In formnext Start-up Challenge, Impressive Innovations

With outstanding innovations that are sure to amaze many attendees, the winners of the formnext Start-up Challenge 2017 are set to reveal future directions the additive manufacturing sector could take. AIM3D, AM Technologies, Authentise, Elementum 3D, and Identify3D are the names of the young companies whose entries have won over this year’s international jury.

In awarding prizes to firms from Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, formnext powered by tct is also demonstrating its ability to attract up-and-coming innovators from around the world. The Start-up Challenge, which was held in cooperation with the MUST 3D Printing network this year, enables the exhibition to recognize creative young companies in additive technology on an annual basis.

In addition to software solutions for automation and the entire supply chain, one of the five winning companies of 2017 has unveiled a new type of technology capable of producing high-quality surfaces. Several developments in new materials and a 3D printer that facilitates faster, more cost-effective production of metal components will also receive accolades.

The five winners’ appearances at the exhibition, which include booths in the Start-up Area, are being sponsored by formnext. The awards – 3D-printed, of course, courtesy of Voxeljet – will be officially presented on the tct introducing @ formnext stage at 5:00 p.m on the first day of formnext 2017 (Tuesday, 14 November, Hall 3.1, B10). “formnext gives young, award-winning companies like these the chance to present themselves and their products to a highly qualified international audience on our innovative exhibition platform,” states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for formnext at exhibition organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

In the exhibition’s Start-up Area, the year’s winners will be offering visitors a look at current innovations in additive manufacturing and a glimpse of where the industry is likely headed. “Our attendees will encounter some highly intriguing solutions based on this exciting technology, which we hope will inspire them in plenty of other areas,” Wenzler adds.

The winners:

AIM3D – more cost-effective 3D metal printing

AIM3D GmbH captured the jury’s attention with its new 3D metal-printing technology. Founded in 2017 as a spin-off of the University of Rostock, the company plans to bring its ExAM255 series printer to market next year. Here, AIM3D employs a technique known as composite extrusion modeling (CEM), which combines additive manufacturing with metal injection molding. The procedure turns inexpensive metal injection molding granulate into fine filament that is applied in layers. This results in green bodies that can then be sintered into finished parts.

AM Technologies – automated post-processing for unparalleled surfaces

Hailing from Sheffield, England, AMT will also be at formnext to showcase its intelligent, automated post-processing solution for 3D-printed polymer components. The company’s patented PostPro3D technology (which itself is based on boundary-layer automated smoothing technology, or BLAST) is said to produce a level of surface quality comparable to injection molding. AMT also states that this innovation saves time and money in production.

Authentise – software for automation

Authentise, a company founded in Silicon Valley in 2012, provides software designed to automate and monitor AM operations. With two of its modules – the 3Diax modular platform and the Authentise Manufacturing Execution System – users can implement automated order processing in additive manufacturing, which Authentise says ultimately reduces per-unit costs while speeding up production.

 Elementum 3D – RAM technology for special materials

Elementum 3D specializes in the development of high-performance materials for 3D printing, including special metals, ceramics, and composites. A partner of EOS, the company wants to devise 3D materials that transcend the known limits of density and even particle distribution using its patented reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology.

 Identify3D – software for digital supply chains

Identify3D, which was founded in San Francisco in 2014, has developed digital supply chain software that adapts processes and products to established engineering standards. This enables it to offer quality assurance that covers everything from initial designs to finished products. At the same time, the software is intended to help engineers make the right decisions in creating new products and optimizing existing ones.

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