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FORMNEXT '23: lessons learned


Almost two years ago, Howest IDC published a tender to buy a new Pellet 3D printer. It proved challenging to identify the necessary third company to submit a proposal. A year later, at the Formnext fair, a hub for Additive Manufacturing in Frankfurt, we visited more than 20 exhibitors showcasing Pellet 3D printing technology. A brief exploration of the online patent database suggests that we can anticipate many more developments in the coming year(s). Pellet 3D printing, or FGF (Fused Granulate Fabrication), is a rapidly growing business.


Some key lessons learned:


(1) The market is evolving rapidly, with major players like Bosch entering the scene.

(2) There are no universal machines that offer all-in-one possibilities. Most machines are specialized for specific materials or functionalities.

(3) Pellets (granulates) optimized for injection molding are, by definition, not optimalized for 3D printing. This will always be the tricky part of the story...


You can find more detailed reports about the available Pellet 3D Printing machines here, categorized into three groups based on different levels of precision.

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