Formnext 2019 is a global exhibition and conference dedicated to additive manufacturing and industrial 3D printing. This year, the fifth edition of the exhibition and conference was held at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, from 19 to 22 November 2019. It was attended by 34,532 specialists and managers, a growth of 28% over last year and 852 exhibitors with a growth of 35% over last year.

Formnext summit also saw internationally-recognized organizations, industry experts, renowned academics and market analysts from Europe, USA, and Asia provides a truly global overview of how advances in 3D technologies, design, and engineering, are impacting the manufacturing world. The exhibition was attended by world-renowned companies across aerospace, automotive, healthcare sectors like Airbus, Apple, Adidas, Bayer, Honeywell, BMW, P&G Manufacturing, Roche Diagnostics, Siemens, etc.

This year’s exhibition has been hugely successful witnessing number of technological updates and launches. Some of the launches and technology updates in areas of software, 3D printers, material and post-processing solution are discussed below.

MSC Software Corporation - MSC Apex Generative Design

MSC Software Corporation is an American software company based in Newport Beach, California, that specializes in CAE simulation software.

MSC Apex Generative Design is a new design optimization solution. The optimization process is more straightforward and users can simply input boundary conditions and design objectives for a given part and the software will come up with design solutions. Hence, it can generate a part design that is ready to be printed within a few hours. By taking boundaries and objectives into account, the software will generate multiple lightweight design candidates while providing optimal stress distribution and minimized part weight. The software also employs an intelligent smoothing technology that ensures 3D models have a smooth, professional finish. It also offers integration of all steps into a comprehensive CAE environment, enabling users to easily navigate from design to AM preparation on a single platform.

Since the program provides a high degree of automation for design processes, it has the potential to improve productivity by up to 80% compared to more traditional topology optimization software. Smarter generative design process produces design candidates that can satisfy both engineering criteria and looks like the designer intended in 3D printing which absences in the traditional design solution.

Desktop Metal – Shop System

Desktop Metal is a technology company that designs and markets metal 3D printing systems. The company was founded in October 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Desktop Metal has launched “the world’s first metal binder jetting system designed for machine shops.” called Shop System. It is a high speed and single-pass printing system built for mid-volume production runs for machine shops. This technology enables affordable, reliable and flexible batch production of complex parts for machine shops. Users can print end-use metal parts with the quality, surface finish and tolerances needed to co-exist with machining – up to 10 times faster than laser powder bed fusion and at a fraction of the cost per part. It has the highest resolution single-pass binder jetting printing system on the market. With a spot size of 16 microns per drop, 1600 native single pass DPI and the ability to distribute up to 670 million drops per second. Compared to other single-pass binder jetting systems, it has a 33% higher resolution, as per the company.

This system print fully supported in their powder bed and feature hand-removable sintering setters, users will avoid hours of labour machining or wire EDM off support structures typical of laser-based systems (traditional system). This, in turn, reduces the total number of manufacturing steps needed, increasing shop productivity and capacity without requiring additional headcount or machinist hours. Since, its world’s first metal binder jetting system for the machine shop, it has no current competition in the market.

EnvisionTEC and Sartomer-E-Aquasol

EnvisionTEC is a global developer of professional-grade 3D printing solutions with US offices in Dearborn, Michigan.

Sartomer, a global supplier of specialty chemicals and a business line of Arkema with US headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania.