Elmec 3D is the business unit of Elmec Informatica dedicated to additive manufacturing. In its first five years of activity, it has established a solid and motivated team with the goal of strengthening the company’s position in the additive manufacturing sector in Italy. The results achieved, including 1630 hours of project designing, 400 hours of training, and the printing of 5130 kg of 3D material, have confirmed this vision. The company is part of the ecosystem of Elmec Informatica, an Italian company specializing in managed IT services for the digital transformation of Italian companies, which in more than 50 years of history has gone from being a small-to-medium sized company to becoming Italy’s largest private IT group.
Interview with Antonio Vulcano, Technical Manager & Application Engineer Elmec 3D.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Antonio Vulcano: Elmec 3D is a service provider and reseller of additive manufacturing solutions and takes care of every aspect of its customers’ projects, from technology to materials, design, modeling, 3D printing and post-processing operations thanks to a team of engineers and designers and the most innovative software. Specifically, it is focused on reselling industrial 3D printing solutions, 3D printing services, design and re-engineering services, and ad hoc training.
The Elmec 3D team is able to select and offer the best additive manufacturing solutions by reducing the barriers of expertise and fruition through providing expertise, design trainings, and the conception of omni-comprehensive and innovative projects.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
A.V: Elmec 3D has recently added Sintratec’s SLS printer to its resale portfolio, thus completing its technology offering in terms of printing system, materials, and productivity.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
A.V: Elmec 3D positions itself in the market as an “enabler” for additive manufacturing. It does this in a 360-degree way, starting with expertise: it is important, first of all, to inform and train the market so that it knows if and when to choose industrial 3D printing in response to its needs. Therefore, the company offers ad-hoc courses for different business figures, from CEO to machine operator.
It also does design according to the customer’s needs or fourhandedly, offers printing service and resells industrial 3D printing technologies (HP MJF, Sintratec, Desktop Metal and 3D System), as well as post-processing machines (PostPro AMT vapour smoothing and Norblast sandblasting machines) and software.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
A.V: In recent years, 3D printing in Italy has made great progress in both the quality and speed of printing. More and more companies are adopting this technology for the production of prototypes, components and finished products. Especially in these times of economic uncertainties, supply chain problems due to weather and closures to contain the pandemic, the dynamism of 3D printing can make all the difference. Companies are increasingly using these technologies to produce components for automobiles, aircraft, medical equipment and many other products. That’s because additive manufacturing allows for shorter production times and lower costs, as well as increasingly complex geometries that are impossible to generate with traditional technologies.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
A.V: The industries that seem to have experienced the most growth in 2023 are those where million-part batches are not needed and where price is not the only variable driving the purchasing decision: defense, automotive, medical, and aerospace. One trend that has emerged as dominant in 2023 is the growth of on-demand, third-party printing services. These services are mostly used by companies that have delayed their direct investments in 3D printing or those that want to test its effectiveness for their production processes before embarking on an investment.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
A.V: There has been significant hype around the world of footwear: major fashion houses have walked the runway in Milan and Paris with several models of shoes entirely 3D printed with different materials and technologies. It seems that even fashion is understanding the strategic relevance of mass customization, a possibility that only additive technologies can offer.
Elmec 3D proposed this solution to the market years ago.
E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2023 2024?
A.V: 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), will be a $70.8 billion industry by 2030, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent between 2021 and 2030, predicts GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. It has been 40 years since the first 3D printed part was created and the industry is now fully mature. It has made its mark on the manufacturing world, but there is still much to be done. The industry no longer needs to prove that 3D printing works, but it must now establish its place in the manufacturing mix. Additive manufacturing grew in popularity when it helped to limit supply chain shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic. This showed the industry’s potential to play an important role in new supply chain ecosystems. In time, the limiting factor will not be technology, but the willingness of executives to embrace and trust a modernized supply chain.
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