AM IndustryMaterialsPellet extrusionThermoplastic Polymers

AIM3D relaunches after consolidation phase

Following a restructuring of the shareholders and continued development of the ExAM 255 and ExAM 510 systems

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AIM3D, a pioneer in granular 3D printers since 2017, has restructured its shareholder structure and optimized its patented Voxelfill process. This process now significantly improves the homogeneity of 3D printed components across the X, Y, and Z axes – making them comparable to conventionally manufactured parts such as those produced by injection molding. AIM3D has also partnered with AM service provider Replique to enhance the 3D printability of ULTEM 9085, a high-performance thermoplastic.

In 2023, AIM3D faced market challenges due to high energy costs and business uncertainties, leading to a shareholder restructuring and new strategic partnerships. Despite these challenges, AIM3D continued to develop its granular printing technology.

AIM3D relaunches after consolidation phase - following a restructuring of the shareholders and continued development of the ExAM systems. The company has established strategic partnerships to enhance its technology further. One partnership with Create it REAL aims to optimize the Voxelfill process using advanced slicing software. Another partnership with Replique focuses on improving ULTEM applications. AIM3D has also announced new strategic partnerships and material validations for 2024. The company’s ExAM 510 system currently operates at a build rate of 150 cm³/h, with goals to increase this to 300-600 cm³/h – enabling processing volumes of 1,000 to 4,000 kg per year.

AIM3D’s pellet extruder technology minimizes polymer degradation – resulting in low standard deviations and high process stability. This technology opens new applications for ULTEM 9085, particularly in the aerospace, automotive, and railroad sectors.

The Voxelfill process addresses inhomogeneous strength properties in 3D printed polymers, a common issue due to the layer-based build process. By improving Z-axis strength and overall printing speed, Voxelfill enhances the cost-effectiveness of the CEM process. This process is versatile, suitable for multi-material components, and applicable to plastics, metals, and ceramics.

Voxelfill’s potential includes hybrid multi-material solutions and customizable material properties, such as weight, damping, and elasticity. By selectively filling necessary volume chambers, component properties can be tailored based on simulations. This process also enables the creation of lightweight components with improved mechanical properties, particularly for fiber-reinforced materials.

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