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.
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.
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.