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Successful completion of European project ADDITOOL on application of Metal Additive Manufacturing technologies in the tooling sector

On 9 February, an event was held to mark the completion of the European project ADDITOOL after 28 months of work. ADDITOOL is a research and development project funded by the European Union in which companies from Spain, France and Portugal took part. Its purpose was to develop the transfer of technical knowledge about additive manufacturing processes in order to facilitate their use for the manufacture of customised metal tools without the need for moulds.

The final event was organised by ADDIMAT, Spanish Association of Additive and 3D Manufacturing Technologies, which has been an active member of the consortium, heading up the communication work package. ADDIMAT forms part of AFM CLUSTER, which has placed its marketing department at the full disposal of the ADDITOOL consortium.

5 demo models were presented featuring real 3D-printed metal tools for different industrial sectors: food, machine manufacturing, aeronautics and the industrial sector. Each of the demo models is manufactured using different metal additive manufacturing techniques: Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing, Powder Bed Fusion, Metal Material Extrusion, Direct Energy Deposition and hybrid manufacturing. Depending on the size of the element, its dimensions, the material it needs to be manufactured from and other parameters, it may be more or less beneficial to use one or other of these 3D printing processes. The project has demonstrated the wide variety of processes and industrial solutions that can benefit from the use of these technologies.

As the audience was shown, the ADDITOOL project has also facilitated knowledge transfer throughout the SUDOE region. New educational programmes have been developed for both engineering and industrial students. The transfer of knowledge and skills by the ADDITOOL consortium has also implemented teacher, researcher and PhD student mobility as a means of sharing good practice.

The event featured speakers from international companies such as Ampower, Cranfield University, Addup, Adaxis or Rescoll, who spoke about the future of additive manufacturing and its contribution in terms of sustainability. This has opened up new fields of application and development of the technology.

The duration of the ADDITOOL project was 28 months and the overall budget was 1.71 million euros, 1.28 million of which came from FEDER funds.

The results of this project are expected to contribute to the development of more efficient and profitable processes for metal additive manufacturing, which promotes competitiveness and growth in European industry at the same time. Over the course of the project, 7 technical webinars were held. These, together with all the public information generated throughout the project are available on the website for at least two years from its conclusion.