Benelux playing premier league at Formnext 2022
Formnext is without doubt the most important Additive Manufacturing (AM) event in the world. The Benelux is strongly represented on the fair, as the region is one tight-knit network when it comes to 3D printing. This translates at Formnext into two common booths by Flam3D and Brainport Eindhoven – together nearly 300 m² – and by far the largest common regional representation. Flam3D presents the booth with the largest number of co-exhibitors of the entire fair. The AM Association will also unveil the first 3D-printed booth ever – “The AMbigram” – on stand D21, hall 12.1: a vivid proof of both the potential of Additive Manufacturing and the strength of the local ecosystem.
The Benelux, the biggest. How come?
Since 2016, Flam3D has been exhibiting at Formnext with an ever-growing group stand, and this growth in itself is not surprising: the Benelux has traditionally been strongly represented at the fair. In addition to Flam3D, you will find Brainport Eindhoven’s group stand and more than 50 companies from our region. And this is of course linked to the region’s strength as a 3D printing knowledge and innovation hub: the Benelux is among the global leaders in the field of (the implementation of) the technology. This is demonstrated by various reports, but also by other activities such as the recent inauguration of KU Leuven’s new 3D printing lab by none other than Princess Elisabeth of Belgium.
This year, the Flam3D group stand measures an unseen 144 m² to which 13 Flam3D members will be attending. The consortium can be found at stand D21, central in hall 12.1. As a network Association, Flam3D itself has only one obvious objective: networking. So, it is no coincidence that the stand has ample space for a cosy networking café, under the AMbigram.
The following organisations are represented on the Flam3D-booth: AdditiveLab, AMNOVIS, AMPC solutions, AMR, ChemStream, Dotx Control Solutions, Guaranteed, Hybrid software, Leuven.AM, Metal Technics 3D, Sculpman, Seido Solutions and Windesheim.
Launch of the AMbigram: largest 3D printed booth ever – made in the Benelux
The fact that the Netherlands-Flanders region is a world player in Additive Manufacturing – will be demonstrated appropriately with the AMbigram. The 24m² dome structure is in fact the first 3D printed exhibition stand to shine at the international trade fair Formnext.
The demonstrator concept around Additive Manufacturing in the shape of a futuristic dome construction serves as a vehicle to demonstrate more than 130 3D printed parts, both polymer and metal, and fifteen different 3D printing techniques. With this demonstrator, the initiators mainly want to raise awareness of 3D printing among potential users. “3D printing is already considered a full-fledged manufacturing technology, but it remains a challenge for many companies to deploy the technology where it is useful and relevant. We were looking for a way to make that deployment visible and tangible”, explains Kris Binon, director of the organisation.
Moreover, the futuristic dome structure illustrates some of the benefits that Additive Manufacturing offers to gain a competitive advantage: freedom of shape, without sacrificing strength; extra flexibility in design and reusability. None of it ends up in the bin after an exhibition. Reason enough, therefore, to also talk about the potential of 3D printing in relation to sustainability.
The AMbigram is an impressive achievement of more than 30 leading companies and research institutes active in Additive Manufacturing, both in Flanders and the Netherlands. Flam3D initiated and supervised the project. “A collaboration between 30 players in 3D printing is a unique achievement in itself,” explains Fran Dendooven, communications manager at Flam3D. “But in addition, we should also be incredibly proud of the final result. An exhibition booth measuring four by six metres manufactured with Additive Manufacturing is still unseen to date.” That the construction additionally highlights that Flanders and the Netherlands are among the world’s best when it comes to R&D and production in AM, and also proves that you achieve progress through smart collaboration, is the icing on the cake for the organisation with more than 125 members.
After its premiere at the Formnext fair, the demonstration project will travel around to trade fairs and events at home and abroad for several years. The AMbigram will also be on display for the general public at informative locations between the different fairs in order to continue to “inform and inspire” the general public to use 3D printing meaningfully.
The following organisations co-created the AMbigram: 3D&I, 3iD, 3D Maastricht, AMPC Solutions, AMR Europe, Bekking 3D, BUDA::Lab, Buhlmann, Bulcke Technical Printing, Centexbel, Deceuninck, Design8, ESMA, FabLab Leuven, Formando, Guaranteed, Howest, Inzert 3D, KU Leuven, Materialise, MX3D, Odisee, OMD3D, Parts on Demand, Poly Products, QDP, Seido Systems, Thomas More Hogeschool, Valcun, Ghent University, VDAB, GAGAT Studio and Hogeschool Windesheim.