The fifth edition of ADDIT3D, the main national event for the additive manufacturing industry, was held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC) on 26, 27 and 28 October 2021. ADDIT3D is part of the +INDUSTRY event, which includes other trade fairs such as Bedigital, Industry Tools by Ferroforma, Maintenance, Pumps&Valves and Subcontratación, as well as the Workinn employment forum.
The professional meeting was attended by 10,332 professional visitors and 633 exhibitor firms, of which 97 were part of Addit3D. 41% of visitors came from outside the Basque Country, and on an international level, there were visitors from 34 countries, the main ones being France, Portugal, Germany and Italy. 
Given the pandemic, it is not surprising that the number of visitors has halved compared to 2019 (19,534), although the number of exhibitors will remain practically unchanged at 101 in 2019 vs. 97 in 2021. In any case, a far cry from the 137 exhibitors and 42,455 visitors in 2018, when it was held as part of the machine tool biennial. 
The Basque ecosystem, in good shape
Basque firms stand out at the fair and present themselves as leaders in the field of 3D printing. Special mention should be made of SMEs and start-ups that are working hard and offering interesting proposals despite their size and short lifespan.
From Gipuzkoa we met Domotek, which started out offering printing and prototyping services as well as selling machines and materials. They are currently making a name for themselves in the field of bioprinting and have developed their own FDM + electrospinning additive manufacturing machines for medical and research applications, the DomoBio2A and Domobio4A.
The device prints a matrix or scaffold in FDM on a rigid bioabsorbable material and then fills it with nanofibres by electrospinning, creating a three-dimensional volume, not only habitable for cells but also promoting their proliferation and differentiation. The development of this machine is part of the Hazitek Bio3D project of the Basque Government.  
“Research centres and hospitals quickly became interested in our technology. We have brought 9 devices to the market and they all have been acquired”
Koldo Artola, founder of Domotek
In powder bed fusion, SamyLabs stands out with its Alba 300, the first machine designed, manufactured and marketed in Spain using LPBF technology. The Barakaldo-based company started in 2016 and thanks to the synergy with ONA, they offer a compact, versatile and accessible machine without losing an ounce of quality 
Also thanks to ONA Electroerosión, but this time allied with Maher Holding Group, Addilan was born in 2017, offering printing services and machines with WAAM technology. Its main features are its high feed rates (up to 6 kg/h) and its size, as it is scalable up to 5 metres. Materials currently available include steel, titanium alloys, superalloys such as Invar or Inconel and aluminium alloys. 
“We target the market of high value-added components, in medium and large sizes, for industrial fields such as aeronautics, shipbuilding and energy. We can offer parts in less time and at a lower cost than with traditional methods”
Amagoia Paskual, CEO, Addilan
Addilan has signed a collaboration agreement with Optimus 3D from Vitoria, also users of Samylabs. They come to the event to present their proposals in additive manufacturing thanks to their offer in FDM, SLM, Polyjet and MJF for the automotive, aeronautics and medical fields, the latter having been certified in ISO13485 for customised medical devices. 
“In the case of custom-made orthoses, made of PA12, we are developing a system to scan the anatomy with a smartphone to save time and comfort for the patient”
Izaskun Arriaga, medical device designer at Optimus 3D.
From England, with its Spanish distributor Join3D, we learned about Photocentric’s Liquid Crystal Magna proposal. Resin printing based on LCD polymerisation. Unlike projector-based DLP technology, the LCD screen allows larger surfaces to be printed without losing quality in the angles. These are low-cost resins developed by BASF for a wavelength of 450nm. 
“Los Hacedores”, by the hands of SolidPerfil 3D presented the desktop SLS bet from US-based Formlabs. The American company insists on offering office solutions, like its “Form”offer in resin, focusing on service bureaus end customers, traditionally users of industrial printers. 
3D Microprint, a German company specialising in micro metal printing, was founded in 2013 by EOS GmbH and 3D-Micromac AG. In a 60mm-diameter platform, powders of less than 5 µm enable the printing of fine details, gaps of 50 µm and tiny grooves to create high added value parts. 
“We offer microprinting in gold, 316L, 17-4PH and Ti6Al4V for markets such as watchmaking, jewellery, medical and sensors among others”
Antonio Rebeggiani, sales director at 3D Microprint
A place for research and higher education
Research and development was also present at BEC. This is the case of Lortek, a technology centre based in Ordizia, which offers its manufacturing capabilities in WAAM, LMD and SLM processes. 
The aim of the centre is to transfer this acquired knowledge to the industrial fabric in order to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the manufacturing field. To this end, they participate in European projects such as AMable, in which they have developed an optimised hydraulic block to be made by additive manufacturing means. 
Instituto de Máquina Herramienta (IMH), based in Elgoibar, a centre attached to the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), did not want to miss the event. Pioneers in dual company-university training, the educational campus specialising in advanced and digital manufacturing offers a university specialisation in additive manufacturing. 
“In addition to training and education, we offer innovation and technological improvement services for companies. We are present in large projects at national level and we want to make the leap to participate in European projects”
Xabier Cearsolo, additive manufacturing department manager at IMH
A promising future for the exhibition and the industry
Perhaps there was a lack of major players at the Bilbao event due to the sanitary crisis and the proximity to other European exhibitions (Salon 3D print in Paris 20-21 October and Formnext in Frankfurt 16-19 November), but even so, the field of additive manufacturing is in good condition and once again bringing professionals back into contact with each other. The event is becoming more established and is back to stay. For a long time to come.
Conflict of interest
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest and that no organisation has been cited for commercial and/or advertising purposes.
 Ona EDM
 Optimus 3D
 3D Microprint
 IMH Elgoibar