3D Printing Hotspot Wows Again

Almost 4,500 visitors, 180 exhibitors, and over 100 speakers at the Rapid.Tech specialist conference and the 3D Printing Conference gave the event the thumbs up as an unmissable opportunity for application-centered exchange on current capabilities and future developments in additive manufacturing (Source: Messe Erfurt)

Once again, Erfurt has proved itself the hotspot of 3D printing. And not just because the 16th Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D took place on the hottest days of the summer so far. Almost 4,500 visitors, 180 exhibitors, and more than one hundred speakers at the Rapid.Tech specialist conference and the 3D Printing Conference gave the event the thumbs up as an unmissable opportunity for application-centered exchange on current capabilities and future developments in additive manufacturing (AM). “First-rate talks, appealing stands, and special exhibition areas in the foyer are the foundation on which we keep developing the oldest congress exhibition of its kind in Germany. This year, we held the first forum dedicated to education and training and got a fantastic response that confirmed demand in this field. That’s where we need to focus – if additive manufacturing is to continue making progress, we are going to need well-trained experts. The process needs to start at school,” says Michael Eichmann, who together with Prof. Dr. Gerd Witt is advisory board chairman for Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3D.

In his keynote address on the final day of the event, Dr. Steffen Beyer from the Ariane Group looked at the exciting work awaiting current and future AM experts particularly in relation to aviation and space travel. The materials specialist is responsible for materials, production processes, and industrialization in the rocket engines division. At present, all eyes are on the Ariane 6, due to be launched next year, and the next generation of rockets. The aim is to bring engine costs down from the current ten million Euros to one million. “A leap forward of this size can only be achieved by means of disruptive technology. Additive manufacturing plays a major role here,” Dr. Beyer pointed out, as he explained the scale of the challenge. In addition to the powder bed process (LBM), which has already been qualified, Ariane Group developments include a wire process (WAAM) and cold gas spray (CGS) for industrial application. As a rule, it focuses on qualification and industrialization of the entire additive development and manufacturing chain.

The vast potential of additive technologies is also clearly demonstrated by the finalists of the international 3D Pioneers Challenge design competition, and the Start-Up Awards. Innovations such as the first 3D-printed mini heart using human cells, a new process for making highly purified quartz glass for use in optics, and a new 3D-printed stone material – such as the one to be used to rebuild the gargoyles destroyed in the fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris – were presented and discussed at the Messe TV studio, another innovation this year. “We are keen to continue using the latest communication channels to bring the many new developments in our field to the outside world, and to offer both exhibitors and visitors an even wider range of services. A comprehensive investment program including new hotel construction and structural refurbishment will have a significant impact on Messe infrastructure in the coming years. Exhibitors and visitors at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3D 2020 will be able to see the initial results of this,” promises Michael Kynast, CEO of Messe Erfurt.

The next Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3D will be held in Erfurt from 16 to 18 June 2020. (Source: Messe Erfurt)

Link: Rapid.Tech + Fabcon 3.D, Messe Erfurt, Germany

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