In 1995 Aitiip took its first steps as an innovation and technology-oriented entity. Very soon after, the technology center bet on 3D printing, acquiring its first laser sintering machine (SLS), with which it was able to quickly confirm that its bet had been correct. Since then, Aitiip has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in research, technological development and investment. Two decades of growth around the world of additive manufacturing, which now lead to its most innovative proposal: Aitiip3D is born.
A specialized area within the center that seeks to help the industry to understand 3D printing and how it can become the main ally to lead competitiveness and efficiency.
Aitiip has been working for the last nine months on this project, reforming its spaces, acquiring disruptive technologies -more adapted to current needs- and carrying out important investments and alliances with large manufacturers in the sector, such as HP, Stratasys, SLM Solutions, NEXA, BCN3D or AM Solutions. Aitiip3D arrives to turn Aitiip into one of the most versatile centers in Europe and a benchmark in Industry 4.0. With Aitiip3D, customers and manufacturers will be able to benefit from the extensive experience accumulated by the center over time, which has led it, through its firm commitment to R+D+i, to a high level of training and specialization in 3D printing and any of its applications.
In this sense, Aitiip 3D is born with the aim of helping to accelerate the incorporation of 3D printing in the industry, accompanying companies throughout the process. Aitiip will provide them with a consulting service to bring the advantages of advanced manufacturing as a key vector to optimize production processes. Aitiip will also act as a link between companies and manufacturers, so that they can continue their path together, always standing by the companies to support future needs, proposing innovative solutions. Aitiip3D has expanded its capabilities by adopting machinery adapted to new industrial trends, which already consider 3D printing as a powerful production tool, beyond prototyping.
Aitiip will also make available to the business community its Innovation Hub, recently inaugurated, with the capacity to host industrial events. A space that also makes Aitiip a strategic meeting point for technological dissemination. In the words of its managing director, Víctor Rivera, "we want it to be a lively place that serves as a channel of communication between companies and technology generators".
The technological evolution experienced by the industry in recent years has given additive manufacturing a strategic role in production plants. Currently, "there are projects in which our customers need to validate batches of hundreds or thousands of parts and still do not believe that they have been able to solve this requirement with additive manufacturing in record time, and with costs that have allowed them to be much more competitive," explains Pablo Murillo, business development director and head of the Aitiip3D project. "When that moment of amazement comes, we know we are making a difference" he says.
Aitiip 3D: New high-performance equipment
At the moment, the Aitiip3D team has just completed the installation of the first HP MJF 5200, with which they will offer very fast service for large volumes of parts, which are also made up of intricate geometries. They have also acquired the new NEXA400 Pro, one of the fastest resin 3D printers on the market, extremely versatile in the use of materials with very advanced mechanical and thermal properties such as PEEK, which can reach 300 degrees.
On the other hand, they have closed an important agreement with the Spanish manufacturer BCN3D to, in addition to having a whole fleet of W27 and W50 machines, collaborate in the development and validation of new technologies that will be incorporated into the market in the coming years, such as the disruptive VLM technology, among others. What happens to the printed parts once they are manufactured is not left out of these alliances, since, in this case, Aitiip 3D collaborates with the post-processing machine manufacturer AM Solutions, whose automation of the cleaning of printed parts helps to drastically reduce delivery cycles, while offering high quality finishes.
In view of the increasing demand for machines and materials for metal 3D printing, and given the importance of this technology in the additive manufacturing sector, a specialized vertical has been created within this project, called AM3D Metálica. A service that will cover and monitor all these new needs, with the aim of exploiting the full potential of one of the most popular 3D technologies today. The first steps of this spin-off come after the installation a few months ago of a new SLM 280 metal machine from the manufacturer SLM Solutions, with which they are already providing a highly specialized service with materials such as aluminum or steel.
These novelties come to reinforce the previous equipment of the center, which also has a Fortus 900, the largest and most versatile FDM machine on the market and flagship of the manufacturer Stratasys, capable of working specific materials for the aeronautical or railway sector, such as ULTEM 9085, or offering high quality and resistant prototypes and tooling for the automotive sector in polyamides with carbon fiber. This same manufacturer, Stratasys, is also proud that the center invested at the time in the largest and most versatile resin machine in its porfolio: an OBJET 1000 capable of making parts up to 1 meter, in resolutions and finishes that make you doubt whether they are really 3D printed.
All these technologies, together with the capacity to develop materials and innovative processes based on knowledge and investment in applied research "multiplies the possibilities exponentially," says Berta Gonzalvo, director of research. This is the launch of Aitiip3D with which "we hope to become a center of excellence in additive manufacturing", as Gonzalvo says, and thus help "to overcome the industrial and societal challenges of the present and the future", says.