GUIDANCE

At formnext you will enter the universe of Additive Manufacturing. Be prepared to find the latest machine generations, the whole spectrum of materials, innovative software solutions, and a huge variety of services. This variety however makes it difficult to keep track of the relevant technologies and to decide on what investment may be appropriate. This is why we offer you a special service at our booth (Hall 3.1 F 88) which is “guidance“. Let us show you by 24 case studies and 4 key topics why we are the perfect partner to develop and manufacture your 3D printed parts, and how our innovations will lead you safely through the universe of Additive Manufacturing, in direct line to success. This page will showcase our 4 key topics of this year’s formnext. You will also find a selection of our trade show highlights in our service ranges Rapid Prototyping, production tools, 3D printed spare parts, and ADM components in greater detail.



Key Topic 1: FIT AM CAPABILITIES

As a specialist in additive design and additive manufacturing, we are intimately familiar with the possibilities and limits of the various 3D printing technologies. We understand the relevant productivity and cost drivers and know how to ensure the technically and economically viable implementation of your requirements. 

What you can expect from us: 

  • Reduction of your “time to market” thanks to the industrial 3D printing of prototypes.
  • Increased productivity with additively manufactured production accessories.
  • Improved availability of spare parts with 3D printing “on demand”.
  • Sustainable enhancement in the value of your products/components with perfectly additively manufactured individual components, small series, or series-produced components.

Profit from our additive manufacturing know-how.

Key Topic 1:
FIT AM CAPABILITIES
Key Topic 2:
TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT


Key Topic 2: TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

For us, quality does not just mean the quality of your component that we test at the end of manufacturing, quality is much more complex. It has many dimensions, is a continuous process, a daily challenge and requires detailed knowledge of the production processes. That is why we have integrated a corresponding quality system into our manufacturing processes, which includes the employees, the environment, the machinery, the material, and the methodology. As a multi-certified manufacturing partner, we use statistical methods for process control as well as a range of systems for quality assurance and quality measurement in order to consistently improve the quality of our processes and products; because our aim is to offer you 100% of the quality that you expect.


Key Topic 3: FINISHING POWER

Post-processing is a fundamental requirement in additive manufacturing, as no component is produced by the machinery ready for use. Supports must be removed or functional surfaces need to be milled so that the component can be used. But, this type of production-related post-processing is often not enough. That’s why we offer an extensive range of post-processing activities to optimize the properties of the component, such as metal coating or heat treatment. We also offer numerous options for finishing your component, such as smoothing, vaporing, or painting. Depending on the size of the component and the intended use, we can work together with you to reliably navigate through our numerous options to reach the goal. Take advantage of our finishing services for conventionally manufactured and 3D printed components.
Key Topic 3:
FINISHING POWER
Key Topic 4:
FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES


Key Topic 4: FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Innovation is the fuel for our development. As a result, we are constantly developing in-house solutions to meet your future requirements even better, faster, or more cost-effectively than today. We employ a research team of about 40 experts who are focused on new software development in relation to additive manufacturing as well as plant engineering, process automation, material development, and innovative 3D printing methods. We also invest in promising additive manufacturing technologies early on and develop these through to market maturity as a technology leader. We already boast a supersonic technology of manufacturing copper components and a cutting-edge technology for producing metal components 60 - 90% more cost-effectively than before.


Sample case: Rapid Prototyping Fast and economic manufacturing of big parts

Are you interested in large plastic components to perfectly present your brand or product? Do what L’Oréal did and take advantage on the possibilities provided by our GDP XXL 3D printing technology. For the commercial release of its new face cream of the „it“ product line, L'Oréal was in search of a special presentation to highlight the product at their inaugural press conference. The intended goal was to rouse maximum attention and to underline at the same time the innovative image of the trade mark “it”. The challenge: Time was relatively short and no data model of the original tube existed.
Sample case: Rapid Prototyping
Fast and economic manufacturing of big parts


Solution by FIT: Think big

Our specialists created a data model of the tube from scratch. After that, the object was built by using GDP (Gel Dispensing Printing) in three separate parts, which were assembled to form an impressively tall giant tube with a height of 1.80 m. Due to a refined finishing process, the GDP model was a perfect look-alike of the original – after only one week of production time. The result:L'Oréal was thrilled and the press conference was a huge success.


beneFITs:

  • Holistic project management
  • Transformation of the real object into a 3D data model within 24 h
  • XXL 3D printing (GDP)
  • Assembly of the parts in our own model building department
  • Complete finishing of the tube


Sample case: Rapid Prototyping Additive engineering for aviation and aerospace industries

Is lightweight construction something you are intrigued by? Our FITNIK design experts make everything a breeze. Our helicopter drone was made 80% lighter with additive design and will therefore fly twice as far. The targeted applying of pesticides, the fighting of wildfires, or mountain rescue: These are just a few use cases when a drone is really useful. The flight time depending on battery power is one of the important performance features of the remote-controlled aircraft.
Sample case: Rapid Prototyping
Additive engineering for aviation and aerospace industries


Solution by FIT: Lightweight drone

To enhance flight time considerably, our design engineers at FITNIK developed the prototype of a special helicopter drone with an original length of 3.5 m. This drone stands out by its organic design which results in a weight reduction of 80 %. This means that the drone can fly almost twice as long as before.


