Year-End Review: A Look at the 3D Printing Industry in November 2023

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November’s news was once again led by Formnext 3D printing revelations from Frankfurt. This annual event unveiled a range of impressive 3D printers for the polymer, resin, and metal sectors. Moreover, several organizations announced new alliances and strategic collaborations for the upscaling and industrialization of additive manufacturing.

Check out all the 3D Printing Industry Updates from 2023.

In November, we also witnessed a surge of new 3D printing software launches as firms continue to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into their solutions. The month concluded with the renowned 3D Printing Industry Awards, which was commemorated in London with a glamorous black-tie dinner.

Continue reading for more exciting 3D printing news from pioneers including Stratasys, Additec, Markforged, DyeMansion, HP, Siemens, Oqton, Materialise, among others.

The entrance to Formnext 2023. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.

New 3D printers at Formnext 2023

3D Printing Industry was in Frankfurt to cover the latest 3D printer announcements from the Formnext 2023 show floor. Stratasys drew a lot of attention for the launch of its latest FDM 3D printer, the F3300.

With shipments set to commence in 2024, this new 3D printer is advertised as offering fast 3D print speeds, higher yields, and a 25% increase in accuracy and repeatability. Moreover, the 3D printer is said to maximize uptime thanks to machine monitoring, extruder redundancy, and a user-friendly interface for streamlined operations.

Stratasys’ new 3D printer, which features a 600 x 600 x 800 mm build volume, is specifically designed for usage in the aerospace, automotive, government/military, and service bureaus fields. Toyota, the renowned Japanese automotive manufacturer, is the first company to acquire the F3300.

Besides, Formnext witnessed the debut of another FDM 3D printer by Markforged, who launched its recent industrial 3D printer, the FX10. The latest 3D printer comes with integrated automation characteristics, which significantly enhance both quality assurance and production efficiency. Even more, FX10’s 5th Generation Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR) print system almost doubles the 3D print speed and size capabilities of its forerunner.

In the resin printing landscape, the notable unveiling came from Raise3D which launched its inaugural resin-based 3D printing product, the DF2 Solution. This platform’s extensive 3D printing workflow comprises the DF2 3D printer, DF Wash for automated cleaning, DF Cure for advanced curing, as well as distinct resins and IdeaMaker slicing software. As a DLP 3D printer, the DF2 provides a 2560 x 1440 XY resolution and a maximum 3D printing speed of 25 mm/h.

Formnext 2023 also saw the launch of new metal 3D printers. Notably, US-based metal 3D printer manufacturer Additec announced the Hybrid 3, which combines liquid metal jetting (LMJ), laser directed energy deposition (LDED), and CNC capabilities into one platform. 

The launch of this new 3D printer comes after Additec inherited LMJ technology from global print and digital document corporation Xerox, following the acquisition of the company’s additive manufacturing business unit, Elem Additive Solutions, in August 2023.    

Forging new partnerships to scale AM 

Formnext featured numerous businesses announcing key alliances. For example, the Additive Manufacturing Industrialization Navigator (AM I Navigator) project was kick-started by Siemens, DyeMansion, BASF Forward AM, EOS, and HP.

This collaborative move seeks to amalgamate and upscale additive manufacturing into conventional production processes. To make this possible, AM I Navigator introduces a detailed maturity model, elaborating distinct phases of industrialization within the additive manufacturing arena. Furthermore, the initiative proposes a ‘Maturity Check,’ founded on the Siemens Digital Manufacturing Excellence scheme, to shed light on an organization’s present maturity standing and future prospects. 

The Formnext 2023 also marked HP announce a key partnership with 3D printing service vendor Materialise. This collaboration brings about an amalgamation of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion and Metal Jet additive manufacturing technology into the Materialise CO-AM software. This amalgamation is expected to enable manufacturers to enhance the effectiveness and quality of their workflows, stimulating volume production of end-use parts as a result. 

The annual Rave Til AM inaugural night festivity also came back at Formnext 2023, reuniting “One Industry under a Groove.” The 3D Printing Industry planned and hosted the celebration in partnership with EOS, HP, Siemens, BASF Forward AM, AM Ventures, and DyeMansion. Check out the Rave Til AM celebration pictures here.

Read all of our reporting from Formnext 2023 here.

Developments in 3D printing software

Metal 3D printer developer Meltio introduced Meltio Space software and the Meltio Robot Cell in November. The new toolpath generator software is designed to streamline the adoption of the company’s metal 3D printing technology to meet growing demand. Additionally, Meltio Robot Cell is advertised as a turn-key solution providing a safer and more efficient method for 3D printing metal parts.

Elsewhere, the provider of 3D CAD software, Dassault Systèmes, revealed the latest edition of its 3D design and engineering software. Referred to as SOLIDWORKS 2024, this software aims to fulfil user requirements for increased efficacy and cooperation in product development.

This software’s notable feature is the facility to retain SOLIDWORKS data in an older release. This function reportedly promotes easy collaboration with people using older software versions. Additionally, the Collinear Dimension Command lets users retain collinear chain measurements, even in situations of minimal space.

The month of November also witnessed the 3D printing software firm, Castor, launching its novel software that illustrates 3D parts from 2D sketches. This innovative 3D design optimization software reportedly facilitates an expedient, efficient, and easy transition from 2D drawings to 3D printing. The software purportedly enhances estimations of 3D printability, cost, efficiency, lead times, and supply chain benefits.

The AI software company, Oqton similarly launched a new software solution in November. Referred to as Oqton Build Quality, this software unifies 3DXpert Build Simulation, MOS Build Monitoring, and 3DXpert Build Inspection to track and analyse build quality. The platform allegedly can identify and correct 3D printing anomalies at an initial stage, assuring successful builds.

3D printed 3DS bracket being inspected on a monitor using Oqton’s 3DXpert software. Photo via Oqton.

3DPI Awards return with gala dinner

In November, the annual 3D Printing Industry awards returned to an in-person event for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s awards saw industry leaders and enterprises recognized for their work in driving advancements in additive manufacturing. The award winners were announced during a black-tie gala dinner held at the historic Lincoln’s Inn Great Hall in central London.

One notable award was that of Enterprise 3D Printer of the Year (polymers), which was awarded to HP for its Jet Fusion 5420W. Francois Minec, Global Head of 3D Polymers, HP Personalization and 3D Printing, commented, “HP remains committed to driving 3D printing adoption and to continue working with our outstanding partners and customers to scale innovative applications across industries.”

Elsewhere, the Community Advocate of the Year award went to Siemens’ Dr. Karsten Heuser, whilst the Company of the Year (Enterprise) was awarded to Materialise.  

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