After the turbulence of 2020 and the cancellation of nearly all trade shows, conferences and in-person meetings, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) returned to an in-person event in Orlando, FL for the AMUG 2021 conference. Considering additive manufacturing is an industry that thrives on collaboration and training, this was a welcome relief after a year of Zoom, WebEx and GoToMeeting calls!
TriMech traditionally has a presence at this trade show, and this year Alex Pestana and Andrew Sink were sent down to see what’s new in the industry, talk with existing and future clients, and report back to the rest of the team. There were a lot of exciting updates this year, but we chose three key takeaways that we are most excited about.
ExOne Metal DesignLab
ExOne, a metal 3D printing company that has recently partnered with TriMech, had their X1 MetalDesignlab printer on the floor at AMUG and were demonstrating its ability to print solid metal parts without needing infill material on dense cross-sections. This is an exciting development in the metal additive world, as the ability to print without using a chemical debinding process means the overall part processing time is greatly reduced as well. This machine represents a large breakthrough in this style of metal additive manufacturing, and TriMech is excited to be working with ExOne to bring this technology to market.
DLP / SLA Resin Diversity
A recurring theme this year was the focus on resin diversity for DLP and SLA 3D printers. DSM, LuxCreo and other material manufacturers are developing resins with new characteristics for specific applications. There were also many talks concerning the state of the resin industry, how it is advancing and what needs to be done to ensure resins can meet production requirements. BASF showed off several coatings that can be applied to their base resins to seal, smooth and increase mechanical properties. Manufacturers are also developing materials that incorporate additives like ceramic or carbon nanotubes for increased strength as well as other uses.
Post-Process Equipment Specialization
As the additive manufacturing industry moves towards scalable production of parts, post-processing is becoming a more important piece of the puzzle. During the show, Stratasys announced their partnership with DyeMansion for post-processing SAF parts that are printed on their new H350 platform. The dyed samples were on display and offered an impressive glimpse into the future of high volume production parts. From custom colors to Pantone-specific color-matching (not to mention surface finishing and depowdering), DyeMansion is focused on solving the problem of post-processing and dying additively manufactured parts.
After a challenging year, a recurring theme across the AMUG presentations was the resilience of the additive manufacturing industry. In addition to the technical information, the AMUG conference also serves as a one-of-a-kind networking event that allows AM professionals from all industries to meet, brainstorm and discuss new and exciting trends that they see in 3D printing technology. The value of an in-person conference like this is hard to overstate and TriMech recognizes the benefit of sending our application engineering team to stay current with the latest in additive manufacturing technology innovations to better serve our clients.
Stratasys also recently released some new technology. Read about what is coming to market and some of the other technologies that will be impacting the additive manufacturing space.