Formnext 2018 – Roundup of AM Innovations

Formnext 2018 demonstrated its leading and influential stature as the definitive additive manufacturing show this year, with a capacity 550 exhibitors showcasing state-of-the-art printers, groundbreaking new technology, and insights.

The advances seen at formnext 2018 were truly unexpected, given that the market has matured in terms of moving towards actual manufacturing.

The following are some curated highlights:

New Metal AM technology

Stratasys, who is known globally for their plastic additive manufacturing technologies like FDM and PolyJet, officially disclosed the name of their new metal AM technology, Layered Powder Metallurgy (LPM). Incorporating the company’s proprietary jetting technology and commonly-used powder metallurgy starting with aluminum, LPM aims to deliver cost-effective, production-grade metal parts for mid-to-low volume production.

Elastomer and new advanced materials from Stratasys

For a unique and improved rapid prototyping, tooling, and production experience, Stratasys has announced the release of an advanced elastomer solution and enhanced materials for their class-leading FDM and PolyJet 3D printers. The TPU 92A is an advanced Elastomer that is the first of its kind to offer real soluble support for smooth post-processing.

Besides TPU 92A,  Stratasys also announced Agilus30 White, VeroVivid Cyan, and VeroFlexVivid for the J750 and J735 PolyJet 3D Printers, PEKK-based FDM thermoplastic Antero 800NA for the F900 3D Printers, and the new biocompatible material MED625FLX. Click to learn more about their capabilties.

Production System gets enhanced before first installation

Powered by Single Pass Jetting technology, the Production System is built for mass production of metal parts as they look to further shift the industry beyond prototyping to full-scale metal manufacturing. Ahead of the first customer installation in early 2019, Desktop Metal has announced several major upgrades and expanded capabilities to their much-anticipated metal 3D system, the Production System. Click to learn more about the changes.

More affordable large-scale printing

DWS Systems exhibited their new XPro system that comes with a single laser head, allowing for large-scale printing at a more affordable price with high surface finish. There was also the launch of their new product line OPENDWS, where the exceptional quality of DWS materials/resins for 3D printing is now available for 3D printers of any maker.

Highly automated and accessible Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printers

Italian manufacturer SISMA introduced their sleek looking systems, EVERES ZERO and EVERES UNO, based on Digital Light Processing that uses resin polymerization by means of light projection. Both feature the patent-pending ZTT (Zero Tilting Technology), for fast and accurate printing and are highly automated from the start and end of each printing process.

New CERAMAKER 900 with metal and ceramic capabilities

3DCeram introduced a new hybrid version of their CERAMAKER 900 3D Printer, which can now produce functional parts made of multiple materials. They can either consist of different ceramic materials like Silicon Nitride, ATZ, or Silica, or even combine ceramic and metals together such as semi-conductor silver materials.

XJET adds a new ceramic material to their printers

Utilizing NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) technology for the printing of ceramic and metal parts, XJET announced the addition of a new ceramic material, Alumina, in addition to Zirconia. A new soluble support material for a soon-to-be-released stainless steel material was also introduced and is said to take just around 10 minutes to dissolve.

A new chapter in Electron Beam Melting technology

The Spectra H from 3D printer maker, Arcam, sets a new chapter in Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, with the ability to print larger parts, produce more parts at one time, handle high heat and crack prone materials, such as TiAl and nickel Alloy 718, and do more in less time while growing opportunities.

Dry Electropolishing for Mass Finishing

GPA Innova showcased their new mass finishing system using DLyte dry electropolishing technology, the 10000i. which can polish 1 metal part (up to 750x500x500mm) to 200 parts (up to 50x50x50mm). They also introduced their modular polishing solution that can be customized depending on mass production and big AM parts needs.

The next edition of Formnext will take place from 19 – 22 November next year (2019).