The Use 3D Printing of Large Pieces is Promoted with an Extensive Collaboration Project in Finland
3D printing of large pieces is brought to the use of the manufacturing industry with a national 3-million-euro 3D printing collaboration project (3DTY). The industrial introduction of 3D printing of large structures is promoted by researching and testing, in addition to plastic and metal printing equipment, the post-processing of parts, quality assurance as well as joining and interfaces.
The University of Oulu is leading the 3DTY project, which is being implemented with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted by the South Savo Business, Transport and Environment Center (ELY) and business funding.
“We have gathered a good team. We have the best know-how and the best equipment for the 3D printing of large pieces and its research and product development, meaning that the different 3D printers complement each other comprehensively. Our network extends well across the country, which means that we can improve the 3D printing expertise of large pieces nationwide,” says Future Manufacturing Technologies (FMT) Group Development Manager Kari Mäntyjärvi from the University of Oulu’s Kerttu Saalasti Institute.
The implementation of the three-year project is carried out by the Additive Manufacturing Research- and product development operators of Northern Finland (University of Oulu, Lapland Education Center REDU), Eastern Finland (University of Eastern Finland, Savonia University of Applied Sciences), Southern Finland (LUT University) and Western Finland (Tampere University of Applied Sciences). Innovation platform DIMECC Ltd’s ecosystems FAMN (Finnish Advanced Manufacturing Network) and FAME (Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem) ensure the project’s business impact.
With Twenty Manufacturing Companies
3DTY includes twenty companies from the manufacturing industry around the country. In the technology of additive manufacturing, i.e. 3D printing, we are at a stage in the size range of large pieces, meaning a maximum of a few meters, where there are technologies available for industrial use, both in metal and plastic printing, and in combining different materials. In the industrial process, additive manufacturing is seamlessly connected to other manufacturing technologies, and when manufacturing large pieces, 3D printing and machining and different joining methods can alternate.
“By researching and developing the use of new technology together with companies, we can speed up its application in practice. With the help of pilots and demonstrations, we are able to offer participating companies reliable information about the application of 3D printing of large parts to their specific applications. Through our networks, we can disseminate emerging information to other companies struggling with the same questions. For example, there is no information or concrete examples in Finland about the use of 3D printing for large-scale mold manufacturing. In this way, we promote the renewal of the industry and generate new business”, says Senior Ecosystem Lead Antti Karjaluoto from DIMECC Oy.
3D printing is a digital technology, the transition to which also supports the green transition of companies. It helps to manufacture products energy-efficiently and with a smaller amount of waste.
3DTY is part of the Renewing and competent Finland 2021–2027 EU regional and structural policy program. The support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been granted by the South Savo Business, Transport and Environment Center (ELY).