South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) has started a project called AMAP. It aims to provide valuable information to the local industries about the possibilities of professional 3D printing. After comprehensive comparison, Ultra 3D printer was chosen to be the workhorse of the project.
As a research and development organisation Xamk aims to develop local industries. One of Xamk’s research units – the Electronics 3K factory – has been up and running in Savonlinna since 1999. The co-operation with local industries plays the key role on the development, testing and manufacturing of electronics. Annually the 3K factory co-operates with more than 60 different companies.
Xamk has more than 10 years of experience on the research and teaching of polymer 3D printing. One of the latest research projects was focused on bio-based materials such as wood-based bio composites. The project highlighted the urgent need for local companies to learn more about the potential of 3D printing. The new project will be executed during 2020-2021 and it’s funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Xamk and the companies involved in the project.
REASON TO INVEST
The 3D printing test environment is built to facilitate the AMAP project. One of the first needs was to find a 3D printer that would be capable to produce parts from high-performance materials with FFF-technology. The decision to invest for such 3D printer was made based on comprehensive comparison.
This comparison was made by comparing, among other things:
- Temperature limits of nozzles and build chamber
- Material selection
- Freedom to add third party materials
- Amount of validated composite materials
The overall points from the comparison showed that the miniFactory Ultra was the clear winner. Therefore, the investment decision for the project was obvious.
During the project Ultra 3D printer will be used as a professional tool for the research purposes. The aim is to find the applications that would benefit from the additive manufacturing with the local companies. After the project, the printer will be used in future projects and in-service research of local companies. The wide material portfolio of Ultra 3D printer is developing continuously and Xamk is part of the team making the development.
FUTURE OF 3D PRINTING
“I feel that the hype of consumer 3D printing has faded a bit. Luckily on the other hand the professional 3D printing has taken its place on selection of manufacturing methods. 3D printing is not necessarily replacing traditional methods, but it brings more new possibilities. I see a lot of potential in 3D printing: for example the amount of components and assembly work can be reduced, the delivery and storage operations can be optimized, the material waste is minimized and there are no tooling costs. We just need to rethink the manufacturing according to the possibilities 3D printing provides.”
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