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In Additive Manufacturing, the prevailing myth is that it can only print small and complex parts. For AM users embarking on this journey, the story often starts with the use of the technology for tooling, before exploring the opportunities that may lead to production parts. For those small and complex parts, that’s the ideal fairy tale.

When one looks at bigger parts, those large parts that may be essential to achieve applications across the land, sea, air, architecture or construction, aerospace and space industries, it’s a different manufacturing story and one that involves Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM)/Large-Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM).

The leap from small to large format 3D printing comes with a share of challenges that go beyond the technology’s technical capabilities to encompass financial and human resources. These challenges seem to be exacerbated when trying to scale production, emphasizing how this AM holy grail remains of paramount importance irrespective of the technology used.

Nevertheless, there is a market for very large 3D printed parts, and this edition of 3D ADEPT Mag attempts to demonstrate how diverse and impactful it is.

Exclusive features


Large-format Additive Manufacturing: Materials, Software and Costs

Most adopters of Additive Manufacturing (AM) share the same dream: being able to achieve scalable, (high-volume) production. Here is the thing, to make this dream a reality, most industrials often have in mind the use of machines with build volumes around 600 × 300 × 600 mm (23.62 × 11.81 × 23.62 inch). As Large-Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM) is gaining momentum, we are entitled to ask ourselves how and/or if LFAM can also be considered a viable production candidate.A dossier written with contributions from Additive Engineering Solutions (AES), Autodesk and Ingersoll.


A closer look at Robotic 3D printing – what really slows down the adoption at scale

If you want to manufacture parts that measure up to 30 meters in a single printing operation; if you want this production to be automated and accurately repeated, there is a great chance that robotic 3D printing is your ideal production candidate. On paper, such a combination of robotics and 3D printing is what most industries picture as the ideal move towards smart manufacturing. In practice, there are some hidden constraints that prevent a large adoption of this form of manufacturing. With insights from Autodesk & Massive Dimension.


Thermwood gives hope for the future of recycling, demonstrates superior printed part quality with “Thermal Sensor Layer Automation”

This year’s Rapid + TCT conference in Chicago featured a range of machines and parts, from huge robotic AM machines to the nearly microscopic printed metal pieces used for hearing aids. However, one installation towered above the rest. Thermwood was there showing off their LSAM AP510 machine.


 What’s Electroplating and when should we use it for 3D printed parts?

Like a wide range of post-processing tasks used for 3D printed parts, electroplating aims to enhance the physical properties of the part through increased wear resistance, corrosion protection or aesthetic appeal, as well as increased thickness. Here is the thing, very few people in the industry know exactly what the process is, how it works and how it can be applied to AM parts. Unlocking the mystery around this concept is what this article ambitions to achieve. An exclusive feature has been co-written by Sean Wise, President at RePliForm Inc. and Agnieszka Franczak, Head of Surface Finishing Division at Elsyca N.V..

Metal AM

What’s the right recoater for your metal AM process?

It might be easy for engineers or designers to think that, because they are not directly involved with the manufacturing of parts, they shouldn’t know about certain complexities surrounding the hands-on operation of machines. This is not true. Being aware of the variables and complexities related to the hands-on operation of machines helps to ensure clear communication with operators and most importantly, that design objectives perfectly meet manufacturing expectations. One of these complexities consists in understanding the importance of recoaters for metal Additive Manufacturing. Michael Wohlfart, AM Expert at EOS and Thomas Spears, PhD, Director of AAMT share some insights here.


 What are the different design tools in the DfAM toolbox?

The article below aims to serve as an entry point to help designers and engineers understand the different design tools included in the DfAM toolbox, the ones that can enable production and industrialization (strengths and limitations), as well as the ones we should keep on our radar as the field continues to progress. Written with Tim W. Simpson, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering as a subject matter expert.


Key considerations to take into account for the production of 3D Printable stainless steel powders

There are a number of reasons why one can select stainless steel for additive manufacturing (AM) processes, including its superior corrosion, mechanical properties compared with other steel types (meaning that the component will last longer), and sustainability character. In the article below, Andoni Sanchez-Valverde Erice, Sales/R&D engineer at Outokumpu metallic powder producer, explains some of the key technical considerations in the production of spherical stainless steel powder feedstock.

Interview of the Month

(Sciaky’s) Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing is an ideal production candidate for large-scale parts, yet still lags far behind in adoption. Here is why.

In the metal 3D printing market, DED and LPBF are often the first technology processes that come to one’s mind when looking to produce large-scale parts. Yet, behind the large-scale 3D printed parts built for the land, sea, air, and space industries, often lies an impressive Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) technology.

Start-up Area

ADDVANCE on the convergence of lean management and AM in a disrupted supply chain

We recently caught up with ADDVANCE’s CEO Elvira Leon to understand mistakes SMEs often make when trying to make their business agile with AM, and the areas where the company can provide its expertise to help them achieve this goal.