VoxelMatters recently had the opportunity to interview Gerardo Di Filippo, CEO of Madeinadd, a company that was founded with the goal of helping clients implement an efficient 3D printing strategy. Madeinadd’s unique offering is based on an advanced digital platform for managing printing and post-processing services, together with an advanced engineering advisory service to support clients in more complex projects, such as redesign for AM and the “change with additive” concept.
Madeinadd was born from a Corporate Venture Building project by CDP Venture Capital, with significant industrial partners such as Punch Torino and Mimete (Fomas Group). “We chose to invest in a digital platform for additive manufacturing, an area where Italy is relatively lagging behind other countries,” Di Filippo stated.
Gerardo is an engineer with approximately 20 years of work experience. “I started in the Information Technology sector and later moved into the management consulting sector, an experience that gave me with the opportunity to participate in complex projects for business creation and transformation.
I spent the last ten years at Amazon, where I had the chance to launch two start-ups, particularly in my last role where I built the B2B market for Italy. A constant theme in my experience has been working on B2B projects, and my career choices have always been guided by opportunities that put the customer at the center and where I could create innovation. I chose to join this project because it brings a strong innovative and technological component. Our mission is to change the way traditional customers approach additive manufacturing, breaking the classic make vs. buy paradigm and guiding them in choosing the most appropriate solution through an advanced digital ecosystem and an engineering advisory service that can support clients in more complex projects.”
In summary, Madeinadd has developed a digital ecosystem for additive manufacturing with the goal of providing companies of all sizes with the services necessary to accelerate Italy’s industrial transition to Industry 4.0:
- Digital Advisory: technologies and professionals at the client’s disposal
- Design for Additive: components redesigned and/or designed from scratch for additive printing where necessary
- 3D Printing: post-processing mechanical processing, quality control, validation testing, and shipping of the finished product (with all additive technologies available on all materials, metal, polymers, and resins).
The company’s portfolio will continue to evolve in the short term through the introduction of e-learning services, component screening for the creation of customer-tailored digital solutions, an user experience improvements through advanced digital technologies.
Madeinadd stands out from other online printing services for its “customer-oriented” approach. The idea is to listen to the needs and functional requirements of the client’s components and translate them into a range of solutions at the design, manufacturing, and validation levels, building specific supply chains for each project within its own ecosystem. This is possible thanks to a broad and technology/material-agnostic solutions portfolio, allowing Madeinadd to start from the real needs of customers rather than the solutions it can offer.
Redesign for Additive Manufacturing
“Madeinadd has developed its specialized engineering core, positioning itself in the market as a digital prime contractor with a special focus on component requirements and lifecycles. Our approach is to support the customer with an ‘end-to-end’ and ‘Think for Additive’ perspective: from defining requirements to validating additive manufacturing as the most suitable technology. We can help by creating designs from scratch when necessary or redesigning for additive manufacturing, all the way to identifying the most suitable materials and technology, and executing the project to final validation,” Gerardo says.
Competence in advanced additive design plays a central role in managing innovative and complex CAD/CAE methodologies at Madeinadd, contributing to the ultimate success from the customer’s perspective by achieving economic benefits, such as component cost reduction, and functionalities beyond the status quo of traditional design.
Madeinadds’ expertise ranges across various and comprehensive methodologies, including designing from scratch, topological optimization, field-driven design, and advanced CAE optimizations, both structural and fluid dynamic. Its team of engineers is capable of advising the customer, based on their final objectives, on the most fitting design flow and depth, and executing the project accordingly.
Gerardo further explains the advantages that Madeinadd can offer in terms of additive manufacturing processes: “Technological agnosticism and the ability to expand and structure production capacity ‘on-demand’ are indeed significant themes. We provide an advanced digital platform, which we refer to as an ‘ecosystem’, allowing customers (and potentially partners) to interact quickly and directly. It can process complex inputs with the aim of providing the best solution for the customer. It’s an ‘open’ platform, potentially allowing integration with enterprise software (e.g., ERP).”
“Furthermore, it is of paramount importance to build a fully integrated vertical supply chain for each individual component, substantially in real-time. We expect that, in addition to already industrialized technologies, innovative technologies will gradually become available, connecting a new way of producing to a new way of ‘purchasing’ manufacturing and engineering ‘as a service.’ Equally important is the aspect of optimizing designs with a focus on the selected material and production process to fully capture the economic and functional benefits unlocked by advanced technologies compared to traditional approaches.”
The role of CDP, Mimete, and PUNCH
CDP VC chose to develop this initiative through the Boost Innovation Fund, which focuses on Corporate Venture Building, co-creating new ventures in partnership with corporations. In particular, it has invested in additive manufacturing as a highly innovative sector with more limited adoption in Italy compared to other countries. Punch Torino and Mimete are both industrial partners and financiers, contributing their project-specific expertise.
