3D Printing Trade Fair 12 Additive Manufacturing developments you shouldn't miss at Formnext

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Germany — Formnext, the international trade fair for additive manufacturing and industrial 3D printing, is all set to welcome industry players from across the globe in November. Showcasing the next generation of intelligent industrial production, this year’s hybrid show will take place in Frankfurt, Germany.

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(Source: Mesago / Mathias Kutt)

With a dedicated focus on additive manufacturing and 3D printing, the Formnext international exhibition is back! Scheduled to take place on November 16–19, 2021 in Frankfurt, Germany, this year’s Formnext event will be a hybrid show comprising digital sessions as well as on-site segments. “The feedback we’ve received from exhibitors, attendees, and the exhibitor advisory board has made it clear that a genuine in-person event is essential to this industry,” says Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President of Formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt. “Everyone is longing to visit some real booths and have some face-to-face conversations.” Around 450 exhibitors (55 percent of them from outside Germany) have registered for the trade fair and will be showcasing their most recent solutions and technologies there. Here are some of the innovations you shouldn't miss during your visit at Formnext:

This medium-format machine from Trumpf produces components measuring up to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height from all weldable materials (steels, nickel-based alloys, titanium, aluminium) using powder bed-based laser melting.
This medium-format machine from Trumpf produces components measuring up to 300 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height from all weldable materials (steels, nickel-based alloys, titanium, aluminium) using powder bed-based laser melting.
(Source: Trumpf)

Trumpf introduces new series of its Tru Print 3000 3D printing system

Featuring two 500-watt lasers, a revised inert gas flow concept and melt pool monitoring, Trumpf has further developed its Tru Print 3000 laser melting system. According to Trumpf, the new Tru Print 3000 can be equipped with a second laser, which almost doubles its productivity. Two 500-watt lasers scan the machine’s entire build chamber in parallel. This makes production much faster and more efficient regardless of the number and geometries of the parts. With the Automatic Multilaser Alignment option, the system can automatically monitor the multilaser scan fields during the build stage and calibrate them to each other. With each laser scanning a contour, the process does not lead to any kind of weld seams.

The flow concept has also been revised. According to Trumpf, the protective gas now flows particularly evenly through the system from the back to the front - which increases the quality of the printed parts. In addition, it is possible to remove excess powder from the component while it is still inside the system. Since the printing powder is then reprocessed under inert gas, no contamination enters the powder circuit — an important advantage for sensitive industries such as medical technology.

In addition, the new Tru Print 3000 is equipped with so-called melt pool monitoring. This melt pool monitoring is intended to ensure the quality of the component even during 3D printing. For this purpose, special sensors constantly check the melt pool. Software compares the values with the data of a stored reference workpiece and graphically displays deviations — for example, if the melt pool is too cold or overheated.

Evonik and Cubicure have developed the first industrially suitable elastomer from the photopolymer class branded Infinam FL 6300 L.
Evonik and Cubicure have developed the first industrially suitable elastomer from the photopolymer class branded Infinam FL 6300 L.
(Source: Evonik)

Evonik presents new photopolymers

With Infinam RG 3101 L and Infinam FL 6300 L, the specialty chemicals company Evonik has developed two new photopolymers for industrial 3D printing. They expand the product line of synthetic resins launched just this year that are suitable for use in common photopolymer 3D printing processes such as SLA or DLP. The company will present the new products for the first time at the Formnext trade show.

Infinam RG 3101 L is another specialty resin for use in SLA and DLP 3D printing technologies from Evonik's innovation hub in Singapore. The ready-to-use material combines excellent impact resistance with high temperature resistance while exhibiting long-lasting thermomechanical performance. 3D components printed from Infinam RG 3101 L, such as drones, buckles, or automotive parts, can be processed by machine and remain fracture-resistant even when subjected to strong forces.

With Infinam FL 6300 L, Evonik and the Viennese 3D printing company Cubicure are commercialising an innovation project jointly launched in 2019. The hot lithography printing process developed by Cubicure makes it possible for the first time to process highly viscous light-curing polyester-based resins. In contrast to conventional stereolithography, Hot Lithography creates objects at an elevated processing temperature using light-induced polymerization. The process allows a significantly wider range of processable components.

The result of this collaboration is the first industrially suitable elastomer from the photopolymer class. Infinam FL 6300 L enables the additive manufacturing of highly flexible 3D objects that excel in material properties essential for elastomers: in addition to outstanding low-temperature elasticity, its strengths include dynamic load cycles of up to one million load cycles.

