AMFG in 2020: Our Year in Review

21 December 2020
AMFG A Year in Review 2020

2020 has been an undeniably milestone year. Against the backdrop of the global Coronavirus pandemic, the events of 2020 brought new challenges, as well as new opportunities, to the additive manufacturing industry. 

2020 was also an important year for AMFG, as we continued our journey of driving autonomous manufacturing with MES solutions.

With 12 months of tough but exciting growth almost behind us, here are just some of our highlights from 2020. 

January – Predicting 3D printing trends

 

We kickstarted the year with our ten predictions on the evolution of additive manufacturing in 2020. Despite the pandemic putting a lot of plans and expectations on their head, many of the trends we predicted started to successfully unfold throughout the year. 

One example is the acceleration of software development and growth. The AM software market has become much better defined, with MES solutions becoming essential for scalability in additive manufacturing.

>>Read more about 3D Printing Trends in 2020 here

 

February – Announcing enhancements to our software

 
February was marked by our announcement of a new build preparation solution to automate the build preparation process. 

The Build Preparation tool enables users to visualise and orient parts on a build, as well as set optimal build parameters to ensure the repeatable production of the finished part.

Build Preparation AMFG Additive MES Software
AMFG’s Build Preparation tool

Additionally, we published our in-depth guide to the manufacturing execution system for additive manufacturing. You can download a free copy here to learn how you can use Additive MES to scale up your AM operations.

March – The 3D printing community coming together to battle supply chain disruptions

 
In March, the coronavirus outbreak was labelled a pandemic and caused medical supply shortages around the world.

Many enthusiasts and companies turned to 3D printing to help tackle the challenges brought about by the pandemic. We covered multiple examples of how companies were stepping up to deal with the disruptions in the medical supply chain.  

We’ve also seen many of our customers pivoting to the production of medical supplies to help those in need. 

Protective 3d printed glasses
 

One prominent example comes from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The university has been producing much needed medical supplies to help combat the crisis and adopted our software to support its initiatives during this critical time.

April – Launching our first digital conference

 
In April, AMFG brought together 3D printing professionals and experts, from Ultimaker to Xometry, in our first Additive Manufacturing Landscape Digital Conference 2020, where we shared perspectives and insights into the current state of the industry. 

The conference’s common themes revolved around the ongoing efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of 3D printing in supply chains, and the continued maturation of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, materials and software. 

AMFG digital conference 2020
The speakers at the AMFG digital conference 2020

For those who couldn’t attend the conference, we’ve put together two articles exploring the key learnings from the AM Landscape conference: 

 
You can also check out our YouTube channel to watch each of the speaker’s presentations online. 

May – Publishing our second Additive Manufacturing Landscape 2020 Report

 
April’s digital conference provided us with multiple insights, which helped us put together our second Additive Manufacturing Landscape 2020 Report in May. 

Additive Manufacturing Landscape 2020 1 1024x724 1
The Additive Manufacturing Landscape 2020 [Image credit: AMFG]

A year on from AMFG’s first Additive Manufacturing Landscape, it couldn’t be clearer that the 3D printing industry has matured significantly since then. 

While the start of 2020 has ushered much uncertainty globally, the report’s takeaways indicated that the progress within the 3D printing industry shows no signs of slowing down.

July – Introducing a new ordering and quoting system

 
July was a special month as we introduced brand new changes to the way 3D printing orders and quotes are managed through the AMFG platform. 

The new changes have made it easier, faster and more intuitive to quote AM parts, communicate with customers, as well as manufacturing partners, and process 3D printing orders more efficiently. 

September – Announcing a new partnership with the Digital Manufacturing Centre 

 
In September we announced that our additive MES software will be integrated into the Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC), an independent AM production facility opening in Q1 2021 in the UK. 

KWSP Digital Manufacturing Centre Render 03 scaled 1
Image credit: KWSP Digital Manufacturing Centre

Digital manufacturing is burgeoning in the UK and the launch of the DMC is yet another positive sign of this trend. Our software will be a crucial part of the DMC’s operations strategy, allowing its team to view system capacities, monitor, and manage projects and deadlines within the DMC.

November – Connecting at Formnext 2020

 
November is one of the busiest months for the industry, not least because of Formnext, the largest trade show for additive manufacturing. 

This year, however, Formnext played out much differently than in previous years, adapting to the online space due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Despite the constraints of the digital format, Formnext proved that, when direct contact and personal interactions are limited, virtual trade fair formats can be successful solutions.

While we didn’t exhibit on this year’s Formnext, our team attended the digital event to forge new connections and get up to speed with the latest industry developments. And we really look forward to participating in Formnext 2021 next year!

December – Collaborating with HP on machine connectivity

 
In December, we were thrilled to be able to announce our collaboration with HP, which focuses on making AM system connectivity for HP Multi Jet Fusion systems a reality. 

AMFG collaborates with HP to eable system connectivity for Jet Fusion 3D printers e1606892442583
Image credit: HP

One of the biggest barriers to the adoption of AM is the disconnected nature of the AM workflow. Alongside HP, we aim to establish a fully connected and automated workflow by empowering users to connect directly with their machines through our platform. 

One of the first companies to benefit from this collaboration is Henkel:

“With the help of AMFG to connect to our global infrastructure of Application Centers using HP Jet Fusion printers, we are aiding in centralizing the end-to-end workflows, from initial request to final part production,” said Chris Liddiard, Market Segment Head for Automotive and Industrial Parts at Henkel, in HP’s press release

Last week, we also launched a new website, reflecting the growth of our brand and solutions we offer. 

Looking to 2021

 
Despite the uncertainty and challenges we faced this year, AMFG has become a stronger, more resilient company. We’re thankful to all of our customers, partners and the 3D printing community who shared this journey with us. 

We’re already excited for 2021 and can’t wait to share the new products and partnerships we have lined up. Stay tuned for more – and be sure to follow us on Linkedin for all of our latest news!

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