Special Report: Highlights from Formnext Connect 2020

November 18, 2020

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Special Report: Highlights from Formnext Connect 2020
This year’s Formnext event took place last week, purely virtual.  Here we offer highlights of the technology debuted during the Formnext Connect online event, and news announcements made throughout the week.  The Formnext Connect platform remains available through the end of the year. 

New HP AM Build Manager Promises Universal Adaptability and Scalability
HP Inc. has introduced Universal Build Manager, which leverages proprietary HP software and data processing as well as Dyndrite’s Accelerated Geometry Engine to simplify and automate build preparation across additive manufacturing (AM) technologies at high speeds, according to HP officials. The new product reportedly benefits from GPU-accelerated processing and Python-programming-language scriptability inherent to the Dyndrite Corp. engine, and is designed to improve the AM technician’s efficiency, productivity and quality, thus enabling mass-personalization, complex workflow automation, and scalability and extensibility in both manually driven and automated workflows.

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Thirteen Advance Orders for New Velo3D Large-Format Metal-AM Machine
Velo3D has debuted its Sapphire XC large-format 3D metal printer and announced 13 advance orders for the system, with delivery beginning in fourth quarter of 2021. The XC, with the term denoting “extra capacity,” reportedly can increase production throughput by five times and reduce cost-per-part by as much as 75 percent as compared to the existing Sapphire system.

Materialise Introduces Build Processor for Desktop Metal Binder-Jetting Systems
Materialise, Leuven, Belgium, introduced a Desktop Metal Build Processor to support Desktop Metal binder-jetting technologies, including its Shop System and Production System platforms. This strategic partnership will help reduce complexity for companies looking to scale their 3D printing operations, by providing a more seamless, end-to-end workflow.

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SLM Solutions Debuts 12-Laser AM Machine
SLM Solutions has unveiled its NXG XII 600 powder-bed AM system, featuring an industry-first 12 1000-W lasers and designed for high-volume, serial production. The new machine, available now for commercial orders, reportedly produces at speeds 20 times faster than standard single-laser systems and five times faster than a quad-laser unit—printing as much as 1000 cubic cm/hr. when employing its Double Jump Speed feature.

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New De-powdering Station Reduces Manual Work, Improves Safety
Trumpf has introduced a new de-powdering station for its laser powder-bed fusion metal-AM process that combines two process steps in one system: the unpacking of 3D-printed metal components and powder removal.

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Protolab's E-commerce Platform Offers Design Engineers Speed, Flexibility
Protolabs, a digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts, has launched a new e-commerce platform for the United Kingdom, responding to the need for reduced product-development time and evolved project-management tools required for the growing shift towards on-demand manufacturing. And, the UK launch will soon be followed by a rollout of the platform across the Americas, in January 2021.

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Compact DED Printers Include Automation for Batch Processing
Optomec Inc. debuts two metal-AM machines, the HC-TBR and the CS250, based on directed energy deposition (DED) and designed around 250 by 250 by 250 build volumes. Both are suitable for small-part production and repair, including batch processing, and are available in three- or five-axis versions capable of simultaneous five-axis coordinated motion for full free-space printing, according to Optomec officials.

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Simufact Offering Simulation for Metal Binder Jetting
Simufact, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has introduced metal binder jetting (MBJ) simulation, enabling manufacturers, at the design stage, to predict and prevent distortion that sintering processes will have on parts.

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Cloud-Based Platform Interconnects Markforged Printers Worldwide to Learn, Improve Printing
Markforged has launched a cloud-based industrial 3D-printing software platform, the Digital Forge, designed to interconnect all Markforged systems, employing machine learning (ML) to improve printing on all connected machines, according to company officials.

Industry News
New Company Alloyed Offers Alloys, Process Control and Digital Production
3DEO Earns Gold Medal in the 2020 LEAP Awards for AM
Makino and Additive Industries to Develop Integrated Process Chains
ExOne Joins AM Consortium to Develop Oil-and-Gas and Maritime Quality Standards
3D Systems Develops Nine-Laser AM Machine for U.S. Army Research
Automated Finishing System to Finland-Based Crimping-Machine Maker

Fall 2020
In This Issue
Mega-Movement on AM Materials
Material developments continue unabated, as AM reaches into new, and expands in existing, applications.

Successful Metal-AM Builds Are No Accident: The Value of In-Process Metrology
Manufacturers must address several metrics to help ensure successful metal-AM production, but three areas stand out as most critical: meltpool status, atmospheric composition and powder-bed height.

Coming in 3DMP's Winter 2021 Issue
  • Case Studies/New Applications for Metal AM
  • Software Roundup—All that’s New in Software for Metal AM
  • Ensuring a Reliable Supply of Power for AM Builds
  • AMUG 2021 Preview
Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Bar Coding, Case, Gas Metal Arc Welding GMAW, LASER, Scale
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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