Horizon2020 – SME Instrument: AddiFab

Horizon2020 – SME Instrument: AddiFab

AddiFab is a Danish high-tech SME with a strong ambition to transform the manufacturing industry and become the EU leader in manufacturing systems based on additive manufacturing. The firm has successfully developed and launched the STIM-PR, an additively based platform that uses proprietary sacrificial moulds to dramatically accelerate prototyping and low-volume production.

There is a rising demand for miniaturization of complex components of high-performing and high-quality metals and ceramics, significantly in the medical & healthcare, retail & consumer, and automobile industries. AddiFab addresses this need with its STIM-MC platform. STIM-MC is the first successful combination of the flexibility from 3D-printing and the scalability and versatility from injection moulding for the manufacturing of small metal and ceramic components. It allows the manufacturing industry to move seamlessly between prototyping and low-volume production, delivering un-precedented flexibility in product lifecycle management. At the core of this platform is the use of 3D-printed sacrificial moulds, which are single-use and dissolvable. The sacrificial moulds are based on proprietary dissolvable resins, which are 3D-printed and used as moulds in conventional metal and ceramic injection moulding. This approach allows for the highly scalable manufacturing small and medium-sized high precision metal or ceramics components with a surface finishing quality similar to standard injection moulding.

In 2018, Innovayt helped AddiFab prepare an application for the SME Instrument Phase 2 funding for their STIM-MC project. The application was approved by the Commission, and AddiFab received 1.6 million € for their project, including industrial design optimization, validation, certification, and bringing the solution to the market.

The challenge

Metal and ceramic injection moulding is an efficient technology, however, tools are time-consuming and very expensive, and prototyping is needed to minimize risk. 3D-printing prototyping technologies are expensive and not comparable with metal/ceramic injection moulding in terms of quality.

The result

AddiFab has addressed the problem and created a solution where thermally stable, high-strength and dissolvable 3D-printed moulds replace conventional steel tools for low-volume injection moulding of demanding materials such as metal and ceramic.