Formnext 2022: Towards an industry of tomorrow

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Last Friday evening, the long-awaited meeting place for additive manufacturing in Europe closed its doors.

This new edition was a huge success, breaking records and demonstrating the return of the pre-COVID industry.

This year, there were over 800 exhibitors, and thousands of visitors from all over the world, and daily innovations were presented.

In short,

Formnext 2022 was a breath of fresh air in a market that desperately needed a place to gather and connect.

And,

while the majority of Asian countries remained absent,

it is clear that the market has evolved and consolidated itself through numerous strategic partnerships and future collaborations. Let’s take a look back at the Formnext 2022 results together!

The number of robotic arms on the exhibitor stands this year in Frankfurt particularly impressed us. These solutions are notable because they are designed to provide access to larger printing volumes with a variety of materials.

CEAD, Caracol, MX3D, Fraunhofer, Weber Additive, VLM Robotics, Meltio,

and ALOtec Dresden were among the exhibitors offering this type of machine at the show,

though this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Formnext 2022 features robotic arms on display.


It was impossible to miss the numerous robotic arms extruding metals or polymers as you walked through the show’s four halls.

These solutions were most often responsible for producing quite impressive parts on XXL machines – for example,

through Italian manufacturers such as Breton or CMS,

who displayed solutions several meters long, which piqued the interest of many visitors.

It should be noted that these machines frequently include different tool heads that can be easily and quickly modified,

thereby expanding the range of manufacturing possibilities.
It’s also worth noting that some of the Formnext 2022 startups,

such as Rivelin Robotics and its post-processing system, or the manufacturer REV3RD, have chosen robotic arms to develop their innovations.

A consolidating market


The additive manufacturing industry is a collaborative ecosystem that requires chemists to collaborate with machine manufacturers,

OEMs to collaborate with software vendors, and even OEMs to collaborate with 3D solution developers. And, while the market is steadily moving toward industrialization, it will only reach its full potential if players form strategic alliances.

This has been going on for a few years, but there was a significant increase this year, with many announcements made at the show.
Collaborations between market players in terms of materials are becoming increasingly common. More and more materials are becoming certified on this or that 3D printer, making the manufacturing and certification processes easier. Some Stratasys solutions, for example, are now open to the use of materials developed by Kimya, Victrex, or Covestro.

Returning to the topic of sustainability and environmentally friendly materials, the collaboration between Thought3D, LEHVOSS Group, Ultimaker, and Aquafil is particularly intriguing. They collaborated to create a PA6 made from renewable energy that is fully recyclable and can be converted into raw material.

An industry of tomorrow


Finally,

A key point of Formnext 2022 revolves around the concept of “Factory 4.0, which is the industrialization and automation of processes. Many exhibitors and participants have expressed an interest in developing and implementing solutions that meet these expectations. The goal is to achieve even higher levels of productivity while reducing the need for human intervention.

It was enough to see the number of robots present at the show,

that were capable of removing a 3D printer tray and replacing it so that the machine could continue to run without interruption.

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