3D printed cemented carbide components from Sandvik.
3D printed cemented carbide components from Sandvik.
(Source: Sandvik/ Patrik Svedberg)

Additively manufactured super-duplex stainless steel

Sandvik and the Beamit Group — now also including 3T Additive Manufacturing — return to Frankfurt. On site in Germany, the companies will showcase the latest news from their joint offering along the additive value chain, made even stronger by the latest acquisitions, product releases, and further increases in metal powder capacity.

In 2019, Sandvik acquired a significant stake in the Beamit Group, who have since become the world’s largest, independent AM service provider — with the latest addition being the acquisition of 3T Additive Manufacturing earlier this year. At Formnext 2021, Sandvik and Beamit will yet again co-exhibit to present the widest range of premium metal powders for all additive manufacturing processes, as well as several industrial additive customer cases.

The companies will present a unique capability to produce additively manufactured components in super-duplex stainless steel, offering optimized performance for the most demanding, marine environments — while enabling minimal downtime and no capital tied up in parts. Outperforming several traditionally manufactured counterparts, Sandvik’s super duplex components are 3D printed in the company’s flagship material Osprey 2507 — a strong, corrosion-resistant super duplex metal powder, tailored for AM and manufactured inhouse to the highest international standards.

The new S2 allows the efficient post processing of plastic components, produced with powder-bed printing systems, in indexing, continuous flow mode.
The new S2 allows the efficient post processing of plastic components, produced with powder-bed printing systems, in indexing, continuous flow mode.
(Source: Rösler Oberflächentechnik)

New standards for post processing and surface refinement

AM Solutions — 3D post processing technology is presenting three trend setting machines.

  • The new S1 Wet was specifically developed for the removal of residual powder and the surface homogenization and smoothing of metallic 3D components.
  • With the S2 the experts for automated post processing solutions are presenting the first shot blast machine for treating 3D printed components made from polymers in indexing, continuous flow mode.
  • Of particular interest will be the C2 system that allows the chemical surface smoothing and application of a color dye in one single machine.

The increasing utilisation of additive manufacturing for volume production of standard components goes hand-in-hand with increasing demands for quality, consistency and cost efficiency of the post processing and surface refinement operations for 3D printed components. For this purpose AM Solutions — 3D post processing technology, the division of Rösler Oberflächentechnik that specialises in automated post processing and surface finishing solutions, presents various innovative developments. The new systems were specifically developed for volume production of 3D printed components made from metal and plastic.

Innovatiq showcases the LiQ 320, a 3D printing system for processing liquid silicones.
Innovatiq showcases the LiQ 320, a 3D printing system for processing liquid silicones.
(Source: Innovatiq)

Next generation liquid Additive Manufacturing

Innovatiq will be attending Formnext in Frankfurt together with Arburg. The company will present its latest 3D printers on the largest stand at the world's leading trade fair for additive manufacturing. Parts made of filament or liquid silicone will be printed live on site. Application examples from the fields of housing production and e-mobility as well as sustainable materials will be in the spotlight.

The company is a pioneer of liquid additive manufacturing. With the help of this process, highly elastic components such as sealing rings can be printed individually and economically in quantities of up to 1. The LiQ 320 industrial printer produces live components from standard silicone (LSR).

With the LiQ 7 in a new design, Innovatiq presents for the first time a solution for the series production of coloured components made of LSR. This creates the possibility of using individual parts even in visible areas. The colour dosage can be controlled in detail and thus a wide spectrum of colours can be achieved.

At Formnext, Innovatiq presents the e-motorcycle study “Gauss”. It shows how industrial 3D printing enables the optimal use of battery technology with simultaneous weight reduction. With the newly developed “Gestiq-Pro” control system for FFF technology, the company will show how process reliability can be achieved even with large-format parts. Components made of recyclable and recycled materials are manufactured live.

Core Technologie's 3D printing software 4D_Additive.
Core Technologie's 3D printing software 4D_Additive.
(Source: Core Technologie)

From the CAD model straight to the component

The software manufacturer Core Technologie is presenting a revamped version of its 3D printing software 4D_Additive at Formnext 2021. The focus is on the direct connection to 3D printers and the generation of surface textures and grid structures.

By integrating the interfaces of EOS, Photocentric, HP and Volumic into the new 4D_Additive software version, data handling will become easier. Models of all common CAD formats as well as triangulated STL data can be read in, prepared for printing and sent directly to the printer. A unique feature is the direct processing of exact CAD data, allowing 3D models to be processed as in the CAD system. The software suite eliminates the costly and time-consuming use of different tools. The 4D_Additive 1.4 version, presented for the first time at the Formnext 2021 trade fair, allows print jobs to be sent directly from the software to current EOS machines by integrating the Eosprint software development kit (SDK).

