Exploring the Rise of Additive Tools in 3D Printing: Insights from CADvision and ETEC on Advancements in Industrial Polymer Printing

As additive manufacturing continues to industrialize and advance, partnerships and collaborations become ever more important. Take the case of CADvision and ETEC, part of Desktop Metal. The two have worked and grown together for nearly seven years and are committed to helping to advance polymer additive manufacturing for industrial applications.

We spoke to the CEO of CADvision and the Head of Polymers in EMEA at Desktop Metal, to learn more about the partnership between the companies and how they are promoting and accelerating DLP 3D printing in Europe.

Manuel Delgado (left) and Julien Markarian (right)

3DN: Tell us a little about yourself and your connection to 3D printing?

JM: I am Julien Markarian, the CEO of CADvision. CADvision is a distributer located in France that has developed its skills in the integration of additive manufacturing in the industrial, education/research and medical sectors over the last 25 years.

MD: I am Manuel Delgado, RSM and Head of Polymers in EMEA at Desktop Metal. I have nine years of experience of in additive manufacturing in the polymer industry covering different materials, equipment technologies and holding various leadership positions.

3DN: What are the capabilities of ETEC’s industrial polymer machines? What kind of applications can you have for customers?

JM: ETEC polymer machines are the most advanced available on the market. Thanks to industrial partnerships, ETEC machines are compatible with very advanced material that can be used on platforms that offer high scalability and repeatability. ETEC is currently the only company that can offer systems that are really built for production, with great build volumes and high accuracy.

Different solutions from ETEC used by CADvision at their facility in Valence

ETEC polymer machines have key differentiators against any other player on the polymer market. Among those, the variety of industrial-compatible resins and the quality of their management, and the growing capacity of the systems (for example with the latest Xtreme 8K, which offers an unprecedented build volume) are opening for real vast applications in all industrial markets.

3DN: What role does material selection play? What are the benefits of using ETEC for CADvision?

JM: Material selection is key for making additive manufacturing successful, especially for DLP. CADvision’s role, as integrator for its customers, is, among other things, to educate on this selection, and keep up to date on alternatives and benefits of using this or that material. ETEC is by far the most open technology for materials, and the portfolio is constantly enlarging.

MD: Material capabilities play an integral part in enabling any given application. ETEC has enhanced its services by incorporating premium industrial materials in its portfolio. The firm collaborates with leading material suppliers globally while also growing its own material development capabilities. This has led to the creation of distinctive innovations such as FreeFoam®, the first-ever 3D printable foam.

ETEC, through its innovative solutions and materials, provides CADvision with the ability to create parts suitable for industrial applications.

3DN: Could you provide more information about ETEC and CADvision?

JM: The main goal of CADvision is to help its clients integrate additive manufacturing as a tool to increase the flexibility in production. Additive manufacturing is becoming a necessity alongside traditional approaches as it offers shortcuts and unlocks new designs in more and more projects and existing productions.

AM adoption requires very highly skilled assistance to get acceleration, potential users not always being aware of all the potential of it to make it viable in their factories. Identification and ROI estimation on each potential project is key, and it is probably what slows down adoption. Being supported by a qualified partner is therefore the key to success.

MD: Founded in 2002, ETEC is a world leader in polymer 3D Printing technology and original creator of the world’s first DLP printer. Our mission is to make 3D printing of end-use polymer parts accessible at scale to all engineers, designers and manufacturers using cost-competitive, high-speed and exceptional-quality 3D printing.

Parts on the Xtreme 8K 3D printer

3DN: How long have you had this partnership? What have been the benefits?

JM: The partnership between DM and CADvision initiated in 2017 with DM metal solutions. The quick adoption of the first unveiled system, Studio, equipped CADvision with profound experience in this emerging market. Following on, CADvision benefited from the succeeding acquisitions by the group, particularly EnvisionTEC – the basis for the new ETEC line.

CADvision picked ETEC and Desktop Metal as its main collaborators because they maintain a leading status in additive manufacturing systems across a wide range of applications. Prior to the last decade, CADvision primarily concentrated on distributing 3D printers for prototyping applications in R&D centers. The partnership with Desktop Metal was critical in transitioning from this niche market to the broader additive manufacturing market, though it is a tougher field to master.

3DN: Why DLP? What are the advantages or difficulties in using DLP as compared to other AM methods?

The Pro XL from ETEC

JM: DLP is the prime technology for heralding massive opportunities in additive manufacturing for resin-centric parts that are in alignment with industrial applications. DLP is an excellent supplementary method to plastic deposition as it offers varied materials and makes it viable to create high-quality parts that are compatible with industrial usage.

MD: DLP proffers a distinctive set of benefits in the polymer 3D printing cosmos: surface quality, great feature details, and repeatability, however, as a distinct characteristic of DLP: high throughput and scalability in comparison to other polymer technologies. A downside is, similar to other resin-centered technologies, it necessitates a post-processing workflow, which is presently in a rapid modernisation process with automatic and semi-automatic solutions.

3DN: Any last words for the reader?

JM: Opting for ETEC/Desktop Metal and CADvision assures customers of a successful integration of additive manufacturing, subsequently leading to its increased usage in the company wherever it is logical. You can get more information about us HERE.

DM: ETEC presently offers the most extensive equipment solutions and material offerings for industrial users. Besides that, we have recently announced our Co-Location Production & Knowledge Transfer. This enables users across the globe to adopt DLP technologies at a large scale, working closely with our expert team at our facilities. Find out more about ETEC HERE.

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