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PiùAdditive wraps up first successful edition in Milan

The new Italian AM show created by AITA showed great potential for growth and high level panels

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PiùAdditive, the first additive manufacturing exhibit created by AITA, the Italian association of AM companies, wrapped up its first edition with a good turnout and a general feeling of satisfaction among organizers, exhibitors, panel speakers and participants. The show took place inside BIMU, one of the largest European shows for the machine tool industry, now in its 33rd edition. Organized by UCIMU, the Italian association of machine tool companies (which is part of CECIMO on a European level), BIMU takes place every two years in Milan, Italy.

Driven by the excellent location in one of the largest industrial fair sites in the world (Rho FieraMilano), and the adjacent Xylexpo, dedicated to the woodworking industry, the event brought together many relevant players in the Italian additive manufacturing industry, as well as leading global operators looking to build a stronger presence on the key Italian market. Large hardware manufacturers such as EOS, Velo3D, Trumpf, Prima Additive and HP were among the top attractions for large local AM adopters in automotive, aerospace and medical looking for the latest technologies to grow their businesses.

Top speakers

The PiùAdditive show opened with a panel on the main BIMU stage which saw the participation of Filip Geerts, Director General, CECIMO, the European association of the machine tool industry that national associations such as UCIMU (the organizers of BIMU) participate in. He was joined by Salvatore Majorana, Director of Kilometro Rosso, one of the largest industrial hubs and incubator facilities in the world, and Luca Iuliano, the Full Professor at Politecnico di Torino who is also the Coordinator of Interdepartmental Center (IAM@PoliTo – Integrated Additive Manufacturing). Needless to say that all these high-level professional figures have taken a very deep interest for promoting the adoption and development of AM processes. They also provided the springboard to multiple high-level panel sessions, taking place at the AITA booth, during the four days of the show.

The opening session of PiùAdditive, moderated by CECIMO’s Vincenzo Belletti.

These included several application cases and an intense focus on biomedical AM, which showed how the biomedical sector is increasingly proving to be fertile ground for the adoption of additive technologies. Applications ranged from laboratory solutions to the production of prostheses, parts of organs to be implanted in patients and aids for surgeons. Through flexibility and personalization, AM enables the implementation of therapeutic methods that can improve treatment while reducing associated costs and social impacts.

Another conference focused on the “State of the art and future evolution of standardization in the AM sector”, while one of the main highlights was the conference organized by the Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) group, which saw a number of case studies presented by women who are writing the history of AM both in Italy and worldwide, from Professor Marinella Levi to Valira Tirelli, CEO of Aidro and Luisa Elena Mondora, CEO of the rapidly rising startup F3nice.

PiùAdditive by AITA wraps up first successful edition in Milan showing great potential for growth and high level panel speakers
The Wi3DP panel was one of the highlights during the four days of the show.

A new focus

During the AdditiveStartup Pitching Event, 3dpbm had the opportunity to present some aggregate data from our ceramic, composites, metals and polymer market reports.

Another element highlighting the fresh approach of the new show was its focus on startups, something that is traditionally challenging in Italy but is now starting to see some movement, especially in AM. I had the pleasure of moderating the conference and presenting the 7 startups in the AdditiveStartup Italia Pitching Event 2022.

The jury – composed of Vito Chinellato for AM Ventures, Paolo Gregori for Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A. ProM Facility, Alessandra Melchioni for Kilometro Rosso, Leonardo Giagnoni for Italian Angels for Growth, Misal Memeo for Vertis SGR, Leonardo Massa s Tech Transfer Fund and Stefano Casaleggi for Friuli Innovazione – selected the winners of the third edition:

SPEM – an innovative startup born in 2018 won first prize with its De-icing project, an idea protected by a patent that aims to develop an innovative additively manufactured de-icing system to increase rigidity, reduce energy consumption and simplify installation procedures.