The F770 3D printer from Stratasys features the longest fully heated build chamber available on the market — with a diagonal of almost 117 cm.
The F770 3D printer from Stratasys features the longest fully heated build chamber available on the market — with a diagonal of almost 117 cm.
(Source: Stratasys)

Stratasys announces broadest ever product line-up

Stratasys is set to return to Frankfurt with a bang, using Formnext as its European debut for the largest line-up of new technologies, printers, materials and software in the company's history. At the same time, the company continues to pursue its strategy of moving from prototyping to mass production using polymer 3D printing solutions.

Stratasys will be showcasing the recently announced technologies that offer thrust for manufacturers seeking production-level throughput, increased part quality and larger part size.

The industrial-level 3D printing solutions on show collectively for the first time in Europe include:

  • The Origin One 3D printer — designed for end-use manufacturing applications, the Origin One produces high volume parts in a wide range of open, certified third-party materials with industry-leading accuracy, detail, finish, repeatability, and time to part.
  • The H350 3D printer — uses SAF technology to give manufacturers production consistency, a competitive and predictable cost per part, and complete control for the output of thousands of end-use parts spanning applications including covers, connectors, hinges, cable holders, electronics housings, and ducting.
  • The F770 FDM 3D printer — builds on the company’s reputation for repeatability and reliability via industrial-grade FDM technology. Ideal for big parts, this newest FDM 3D printer features the longest fully heated build chamber on the market and a generous build volume of almost 0.4 cubic meters.

As well as accelerating the shift from traditional to additive manufacturing for production applications, Stratasys remains committed to making ultra-realistic prototyping capabilities more accessible to product designers than ever before.

At Formnext, this will be exemplified by the company’s multi-material J35 Pro and J55 Prime 3D printers, introduced earlier this year to help designers and engineers quickly and efficiently create realistic ultra-realistic models and prototypes in an office-friendly environment. Both on show for the first time at a major international tradeshow, the J35 Pro represents the first multi-material 3D printer for the desktop from Stratasys, while the equally affordable J55 Prime includes a new set of versatile materials providing tactile, textual, and sensory capabilities in addition to full color.

Formnext visitors will also be able to hear how the company’s expanding GrabCAD Software Partner Program — which recently added Manufacturing Execution System (MES) provider, AMFG –enables customers to integrate additive manufacturing into their Industry 4.0 initiatives.

Additionally, Stratasys’ stand will feature new 3D printed customer application projects, as well as cutting-edge work from one of Europe’s premier award-winning design agencies.

In the form of Codemeter, Wibu Systems offers a secure and proven system that can handle all digital value chains in additive manufacturing.
In the form of Codemeter, Wibu Systems offers a secure and proven system that can handle all digital value chains in additive manufacturing.
(Source: Wibu Systems)

IP protection in Additive Manufacturing

Even though 3D printing is still in its infancy, IP protection and usage counting can draw on a long history from other areas of application. Encryption, authentication, and licensing have been the bread-and-butter business of Wibu-Systems for more than three decades, and the tried-and-tested Codemeter technology already includes all the pieces to add state-of-the-art protection and monetisation capabilities.

At Formnext, the company will participate as part of the VDMA’s special expo zone. Alongside its partners, the technology experts will introduce visitors to their full complement of protection, licensing and security solutions. In Additive Manufacturing, the ability to not only protect one’s intangible, immaterial assets like product designs or production operating instructions, but to monetise these effectively and securely is paramount and of more vital importance than ever before in conventional manufacturing. Agility and flexibility are an asset in Additive Manufacturing as the ultimate expression of the vision of smart industry: Manufacturers not hemmed in by the restricted capabilities of monolithic machines, but free to create, for themselves or as a service. Producers and vendors can be one and the same company, or two independent partners in a free market for manufacturing services — with all the uncertainty that this new freedom can entail.

Wibu-Systems can build on the potential of its flagship technology Codemeter for securing and helping monetise intellectual property in modern, connected industry. With its solutions for different hardware, software, or cloud licensing setups and support for virtually every development and operating environment of note, Codemeter has been successfully used for creative IP protection, licensing and monetisation. This is why the industrial automation engineers at Siemens have taken Codemeter’s capabilities on board for their Totally Integrated Automation Portal (TIA Portal), an ideal complement for the AM sector with versatile automation capabilities. At Formnext, Stefan Bamberg, Wibu-System's Senior Key Account and Partner Manager, will host a demonstration of the TIA Portal and Codemeter.