beneFITs:

  • Design of complex, geometrical structures by withstanding high loads
  • Extensive consulting and engineering competence in aviation and aerospace by FITNIK, a joint venture between FIT and Russian NIK Ltd.
  • Industrial manufacturing capacities for aviation and aerospace parts e.g. by laser melting using aluminum
  • Certification of FIT Production GmbH according to EN 9100


Sample case: Production tool Part optimization plus reduction of complexity

An automotive supplier was using sheet metal for product chutes, which required manual assembly of the various parts by specialists. This meant production of a chute took about 7 working days with the corresponding high costs. We designed the chutes additively and manufacture them much more quickly, with less weight, and more cost-effectively, from plastic and in one piece using SLS. Like this, assembly has become a piece of cake.
Sample case: Production tool 
Part optimization plus reduction of complexity


Solution by FIT: Product chutes

We solved the problem by using additive design. The organic construction of the chutes saves on costs and weight, by maintaining the required stability. By integrating rollers into the construction, the behavior of the parts could be better controlled on the chute. In a next development level, more improvements aim at slowing down the part on the chute. Additional benefit: The part can be built in one piece which makes all assembling efforts obsolete.


beneFITs:

  • Design of complex, geometrical structures by withstanding high loads
  • Function optimizing design (integrated rollers mean better properties to part)
  • Weight reduction of 80 %
  • Part is manufactured in one part – saving costs of 70 %
  • Additive Manufacturing of chute by selective laser sintering (SLS) using polyamide


Sample case: Production tool Individual facades

3D printing lets you customize the external facade of buildings. We have developed the facade design, produced the pressing tools and STO constructed the facade for our new boarding house. Unique and affordable!

The project Facade 3000 is a case study for 3D printed production tools in architecture.
For the newly erected boarding house of the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group, our product designers in close cooperation with architects Berschneider + Berschneider and facade supplier STO realized a unique facade.

The special challenges included...

  • creating a cost-saving tool to produce the facade panels
  • ensuring the fast and economic production of the mounting panels
  • producing a large surface area
  • realizing a unique and individual facade design

Sample case: Production tool
Individual facades


Solution by FIT: Individual tools for facade production

The extravagant crystal design of the cavities is an allusion to the polygons that are the typical element of the triangle mesh – the smallest unit of data models in 3D printing and a very subtle design message. FIT also produced the aluminum models using laser melting (LM) – a solution which turned out to be significantly less costly than the equivalent conventional techniques. The only finishing effort of the AM parts was blasting and grinding the edges evenly. They were immediately ready to use in the production tool.


beneFITs:

  • Unique facade design and complete production planning
  • Additive Manufacturing of specially designed inserts into the panel molds made of aluminum by using laser melting
  • design panels were easily integrated into an efficient workflow
  • Production speed of 20 simultaneous panels (in rotation) was another positive expense factor
  • Our prediction: Thanks to AM, costs for individualized facades will no longer exceed costs of standard facades


Sample cases: 3D printed spare parts AM optimized alternative brackets

Wabtec builds air-conditioning systems that are held by sheet metal brackets. Availability as well as weight are becoming more and more important issues. That’s why Wabtec searched for a weight optimized variant of the 4.6 kg standard bracket. Our FITNIK design experts are lightweight specialists. The bracket which we have produced from titanium with EBM is now 82% lighter.
Sample cases: 3D printed spare parts
AM optimized alternative brackets


Solution by FIT: Smart spare part

Topology-optimization and bionic design are the corner stones for the complete redesign of the original bracket. As the subsequent simulation showed, the new bracket is able to withstand the same loads as the conventional part. The main difference: the new bracket has only a weight of 0.8 kg, which means a weight reduction of 82 %!


beneFITs:

  • Software-based design improvement leading to a weight reduction of 82 %
  • Successful reengineering including simulation of all relevant loads and forces
  • Production of the bracket in titanium by using Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Reduction of assembling efforts as the new bracket is built in once piece instead of 6 separate sheet metal parts


Sample case: ADM component From prototype to series part in medical technology

Oventus Medical developed an individual mouthpiece that protects sleep apnea patients from fatal breathing pauses. Our compliance with EN ISO 13485 and EBM means that we are able to series-produce individual titanium mouthpieces. Around 3.7 m people alone in Germany suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Episodes of decreased breathing during sleep lead to a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. This may be dangerous. This life-saving mouthpiece was developed in cooperation with the Australian CSIRO.
Sample case: ADM component
From prototype to series part in medical technology


Solution by FIT: Innovative little helper

As a specialist for the additive manufacturing of medical components, we provide reliable and certified processes for the production of titanium blanks for the medical products and devices industry. This enabled us to lead Oventus through an intensive prototyping and evaluation process, ending in true serial manufacturing. In the course of this cooperation we together developed the process for real series manufacturing of the titanium mouthpiece. The parts are built on our EBM machines.


beneFITs:

  • Fast production of medical metal prototypes
  • Professional software tools and best in class machines for cutting-edge production of medical implants (according to DIN EN ISO 13485)
  • Strict quality management to hold the required quality standards e.g. traceability
  • Optimization of the production of individualized titanium parts including series manufacturing (500 different parts per week)

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FIT AG
Am Grohberg 1
92331 Lupburg
Germany

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