This year, the leading global exhibition and conference on additive manufacturing, Formnext 2018 sets a record with the participation of more than 600 exhibitors. With around 27,000 visitors, the fourth edition of the show took place in Frankfurt, from 13-16 Novemeber 2018. Organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, formnext showcased the exisiting and future cutting-edge applications of additive technologies. With an eye on the future of innovative manufacturing, the event covered a vast range of notable discussion topics from the latest advancements in product development and industrial manufacturing to design, related legal parameters and ongoing vocational training.
A wide range of industry sectors, such as medical technology, automotive, electrical engineering, aerospace, mechanical engineering, and many more, gathered at the international conference to discover industrial 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and innovative production technologies for their industrial applications. The physical size of the show reflected the expansion and growth of the AM and 3D printing sector, and provided visitors with a clear view of the direction that additive technology is taking for the manufacturing process chain.
Key Product Launches
At the formnext 2018, the theme that came through is one of developing and offering holistic AM solutions. A leader in selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, EOS showcased its first new process development dubbed as LaserProFusion system, which is as productive as injection molding technology. The new system has been created for polymer additive manufacturing. The company also exhibited the EOS M 300-4 metal AM system for serial metal production, which relies on software to print at 10 times faster than its other systems. For the second consecutive year, Japanese engineering company Mimaki presented its binder jetting system: the 3DUJ-553 – ultra jetting, with build size of 500 x 500 x 300 mm.
Siemens introduced new advancements in software and automation solutions for the industrialisation of additive manufacturing. They also about to open a digitalised production facility in UK with a capacity 50+ Metal AM systems in December 2018 to push the industrialisation of additive manufacturing. Siemens is also aiming to enable AM by extended partnership based financing with potential customers.
Boston’s Rize showcased its new full system called as the XRIZE 3D printer, which is the planned progression from the RIZEOne 3D printer. The new colour FDM 3D printing system is based on the company’s augmented deposition process. ESI unveiled its “Integrated Computational Material Engineering platform (ICME): ESI Additive Manufacturing”, which offers “a complete suite of tools addressing heat source/feed stock interaction to identify manufacturing defects and residual stresses.” New machine for 3D printing has been showcased at the event, the new CERAMAKER 900 3D printer by 3DCeram-Sinto that is based on fast ceramic production (FCP) technology.
With all eyes on Formnext, 3D Systems has taken the event as a platform to introduce its two new metal 3D printers: the DMP Flex 350 and DMP Factory 350. 3D printer company EnvisionTEC presented the industry’s first DLP 3D printer with a true 4K projector, which uses artificial intelligence. German 3D printer manufacturer BigRep exhibited two new large scale industrial machines, the Pro and Edge 3D systems, featuring the company’s metering extruder technology (MET), which offers higher print speeds along with increased precision and quality parts. At the booth, BigRep described ‘MXT’ as “the new fast and precise extrusion technology.”
Machine tool and laser technology leader, TRUMPF presented a new green laser technology at the event, illustrating its capacity to 3D print pure copper and other precious metals. The company also introduced its TruPrint 5000. Global engineering firm Renishaw showcased its additive manufacturing (AM) software and hardware products. Exhibited in Hall 3.1 at booth E68, the company demonstrated NC-PerfectPart software, ARION4 hand-powered bike, as well as a range of products for productive AM including its four-laser RenAM 500Q.
Italian precision machinery manufacturer Sisma exhibited digital light processing (DLP) printers, the EVERES ZERO and EVERES UNO, targeted at jewellery and dental markets. Materials and systems developer Essentium demonstrated the High Speed Extrusion Platform (HSE) intended to be 10 times faster and more accurate as compared to other extrusion platform and has capacity of producing parts at scale.
At the formnext 2018, GE Additive announced the development of integrated workflow software in order to streamline the metal 3D printing process. The workflow combined the Autodesk Fusion 360 platform with GE Additive Build Preparation interfaces. German machine manufacturing company Arburg demonstrated its new large machine dubbed as freeformer 300-3X, which can process three components using ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF) process.
3D printing company Additive Industries announced its long-term collaboration with car maker Volkswagen at formnext 2018. As part of this partnership, both the companies will 3D print advanced tooling and spare parts for Volkswagen. Digital inkjet technology company Xaar introduced its HL Technology, the latest system in inkjet printhead technology.
This year, Australian company Speed3D has exhibited its coldspray AM system and gave live demonstrations twice a day. The novel conveyor belt FDM system from Blackbelt 3D was presented at booth A88. Also on display was a Stacker FDM 3D printer with 4 extruders. Triditive, a Spanish 3D printer manufacturer, also exhibited a much larger conveyor belt 3D printing system called the AMCELL.
3D printing giant Stratasys has revealed more details about its upcoming Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM) technology at the event. This solution is being developed to boost the speed, cost and facility of 3D printing metal parts for short-run applications.An Italian manufacturer of resin-based 3D printers, Lumi Industries, demonstrated its DLP 3D printer called LumifoldTB, which uses tablets as a light source. HP showcased is established MJF platform with some proved case studies and also announced their move into the Metal AM space.
The India Story
This year, Formnext also witnessed some of the renowned Indian companies stepping ahead in additive manufacturing industry. One of India’s largest service bureau and solution provider Imaginarium India attended the show for the first time. It demonstrated the Rapid Online Factory at the event, in order to enable consumers to access their complete suite of manufacturing services via an online interface. Intech DMLS, a metal 3D printing provider and metal additive manufacturing established in aviation sector, announced its partnership with Japan-based machine tools manufacturer DMG Mori at the show. As part of this deal, Intech will integrate its new Optomet software into the DMG Mori machines. Intech also made an announcement of procuring their first Metal FAB1 printer from Additive Industries. Another Indian service bureau, Objectify Technology, also marked it presence at formnext 2018. Objectify provides both Metal AM and polymer services and has seen fast growth in recent times.
Also read our article on the Indications of Indian AM Industry going Global.
Did you miss Formnext ? Meet the stakeholders from the 3D Printing industry here in India at the Inside 3D Printing Mumbai 2018 on 19-20 December 2018 at Nehru Centre.