Northern Arctic Federal University has hosted a seminar on additive technologies in the framework of the international project “I2P: From Idea to Printing of Metal Products” funded by Kolarctic CBC programme.

The workshop entitled “Opportunities and Prospects of 3D Printing in Manufacturing” was conducted in a hybrid format and gathered representatives of national and local businesses, as well as experts, researchers and master’s students from NArFU. The seminar was held as a follow-up to a major international workshop hosted by Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) in October 2020.

The seminar opened with a welcoming address from Natalia Sluzova, NArFU Vice-Rector for Digitalization and “Digital Arctiс” Project Director. “Economic breakthrough requires new approaches, and additive technologies have already become our reality”, stated Natalia Sluzova.

According to Director of NArFU Higher School of Engineering Sergey Aksyonov, additive technologies are being actively introduced into production processes but it still remains challenging to perfect the technology and produce items with certain specific features.

Lyubov Zarubina, NArFU Deputy Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Information Policy, highlighted the importance of international cooperation as a tool for innovation exchange and the integration of knowledge into the global scientific landscape.

Among the speakers from the university’s side were experts from the Higher School of Engineering and the Higher School of Automated Systems and Information Technologies. The researchers presented the theoretical foundations of additive technologies and talked about the challenges related to the structural composition of 3D-printed metal products as well as the pros and cons of additive manufacturing. Maxim Zakharov, a member of the project’s team of experts, explained the advantages and drawbacks of additive technologies. One of the key

positives is the freedom to choose the shape of the potential item. Another benefit is the efficient use of materials: the powder is poured and solidified in layers. However, one of the challenges of additive manufacturing is that it is often difficult to ascertain the technical properties of the finished product before printing.

Alexey Prokhorov, the project’s thematic coordinator, noted that the main problem associated with 3D-printed items consists in the emergence of cracks, oxidation marks and pores. That is why investigating heat treating processes and minimizing defects remain one of the project’s key tasks.

In conclusion of the seminar, another member of the project’s expert team Evgeny Khaimin introduced a digital collaboration platform developed under the I2P project and aimed at enhancing cross-border network cooperation between business partners from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Northern Russia. The platform will facilitate the capacity building of SMEs introducing cutting-edge additive technologies as well as help universities more fully and effectively utilize their scientific potential.

The seminar generated great interest and was followed by a stimulating discussion resulting in a decision to continue collaboration between NArFU expert team and the representatives of Zvyozdochka, where a new metal 3D-printer is currently being tested. Another welcome outcome is the opportunity for NArFU experts to conduct research focused on addressing the practical aspects and generating business ideas for the regional enterprises.