“Additive Manufacturing is Innovative by Nature”
has been the Marketing Manager for 3DCeram since 2019.
joined 3DCeram as Business Unit Manager in 2018. Since September 2019 he has been Aerospace Business Manager.
3DCeram Sinto is a French-tech based in Limoges with 15 years of experience in 3D printing of complex ceramic parts with a broad spectrum of products and services and its own product line of 3D printers. Interceram spoke to Nicolas Rousselet, Aerospace Business Manager, and Kareen Malsallez, Marketing Manager, about a new service tailored to the needs of customers in the aerospace industry.
Interceram: What is the special strength of the printing technology of 3DCeram?
Nicolas Rousselet: At 3DCeram we developed stereolithography (SLA) for ceramics. SLA is very interesting because it is the most precise AM technology. For example, if we compare it to fused deposition modeling (FDM) or extrusion, SLA is superior in precision because we use a UV laser. The laser is the most precise tool for polymerization and shaping of the part. This makes our process appealing to companies because our printed parts have very good mechanical and thermal properties. Our technology is therefore suited for many different applications, for example in the aerospace industry.
Kareen Malsallez: We also see a trend towards mass customization, which is now increasingly demanded by the industry. This is why we have developed a full scale printer, which can cover the entire production process from prototype development to mass customization. Moreover, our SLA technology also offers a lot of flexibility when developing and processing new applications.
What significance does additive manufacturing have as a production technology in the aerospace industry? Which of the process properties offer an advantage here?
Nicolas Rousselet: The aerospace industry is changing. New private companies are entering the market. This sector is called ‘new space’. In this field of business, the new priority is to downsize and reduce the weight of parts, for example of satellites, and also to reduce the costs and the time to launching. Here, our SLA process and our ceramic materials open a way to design parts with a complex architecture and more functionalities. The other factor is that additive manufacturing is a flexible manufacturing process. The process can be adapted to every step of a development phase because part modifications can be done without extra costs. Additive manufacturing is innovative by nature.
Recently, 3DCeram started offering a special service called 3D-AIM. What does it stand for?
Kareen Malsallez: We play with the word ‘goal’ like ‘aiming at a goal’. But it also includes the abbreviation for aerospace industry. This service is completely new, and we are working on defining it. It is actually an answer to what our customers and stakeholders are looking for. So 3D-AIM was created as a result of market demand.
What does this service involve?
Nicolas Rousselet: 3D-AIM is a customized support for aerospace companies which consider additive manufacturing as a good solution for their future projects. We help the company to develop the ceramic application from scratch to the part production. We start with a discussion about their specifications. This could be a targeted time frame or targeted cost plan. This approach is flexible because we can adapt it to different project phases. We start from the blank pages to the production of parts, or we can make modifications to existing ceramic parts. Overall, 3D-AIM is a global approach because we manage the design phases, the production phases and then the technology transfer to the customer.
Kareen Malsallez: Most of the time the part already exists and the company produces it in traditional ways for example by machining. Then they hear about additive manufacturing and are maybe thinking about optimizing their part and adding a few new functions, and sometimes they also turn to additive manufacturing because it’s a reliable process in terms of costs. A cost analysis is also part of 3D-AIM. So at the beginning of a new project we want to answer the questions: How can a part be produced by additive manufacturing? Is it worth doing it in terms of costs? Can the part be optimized and can new functionalities be added?
What led you to the idea to establish this service in the first place?
Nicolas Rousselet: The new space sector is asking for the smartest answer to optimize its products. That is why this offer is initially aimed at this market. But we think that over time, additive mass production will become more prominent in the minds of industry, especially in view of the pandemic we are currently living with. That is why we think that in the coming years, this offer could really help different industries to get into additive manufacturing. 3D-AIM aims to help the industry master the process from beginning to end. And then we at 3DCeram believe that it will be much easier to invest in this way of production. This is what we are dreaming about and why we built this offer.
Thank you for the interview.