Specifically, PUNCH Torino, part of the Dumarey Group (formerly known as the PUNCH Group), has built an internal department dedicated to additive manufacturing, especially in design for additive, acquiring specific expertise that has been partly used to set up the project.
Mimete is a company within the FOMAS Group, that is already involved in additive manufacturing through the production of metal powders. It contributed to the project bringing its experiences in the additive market and its metallurgical expertise.
“Invent. Improve. Accelerate.”
Madeinadd caters to a broad spectrum of companies. On one hand, it addresses those who have encountered barriers to adopting AM technologies (or haven’t yet had the opportunity to assess their advantages). This is achieved through a new approach that simplifies the selection of materials and technologies for ‘costing’ and manufacturing individual components. On the other hand, thanks to advanced engineering and advisory services, it serves structured entities that need quick assessments of a large number of components or aim to develop entirely new applications with a ‘design-driven’ approach. “Our slogan is indeed: Invent. Improve. Accelerate. I believe it summarizes these points well.”
An interesting question is whether there is an ideal type of customer and partner for Madeinadd, to which Gerardo responds: “As I mentioned, the universe of companies we cater to is very broad. However, if we consider the European industrial fabric, especially in Italy, small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) with high levels of customization can benefit from a simplified outsourcing service for engineering and manufacturing facilitated by the digital interface. This becomes more accessible through increasingly automated Design for Additive and precise, rapid cost estimation and lead time determination. In summary, we could say that Madeinadd tends to combine the advantages of outsourcing with those of in-house production, minimizing the risks of both approaches.”
The term ‘partner’ is broad, but in Madeinadd’s business model, the ecosystem is at the core of our value proposition. On one hand, we can capture the excess manufacturing capacity of third-party machinery and capabilities. On the other, we are structuring a range of services that benefit the ecosystem itself by simplifying order management, improving quality standards, and increasing efficiency,” Di Filippo continues In other words, Madeinadd acts as an accelerator for the diffusion of new AM technologies that can use the platform as a channel for faster market penetration, making it easier to meet demand. “I’m thinking of the latest Binder Jetting, LFAM, or entirely new materials for AM, such as wood, ceramics, glass, and even food, biostructures, or construction materials,” he adds.
Among the industrial sectors that Madeinadd is most focused, the automotive sector has been identified as one with a relatively high level of adoption. It is also the reference sector of one of the founding companies, making it a natural fit. Additionally, there are other sectors like aerospace and energy. “However–Di Filippo points out–we cannot disregard all the emerging sectors from a 3D printing perspective, such as packaging, the railway sector, the luxury sector, and the broader ‘wearable’ sector. I reiterate that the breadth and depth of Madeinadd’s capabilities allow it to virtually address any company in need of an object.”
Where does 3D printing stand?
During our conversation, we delved into the current state of 3D printing on a global scale and how to accelerate its adoption and usage. “The AM sector has seen steady growth in recent years. Data indicates that it grew by 19.5% in 2022 compared to the previous year [a general trend confirmed by VoxelMatters Research data as well], with fairly uniform growth between products and related services. At the same time, the market has shown some uncertainties, with the value of publicly traded AM companies declining in 2022. This was driven by potential uncertainties about the long-term growth potential of the sector and external factors such as rising interest rates.”
“On the other hand, we continue to see a significant focus on research and development spending, with an average of 30% of revenue invested in R&D, a much higher figure compared to other sectors. This is promising for the long-term growth of the sector. Investments will be key to drive long-term growth in the AM sector, making it increasingly competitive compared to traditional manufacturing. This applies both in terms of expanding practical applications and raising the famous break-even point, from which theoretically it wouldn’t be cost-effective to produce using additive technologies instead of subtractive ones. However, it’s important not to forget that to fully exploit the potential offered by additive technologies, it’s necessary to include the possibility of additive at the beginning of the production process and start thinking in terms of additive (‘think for additive,’ as I mentioned earlier). This will take more time as it involves a shift in the way of working.”
Finally, we return to the topic of Madeinadd and the short- and medium-term goals of this intriguing venture: “As I mentioned earlier, our goal is to support customers by facilitating the adoption of additive manufacturing, thereby offering a range of benefits, including cost reduction in both the production process and the product, improved production quality and variety due to the additive’s ability to produce complex geometries at a lower cost, supply chain digitalization, and enabling distributed manufacturing. We aim to achieve this through an offering based on an advanced digital ecosystem, qualified engineering advisory support, and a learning and additive support service. In addition to supporting our customers specifically, we would like to make a more significant contribution to the system, helping to grow our technological partners as well,” concludes Di Filippo.
Madeinadd will be at Formnext – make sure to visit them at Hall 11.1, booth C59.