AMS Focus: Countdown to AMS with New Materials for 3D Printing

Formnext Germany

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The Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) live business and networking summit is just days away. Beginning February 7, 2023, this three-day New York event for 3D printing enthusiasts, commercial leaders, and industry stakeholders will be bustling with more than 60 speakers who will be presenting on a broad range of topics, exhibitors, and social events.

With three vertical topics per day, AMS is sure to pack a punch. Kicking off the event is a keynote address by Velo3D Founder and CEO Benny Buller, as well as a two-hour session on “New Developments in AM Materials.” Taking the lead will be Vice President of Carpenter Additive, Ben Ferrar, followed by a talk on AM material market forecasts by SmarTech Analysis leading researcher Scott Dunham. This will be followed by a discussion on trends in manufacturing AM metals by Linde’s Director of R&D Additive Manufacturing Pierre Forêt.

Audiences can then listen to two lively panels. First, a discussion on emerging alloys and metallic materials for AM, with speakers from EOS, Metal Powder Works, and Precision Solutions by Hyperion will be moderated by 3D Printing Media Network Co-Founder Davide Sher. Then experts from Azul 3D, polySpectra, DWS, Stratasys, and Arkema will talk about the future of composites and polymers in AM.

New printers and Nylon carbon fiber material expand applications for additive manufacturing on the factory floor. Image courtesy of Stratasys.

Before the event begins, let’s review some of the latest trends in 3D printing materials and what we can expect to hear from the experts.

Last year’s AMS summit shed some light on what users can expect from materials in the next five years. From sustainable materials to new materials not backed by decades of allowables, attendees heard from industry leaders about new material solutions in AM. A few key points include developing multi-materials required to build large-volume metal parts in high demand thanks to technologies like directed energy deposition (DED) becoming more accessible. Additive manufacturing is a lot about materials, so this segment should see plenty of growth in the next decade, especially as the technology finds its way into new sectors. In fact, the development of new materials with efficient mechanical properties, like those offered by BASF (the largest chemical producer in the world), are making it possible to target new industrial applications.

A recently released SmarTech Analysis data report from Q3 2022 registered continued year-over-year growth for the additive manufacturing market, coming in 20% higher compared to the same period in 2021 despite a rising number of entities reporting a challenging macroeconomic environment and changing customer behavior. The third quarter of 2022 was the fourth consecutive quarter that the entire AM industry saw revenue exceeding $3B, including metal and polymer materials. According to the market research firm, companies are increasingly turning to additive to address supply chain issues that have impacted revenues more broadly. For this reason, the services subsegment represents the largest portion of the whole 3D printing market, followed by materials and hardware.

From the Q3 2022 Metal Market Data and Q3 2022 Polymer Market Data. Image courtesy of SmarTech Analysis.

Throughout the second half of 2022, we already witnessed several advances in materials technology. For example, last August, Stratasys turned its attention to materials after choosing to adopt an open materials strategy and acquired Covestro’s 3D printing materials business. Similarly, competing firm 3D Systems acquired Altana’s stake in dp polar to help leverage its polymer materials portfolio. Around that same time MIT engineers 3D-printed materials with networks of sensors directly incorporated. This type of material development method opens opportunities for embedding sensors within materials, or even going as far as creating soft and flexible robots that learn on the go.

Leaning toward the future of materials technology might sound widely like science fiction right now. Still, current developments, like those at MIT and other research institutions and startups open the door for what could come next. In fact, engineers are already working on shape memory, conductive polymers, bio-based eco-friendly materials, graphene-enhanced PLA filaments, and 3D printing cemented carbide. More segments than ever before are relying on 3D printing materials, like construction which is evolving its 3D concrete printing market, regenerative medicine, and even food.

Even though there are still challenges to the widespread adoption of 3D printing, and many have attributed this to a limited choice of materials, we are seeing more advances in this arena and expect to learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of 3D printing materials at AMS.

These are just a few of the key points that visitors will come across at AMS. The event will also feature unique networking opportunities, including the Bavarian Beer & Pretzels Networking Reception on February 7, sponsored by AM Ventures, and the Women in 3D Printing NY Chapter Happy Hour on February 8.

The “New Developments in AM Materials” session will begin at 3:20 PM Eastern Time on February 7 and will be sponsored by Carpenter Additive.  Following this session, visitors are encouraged to listen in on a panel discussion about “Future Investment in AM” led by 3D printing financial experts from AM Ventures, Stifel, Digital Industrialist, and STS Capital Partners. Register for the event here.

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