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AIM Sweden

new tooling solution as well as an optimised EBM build strategy to produce extremely thin, highly stackable molds with minimal or no support structures, reducing production time significantly. In operation the thin titanium forming skins rest on a 3D printed nylon backing, also designed and produced by AIM Sweden. But this is only the beginning.

These molds now make it viable to design and optimise porosity on a hole by hole basis, including position, size, shape and angle at a consistent quality, allowing molded fibre to be used in ways never thought possible. By controlling the resolution of

porosity, molded fibre products can be made thinner, stronger and more refined than before making them suitable for a range of new uses such as pressurized drink containers

and durable food vessels which are currently created using plastics.

Changing the world one paper cup at a time Currently, the world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic every year and this is expected to double again over the next 20 years. Plastic packaging is the largest application, currently representing 26% of the total volume of plastics used. 50% of this is for single-use

purposes – utilised for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years. More than eight million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.3, 4, 5 Research has predicted that unless we severely curtail plastic production and dumping, by 2050 the mass of plastic in our oceans will exceed the mass of fish6.

EBM like most additive technologies is an inherently sustainable and energy efficient process that, compared to conventional techniques, cuts down on waste by only using the materials needed.

solution has garnered interest from the major pulp and paper players here in the Nordic region and further afield,” said Eva Karlsson, general manager, GE Additive Arcam EBM. “Imagine if we could change all

Fibre-based products are being

looked at as a real alternative as they are based on renewable raw materials, are recyclable, and can be composted, therefore do not end up littering the marine environment. However, to date, they have not been able to deliver the rigidity, impermeability and cost competitiveness of their plastic counterparts. AIM Sweden’s technology closes that gap. “EBM like most additive

technologies is an inherently sustainable and energy-efficient process that, compared to conventional techniques, cuts down on waste by only using the materials needed. It’s great to see how EBM has been a cornerstone of AIM Sweden’s strategic vision. Their team has a solid business model and purpose – so it’s been no surprise that this new

the coffee cups in the world to be made from renewable cellulose fibers,” ponders Stefan Thundal, chief commercial officer at AIM Sweden. “Until now this has been a bit of a pipe dream, but we have more and more evidence that our additive manufactured tools for molded fiber products have significant advantages over traditional tooling. With our solution we also see the opportunity to retrofit existing production lines with 3D printed forming tools, reaching a broader range of customers, and coffee cups would just be the start. Every little bit helps us all become more sustainable.” This power of inspiration has been the catalyst for AIM Sweden’s researchers and engineers, tapping into GE Additive’s expertise, to reimagine how the future of manufacturing might work for the good of the planet.


1 plastic_waste.htm

2 content/uploads/2019/05/ZWE_Unfolding- the-SUP-directive.pdf

3 4

5 New_Plastics_Economy.pdf

6 business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish- in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur

Green Packaging International ● Spring 2021 9

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