Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsAdditive Mass Production - AMPFood 3D Printing

AIM Sweden looks to revolutionize food packaging production

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

As pulp and paper manufacturers bid to replace single-use plastic food packaging to help clean up our planet, AIM Sweden, the commercial spin-off from the Mid Sweden University, developed a new tooling concept that is being introduced in the manufacture of molded paper food and drink containers. Over the past five years, AIM has used its three GE Additive Arcam EBM Q20plus and Q10plus systems to develop cutting-edge 3D printed perforated molds. These new molds address the unique challenges of turning wet, fibrous pulp into products, such as food containers and packaging material, with improved strength, thinner walls and the ability to contain liquids and fats.

The collaboration between AIM and GE has allowed AIM to develop a completely new tooling solution as well as an optimized EBM build strategy to produce extremely thin, highly stackable molds with minimal or no support structures. This process significantly reduces production time. In operation the thin titanium forming skins rest on a 3D printed nylon backing, also designed and produced by AIM.

This work is essential as consumers and governments become increasingly sensitive to food packaging waste. The EU’s Directive on Single-Use plastics, for example, sets ambitious targets on decreasing the use of disposable plastic products in Europe. By mid-2021, European Member States will need to have banned single use plastic products for which there are readily available alternatives. This includes cutlery, plates and expanded polystyrene food containers, beverage containers and cups. By 2026 Member States also have an obligation to show an ambitious and sustained reduction in the consumption of plastic food containers and cups and lids for beverages.

AIM Sweden’s new shaping tools, additively manufactured using GE Additive’s EBM technology, address these kinds of issues by making food packaging production less labour- and resource-intensive. AIM’s process makes packaging cheaper, more efficient and longer lasting. AIM’s technical director, Axel Bergström, explained that “this all started out with a few customers asking us to make forming tools for molded fiber. The early molds were fully functional, but we were also challenged to improve the functionality by increasing resolution and make even smaller perforation holes more evenly distributed.”

“To increase the resolution of perforation across a complex 3D surface was a geometric challenge that pushed the limits of current additive printing technology and knowhow. The GE Additive team in Gothenburg provided an advanced training course which was instrumental for the process development work we later carried out. Now, we can utilize our EBM machines more efficiently and build high resolution titanium skins more or less free of support,” said Bergström.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.