“From the island to the mainland”
24.05.2023 - Review: 19th RapidTech 3D, 9 – 11 May 2023, Erfurt, Germany
Additive manufacturing (AM) has gained a firm foothold in the industry. 3D printing islands are increasingly becoming end-to-end integrated solutions that encompass all links in the value chain from design to final product and make an important contribution to resilient and sustainable supply chains. The dynamics in the development and application of new materials, methods and processes were conspicuously reflected in the lectures, discussions and presentations at RapidTech 3D. The approximately 2,700 visitors from Germany and abroad praised the once again high quality of the trade congress and trade exhibition.
“The 19th Rapid.Tech 3D has once again shown that Erfurt is an important platform for concrete user-related technical exchange on additive manufacturing. We are delighted with the very good response and would like to thank all the players and supporters who contributed to the success of the event,” says Michael Kynast, managing director of Messe Erfurt.
Inspiration for concrete applications as well as for new approaches using advanced technologies was provided by the more than 70 expert lectures and 93 exhibitor presentations. They highlighted AM trends such as multimaterial processing and multifunction integration, as well as the scaling of part sizes and quantities. The road maps for the coming years were clarified in particular by the keynote speakers. Franco Pinna of Ferrari showed that the Italian sports car manufacturer plans to use AM more for weight reduction and functional integration in the future, in addition to prototyping and spare parts production. Anja Rupprecht and Markus Bähr from Diehl Defence addressed the issue of mastering AM diversity within a group by means of a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience. In addition to established plastic- and metal-based AM processes, the team is working on the processing of fiber composite plastics in 3D printing in order to close a gap in the production of qualified series parts here.
AM pioneers include the aerospace industry. Dr Steffen Beyer, manager SprayLab additive manufacturing and industrialization expert at Ariane Group, demonstrated that the LBM process, which was started years ago, is now one of the established metal 3D printing processes, and parts manufactured with it have been successfully qualified and have also already taken flight with Ariane 5. For the current Ariane 6 project, the AM experts are working on producing combustion chamber components faster and thus much more cost-effectively than before using direct energy deposition (DED) processes. In particular, the potential of cold gas spraying is being tapped for this purpose.
Numerous suppliers and users established in the AM sector, such as AIM3D, Arburg, Farsoon, FIT, Intamsys, Sinterit, Stratasys, Toolcraft and Trumpf, as well as innovative start-ups and university projects, showed their current range of services in Erfurt.
At its 19th edition, RapidTech 3D also highlighted key directions for its future development. This includes even stronger cooperation with partners and multipliers at national and international level. For example, the Additive Manufacturing Working Group within VDMA will become the conceptual sponsor of RapidTech 3D from 2024. The VDMA’s executive board and AM working group, as well as the management of Messe Erfurt, held extensive talks on the fringes of this year’s event to shape the cooperation. The AM working group will be intensively involved in the content of the congress and the trade exhibition. Already this year, the VDMA has been involved with a format on the topic of education. Together with the Building 3D network, the AM working group organized a panel discussion on the criteria for successful education and training in additive manufacturing. Here, experts from industry and education discussed approaches to bring together offers and demands for employee qualifications in a fitting manner.
Dominik Stasiak, channel manager for Sinterit, Krakow, Poland, said: “Sinterit has been around for nine years, and we have been coming to Erfurt for eight years to present our developments for innovative desktop 3D printing with SLS technology. RapidTech 3D has a special significance for us because this is where we met an investor, the FIT Group, with whom we have been working successfully ever since. Every year, we have been able to generate business from trade show contacts afterwards. This will certainly be the case in 2023 as well. In addition, we always look forward to Erfurt because we meet dear partners here, because the transport connections and other infrastructure are excellent and because a dedicated team at Messe Erfurt takes very good care of the exhibitors. We will certainly be here again for the 20th RapidTech 3D next year.”
The next RapidTech 3D will take place May 14 – 16, 2024.
Messe Erfurt GmbH
Gothaer Straße 34
+49 361 4002004