At the beginning of 2022, we were all still a little bit dazed from the pandemics firm grip on the global economy, but the year showed us that AM can be a solution to so many of the problems that became apparent during the last years: disrupted supply chains, material shortages, lack of space… Additive solutions were the topic at many tables.
The rising demand for additive solutions enabled us during the last 12 months to welcome another 17 new members to our MGA community – despite some companies struggling due to the pandemic, inflation and rising costs. Everyone is interested in boosting industrial AM to its full potential!
While our existing Working Groups such as Ecological Sustainability, Materials and RAILiability kept up their meetings, in May 2022 we also introduced a new Working Group into the network: Automotive was kicked-off to tackle AM-specific challenges of use cases from the automotive sector, such as motorsports, classic cars, commercial vehicles, buses and trucks, passenger cars and others. In November 2022, our medical division introduced its first Focus Group: under the umbrella of the Use Cases Working Group, MedTech & OT connects the various players in medical technology, including implant manufacturing and orthopaedic technology (OT), and focuses on everything from the development to manufacturing to testing and standardization of medical devices.
You – our members – asked us for new ideas for business opportunities in new fields for AM. So during the last months of 2022 we also set an agenda for the next Working Groups to be launched this year:
- Energy: No other industry has been under as much pressure the past year as the Energy sector – higher demand, faster delivery and easy access for everyone is in demand. How can AM help solve the rising problems of the demanding industry that usually produces under less-than-ideal circumstances (high pressure, high seas, deep underground…)? Are you interested in joining the new Working Group? Contact us to learn more!
- Mortar: Printing houses has been on the news lately – but how can we take the next steps in the printing of concrete, cement and other building materials? Are you interested in joining the new Working Group? Contact us to learn more!
- Analyses & Processing: The new Focus Group under the umbrella of Medical Materials kicks off on March 23 on focuses on on the questions: Can and may materials for medical applications be recycled, and if so, how? Learn more
- Veterinary Medicine: This new medical Working Group focusing on the implementation of AM in therapies of and treatments for animals already kicked-off in January 2023 and is on its way to success. Learn more
While hosting our Working Groups and pushing the topics of the divisions, we also once again educated the next generation and inspired them to maybe one day help us advance AM together:
- In January we welcomed a very bright student intern from a local school. The 13-year-old spend two weeks with us, learning about the advantages of 3D printing and gaining an insight into the work of an international network office – at the end he was so fascinated with the technology that he asked his parents for a desktop printer for his birthday. The next opportunity for student interns will be in April – if your kids are interested in spending their school mandated internship (a German thing) at MGA, please contact us.
- In April we welcomed 8 girls between the ages of 10 and 15 at our office for the Girls Day (an initiative from multiple German federal institutions to motivate young girls to enter technical and scientific professions). The girls spend an eventful day with our Managing Director Stefanie Brickwede and our Network Manager Medical Dr. Cora Lüders-Theuerkauf who told them about what it means to be a woman in the field of Additive Manufacturing – and of course they also learned how to print a little something on a desktop printer.
Over the summer we supported two Deutsche Bahn initiatives:
- First, we helped host a Kids University where more than 10 children spend a weekend with 3D printing experts to learn about the advantages of AM.
- Then we welcomed two groups of the RasselBAHNde, a holiday program during the summer holidays, where kids between the ages of 6 to 14 spend a week at the DB and visiting fun places – such as the office of the leading international network for industrial Additive Manufacturing. Following the visits, we received multiple inquiries from parents asking how they can learn more about the technology.
Of course, we also spend time educating grown-ups about the advantages of AM at multiple events and in interviews and podcasts. We supported numerous events and initiatives:
– 3D Pioneers Challenge (part of the jury)
– LightCon (member of the advisory board)
– AM Medical Days (founding partner)
– AM Forum (founding partner)
– Formnext (member of the Start-Up Challenge jury)
– AMBER (co-initiator)
– KI Park (member of the advisory board to enhance cooperation with AI)
– Fraunhofer IAPT (member of the “Kuratorium” [advisory board])
– Lightweighting Initiative (member of the strategic advisory board)
– Women in 3D Printing
– MGA/VDI Student Competition – Link Blogpost Student Competition
For the highlight of 2022 we like to remember the Women in AM Summit and the MGA Annual Meeting on October 12 & 13 in Berlin, where we welcomed so many of our members and friends and had a genuinely amazing time! Here our new Executive Board, Nicole Friedrich, Chairwomen – Deutsche Bahn; Johannes Emmelheinz, Vice Chairman – Siemens Mobility; Prof. Dr. Ing. Claus Emmelmann, TU Hamburg; Dr. Florian Thieringer, University Basel) and our new treasurer, Carmen Schmieder, Deutsche Bahn, were appointed by our members. We said thank you to our former Chairman Gorden Falk, our former Board Member Güngör Kara and our former treasurer Karsten Reinhardt. Once again, a big thank you for their work and dedication!And we ended the year with a high: in cooperation with one of our closest partners, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, we organized the second TechJourney to Israel. Here we visited promising AM companies and institutions and learned about the 3D printing environment of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The trip was such a great success, that the next trip is nearly upon us already: on February 5 we embark on the adventure of experiencing the AM environment of New York and Boston!
We cannot wait to see what 2023 has in store for us and would like to thank our members for boosting AM with us!