Text: Thomas Masuch, 6 Septemper 2023
In Sweden, awareness of AM in the industrial realm continues to grow with strong support from major corporations
Sweden is one of the most important countries in the world in the production of powders for additive metal manufacturing. Rich in various ores, the country is also home to two key manufacturers – Sandvik and Höganäs. Plus, the steel manufacturer SSAB has now also entered the additive manufacturing business.
Meanwhile, Sweden features numerous suppliers of additive manufacturing solutions along the entire process chain, and even has a publicly listed manufacturer of 3D printers in Freemelt (which is valued at around EUR 27 million as of July 2023). The land of the moose is also a good base for innovative startups – the young company Normada, for example, which has printed a chic rocking sofa from renewable materials such as bio-oil and cellulose. In addition, the government-owned Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) operates a leading application center for Additive Manufacturing in Mölndal.
Compared to other places, Swedish industry is strongly dominated by large corporations. The aerospace and defense company Saab, for instance, is also very active in AM and has successfully tested a 3D-printed hatch panel, among other things. It also completed a large-scale printing project with Ai Build and Airtech to produce a mold as part of the European Union's Clean Sky 2 initiative.
Accelerating the industrial use of Additive Manufacturing
Awareness of AM has continued to grow in Swedish industry, and more applications are emerging. This process is also being supported by AMEXCI, which was founded in 2017 by a group of 12 major Swedish corporations (ABB, Atlas Copco, Electrolux, Ericsson, FAM, Husqvarna Group, Höganäs, Saab, Scania, SKF, Stora Enso, and Wärtsilä). AMEXCI's mission is to accelerate the industrial use of Additive Manufacturing. The organization operates laboratories in Sweden and Finland that conduct research, offer customized training programs, and provide expert support that is designed to help laser-powder-based AM and related processes deliver ready-to-use components. Most recently, AMEXCI announced a collaboration with Ampower in the area of training.
In August 2023, AMEXCI announced a large-scale strategic initiative to significantly enhance its manufacturing capabilities. This will streamline AMEXCI’s operations for high volume serial production, create space for future growth and position the company as one of the leading Additive Manufacturing entities in Europe. An important component of this expansion is a brand-new factory being built in the industrious region of Örebro, Sweden. The new factory will also enable deepened research collaboration opening for further engagement with the local Örebro University.
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