Insights from Formnext: Metal 3D printers are getting bigger and wilder - but also cheaper

Kristoffer Ryelund Nielsen

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Insights from Formnext: Metal 3D printers are getting bigger and wilder - but also cheaper

The Danish Technological Institute was present at the recent Formnext exhibition to stay up to date with the latest technologies, suppliers, and prices within 3D printing. Based on the participation, business manager, Kristoffer Ryelund, got an overview of the market for metal printers - and there were some exciting trends.

Formnext in Frankfurt is the world's largest 3D printing exhibition with approximately 800 participants spread across four halls. The 3D printing specialists from the Danish Technological Institute went to visit the exhibition, and it was an ideal opportunity to see what is happening on the market for metal 3D printers.

We need to be at the forefront of 3D printing. That's why we keep an eye on what's going on out there. Whether there have been new suppliers and technologies, and how 3D printing is becoming cheaper and smarter

- Kristoffer Ryelund Nielsen, Danish Technological Institute

Based on insights from Formnext, Kristoffer Ryelund has made a thorough comparison of prices, print speeds and print sizes of the many suppliers' metal printers – both the largest and the smallest. Below you can see an overview of Laser Powder Bed Fusion printers (LPBF), where the axes show price and print speed, while the size of the bubbles shows the build volume - the bigger the bubble, the bigger the build chamber. If you want to know more about the market for metal 3D printers within the other technologies, you are welcome to contact Kristoffer.

The following applies to the graph below:

  • The material is stainless steel
  • Print speed may vary depending on the geometry of the part
  • The numbers are from sales people, so they should be taken with some reservation
  • Prices can vary quite a bit, as they depend on the amount of extra equipment etc.

Graf over 3D-printere

3D printers are getting bigger and wilder - and cheaper

The participation at Formnext has shown that metal 3D printing is pulling in two directions; metal printers are getting bigger and faster, and on the other hand there are many new suppliers making printers that are cheaper than before. Kristoffer Ryelund Nielsen highlights the fact that since last year, completely new companies have emerged, and they offer cheaper metal printers priced at DKK 600.000-800.000, where others cost more DKK 30 million.

The comparison of metal printers and the overall insights from Formnext provide new knowledge about the market trends within metal 3D printing, and this is important knowledge for the Danish Technological Institute.

- We would like to map the market and find out what the barrier is for the Danish companies before they want to start with 3D printing. So it is interesting to see if the metal 3D printers reach price range where it actually makes sense for companies to buy a printer, Kristoffer Ryelund Nielsen explains.

It is precisely these new trends with cheaper printers that are interesting to track for Kristoffer Ryelund Nielsen, because they can accelerate the rollout of 3D printing. Kristoffer also found time to film a bit, so in the video below he invites you on a tour of Formnext.