3dpbm recently attended the annual AM Summit 2022, the largest AM conference in Scandinavia, on 7 September, at TAP1, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish conference was hosted by Dansk AM Hub and had a very clear focus – green manufacturing and sustainability.
More specifically, how Denmark has the potential to become the most sustainable production center in the world – largely thanks to its flat/horizontal hierarchy. The country’s hierarchical structure enables the free flow of different and innovative ideas across titles. Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, CEO of Danish AM Hub, who gave the introductory speech, even argued that Denmark “has the flattest and most creative factory floor.”
According to Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, approximately 500 Danish producers have been involved in Dansk AM Hub’s projects to date, and 32% of Danish producers now use AM, in one form or another. Almost a week after the AM Summit 2022, Dansk AM Hub, in partnership with AM Ventures and Hello Tomorrow, will host the annual AM Venture Day, an event that allows startups and investors from the world of AM and Deep Tech to connect.
The conference hosted exhibitors and speakers from around the world, and all areas of the additive manufacturing industry, from aerospace to molecular-level bioprinting, and everything in between.
AM to eliminate parts
The first speaking guest of the day was Melissa Orme, Vice President of Boeing Additive Manufacturing, who started by giving the audience a holistic view of Boeing’s AM (affectionately referred to as the “BAMily”) and helping the audience understand just how much Boeing relied on AM, with present-day statistics and recent case studies. After Melissa Orme’s introduction, we knew that Boeing has 20 AM sites around the world (US, Canada, Australia, UK), and employs more than 70,000 additively manufactured, flying parts on the company’s enterprise platforms.
In terms of sustainability, “the best part is no part,” argued Melissa Orme. Making the point that the focus of AM should not be to replace parts, but rather the technology should be designed for – to actually eliminate parts.
The next AM Summit 2022 session, consisting of three speakers, focussed on generative design.
Tim Frank Andersen, CEO, and Co-Founder of Liveshopper, gave an introduction to generative design with examples where generative design has been used to reduce the amount of material needed, save printing time, and optimize the topology of parts, such as when General Motors used generative design to create a seatbelt buckle that used 40% less material but increased the overall strength of the buckle by 20%. Tim also referenced Lightning Motorcycles’ use of generative design in the company’s bike production, as a good case study.
Sigurd Vigen Pedersen, AM Consultant at the Danish Technological Institute, spoke about design for AM (DfAM), and used case studies from Airflight, an industrial drone manufacturing company, CeramicSpeed, a cycling parts company, and BEWI, a provider of packaging solutions, to illustrate the benefits of generative design. In the case of BEWI, these benefits included a 74% weight reduction, a 53% price reduction, and a 25% reduction in lead time.
Finishing off this session was Mathieu Pérennou, Additive Manufacturing Solutions Director at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. MSC Apex Generative Design is a subsidiary of Hexagon, and offers ‘smart generative design for an unmatched design for additive manufacturing experience.’ Mathieu referenced the need to have a holistic approach to designing for additive manufacturing – to consider all the steps from the design to the printed and processed part, such as the risks posed by post-processing when parts have not been designed with this step in mind.
Thinking outside the cell
Cecilia Edebo, the CEO of CELLINK, then took us from one side of the additive manufacturing spectrum to the other, with a presentation on bioprinting. CELLINK focuses on the development of bio ‘inks’ (hydrogels), and the company’s technology is currently in more than 1,500 labs, across more than 65 countries. Earlier this year, the company launched its first Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Lab to enable clinical-grade bioinks for human applications. Human trials, such as the human ear that was printed using a CELLINK printer, have already started.
“Today, all drugs are tested in 2D,” said Cecilia. Companies like CELLINK are helping the pharmaceutical industry test in 3D, by printing living tissue, based on patient-specific cells (tumor cells, for example).
Around the world, scientists are currently printing cell-specific corneas, heart patches, tumors, and more. Given how new this technology is, in the grand scheme of things – humanity is just getting started. Perhaps, one day, we will have the ability to print entire humans? The trajectory of our technological developments makes this seem less and less like science fiction.
Jeremie Pierre Gay, Founder and CTO of Create it REAL, and Marcel Domenghino, CEO of GeBioM GROUP, followed this with a talk about how AM has enabled the pair’s partnership to create customized and sustainable insoles. According to the pair’s presentation, traditionally, 90% of the material needed for the creation of insoles is wasted, as they are, traditionally, created using reductive manufacturing. With this in mind, the two companies developed what they refer to as ‘the insole-making machine’ (a 3D printer with the sole purpose of creating insoles).
