3D Print Lyon 2022

Autor: David Rodríguez
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13 April 2022

Events, fairs and congresses are back and here to stay. This is very good news as they are important both to take the temperature of the sector and see its evolutions as well as to serve as a driving force for innovation and exchange between professionals in the field. 3D Print was held from 5 to 7 April 2022 in Lyon on the occasion of FIP (France Innovation Plasturgie), a biennial event dedicated to the plastics and composites industry that has been well established for years. [1], [2]

First visit to a fair that is very reminiscent of the Addit3D format in Bilbao [3], national distributors and service providers and large manufacturers present, not always with the machines on site. It is less industrial and more locally oriented in an area that can be visited in a day. In short, the antithesis of major events such as Formnext [4].

Photo by the author

In this post we will look at the general lines of the seventh edition of the event: the massive presence of desktop solutions through French distributors, the discreet offer in metal at the level of industrial machinery and an interesting proposal of reuse of materials for additive manufacturing. A broader view of the event can be found in an interesting article by 3D Printing Media Network. [5]

Majority presence of desktop equipment

Service providers have been seeing for a long time that it is not the classic competition that can hurt their sales, but their own customers. The vast and accessible supply of semi-industrial equipment means that users of additive manufacturing are now users of additive manufacturing who were once simply buyers of parts from third parties.

It can be seen in Lyon that a new niche has been created, moving away from the more purely industrial approach. The progression is also clear: first there was FDM, then came those based on photopolymerisation of resin, and now we can find SLS equipment or even in metal material adapted to an office environment.

Studio System 2 from Desktop Metal. The second generation dispenses with the binder removal stage and offers two steps: printing and heat treatment. Bound Metal Deposition (BDM) technology fully adapted to an office environment. Photo via Desktop Metal [6]

There is no doubt that the range of materials and the quality of parts is not the same, but they may well respond to particular customer needs, broadening the spectrum of users to be reached.

Limited participation of metal and industrial solutions

Major manufacturers such as EOS or DMG Mori were present, but their machines were not. It is true that the cost of getting such equipment to an event is high, but as mentioned above, it makes the impression of the show less industrial.

However, going into detail and getting to know the French ecosystem, there is no shortage of application cases and opportunities to put additive manufacturing at the service of industry. France is a country with powerful economic drivers in the automotive, energy and aeronautics sectors, an important asset to continue introducing this technology to these manufacturers.

The SLM Solutions NGX II 600 is perhaps the ultimate example of the industrial application of metal additive manufacturing. A machine, which could be a factory in itself, intended for the production of series of final parts at high speed thanks to its 12 lasers and a manufacturing volume of 600X600X600mm. [7]

Impressive part manufactured on the SLM Solutions NGX II 600. Photo by the author with permission of SLM Solutions

“The integration of this machine into traditional production lines is not only a breakthrough for additive manufacturing, but the beginning of a new era in additive metal manufacturing and printing. It is based on four fundamental principles: Productivity, size, reliability and safety”.


SLM Solutions

Small machine manufacturers also have a lot to say. Namma’s proposal for a multi-purpose machine: FDM printing, machining and laser marking. Large size (1000X1500X500mm) and easy to use thanks to its quick change of operation by means of interchangeable heads. [8]

Namma EVA, the first machine of the French brand. Photo via Namma

Ideal for applications such as composite moulds of considerable dimensions or parts in small series that require a precise surface finish, thus overcoming the disadvantage of the rough appearance of FDM.

Examples of parts made with Namma. Photo by the author with the permission of Namma

A nod to the circular economy and recycling

In the section on materials, the increasingly abundant mentions of sustainability are worth mentioning. A great example is ValorYeu, a project born on the French island of Yeu, whose mission is to give a second life to fishing nets, made of nylon. Globally, they account for 10% of the plastics in the oceans, some 160,000 tonnes/year, and their own treatment means pollution, as they are generally incinerated or buried. [9]

Photo by author with permission from Volumic

Seeing such a volume available, it is not a bad idea to recycle this PA6 to be reconditioned for use in FDM printing.

Piece printed from recycled fishing nets. Photo by the author with permission of Volumic

ValorYeu was represented by Volumic which, as a testimonial, shows other naturally occurring materials available for FDM printing. These are not currently of significant value to the mechanical and plastics science industry, but it gives us an idea of the opportunities that can be opened up if we continue to explore this path.

PLA blends with sand, pinewood or wheat. Photo by the author with permission from Volumic

Finally, a number of conferences were held as part of the joint FIP-3DPrint event. Of particular note was the Innovative Materials Days series, where innovative materials, the need for a global view of sourcing and responsibility throughout the entire life cycle of the product and its components were discussed.[10] The series was organised by the FIP-3DPrint Foundation.

REFERENCES

[1] 3D Print

[2] FIP

[3] Addit3d Bilbao 2021

[4] Formnext 2021

[5] Chronicle of the event by 3D Printing Media Network

[6] Desktop Metal Studio System 2

[7] SLM Solutions NGX II 600

[8] NAMMA EVA

[9] Project ValorYeu

[10] Conferences at FIP

David Rodríguez

3D Printing professional. Mining & Energy Engineer B.Sc. Industrial Engineer M.Sc. Believe to make.

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