Innovation boost with additive manufacturing and 3D printing?

foto B ME15_Zahnkrone_Metall_Fertigungsprozess_gr OKTrend topic of additive manufacturing: Professional quality is to the fore at Moulding Expo

When new technologies enter the market, they are often viewed as a threat by sceptics. It is no different with 3D printing. A significant number of pattern, tool and mould makers see a threat to their business model with additive manufacturing. Many believe the 3D printer will wipe the entire industry off the market in the future. But those who only see the risks are not really aware of the opportunities. Moulding Expo (from 5 to 8 May in Stuttgart) brings together the established industry and the young, up-and-coming industry of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. “We want”, states Florian Niethammer, Project Manager of the trade fair, “to demonstrate the useful synergy effects between the two alleged rivals.” In cooperation with Messe Erfurt, the Rapid.Area will be showcased exclusively at Moulding Expo in Hall 4. The trade fair visitors can obtain a concentrated overview here of the field of additive manufacturing. Roughly 30 leading companies make up the Rapid.Area, including Stratasys GmbH, RTC Rapid Technologies GmbH, voxeljet AG, 3D Concepts, Nonnenmacher GmbH & Co. KG, 3D-Laser GbR and the 3D printing initiative Ring Grafischer Fachhändler 3DION. “swiss3Dprinting” is also celebrating its German première here – a recently founded Swiss initiative for the promotion of additive manufacturing technologies. “Whether it’s the current third industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 – everybody is talking about the topic of additive manufacturing”, states Wieland Kniffka, President of Messe Erfurt GmbH. For eleven years now the Erfurt-based trade fair company has been presenting the topic as part of its Rapid.Tech congress trade fair. “Additive technologies will also change the tool and mould making industry. The need to exchange information and ideas will thus become greater.” The Rapid.Area at Moulding Expo should mitigate fears of contact, adds Kniffka. “Many people are talking about a replacement of traditional manufacturing with additive technology – and it is precisely these fears we want to allay.”

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