Small Investments, Great Potential

Consortium project on desktop 3D printing starts in October

2020/08/27 — They require little space, cost relatively little, and are relatively easy to operate: Desktop 3D printers are being used with great success in industrial settings, as well. To further expand the capabilities of these printers, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, the consortium project »Desktop Additive Manufacturing for Industrial Applications« will start in October 2020. It is being organized by the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM) together with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL, RWTH Aachen University) and IGO3D Business Solutions.

»The potential of desktop 3D printers is often underestimated. Equating low investment costs with low quality is a fallacy,« explains Dr. Kristian Arntz, Managing Director of ACAM. »We want to help identify the real potential of these machines and exploit it profitably.«

In this project, small and medium-sized companies from industries ranging from mechanical and plant engineering to trade and medical technology will be able to deepen their knowledge of desktop 3D printing, develop concrete application examples, and discuss future developments and possible business models. »Participants will gain in-depth – and above all, application-oriented – knowledge of desktop 3D printing. This will enable them to successfully implement this technology in their own companies,« says Arntz.

Benchmarking based on key figures

Scheduled to run from October 2020 to May 2021, the consortium project will provide an overview of the potential applications of desktop 3D printing with a series of expert workshops. In addition, detailed benchmarking based on key figures will be performed to assess the use of different technologies.

The project is to be structured in three phases. In the first project phase, the potential of various processes, machines, and materials will be examined along with promising applications in specific industries. This will also include a joint visit to the Formnext trade fair.

The second project phase will involve analyzing technology and applications. It will also deal with the question of how available machines and materials can be used in the best possible ways. The concepts developed in this phase will be tested and fine-tuned on a demonstration component. The final phase of the project will then aim to take desktop AM further. This will include topics such as new business models and the design of automated process chains in the desktop realm.

The consortium project is geared towards all manufacturing companies in the SME sector, especially those in one-off and small-batch production. Interested companies can register for a fee (€9,600) until 15 September 2020.

Further information and registration: