FAME ecosystem secures funding to increase the competitiveness of Finnish 3D printing
The FAME ecosystem (Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem), which brings together the factors of industrial 3D printing, ensures that Finland remains at the forefront of the field’s international development. The long-term goal of the ecosystem is to significantly grow Finland’s AM business: by 2030, the Finnish AM market will have grown to several billion euros size industry, which provides versatile services to other industries and whose growth continues strong.
The FAME ecosystem already includes key equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, design and printing experts, and machine builders turning their manufacturing technology towards 3D printing.
“The participating companies consider it a special strength that our members represent the entire supply and value chain. Knowledge and know-how can best be spread directly from experts to experts, so that the latest and best knowledge can be immediately included in new experiments,” says Ecosystem Lead Eetu Holstein from DIMECC Oy.
The ecosystem was founded in 2020 by almost 20 companies and it initially focused on metal printing. With the help of Business Finland’s funding, the ecosystem will expand to better cover 3D printing expertise of all materials; the largest of which is 3D printing of polymers.
“In industrial additive manufacturing, there are many common laws between different materials and applications. For example, technology based on vat photopolymerization can be used to print various materials and pieces for both industry and medicine,” says Holstein, who has a background in device and process development for medical 3D printing.
Standardization and training as mainstays
The goal of the companies in the FAME ecosystem is to reach 5 percent of the world’s 3D printing market volume by 2030. The conditions for this are created by developing standardization, planning and training.
In FAME’s DREAMS program, a comprehensive and open material database is created by studying about 10,000 metal test rods, which are made of different materials, with different 3D printers and using different printing methods. With the help of the data bank, the lack of industry standards is replaced and the utilization of metal 3D printing in the most demanding applications is facilitated.
“In the near future, the aim is to start new research programs, which will solve key challenges identified by the domestic industry in order to make 3D printing more efficient,” says Eetu Holstein.
FAME has helped to establish a new experiment center focused on 3D printing, which will be opened in connection with Wärtsilä’s new Sustainable Technology Hub. The purpose is to find new applications in Finnish industry with low-threshold 3D printing experiments.
FAME develops training and designers’ 3D expertise with, among others, LUT University of Lappeenranta.
Together for the world
FAME supports the internationalization of its member companies by making their know-how visible at international fairs, such as Formnext in Frankfurt, one of the world’s leading 3D printing fairs.
“Next autumn, we will participate in the Formnext trade fair with our own stand, and the purpose is to market the Finnish 3D printing competence cluster worldwide. We want FAME to be a world-recognized ecosystem that brings customers to Finland especially in demanding, high-level 3D prints”, envisions Holstein.
Companies stay at the forefront of the latest know-how not only through information sharing, trainings and lectures within the ecosystem, but also through visits to top foreign experts. In March, the companies got to know the know-how of the central material-adding research institutes and alliances in southern Germany and the Netherlands. In the fall, it’s Sweden’s turn.
The FAME ecosystem is managed by DIMECC Oy, the leading innovation platform of the Finnish manufacturing industry. The ecosystem’s operations are financed by member companies and Business Finland. It includes AMEXCI, Andritz Savonlinna Works Oy, CITEC, Dekra, Elomatic, EOS Finland, Etteplan, Fastems, Lillbacka Powerco, Patria, Ponsse, Raute, SME Elektro-Group, Valmet, VILPE, Wärtsilä, 3D Formtech, Apricon, 3D-Step , Delva, Huld, Malvern Panalytical, MiniFactory, Mitutoyo, SelectAM, Metlab, Maker3D and Vossi.
Ecosystem Lead Eetu Holstein, DIMECC Oy, tel. +358 40 840 8660, firstname.lastname@example.org