Key insights from Scandinavia’s largest additive manufacturing conference: Is 3D printing taking the lead in sustainable manufacturing at the AM Summit Denmark 2023?

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Hurry up! Time is running out to nominate your favorite additive manufacturing companies for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2023. We recently attended the AM Summit 2023 in Copenhagen, Scandinavia’s largest additive manufacturing conference organized by Danish AM Hub. With over 600 attendees, the event featured keynote speeches and panel discussions from industry experts. It also provided an opportunity to explore a wide range of 3D printing offerings from 46 additive manufacturing companies.

The theme of AM Summit 2023 was “sustainability,” with a focus on the environmental benefits of 3D printing compared to traditional manufacturing. Danish AM Hub CEO, Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, emphasized the potential of additive manufacturing as a more sustainable alternative. Danish AM Hub is dedicated to promoting sustainability in additive manufacturing and has been named a core partner of Formnext 2023, the world’s largest 3D printing trade show. Along with delegates from Sweden, Norway, and Finland, Danish AM Hub will lead this year’s Nordic partner region in Frankfurt, where they will address sustainability in the industry.

One company that stood out at the summit for its commitment to sustainability is EOS, a 3D printer manufacturer. EOS CEO, Marie Langer, spoke about their efforts in “responsible manufacturing.” Langer stated that sustainability has been at the center of their operations since she took over as CEO in 2019. EOS launched its first sustainability report in 2021 and established an internal system to track and reduce their CO2 emissions. To ensure credibility, EOS works with research and audit partners to certify specific CO2 reductions and provide customers with a complete life cycle analysis of their products.

EOS’s commitment to responsible manufacturing extends to their product offerings. They have introduced the concept of “Responsible Products” and are working on certifying specific CO2 reductions in these products. They have already launched two responsible polymer powders and plan to release more in the future. Additionally, EOS’s Smart Fusion software has been hailed as a game-changer in the metal industry, significantly reducing material waste.

To further promote sustainable manufacturing, EOS has developed a Cost and Carbon Calculator. This online tool allows customers to analyze the cost and carbon emissions of their applications, enabling them to make informed decisions and evaluate the environmental impact of their projects.

Marie Langer showcased EOS’s Responsible Polymer products at AM Summit 2023 and emphasized the importance of sustainability in the additive manufacturing industry. With their focus on responsible manufacturing and dedication to transparency, EOS is setting a positive example for the industry.

Don’t miss the chance to nominate your favorite companies for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2023. The deadline is approaching, so make sure your voice is heard in recognizing the leaders in additive manufacturing.

Is 3D printed meat the solution to the sustainability crisis in the food industry? That’s the question that was raised at a recent event in Copenhagen. The meat industry has long been criticized for its contribution to environmental issues, including greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and excessive water consumption. Daniel Dikovsky, the CTO of Redefine Meat, believes that his company’s 3D printed steak could provide a sustainable alternative to traditional meat products.

Dikovsky highlighted the significant impact of beef production on the environment, stating that it is comparable to the transportation sector in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, land occupation, water consumption, and the release of antibiotics into the ground. Cows reared for meat require about 8.5 times more water than humans on a daily basis. Redefine Meat addresses these challenges by using plant-based tissue engineering technology to create 3D printed steak products that accurately replicate the texture and taste of traditional beef.

The company takes a “bottom-up” approach to the 3D printing process, using its own formulated plant-based ingredients to create the meat-free products. This includes creating plant-based fat, muscle, blood, connective tissue, and other elements to replicate the characteristics of real steak. Redefine Meat has developed a digital process to combine these elements and achieve the desired textures.

The company’s journey began in 2018 when it successfully created a proof of concept for extruding different materials and creating a marble meat structure. Since then, Redefine Meat has produced its first tenderloin in 2021, which closely resembles a real steak. The company’s product portfolio now includes a range of 3D printed steak products that are being served in restaurants worldwide.

