Partnerships in the additive manufacturing industry: it’s about being “fair play”

The Rapid TCT+ Event has closed its doors yesterday. About 450 companies have been able to share their expertise and the majority of them has released new products. We can’t even count the number of press releases and interviews requests we have received, but a thorough analysis of these press releases and requests brought out a striking point: the event was the place to be to witness partnerships within the industry.

Among the examples of partnerships that we can recall, one notes:

Indo-MIM and Desktop Metal

The manufacturer of metal 3D Printers collaborates with Indo-MIM, the supplier of Metal Injection Molding (MIM) precision-engineered products to offer solutions that will enable companies around the world to design and produce metal additively manufactured parts at scale and shorten time to market. As a regular user of the manufacturer’s Production System, Indo-MIM will become a full-service manufacturing partner for Desktop Metal.

At the materials level, one partnership that did not escape our attention is the one of Solvay and Stratasys. Both companies will develop high-performance additive manufacturing (AM) filaments for exclusive use in Stratasys’ FDM® F900® 3D Printers. These 3D printers have already been used in several industries including the aerospace and transport and we can’t wait to see the new range of applications that Solvay’s PPSU polymer will enable in these areas.  

Another company that made the need of partnerships clear since the launch of its AM brand KIMYA is ARMOR Group. Over the past two years, the company has kept signing new partnerships with both industrial 3D Printer manufacturers and material producers. In order to validate the use of Kimya 3D filaments in several 3D printers of the industry, ARMOR Group has no choice but to work with manufacturers of 3D Printers. Its AM brand KIMYA is now part of Ultimaker Material Alliance Program, alongside other material producers such as Essentium, eSUN, Polymaker and the latest one Formfutura. To close this chapter, ARMORGroup has also signed a strategic partnership with Raise3D in order to take part in the Raise3D Open Filament Program.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are still dozens of names left out. These examples just confirmed a few predictions shared by companies at the beginning of the year: the industry is in deep need of collaborations to move forward, not to mention that the latter reveal the inner-nature of each process and “secrets” long-time hidden by companies.

So, players might certainly compete to be in the top 3 of their sector of activity but must definitely not forget that whoever wants to completely embrace industry 4.0 has to keep the word “partnership” in mind. In fact, that’s why we talk about being “fair-play”.

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