Whether in prototyping or series manufacturing, the rapidly increasing use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing processes in industry is generating high demand for qualified service providers. Rapid.Tech is staying abreast of this development with its new Trade Forum “Additive Contract Manufacturing.” The 13th international trade show and conference for Additive Manufacturing is taking place from June 14–16, 2016 in Erfurt.
There is probably no other technology sector that is developing as rapidly and successfully as AM and 3D Printing. “Whether we’re talking about prototyping, tooling or series manufacturing, more and more sectors and businesses are harnessing the huge potential of AM to manufacture products more quickly, with greater individualization, at lower cost and with improved resource efficiency,” reports Dr. Eric Klemp, Managing Director of voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center and program coordinator of the new Trade Forum “Additive Contract Manufacturing.” (June 16, 2016) at the 13th Erfurt Rapid.Tech. The addition of this sector to the program for the international trade show and conference for AM reflects a significant market development. “The increased use of AM processes is resulting in higher demand for and more stringent requirements on contract manufacturers. Rapid.Tech’s new trade forum provides a valuable opportunity both for newcomers and for experts in the technologies to exchange information and experiences,” says Klemp.
This is illustrated by a glance at the program. In his talk, Stephan Kegelmann of Kegelmann Technik GmbH will highlight the advantages for a business of investing in 3D Printing and the relevant machinery. He will consider the knowledge required for optimal and reproducible, as well as economic use of these technologies, and will introduce the principle of “connected prototyping.” This entails a combination of manufacturing technologies and results not only in a high-grade component but also in a reproducible and high quality level.
Moreover, Kegelmann will discuss the challenges service providers have to face in order to succeed in the market. In his presentation entitled “From concept to certified Additive Manufacturing,” Jürgen Schmidt of Materialise will describe the varying types of support currently available from service providers. This ranges from advice on how to take advantage of the technology, to component design using AM, to series manufacturing, in which product features and quality are not only specified precisely but must also be guaranteed. Laser sintering of plastics enables small series manufacturing of complex components which could not be manufactured using conventional processes.
The development and design parameters that need to be taken into account in this context will be considered by Andreas Kleinfeld of Hasenauer & Hesser GmbH, alongside the necessary steps that must be taken for quality assurance. Andreas Berkau of Citim GmbH will draw on his wealth of experience to address the challenges facing a service provider in relation to the manufacture of metal components. Many products are protected by copyright and by patent. Legal issues faced by contract manufacturers and approaches to minimize risk will be the subject of the session led by Dr. Anke Allwandt of Kaminski Harmann Patentanwälte AG.
The increasing use of AM processes also brings new challenges in relation to health and safety at work – particularly due to the use of powdered materials. Dominik Schmid from the iwb Application Center at the Technical University of Munich will use his presentation to illustrate the significant dangers of selected powdered materials, evaluate the risk potential of processing stages and propose ways of improving safety when processing metals and polymers in powder bed-based AM.
“Additive Contract Manufacturing is one of four new trade forums that will allow us to keep abreast of current trends and developments in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing. Also new to this year’s Rapid.Tech are the trade forums '3D Metal Printing,' 'Electronic Engineering' and 'Automotive Industry.' We are also meeting the growing need for information with the extended, three-day duration of the event,” explains Wieland Kniffka, CEO of Messe Erfurt GmbH.
In addition to the well-established areas of “Design,” “Tools,” “Aviation,” “Medical Technology,” “Dental Technology” and “Science” and the User’s Conferences, the new trade forums will provide opportunities for intensive professional discussion on specific AM topics. All Rapid.Tech conference presentations will be simultaneously translated (German to English).