers, along with polymer AM and post-processing.

EOS Launches 3D Printing Network

Many companies in the industry offer parts through user networks, making EOS, the largest manufacturer of laser powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printers a bit late to the game. The model has proven to be a valuable one, as EOS has now launched a Contract Manufacturing Network (CMN) made up of seven partners: FKMErproVolum-EPanklMaterialiseOerlikon, and Hasenauer & Hesser that will 3D print parts in the EMEA region. Future partners will have to meet such requirements as maintaining customers in that region of the world, as well as a minimum of five EOS machines from the most recent generation of equipment. Importantly, the CMN is being launched via MakerVerse, a 3D printing network established in part by Siemens and Zeiss. MakerVerse will serve as a fulfillment partner, managing orders for the network.

WAAM3D and Aichi Sangyo

Cranfield University spinout WAAM3D has sold one of its RoboWAAM Advanced wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) systems to manufacturing provider Aichi Sangyo. The Japanese company has a history of nearly 100 years in which it has offered such services as design and manufacturing of equipment. Most recently this has included the development, manufacturing, and assembly of robotic systems, making the RoboWAAM Advanced a welcome addition to its toolbox. This represents the 16th WAAM machine sold by the firm since 2020. Through its joint venture with Accuron Technologies Limited, Addept3D, WAAM3D has established a presence in South-East Asia, where it offers part production and research collaboration, as well as the sale of its systems.

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