AMPOWER develops a calculation tool for the ecological footprint of AM

Nowadays no one can get around the topic of sustainability: thinking about the environment is essential for the industry of the future.

Additive manufacturing is one of the most promising technologies when it comes to reducing one’s ecological footprint, but what we now need is finally putting numbers on how ecological sustainable certain additive manufacturing processes and materials are in comparison.

One of our newest members, AMPOWER, the Hamburg based leading consultancy in the field of industrial AM, is kicking off the next study from the “AMPOWER Insights” series on July 23 and is looking for partners from the MGA community.

Already twelve renowned partner companies are supporting the study, which main goal is the development of a generic calculation tool to estimate the carbon footprint and resource consumption for components in different additive and conventional manufacturing processes and materials.

In the first step, the tool is not intended to be a replacement for the very precise, but also lengthy and expensive Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), but rather a supplement to be able to quickly make an initial estimate of the ecological footprint, e.g. to be able to compare different manufacturing processes.

In LCAs the complete product life cycle is considered, but the study will concentrate on the part of the chain from raw material to finished product, because this is where the greatest differences between the individual manufacturing processes lie.

The study will be concluded by the end of December and will be available in full only to participating companies, AMPOWER will make extracts available to the public.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this amazing project!

For more information contact Eric Wycisk, Managing Partner @ AMPOWER

3D printing for a greener future

The pressure on the industry to be greener and think more sustainably is constantly growing, and sustainable production processes like 3D printing are becoming more and more important. To celebrate Earth Day, today we’re shedding light on what exactly makes additive manufacturing more sustainable than conventional manufacturing technologies.

For us, five features clearly stand out:

  1. material savings: through extended geometry freedom and software tools for topological optimization, AM enables entirely new components. For example, material is only built up where it is really needed mechanically. This reduces the bound primary energy required for raw material production and also the energy required for manufacturing.
  2. hardly any production waste: Only small volumes of support structures or milling chips from post-processing are generated, which can be recycled. No molds or tools are needed for additive manufacturing.
  3. inherent lightweight design: hollow bodies filled with lightweight lattice structures instead of parts cast from solid material can be optimally manufactured with AM. When used in vehicles and aircrafts, this saves large amounts of fuel and CO2.
  4. green materials: recycled plastics, recycled metal powders, and bio-based as well as biodegradable plastics can already be processed in AM today. The quality is often comparable to conventional materials.
  5. Improved recyclability: Multi-hierarchical design (several functions in one component) is often only possible with AM and allows multiple functions to be accomplished with only one material (e.g. cooling and structure). Monomaterials are much more recyclable.

All in all, it shows that we can make a big step towards more sustainable production processes with additive manufacturing.
At MGA, we will continue to work to establish 3D printing alongside conventional methods in production processes, for a greener future.

Spot on: Ecological Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing


Spot on: Ecological Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing

The ecological sustainability of additive manufacturing is increasingly being questioned.

Many parameters play a role here. For example, the energy input in the construction process, material issues, changed flows of goods, and also the reduced ecological rucksack due to extended life cycles by means of longer availability of spare parts. These topics are now being dealt with by the small working group on Ecological Sustainability.

Two points in time will be considered. The current status-quo and the ideal world in 2040, when according to a study 50% of all parts are printable worldwide. Once the target picture has been defined, larger expert groups will involve more members in the following step. A master’s thesis is to be awarded in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the current research situation, among other things.


Next meeting:
1 July 2020 – 11:00 to 12:30 CEST[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]