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The Additive Factory Hub (AFH) brings together additive manufacturing innovation, development, and integration under one roof. Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île-de-France Regional Council, officially opened the new facility on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. AFH is located on the Digiteo Saclay campus at the CEA’s center in Paris-Saclay. It was set up to help establish an organized additive manufacturing ecosystem around the scientific research community on the Paris-Saclay campus and, more broadly, in the Île-de-France region, with the overriding objective of responding to the major industrial and economic challenges associated with additive manufacturing.
In the Factory of the Future, additive manufacturing—more commonly known as 3D printing—will create profound shifts in manufacturing, transforming the way products are made and how people work. Additive manufacturing is strategic. It has the power to completely reshape production processes, opening the door to new geometries, lighter-weight materials and structures, more advanced functionalization, personalized products, more efficient logistics, and better overall plant performance. The Alliance industrie du futur (AIF), an industry federation dedicated to supporting the development of the Factory of the Future in France, has been working on additive manufacturing since 2016. The Additive Factory Hub aligns closely with the Alliance's roadmap.
The Additive Factory Hub makes the innovation process more efficient by bringing academic research scientists, technology engineers, industrial R&D professionals, SMBs, technology suppliers, and end users together under a single roof. The Additive Factory Hub is an open-access, shared lab. Members and partners make their most advanced equipment and know-how available for projects ranging from early-stage research through to technology transfer, as recommended in the Alliance industrie du futur roadmap.
AFH members and partners select the topics of their shared R&D programs together. Programs focus on reaching new scientific and technological milestones and can include numerical design and simulation, new manufacturing processes (instrumentation and improvements to equipment), and the testing of manufactured parts, for example. With a well-rounded cohort of digital technology experts, AFH is breaking new ground toward achieving a completely digital manufacturing chain encompassing design, multi-scale and multi-physics simulations, and simulated equipment operation and inspection and testing. Parts and equipment manufacturers will benefit from the knowledge of academic research scientists and metrology experts to improve their manufacturing techniques. This type of cross-disciplinary cooperation will help to improve current processes and develop breakthrough innovations in areas like multi-material manufacturing and integrated IoT capabilities.
AFH is coordinated by CETIM, France's technical resource center for the mechanical industries, and is operated in partnership with the CEA, both of which are founding members of the Alliance Industrie du Futur. AFH will also work directly with small- to mid-sized companies through technology transfer, training programs, and other support services. AFH aligns closely with the Île-de-France regional government's "smart industry" strategy. Finally, by following the Alliance Industrie du Futur roadmap, AFH will help solidly establish the additive manufacturing ecosystem and raise France's international profile as a source of advanced additive manufacturing technology and expertise.
The members and partners of the Addictive Factory Hub will work together on the three stages of the additive manufacturing value chain
Numerical design and
simulation for more effective additive manufacturing processes. ©Dassault Systèmes
Development and implementation of additive manufacturing techniques. ©Adrien Daste/Safran
Additive Factory Hub in brief
More than 15 member and partner companies and organizations
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.