Just one week has passed since Formnext 2018 and we at 3D Systems are still feeling the excitement and enthusiasm from the hundreds of visitors who packed our booth from morning till closing each day of the show! 

Indeed, the buzz was palpable throughout the exhibition as manufacturing experts from a broad range of industries and countries came to the 3D Systems booth to experience the additive applications and solutions that are transforming manufacturing. Whether it was 3D printed investment casting patterns, software and 3D printers for conformal cooling, sacrificial tooling using 3D oriented sacrificial cores, digital molding for volume production of plastic parts, clear prototypes for industrial and consumer goods or any number of other applications – the list goes on and on – 3D Systems had them all on display at booth F10.

The 3D Systems On Demand 3D printing services booth was right next door and attendees found everything from a full scale appearance model of an espresso machine, created with additive and subtractive technologies, to an engine block prototype produced with SLS.

What makes these applications possible are the full range of integrated additive manufacturing solutions for plastics and metals showcased in the booth. 3D Systems’ extensive portfolio of best-of-breed 3D printers were there in force, including – for plastics – Figure 4 Production for high quality, repeatable, high efficiency plastic part production; the new ProJet® MJP 2500 IC for producing industrial wax casting patterns without the need for tooling; plus dedicated SLA and SLS solutions covering prototyping and production applications.

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Making its worldwide debut at Formnext 2018 was the DMP Flex 350 metal 3D printer designed for volume production of critical components for industrial applications such as aerospace, healthcare, and transportation. A new aluminum alloy material was on display – LaserForm® AISiMg0.6(A) designed to produce strong, lightweight parts without the need for casting. Another showstopper in the 3D Systems booth was the CUT AM 500 from GF Machining Solutions, a new high speed, automated wire EDM machine for removing metal additive parts from build plates  - with planned availability in 2019. CUT AM 500 is compatible with all 3D Systems DMP metal 3D printers including DMP Factory 500 with its 500 x 500 x 500mm build volume. 

A vital part of these solutions are the corresponding engineering software products which were featured in live demonstrations. 3D Systems is the only company in the industry that provides both software and hardware for the end-to-end additive manufacturing workflow, from digitization to design and simulation, through manufacture, inspect and manage.

New Customer Innovation Center Inaugurated with Reseller Event

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Formnext 2018 marked the opening of 3D Systems’ new Customer Innovation Center . The new CIC will help manufacturers develop breakthrough applications to better serve their customers and maintain competitive advantage. 3D Systems resellers from across Europe were invited to the CIC grand opening which took place on November 12.

Bringing Metal AM to the Factory Floor

Mark Cook, Vice President Metal Products, 3D Systems delivered a presentation from the TCT Introducing Stage on “The Impact of Metal Additive Manufacturing on the Hybrid Factory” on the 2nd day of the show. 

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Mark covered the adaptive solutions required to integrate metal 3D printing into mainstream production workflows, including part consistency and reproducibility, high material and part surface quality, A-Z traceability, quality monitoring systems, high productivity and low total cost of operation.

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New 3D Systems Products and Customers Announced at Formnext Press Conference

3D Systems announced the product and customer news at a press conference on the first day of Formnext. More than 50 press and analysts attended; the program included presentations from three new 3D Systems customers who discussed how their 3D Systems solutions are transforming their production workflows:

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  • Ronen Sharon and Yair Sharon from Sharon Tuvia, discussed the aerospace applications they are targeting with their new DMP Flex 350
  • Maurizio Pantalena from My Part Meccanica, showed several 3D printed casting patterns and the resulting parts from their ProJet MJP 2500 IC
  • And HansGeorg Kaul from Amann Girrbach presented 3D printed dentures produced on their NextDent 5100.

To sum it all up, Formnext 2018 was a thrilling crescendo to a solid year of major product announcements, customer success stories and industry events that decisively demonstrate how 3D Systems is leading the transformation of manufacturing. The bar has been raised for 2019 as we continue to deliver the solutions and applications that will help our customers stay competitive.