Netherlands based 3D printing service provider GAGAT AM specialises in direct parts production within their own facilities, focusing on FDM technology. In contrast to manufacturing partner networks they maintain a strict policy against outsourcing their services. In an interview with 3Druck.com, founder Emil Janevics explains why and shares his insight into the additive manufacturing industry.
GAGAT AM firmly believes that outsourcing their services cannot guarantee for a consistent method of production, especially with FDM technology. Their vision took a decisive turn upon receiving feedback from customers who experienced disappointment with parts ordered through manufacturing partner networks. They reported noticeable inconsistencies in colours, dimensions, and surface quality with repeated orders. Identifying this as a significant issue, GAGAT AM embarked on a missing to fixing this problem.
The service provider focuses on producing small to medium batch series using FDM technology. They observed a growing demand for FMD technology from industrial- grade companies due to its extensive range of materials and cost-effectiveness. In most cases, components are ready to be shipped right from the build plate if they are designed for 3D printing. Customers can use a typical injection molding material they are already familiar with from traditional manufacturing methods, including ASA or PA-GF blend, and have their parts redesigned to benefit from additive manufacturing. This approach also streamlines product certification for market entry, as there is no need to undergo recertification for using a different material. According to GAGAT AM, this gives FDM a significant boost compared to MJF or SLS technologies. Their portfolio includes several major companies that have opted not to switch to MJF for this reason.
As a direct manufacturer for their customers, GAGAT AM guarantees the consistency of parts by implementing various protocols that are strictly followed. Moreover, they are constantly tinkering with slicing profiles, materials, and different complex geometries. This daily gathered experience sharpens their edge in consultancy, setting them apart from manufacturing partner networks whose primary focus is brokerage.
Interview with Founder Emil Janevics
In an interview with 3Druck.com, founder and Lead Engineer Emil Janevics, shares his insight into the industry and reflects on the current status as well as future of 3D printing.
In your opinion, what significance does additive manufacturing have for businesses using your service?
We offer our customers the same user-friendly quotation engine for digital 3D files, which existed before only within manufacturing partner networks; now, every 3D printing service can use and have it on their website through a subscription. In addition, on our platform, we offer more than 20 materials available to you at any time without waiting for an outsourced supplier somewhere in the world to have it in stock or able to print it. All materials in our platform are tested, and we have an internal workflow on how to work with each. That simplifies the ordering process, eliminates excessive waiting time on order confirmation, and gives a faster turnaround than any broker platform. That way, we speed up the adoption of AM, and you have one place to get more knowledge about AM, technologies, materials, design study, and instant communication.
Additive manufacturing has continuously developed in recent years. Which innovations or technological breakthroughs do you consider to be particularly important for 3D printing service providers?
One of the most significant developments is the availability of quoting engines like Digifabster or AMFG for 3D printing services. That closes the gap between direct 3D printing services and manufacturing partner networks. Those are expensive tools if you develop them in-house, but having them on a recurring basis helps us get more customers and digitalise our working methods, so now we can spend more time producing parts for customers, which means our throughput daily is much higher than if we would quote each part manually.
In addition, automated post-processing units are essential technologies that must be further developed to produce final parts in-house.
First Corona and the now high inflation pose significant challenges for the entire industry. In your opinion, how do the multiple crises affect the additive manufacturing industry?
Neither crisis hurt additive manufacturing. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, AM was transitioning towards production. As companies delved deeper into the issues caused by the pandemic, they started to reconsider their supply chains and look for alternative options. One of our company’s success stories involves a prominent German electrical equipment manufacturer seeking ways to switch from an overseas parts supply to locally produced parts using AM. They underwent a challenging process of redesigning 30% of their production to accommodate AM. Now, we supply FDM parts to them every month. This success story is all thanks to the pandemic. Other similar cases across the AM industry emerged during this time, which helped accelerate the adoption of AM and, most importantly, the manufacturing mentality within companies.
Companies are forced to think differently and look for alternatives to become less dependent on overseas manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing can help achieve this goal and bring positive outcomes in the long run. However, it is not easy to change the mindset of companies as a good portion of them need to learn about the benefits of AM and traditional design. Additionally, some companies only consider the final price per part and overlook storage, logistics, and lead time factors before actually understanding the benefit of AM.
That’s where we can help and guide you. We have a great network of partners who can assist with digitalising your parts and help you reap the benefits of AM.
What impact do you think additive manufacturing will have on various industries and possibly society as a whole in the coming years?
In the future, there will be an increase in local AM on a country level, with companies and businesses relying less on manufacturing partners. This shift will bring more revenue to direct 3D printing services instead of spending capital on commissions to brokers. As a result, we expect to see more extensive and readily available 3D printing services for local use, which will ultimately strengthen the entire production segment.
After five years, we will start seeing some commercial products made using 3D printing on the shelves. In 10-20 years, we will feel the impact of AM generative design in our daily products.
Here you can find out more on GAGAT AM and their services.