The CEM-E2 extruder allows 3D printing in metals, plastics and ceramics at higher speeds and with improved component quality.
The CEM-E2 extruder allows 3D printing in metals, plastics and ceramics at higher speeds and with improved component quality.
(Source: AIM3D)

New machines and systems for 3D components made of metal, plastic and ceramics

AIM3D, manufacturer of multi-material 3D printers, is currently developing larger granulate 3D printers in order to be able to reproduce larger installation spaces and even higher construction speeds. The product launch is planned for Formnext 2021 in Frankfurt.

The CEM-E2 extruder with its pressure heads is matched to material groups. With a pressure head version “M” (Metals), the extruder was designed for metal-filled materials (MIM granulate). The “P” (Plastics) pressure head is used for unfilled and filled plastics. The “C” (Ceramics) printhead was developed for ceramic-filled materials (CIM granulate) with higher abrasion. The new extruder/printheads are characterised by improved feeding accuracy. This enables a higher surface quality and better mechanical properties of the component. The extrusion speed could be increased by more than 200 percent, so that now up to 220 cm3/h construction rate is possible with a 0.4 mm nozzle.

The CEM technology enables the cross-material use of an additive manufacturing system. In addition, filaments can often be dispensed with and conventional granulates can be used, which offers considerable cost advantages. However, it is also essential to reduce the build-up time of a component if the granulates can be used directly.

The XJet Smart station has a selection of programs to suit any tray of parts.
The XJet Smart station has a selection of programs to suit any tray of parts.
(Source: XJet)

Smart station to automate post-processing of ceramic parts

AM company XJet announced the launch of the Smart station, a new system to automate the post-processing of XJet parts. The equipment provides the last link in the chain for automated end-to-end additive manufacturing using XJet Nano Particle Jetting.

Smart, or “Support Material Automatic Removal Technology”, works seamlessly with all XJet Carmel AM systems, automating the removal of the award-winning soluble support material and eliminating dependency on operator expertise. The water-based system has a selection of programs — differing by water level, flow rate and other parameters — to suit any given tray of parts. Using intelligent algorithms, the system suggests the appropriate program.

The company’s soluble support material works with all its ceramic and metal build materials. The ability to gently melt away the support ensures any ultra-fine details and complex geometries of parts are preserved throughout the post-processing process. The introduction of end-to-end automation — from support generation to support removal — allows manufacturers to produce premium quality parts, with all the benefits of additive manufacturing, the manufacturer claims.

End-to-end and on-demand 3D printing solutions

Replique will showcase how OEMs can provide parts on-demand to their customers through a global and decentralised 3D printing network. Visitors will be able to test the company’s 3D printing platform live on the booth and follow the entire ordering process based on an actual customer example from premium home appliance manufacturer, Miele.

As part of its joint project with the company, Replique leverages its production network to manage the manufacture and fulfilment of several accessories. For the qualification of the printing processes, the 3D printing company works closely with Forward AM, brand of BASF 3D Printing Solutions. Within the cooperation, the additive manufacturing process of the coffee clip, one of four accessories on the platform, could be certified for food contact.

Replique’s platform is not just a marketplace for decentralized 3D printing. From the selection of suitable parts for AM to digital storage, production and delivery, the company covers the entire process. With an API interface, the platform connects into existing webshops and other ordering channels such as ERP software. The result is an automated process that qualifies and encrypts files to ensure a simple and secure entry into 3D printing that does not change the existing customer ordering procedure.

Bofa recently launched its new stand-alone AM 400 system.
Bofa recently launched its new stand-alone AM 400 system.
(Source: Bofa)

AM filtration and atmosphere management keeps high temperatures and particles in check

The technology line-up of Bofa at Formnext will include its established 3D Print Pro range, as well as its recently enhanced capacity 3D Print Pro 4, and brand new 3D Print Pro HT (for higher temperature additive manufacturing processes) and AM 400, which features the company’s Intelligent Operating System.

The range of products have been designed to meet the needs of many different additive manufacturing processes:

  • The 3D Print Pro 2 filters emissions generated by small format open framed 3D printers
  • The 3D Print Pro 3 is suited to enclosed or partially enclosed 3D printers
  • The 3D Print Pro 4 has been enhanced to support fused filament fabrication, stereolithography, digital light processing, and material jetting. It has capacity to manage multi-unit operations through its advanced, high capacity filtration system, delivering optimal temperature control, airflow management and an odourless workplace environment.
  • The new 3D Print Pro HT captures high temperature particulate and gases emitted by advanced additive manufacturing processes up to 500°C.

The manufacturer also recently launched its new stand-alone AM 400 system, which uses patented technology enabling the filters that remove potentially harmful gases and particulate from metal additive manufacturing to be exchanged on site without risking a thermal event.