Everything 3D Printing Announced at formnext 2018

Announcements include new 3D printing materials, machines, software and partnerships.

With Euromold all but forgotten, formnext has secured its position as the leading European trade show for additive manufacturing. Industrial 3D printing news from this year’s event seems only to have increased from last year and includes some exciting new technologies, materials and partnerships. 

3D Printing Technologies

EOS LaserProFusion technology. (Image courtesy of EOS.)

EOS LaserProFusion technology. (Image courtesy of EOS.)

A leader in selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, EOS has announced its first new process development in years. Dubbed LaserProFusion, the process relies on almost one million diode lasers that can reach up to 5kW each to print plastic materials. The company claims that it is as productive as injection molding technology. EOS also introduced 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.

3D Systems introduced two new metal 3D printers, the DMP Flex 350 and DMP Factory 350. The former includes an integrated powder management system and the latter is an upgrade to the company’s ProX DMP 320 with 15 percent more productivity. Both will be available in late Q4 2018.

Swiss manufacturer of desktop SLS solutions Sintratec released the latest in its line, the Sintratec S2 3D printer. This modular system features a number of stations outside of the printer itself, including de-powdering, material preparation and surface treatment modules.

From Germany, BigRep announced the release of the BigRep PRO and the BigRep EDGE 3D printers, including the company’s new MXT Extrusion Technology. The extrusion system was developed in partnership with BASF, which separates control over filament feeding and extrusion, resulting in speeds that are five times faster than other systems, according to the company.

3DCeram-Sinto introduced the CERAMAKER 900, a larger and more automated version of its previous systems, capable of 3D printing ceramics and metals. Formerly 3DCeram, the company has received financial backing from the Japanese Sinto Group. With the new system, new materials have also been released, including silicon nitride (Si3N4), silicon oxide (SiO2), and Zirconia 8Y.

Italian company Sisma, known for its metal 3D printers, announced digital light processing (DLP) printers, the EVERES ZERO and EVERES UNO, targeted at jewelry and dental markets. 

A full-color print made by the XRize 3D printer from Rize. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

A full-color print made by the XRize 3D printer from Rize. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Rize had exciting news for the event: the release of a full-color 3D printer, the XRIZE. The printer deposits cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink onto parts during the printing process. Additionally, the company announced two new materials, RIZIUM CARBON, reinforced carbon nanofibers, and RIZIUM ENDURA, which offers high impact resistance.

3D Printing Materials

Major chemical companies were all in attendance, announcing a variety of new materials. DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers showcased glass-reinforced polyamide as well as carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide 3D printing filaments.

DSM introduced a specialty resin for stereolithography, called PerFORM Reflect, designed for wind tunnel testing without the need for applying Particle Imaging Velocimetry coating before testing. The company’s new thermoplastic copolyester Arnitel ID2060 HT is designed for prolonged heat resistance, chemical resistance and flexibility.

BASF 3D Printing Solutions (B3DPS) displayed Ultrasint Polyamide PA6 Black FR material, a stiff flame-resistant nylon, and a polypropylene dubbed Ultrasint PP.

The PlasmaDerm device from CINOGY. (Image courtesy of ACEO.)

The PlasmaDerm device from CINOGY. (Image courtesy of ACEO.)

Wacker’s 3D printing division ACEO, known for its silicone 3D printing technology, released a new electrically-conductive silicone. To demonstrate applications of the technology, ACEO partnered with a company called CINOGY to develop a specialty wound care device using CINOGY’s cold plasma technology.

Israeli 3D printing company XJet announced the relea se of alumina for its ceramic 3D printing technology. The material offers good electrical insulation and high mechanical strength.

3D Printing Software

Belgian software and service provider Materialise released Magics 23 platform, designed to give users greater control and the ability to process large data sets more quickly, while also reducing power consumption and automatic support generation for honeycomb geometries and fillets.

UK-based AMFG showed off its Post-Processing Scheduling and quality assurance software, created to automate post-production for AM parts.

Siemens introduced Simcenter 3D Additive Manufacturing Build Process Simulation, which laser powder bed fusion processes to improve chances of printing a part right the first time. It accomplishes this by simulating such defects as deformations and overheating, and then creating a geometry that compensates for these issues.

GE Additive announced the development of build prep workflow software. The tool will rely on the simulation capabilities of Geonx, the company GE purchased last November, and build processors. The software will also include interoperable build preparation services available to CAD platforms, through partnerships GE Additive has established with Autodesk, PTC, Siemens PLM Software, Vera Security and Dassault Systèmes.

3D Printing Partnerships and Other News

Among the more exciting partnerships announced at the event was that of Volkswagen and Additive Industries. Upon receiving a MetalFAB1 3D printer at its Wolfsburg plant, VW will work with Additive Industries to 3D print tooling and spare parts.

GKN Powder Metallurgy has partnered with PostNord AB, a leader in Nordic communications and logistics, to optimize their part supply chain. GKN also joined forces with EOS and the two are in the process of creating a laser-based metal 3D printing technology that they claim will result in 70 percent faster production times and cost reductions of 50 percent.

A 3D printed titanium wheel made using Arcam Electron Beam Melting. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)

A 3D printed titanium wheel made using Arcam Electron Beam Melting. (Image courtesy of GE Additive.)

GE Additive and HRE Wheels showcased the first titanium wheel 3D printed using GE Additive’s electron beam melting technology, meant to reduce material waste.

HP announced a partnership with RecTech 3D, a Chinese industrial contract manufacturer that has adopted HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) in its AM facility. The company will have 10 MJF machines installed in early 2019 before scaling up to 30. Similarly, MJF customer Forecast 3D has installed 24 MJF machines. And GE Transportation will use MJF to produce parts at its Bangalore facility for mining vehicles and trains.

Additionally, BMW Group and Volkswagen Group are using MJF to create parts for the automotive industry. BMW showcased the use of MJF to make window guide rail parts for the BMW i8 Roadster, while VW has used it to 3D print all of the tools for its T-Cross SUV.

HP will also be working with Autodesk to create an AM design-to-print software for MJF, including Fusion 360’s generative design features.