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Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

I work for a company that specializes in large format 3d printing, we have done a number of successful products and found a nice niche between wood and alu/steel in durability and cost, and of course can do some neat geometry.

However, it has still remained a niche one-off approach for most companies.

Am I wasting my time pushing additive formwork or does it have a future?

RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

If you can come up with a 3d-printable material with the strength of your forms and the insulation values of an EPS foam, then you'd likely be onto something. Open up the ICF market to more complex geometry. After all, the complex geometry is where you're going to live. Unless you can get your price down below mass produced flat forms, it's doubtful you'll take over much market share as a whole.

RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

Kyle D,

What is your market? My experience with 3D printing is that it is very slow. For any sort of production, the older injection moulding processes are way more efficient. If you need to customise all your stuff, 3D printing works very well.


RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

I worked with a vendor that is trying to make 3D-printed metal viable for production. A large part of their effort is in optimizing part design to minimize build time, support material, and post-processing.

Don't count on clients to submit optimal parts. Optimizing needs to be part of the service you provide.

RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?


Sorry I am uncertain how to notify a name. We primarily focus on tooling applications such as aerospace Vaccum trim fixtures.

However, through a large project (dominoes sugar factory), we realized there is a place for large thermoplastic formwork in terms of geometry, durability, and cost per pour.

RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?


First: great show

Second, you are not kidding. There are no optimal parts from inception.

RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

Kyle D,

Tooling fixtures? I have designed tooling fixtures to be "rapid" prototyped.

Back in 1980, I took CNC machining programming in college. I still have the punched tape. We were told that CNC machining was economical in production runs of 10 to 100. About ten years later, all of our machine shops bought CNC machines, and used them on one‑off parts. I am not sure how CNC saves money, but I can make some intelligent guesses...

  • Instead of trashing expensive, long‑lead billets, you make virtual errors, not real ones.
  • Once I understood my vendors were CNC machining, my machined parts got way more complicated. I took advantage of the process.
  • Perhaps I have ten highly trained, expensive machinists, each of whom requires at least one machining station. Now, most of my machinists sit in front of a cheap computer, and I can get work done with three or four stations.
  • Sheet metal CNC makes it trivial on a one‑off project to punch out multiple pieces.
    If you goof up the subsequent bending and/or welding, you grab the next piece and try again.
    Back in the day, the shop might refuse to quote on a difficult job because of the risk of screw‑ups.
I don't know how rapid prototyping will work out.


RE: Will Additive Formwork ever hit mainstream?

More opportunities might open up if you are less vague when contacting potential customers than you are here in this thread.

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