Formnext 2018, the leading trade show for additive manufacturing, set a record for visitor numbers as it closed in Frankfurt last week. Dr. Axel Schulz, CSO of SLM Solutions Group AG, said “It’s great that we were able to have so many good discussions this year. As the leading trade show in the industry, formnext is an outstanding business platform that enables us to meet representatives from all industrial sectors.”
This year SLM Solutions commercially launched the Additive.Designer® software platform at the show. Additive.Designer® lowers the learning curve of metal additive manufacturing while increasing the build quality and reproducibility of results. With a user-friendly interface, Additive.Designer® differs significantly from similar products by optimizing part builds according to user-defined criteria such as surface quality, production speed and the minimization of support structures for reduced post-processing. Visitors showed special interest in the intelligent component orientation via heat maps, which enables inexperienced users to identify optimal build plate positioning based on their chosen criteria and aiding in increased quality results with significant material and overall cost savings. The sleek interface with manufacturing planning features such as machine overview, a cost estimator as well as user administration and restriction also well received, as customers increasingly look to SLM Solutions for end-to-end, traceable production processes.
SLM Solutions’ booth featured a series of functional, real-world components produced on SLM® machines from customers, including Bugatti, Arno Cutting Tools and Emerson. SLM Solutions also featured a visitor-magnet display of the world’s first 3D-printed car chassis from Divergent3D, a long-term customer that SLM Solutions’ supports as a strategic development partner. “SLM Solutions presented itself as a partner in additive manufacturing with integrated, intelligent solutions. This attracted numerous visitors to the booth,” Schulz commented.
During the show SLM Solutions also demonstrated live 3D printing on the new SLM®280 Production Series selective laser melting system. The SLM®280 Production Series printer enables metal components to be manufactured for series production with completely closed-loop, automatic powder feed and recovery, a new permanent filter module, process stabilizing gas flow, Additive.Quality monitoring options all geared toward repeatability of the third generation system. Dr. Gereon W. Heinemann, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of SLM Solutions Group AG, is proud of the new features: “The machine is robust and offers excellent reliability and availability. This makes it perfect for use in industrial series production for high-end functional parts.”