Global trade group for additive manufacturing (AM), Additive Manufacturing Green Trade Association (AMGTA) has announced that 12 leading AM companies from eight different countries have now joined in an effort to advance sustainability within the industry.
Founded in 2019, AMGTA is a Florida-based association aimed at promoting the green credentials of AM. In order to advance their green trade mission, the organization has announced that 12 leading AM companies from different sectors will be joining its membership rolls. The companies were eligible in accordance with AMGTA’s sustainability criteria, and were selected to promote the environmental benefits of AM in favour of traditional manufacturing methods.
“I’m delighted to welcome each of these esteemed founding members and participating member companies to the AMGTA,” said Sherry Handel, Executive Director of the AMGTA. “Their commitment not only to support the mission of our new trade group, but also their passion for sustainability, well positions the AMGTA to serve as a key industry resource in advancing sustainability in the AM industry.”
AMGTA was launched at Formnext 2019, and was co-founded by Sintavia, an additive manufacturer focused on the aerospace, defense and space industries. Joining the team were also Taito Nippon Sanso Corporation, a Japanese supplier of industrial gases and QC Laboratories, a subsidiary of Sintavia specialized in non-destructive laboratory testing.
The association’s aim is to raise awareness to the public and manufacturing industries about the advantages of using AM, not only in terms of cost and speed, but also regarding sustainability. Once a company is enlisted as a participating member, AMGTA supports that company with marketing campaigns, sponsorships for their research and publication of results. By doing so, it entices the participating companies to grow in a sustainable direction.
Referring to sustainability in additive manufacturing at Formnext 2019, Brian Neff, Sintavia’s Chief Executive Officer, explained that “benefits include improved end use design utility and improved industrial ecology of the fabrication process itself. The AMGTA’s purpose will be to raise awareness of these benefits within the end market segment, in order to accelerate the adoption rate of the technology.”
In June 2020, the AMGTA announced a systematic review examining the environmental impact of metal 3D printing. The project was lead by Dr. Faludi, an assistant professor of design engineering at the University of Delft. The project consists of a research paper examining the impact of metal 3D printing on the environment, and its purpose is to be shared with industries and stakeholders.
The 12 new members and criteria
The companies joining the AMGTA are from a wide spectrum of industries including engineering, software and manufacturing. The new members include AMEXCI AB, a Swedish accelerator for adoption of 3D printing technologies, alongside Danish AM Hub, Denmark’s focal point for the additive manufacturing ecosystem. Accompanying them are the global suppliers EOS, a leading PBF machine manufacturer, GE Additive, a consultation service of 3D printer OEM, and Materialise, a leading additive manufacturing software developer.
The rest of the members include the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland which is involved in industry-led manufacturing facilities. Driver of design and industrial manufacturing, Siemens Digital Industries Software is contributing with its Xcelerator digital enterprise portfolio, while SLM Solutions and Stryker are also becoming members, the former a German leading provider of metal 3D printing machines and the latter a US-based medical technology company.
In terms of eligibility criteria, companies must meet four standards. Firstly, a greater part of the companies’ revenue must be generated via AM in the course of the last fiscal year. Then, the company must possess internal policies integrating waste reduction and sustainability. Ideally, the company should be a member of the Green Business Bureau or other analogous agencies. Finally, the company should be inclined to publicly and actively promote the environmental benefits of 3D printing within end markets.
Sustainability and 3D printing
Recently, there has been an increasing awareness regarding the potential environmental benefits of 3D printing technologies. In sectors such as construction and 3D printing materials, new sustainable innovations are on the market.
In terms of materials, Dutch 3D printing filament vendor, Reflow has launched ‘Seaglass’ a new environmentally friendly translucent material. The latter is made from locally-sourced plastic and its structure mimics wildlife, overall it aims to limit plastic pollution worldwide.
Elsewhere, researchers from Vilnus University in Lithuania and the Kaunas Univeristy of Technology, have created an eco-friendly recyclable resin made from soybeans. This new bio-resin delivers the same results as conventional polymers and can be used for the Optical 3D printing (O3P) process.
In the construction sector, material producer DSM, Royal HaskoningDHV and the City of Rotterdam are collaborating to 3D print a fiber reinforced thermoplastics footbridge out of recyclable source materials.
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Featured image shows Additive Manufacturing Green Trade Association’s logo. Image via AMGTA.