What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, rapid prototyping or freeform fabrication, is "the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies" such as machining. The term 3D printing can be defined as the fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology." The use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) with metal powders is a new and growing industry sector with many of its leading companies based in Europe.
What is the European Additive Manufacturing Group?
The European Additive Manufacturing Group (EuroAM) launched in May 2013 is open to companies and organisations across the supply chain who are or become members of the EPMA.
Its objectives are fourfold:
- To increase the awareness of the Additive Manufacturing technology, with a special focus on metal powder based products.
- To enable the benefits of joint action, for example through research programmes, workshops, benchmarking and exchange of knowledge.
- To improve the understanding of the benefits of metal based AM technology by end users, designers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists and students.
- To assist in the development of International standards for the AM Sector.
Promotion of the AM Sector
The first priority will be to develop an increased amount of printed and online data for AM users and designers including case studies and a printed flyer. Other planned promotional activity includes attendance at end-user exhibitions and seminars.
Research & Technology Development
In common with other EPMA sectoral groups the EuroAM will develop a function that identifies markets, drivers and potential solutions on the major issues shaping the future of the sector. From these activities topics for industry led "club" or "collaborative" projects may be derived. These projects will be funded either directly by members on a private basis or as part of EU funded programmes.
ISO Standards & Quality Development
The EuroAM supports standards development and plans to set up a group to work on ISO Standards in AM. Other potential areas already successfully introduced in other groups are trend surveys and exchange of statistics which will help re-enforce the benefits of joint action for members of the Group.
Conferences & Workshops
There will be regular EuroAM meetings normally linked to the annual Euro PM Congress. These meetings are a major networking opportunity as well as a chance to participate in the decision making process of the Group. Special meetings and Workshops will be also organised like Special Interest Seminars or full day Additive Manufacturing meetings.
In addition to the above members will of course benefit from the full range of EPMA activities in areas such as Club Projects, REACH legislation, Summer schools, publications etc.
Additive Manufacturing Seminar in Bremen, Germany (2016) organised by EPMA with support of the EuroAM.