Additive Manufacturing European Forum 2018 to take place in Brussels next week

Next week, on the 23rd and 24th October 2018, a consortium of industry stakeholders will take to Brussels to for the Additive Manufacturing European Forum (AMEF2018). Funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme AMEF2018 is the work of AM-Motion, a consortium created to encourage the rapid uptake of 3D printing across the continent.

It is supported by 13 partners across 7 constituent nations, including European Additive Manufacturing Strategy lead CECIMO, award winning 3D printing stakeholders Siemens and Materialise, TNO, TWI Limited, Airbus and the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA).

According to the AM-Motion mission statement:

“Additive manufacturing is a key driver of European industrialization and digitalization, a vital enabler of the industry 4.0 revolution.”

Next week’s forum will give participants the opportunity to network and debate the economic, social and technical challenges presented by the current state of additive manufacturing, and the role of European policies in overcoming them.

Distribution of AM-Motion partners across Europe. Image via AM-Motion
Distribution of AM-Motion partners across Europe. Image via AM-Motion

€250 million invested in additive manufacturing 

According to AM-Motion, the European Union has allocated more than €250 million (the equivalent of $290 million) to research & innovation (R&A) projects focusing on additive manufacturing.

Through Horizon 2020, this includes funding for CELLINK’s SilkFUSION project to genetically engineer platelets for “transfusion and drug research,” €2.7 million for sustainable automotive materials Project BARABARA, and the BADGER robot, that aims to dig and print water pipes underground.

Consortium co-ordinator Prodintec is also collaborating on a project for the European Defence Agency, that seeks to applying 3D printing to improve MRO, costs and “sustainability in warfighting and peacekeeping missions.”

BADGER bot tunnels underground without disruption to the surface above. Image via BADGER robotics
Horizon 2020 funded BADGER bot tunnels underground without disruption to the surface above. Image via BADGER robotics

EU policy topics

Next week’s AMEF2018 event will see talks and presentation across 6 key topics:

The first, “An innovative industrial and social renaissance for Europe” including the European Commission’s address Horizon Europe: the next research and innovation framework programme.

Second is “Additive Manufacturing industrial challenges,” reviewing AM strategy in steel and process qualification.

The third topic, “Beyond the technological aspects” centers on barriers to adoption, such as “availability of an operational workforce, concerns about managing, protecting, and transferring IP.”

Fourth and fifth, the forum will tackle “The international dimension” and “The regional dimension” providing continental scope within the wider global sphere.

And finally, the event will close with discussion of “Key Additive Manufacturing projects,” giving a progress update on some of the initiatives that are gradually overcoming challenges. This includes presentation of the Maestro Project: a modular direct metal laser sintering system, also funded by Horizon 2020.

Key outcomes of AM-Motion. Image via AM-Motion
Key outcomes of AM-Motion. Image via AM-Motion

AM-Motion roadmaps

As announced in March 2018, AM-Motion has now published the first draft of its additive manufacturing roadmap, and accepted revisions to this version up until September 10. The document present AM-Motion’s vision of 3D printing progress for 2030, identifying key actions for successful uptake across all valuable sectors, i.e. healthcare, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, tooling and energy. An updated version of the roadmap is expected for release in the near future.

With CECIMO, AM-Motion has also succeeded in mapping, among others, all currently available educational initiatives for 3D printing; EU, National and regional initiatives;  and relevant Research Development and Innovation (RDI) programmes.

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Featured image shows EU flags outside European Parliament. Photo by Walerian Walawski/SublimeStar.com