Additive Industries, operating out of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has just hosted its fifth annual Additive World conference. The event concluded with a showcase of the MetalFAB1 industrial 3D printer that hopes to accelerate adoption of additive manufacturing for mass production.
“From fab to lab”
Founded in 2012, Additive Industries now has 45 employees at their Eindhoven base with plans to expand into the US and later to Asia.
The company’s main aim is to bring metal 3D printing, “from lab to fab.” Rather than having to accommodate a number of different machines, the MetalFAB1 is an all-encompassing device. As a modular machine, the MetalFAB1 facilitates series production through automated processes.
Addressing the additive manufacturing hype
At Additive World Ilko Bosman, manager of finance and IT at Additive Industries, explained how the industry need to address genuine manufacturing problems amidst all the hype. He said,
We have to bridge the gap between industrial demand and additive manufacturing promise
Since additive manufacturing is yet to be adopted completely by mainstream manufacturing, there are still significant hurdle to progressions. One of the needs, as explained by Fraunhofer at the conference, is to address the high costs per part.
Another hurdle is reliability, which is something Additive Industries is very keen to address with the MetalFAB1. The company continue to improve the powder management of the machine, reducing the need for interactions by an operator.
Daan A.J. Kersten, CEO and co-founder of Additive Industries, explains that the view of the technology needs to change,
If we can take people to space in aircrafts that are partially printed, then I’m sure other industries can rely on the technology
With this in mind, the company hope to encourage adoption of additive manufacturing on an industrial scale.
David Wimpenny, Chief Technologist for Component Manufacturing at the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), also shared his views for improvements to additive automation at the Additive World Conference.
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Featured image shows Additive Industries HQ in Eindhoven. Photo by Beau Jackson