New Stimuli for Additive Manufacturing in Various Industries

5,000 guests came to the international trade fair and conference for additive technologies in Erfurt to talk to 208 exhibitors from 14 countries about innovations in industrial and creative 3D printing. (Source: Messe Erfurt)

The 15th Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D came to a close on 7 June 2018, once again recording increased levels of visitor interest. Nearly 5,000 guests came to the international trade fair and conference for additive technologies in Erfurt to talk to 208 exhibitors from 14 countries about innovations in industrial and creative 3D printing and find out more at the Rapid.Tech Specialist Conference and the 3D Printing Conference.

The scope of the event saw Erfurt put in another convincing performance as the aspiring ‘capital of 3D printing’. “Exhibitors and visitors are all praising the high-quality discussions they have had at the stands and the equally high-quality presentations in the various forums. The event has expanded the additive manufacturing family network”, emphasized advisory board members, Michael Eichmann of Stratasys and Prof. Dr Gerd Witt of the University of Duisburg-Essen.

This was boosted in no small part in Erfurt by keynote speeches delivered by representatives of prominent global players. Dr Dominik Rietzel from the BMW Group set the tone on the first day of the event (5 June 2018) with a presentation of the automotive manufacturer’s additive roadmap using the i8 Roadster and the Mini customized product programme as examples. The second day featured 3D printing pioneer Scott Crump. The inventor of fused deposition modelling (FDM) technology and founder of Stratasys, a world-leading provider of 3D printing technologies, presented the vision for the future of automated scalable additive manufacturing provided via cloud-based solutions to diverse locations throughout the world.

As well as leading providers, such as 3D Systems, EOS, FIT, SLM Solutions, Stratasys and Trumpf, who have been regular exhibitors at the Erfurt event for many years, other world-famous companies, such as BMW, Bosch Rexroth, GE Additive, HP and the Israeli company Xjet 3D Ltd., made their débuts this year. (Source: Messe Essen)

The final day opened with Christoph Wangenheim, manager of additive technologies at the GE company Baker Hughes. He offered insights into why additive manufacturing is an important competitive factor for the oil and gas industry and the particular challenges posed by corrosion, and the need to ensure equipment is strong and reliable. The topics discussed in the keynotes were explored in greater depth by 94 experts from industry and research at the Users Conference and in ten sector-specific and technological forums.

The quality of the Erfurt event is a result of over 15 years of continuous joint work by partners from German businesses and universities, who have been consistent advocates of 3D printing. These ‘cornerstones’ and other key players and long-standing exhibitors were honored at a gala evening celebrating the 15th anniversary of Rapid.Tech. The panel of 15 ‘cornerstones’ was also the group to come up with the idea of combining the established industry with fabbers and start-ups from the world of 3D printing, bringing FabCon 3.D into being in 2013. This is the context for the annual start-up award, which in 2018 was presented to Berlin-based bioprinting company Cellbricks. Erfurt is also the platform for the 3D Pioneers Challenge international design competition. In 2018, submissions from 17 countries from as far apart as Europe, Canada, Japan and India found their way to Erfurt. The best 3D printing design ideas were chosen from 32 finalist projects in seven categories.

“On the anniversary of Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, we once again welcomed the ‘who’s who’ of the 3D printing industry, and once again confirmed that Erfurt is the place to be if you want to present or see the latest innovations in this cutting edge technology. With the support of the distinguished experts from industry and research on our advisory board, we were one of the first trade fair organizers worldwide to focus on this topic and, thanks to our consistency and commitment, have established ourselves since 2004 as a leading European destination for exhibitors, visitors and conference participants. Erfurt has once again impressively defended its title as the capital of 3D printing”, asserted Michael Kynast, CEO of Messe Erfurt.

For the 3D Pioneers Challenge international design competition, submissions from 17 countries in 32 finalist projects were awarded in seven categories. (Source: Messe Essen)

Exhibitors were praising the event: “We came to Erfurt with our sales partners to introduce ourselves to Rapid.Tech for the first time, and present a broad range of applications for additive manufacturing. Visitors were very interested; the people who stopped to talk with us had a high level of basic knowledge about additive manufacturing and had ideas in mind for how to use it. Visitors to our stand were primarily from the mechanical engineering and automation technology sectors, but there were also representatives from the aviation and automotive industries. They came from small and medium-sized firms as well as Dax companies from all over Germany. We are very happy to have exhibited in Erfurt and with the customer response we received here,” said HP‘s 3D-printing sales manager Lars Bertenbreiter.

Karsten Edelmann, regional head of sales, GE Additive, added: “For us, Rapid.Tech is an important place to present our range of services. We value the combination of trade fair and conference as well as the quality of the trade visitors. In past years, our participation has always generated post-fair business. We’re hoping for more of the same from the 2018 event.” And Carl Fruth, FIT chairman of the board, concluded: “I am impressed by the professionalism of the visitors. I’m especially pleased that the companies in the start-up area are presenting such forward looking solutions. Our company has been a Rapid.Tech partner from the very beginning, and the most important part of it for us is the networking. One way we use our time in Erfurt is to introduce new employees to the additive manufacturing family, because this is a place where you can get to know the market in a compact format.”

The 16th Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D will take place from 25 to 27 June 2019 at Messe Erfurt. (Source: Messe Erfurt)

Link: Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, Messe Erfurt GmbH, Germany • Programme Rapid.Tech Conference 2018 (PDF) • 3D Printing Conference • 3D Pioneers Challenge, Völcker & Völcker GbR, Stuttgart, Germany


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