The second price went to Antanor’s PROJECT ASTRA, which aims to improve the repeatability of additive manufacturing processes and the mechanical performance of components made of metal alloys, advanced ceramics and metal matrix composites using 3D printing. Starting from scrap and waste of metal and ceramic materials, Atanor implements a process characterized by a low environmental impact that allows it to offer high-quality materials, at competitive prices, for various industrial sectors.

PiùAdditive by AITA wraps up first successful edition in Milan showing great potential for growth and high level panel speakers
Simona Arena, CO-founder of PUNTOZERO3D, one of the competing startups, presenting their DfAM approach.

Third prize went to SphereCube – a spinoff of the Politecnico Universitario delle Marche and innovative startup developing a 3D printer based on a patented technology that allows the creation of composite parts with better mechanical and thermal properties, using continuous fiber and thermoset composite materials, of particular interest for demanding sectors such as aerospace.

Other participating projects included MAT3D, a company specializing in advanced engineering materials for photopolymerization and DoGreen3D specializing in sustainable (over 80% plant-based) photopolymers. Generative design specialist Puntozero 3D presented its system for implementation in DfAM and CAE optimization for AM parts design. Finally, Sidustech participated by presenting a system for advanced management of spare parts via 3D printing.

PiùAdditive by AITA wraps up first successful edition in Milan showing great potential for growth and high level panel speakers
DP13, the Formula SAE (Formula Student) vehicle created by the Dynamis PRC team of Politecnico di Milano features several 3D printed parts and was one of the main attractions at the AITA booth.

The selected companies will have a further opportunity for growth through, mentoring by AM Ventures, a visit with a technological mentoring session to the PromFacility laboratories of Trentino Sviluppo, Additive FVG of Friuli Innovazione and LiSA TECH of Kilometro Rosso; in addition, they will be able to use a free space inside the Friuli Innovazione certified incubator.

Metal, tools and beyond

The hardware manufacturers, in particular, the metal AM hardware manufacturers inevitably had the biggest role in a fair taking place within BIMU’s machine tool industry background. EOS presented numerous applications and anticipated the support-free approach that will be fully unveiled in the upcoming days. Velo3D made BIMU one of the key events in the US company’s strategy to enter the Italian market, considered one of the most strategic for European expansion.

PiùAdditive by AITA wraps up first successful edition in Milan showing great potential for growth and high level panel speakers
The Velo3D booth with some parts on display. The US company recently entered the Italian market and attracted many interested visitors.

As the two local metal AM hardware manufacturers Prima Additive and 3D4Mec had a major presence on the show floor. Prima Additive, like German company Trumpf, also present, were the only companies offering both PBF and DED technology. The young Italian company 3D4Mec (which develops material-specific systems 3D4Steel and 3D4Brass) closed the list of the metal PBF companies inside the PiùAdditive space while Renishaw was present only outside of the PiùAdditive area, among the pure machine tools companies. HP took this opportunity to begin presenting the new applications possible with its new Metal Jet binder jetting technology to the Italian market, after consolidating a leadership role in polymer production AM.

The peculiarity of PiùAdditive is that while it is part of a machine tool industry show with a particular focus on metalworking, it is also open to polymer additive manufacturing. Among the companies that can benefit from this double status are some of the largest Italian CNC manufacturers, Camozzi and Breton, that set up their booths outside the PiùAdditive area of the fair, among other machine tool manufacturers but may change their approach as AM continues to grow.

Both HP and EOS also presented both metal and polymer hardware systems in the PiùAdditive section of BIMU. Stratasys was represented by Overmach, one of its largest and longest-running partners for the Italian market. At its large booth in the PiùAdditive section (the company is also a distributor of standard machinery), Overmach also featured metal AM systems by SLM Solutions and LFAM technologies by Caracol, another rapidly growing, young Italian company, looking to expand globally. Something seems to be changing in the prototyping-centric Italian AM market. The next editions will tell us if this is a temporary trend or something bigger.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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