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What is Réseau Québec-3D?

Réseau Québec-3D provides businesses with a one-stop shop to raise their profile and foster exchanges between additive-manufacturing stakeholders.

Who is Réseau Québec-3D aimed at?

Réseau Québec-3D is aimed at anyone with an interest in additive manufacturing, from private companies, applied-research centres, and university and college research centres to product and service providers and students.

How do I join Réseau Québec-3D?

The registration form and pricing options are available in the Member section on the Réseau Québec-3D website.

Why is CRIQ coordinating Réseau Québec-3D?

Québec’s Ministère de l’Économie, de l’innovation et des exportations tasked CRIQ with setting up and coordinating Réseau Québec-3D to get Québec companies adopting and using 3D printing.

What is CRIQ’s mandate for additive manufacturing?

CRIQ has set up a metal additive-manufacturing laboratory to give Québec businesses access to first-rate facilities to get them innovating and using the technology across Québec’s manufacturing sector.

Who is involved in additive manufacturing in Québec?

Québec has a number of 3D printing stakeholders. These include printing service providers, product distributors (printers, hardware, and software), and research institutes (universities, research centres, CCTTs, etc.).

Réseau Québec-3D, coordinated by CRIQ, aims to pool together and put in touch all stakeholders around a single platform.

As far as standardization is concerned, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) tasked Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) with managing the SCC mirror committee SMC/ISO/TC 261 on additive manufacturing (3D printing).

Are there additive-manufacturing standards?

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) tasked Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) with managing the SCC mirror committee SMC/ISO/TC 261 on additive manufacturing (3D printing). Canada is one of 18 countries involved with the ISO/TC 261 international standardization committee on additive manufacturing set up in 2011 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For more, visit

There is certainly more to come from additive manufacturing. ASTM has standardized additive-manufacturing terminology, ASTM 2792-12. The document sets out seven categories to distinguish ways in which successive layers of material are applied.

What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing has a number of benefits, including:

Making parts that can’t otherwise be manufactured
Parts are made layer by layer, which allows for some very complex geometry. Parts can therefore be optimized for use rather than for the manufacturing process. Complex geometry also means in some cases that several parts can be manufactured as a single part.

Making files reality
All the information 3D printers need to make a part comes from a file that shows the part in 3 dimensions. No tooling is required. This makes for impressive flexibility once changes are made to the design. Design cycles for new products are shorter and the cost of production changes is kept to a minimum.

Putting an end to waste
With additive manufacturing, only materials actually required to manufacture a part are used up, which means the process is virtually waste free. Additive manufacturing is also a great fit for “just in time” production, which cuts inventory costs.

What types of parts are good candidates for additive manufacturing?

You won’t often hear it in the media, but not all parts are good candidates for additive manufacturing. Low production rates, high equipment costs, and expensive raw materials can all prove problematic. In fact, parts that are good candidates for additive manufacturing tend to be...

  1. Parts that have high production costs (or can’t be made at all) using traditional methods
  2. Parts that could benefit from being more complex
  3. Small or medium-sized parts
  4. Parts with long production or procurement times
  5. Parts with high inventory costs
  6. Parts that rely on a single supplier
  7. Parts that must be manufactured far away
  8. Parts with high import/export costs

Which materials can be made using additive manufacturing?

A wide range of materials can currently be printed. Thermoplastic resins (ABS, PLA, nylon, etc.) are most common, but thermosetting resins, elastomers, metals, ceramics, composite materials, sand, wax, glass, and even chocolate can also be printed!

Which factors influence the price of parts produced using additive manufacturing?

Equipment costs are still relatively high and materials are also very expensive compared to traditional manufacturing. Equipment also restricts volume, which limits scale and the number of parts that can be produced at a time.

Various factors can determine the cost of a 3D-printed part, including materials used, complexity, postcure, volume, and height. But factors vary depending on the procedure and materials used.

How come some 3D printers cost less than $500 and others over a million dollars?

A number of factors influence equipment prices, starting with which printing procedure is used. There are seven main types of additive manufacturing and each has an influence on materials, precision, surface finish, speed, mechanical properties, support materials, and postcure. Generally speaking, cheaper equipment can print fewer materials (usually thermoplastic resins like ABS), with less precision and a lower quality surface finish. Software for cheaper equipment often performs less well and is harder to use. At the other end of the spectrum, equipment used to print metals, for instance, uses state-of-the-art technology. Such equipment is highly sophisticated and priced accordingly. Additive manufacturing is constantly changing and new equipment is regularly available. It is reasonable to expect that future equipment will be faster, better… and less expensive