Another significant achievement for Redefine Meat is the development of its proprietary 3D printer, named the Angus System. This printer is designed to meet market needs for fast and cost-effective production. However, one of the key challenges in the production process is ensuring food safety requirements are met. Unlike conventional 3D printing of materials like plastics or metals, food production requires careful attention to hygiene and temperature control. Redefine Meat is working on solving these challenges to make the production system viable for commercial use.

Dikovsky claims that the environmental benefits of 3D printed meat are significant. Redefine Meat’s products reduce water consumption by 96%, land occupation by 98%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 91% compared to traditional farming methods.

The potential of 3D printing is not limited to the food industry. At the same event, sustainable architecture and construction were also highlighted as key themes. The construction industry is responsible for a significant portion of global waste production and CO2 emissions. 3D printing offers a sustainable solution by using additive manufacturing techniques to create architectural and construction applications. One example is the collaboration between Danish AM Hub and Bjarke Ingels Group on the I AM MSHRM project, which involves the design and part-construction of a 3D printed, rapidly deployable, and easily assembled temporary structure.

It is clear that 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize industries such as food and construction, offering sustainable alternatives to traditional methods. By reducing resource consumption and minimizing environmental impact, 3D printing opens up new possibilities for creating a greener and more sustainable future.

The project I AM MSHRM, showcased at AM Summit 2023, is revolutionizing the construction industry with its focus on material efficiency. Led by Catherine Huang, a Partner at Bjarke Ingels Group, the project utilizes additive manufacturing to create structures using plastic waste, locally sourced sugarcane, and cornstarch. By 3D printing only the necessary parts without traditional molds and forms, this process significantly reduces waste and saves on material.

The frames of the structure are 3D printed using plastic waste and filled with mycelium, a naturally occurring fungi, to create the walls. Huang explains that mycelium paneling can be grown in just 20 days or less, compared to a tree which takes 20 years to reach maturity. Additionally, the 3D printed frames have the potential to become a fully compostable biomaterial, returning to the ground at the end of their life cycle.

Although only a small section of the donut-shaped structure has been 3D printed so far, the team plans to complete and install the entire building in Copenhagen in the near future. The structure is also designed to serve as a rapidly deployable emergency shelter, highlighting its versatility and potential impact.

To assess the sustainability benefits of the I AM MSHRM project, the team utilized Danish AM Hub’s CO2e calculator tool. They compared the CO2 emissions of one of the structure’s arches with that of a structure made from aluminum and regular insulation material. The results were astounding, showing an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions achieved by the I AM MSHRM structure.

In another notable development, Hedwig Heinsman, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Aectual, and Thijs Van Hooijdonk, Manager Marketing Recycled Products at Tetra Pak, announced their collaboration to 3D print architectural products from recycled beverage cartons. Aectual 3D prints fully circular and customizable interior and architectural features using recycled waste materials from Tetra Pak. This approach holds significant potential for sustainable manufacturing, especially considering the vast material waste produced by the construction industry.

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to sustainable construction, 3D printing construction company 3DCP Group received the 2023 AM Impact Award at AM Summit. The company’s innovative use of concrete 3D printing technology in Lviv, Ukraine, has made it possible to build a kindergarten structure within a matter of weeks or months, rather than years. 3DCP Group plans to continue implementing 3D printing technology to construct more buildings in Ukraine, showcasing the remarkable speed and efficiency of this method.

The additive manufacturing industry continues to evolve and provide solutions to the world’s sustainability challenges. Through projects like I AM MSHRM and collaborations with companies like Aectual and Tetra Pak, the construction industry is being revolutionized, with a focus on reducing waste and creating circular manufacturing processes. These advancements highlight the immense potential of additive manufacturing in sustainable manufacturing and offer hope for a greener future.

To stay updated on the latest 3D printing news and innovations, subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter and follow them on social media platforms. If you’re interested in joining the additive manufacturing industry, visit 3D Printing Jobs for available career opportunities. Together, we can drive the growth of sustainable manufacturing and make a positive impact on the world.

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