Once the insoles reach the end of their lifecycle – they are recycled into new insoles. The business model itself is also ‘sustainable’, as the pay-per-print fee that is charged for the making of the insoles is shared amongst all the participants in the value chain.
Smashing the mold
The AM Summit 2022 program then offered the choice of three different breakout rooms: Changing Paradigms, how has and will AM impact different manufacturing industries, Meet the Women in 3D Printing, and Sustainable Materials. Sticking with the topic of sustainability, 3dpbm chose the Sustainable Materials session.
This session consisted of short presentations by Adrien Lapeyre, Global Market Manager at Arkema, Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA of EOS, Rasmus Kock Grusgaard, Innovation Consultant for The Danish Plastics Federation, and Niels Appel, Project Manager at Nordic Metals – moderated by Ditte Lysgaard Vind, Managing partner at Lendager; The Circular Way.
The four presentations focused on how we can go about decarbonizing the entire supply chain, and updates regarding the sustainable development of AM materials. Notable points included turning castor beans, AKA The Magic Bean, into Arkema’s Rilsan Polyamide 11 (PA11) resin – a 3D-printable material, the CO2 footprint of the ‘sustainable’ material’s production and EOS’ stance on sustainability, the lifecycle of plastics and the future of plastics and recycling (with the argument made, by Rasmus, that recycling the plastics correctly is more important than the origin of the plastic), and Nordic Metals’ goal to not use any natural resources (according to Niels, the company is “about 98% there”).
After lunch, there was a performance by Guns N’ Roses-Jam, using an electric guitar made out of recycled sawdust, and a virtual presentation by the man that printed it – Olaf Diegel, Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the Creative Design and Manufacturing Lab at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. “Any powder can be used as a 3D printing material,” said Olaf as he presented a few of his recently-printed guitars.
The second and final round of breakout rooms focussed on 3D Printing Sustainable Cities, AM and Health, and Learn from Danish AM Experts (in Danish). Once again, we stuck to sustainability.
The first of the four speakers, Sebastian Aristotelis, Co-Founder and Lead Architect of SAGA Architects and 3DCP Group, spoke about space optimization when 3D printing habitats for interplanetary exploration, and drew on his experience living in the SAGA Space Architects’ Lunark habitat, in Greenland, for 61 days.
Morten Bove, Founder, and CEO of WOHN, spoke about the importance of having “no green premium”, and creating housing using recycled waste.
Paul Nicholas, Associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy’s School of Architecture, touched on the need to shift towards more renewable, circular, and biogenic materials – such as using collagen glue as a base binder.
The last of the four speakers, Henry Glogau, Architect at GXN Innovation, referenced the rapidly increasing rate of urbanization and development of informal settlements, and how AM, and the accessibility of AM plays into this. Henry also briefly presented his impressive “solar desalination light lamp”, enabled by AM, as a direction in terms of possible solutions to the challenges posed by such densely populated human settlements.
Transitioning to a better way
The final part of the conference focussed more on our physical environment, and AM’s potential to alleviate some of the problems we are facing.
Ida Krabek, Senior Director and Head of Sustainability at Ørsted, and Enrico Dini, CEO of Monolite UK Ltd. (D-Shape), spoke about how their two respective companies, in collaboration with the WWF, have worked together to 3D print specially-designed reefs for the Anholt windfarm – inline with the Danish government’s ambition to restore the barren ocean floors, which have been destroyed by humans over time.
These ocean reefs were designed to be ‘bio-attractive’ – using patterns such as the Fibonacci sequence, and AM technology, which enables the creation of these designs. Enrico made an interesting point about this – noting that “animals perceive the harmony of computation as beautiful.”
Finally, none other than Connie Hedegaard, the Former European Commissioner for Climate Action and former Danish Minister of Environment spoke about the power of private-public partnerships, and the potential to spread ideas thanks to Denmark’s horizontal hierarchy, the need for policy change, and tax incentivization for ‘green’ companies, as well as the need for a wave of smarter, more innovative solutions – not one at a time, but all at once.
The conference closed with a panel discussion between some of the day’s speakers, on how to make Denmark the greenest manufacturing country in the world. Questions such as “how do we decrease manufacturing emissions?” were asked, and answers such as ‘invest in greener products’, ‘set the right standards’, ‘invest in innovation’ (AM), ‘produce less – use less’, and ‘design better quality products that will last longer’, were provided.
Connie concluded the discussion by saying, “if we [Denmark] want to be the ones to harvest the fruit of this transition [reference to AM and green manufacturing] – we need to act now.”