Did you know that Sweden produces more than one-quarter of the global supply of metal powder for additive manufacturing? Take a tour of the nation’s fast-growing AM market and its key players.
Wherever you look in Swedish manufacturing today, people are either talking about the transformational benefits of “printing” metal objects layer by layer – such as complex machine parts – or indeed putting the technique into practice. Early adopters are already at the frontline of global progress.
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Studies now confirm that Sweden, which consistently ranks as the EU’s most innovative country, is on the cusp of a boom in additive manufacturing (metal-based 3D printing). Aerospace components, medical implants and turbines for power generation are just a few application areas where trailblazing companies in Sweden such as GKN Aerospace, Arcam and Siemens are unlocking unprecedented value.
The big game-changer is that we can design any type of component. Additive manufacturing opens up a world of opportunity.
Hans Holmström, CEO, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery
“By introducing 3D printing at our workshops in Finspång, Sweden, we have reduced materials consumption by 50 per cent in our production line for gas turbines. But the big gamechanger is that we can design any type of component. This opens up a world of opportunity,” says Hans Holmström, CEO, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery.
The company Arcam, which developed the Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology in Mölndal just outside Gothenburg, spotted the potential for metal 3D printing as early as 1997. Precisely two decades later the company was fully acquired by the US conglomerate General Electric.