Work safety and the integration and combination of processes determine the topics for the Users Conference of Rapid.Tech on 21 and 22 June 2017
Erfurt. Additive Manufacturing (AM) is becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday production. At the same time, this industrialisation brings new challenges for users. This will be addressed by the 14th Rapid.Tech Users Conference, to be held on 21 and 22 June 2017 at Messe Erfurt. ‘On our agenda are topics such as work safety, ways to integrate Additive Manufacturing into process chains, the combination of AM and conventional processes as well as new 3D Printing technologies. The lecture programme is designed to give as many practical answers as possible to users’ current questions,’ explains Michael Eichmann of Stratasys, co-founder of Rapid.Tech and chairman of the Advisory Board.
Antonius Köster, managing director of Antonius Köster GmbH & Co.KG and content manager for the Users Conference, highlights the combination of conference and trade show, which makes the Erfurt event a unique experience: ‘We are focusing on technologies that have a lot of potential to solve problems that have either not been dealt with, or have been insufficiently dealt with. The Users Conference programme provides an overview of the latest processes, highlights trends and helps to hone both potential and current users’ basic understanding of Additive Manufacturing. We are also supporting this process by offering guided tours of the trade show, in addition to the lectures.’
The four sessions of the Users Conference are focused on new developments with processes, safety and standards, best practice case studies and innovations in the plastics and metal sectors.
Experts from the Laser Centre Hannover and the VDI will provide information on work safety. They will raise awareness of potential hazards when using 3D Printing systems and processing new materials. Guidelines are currently being developed on how plant operators need to design AM processes to be work-safe, in order to overcome information deficits in this area. The current situation will be presented in the lectures at Rapid.Tech 2017.
Integrating Additive Manufacturing into existing products and processes as well as combining it with conventional technologies is another wide–ranging group of topics at the Users Conference. Lectures by experts from the University of Paderborn and plant engineering company Eisenmann will address aids to help design engineers decide which additively manufactured components to select, and the correspondingly increased acceptance of the use of these new processes.
The serial production of individualised products is a key benefit of AM. ProtoShape GmbH will report on how to use it to produce scan-proof keys.
When it comes to the question of whether to manufacture additively or subtractively, the ‘or’ is often replaced by an ‘and’. The finishing of generatively produced metal parts in cutting machine tools, the combination of 3D Printing and fine casting for topologically optimised metal components for the aerospace industry and an additive-subtractive process for the production of high-strength parts made from high-performance polymers will be examples presented by Techniciency Consulting, Arconic Tital and Matthias Leininger 3D-Drucksysteme.
Hardly a year goes by in AM without new technologies coming onto the market. These developments will also be reflected at the Users Conference. Cubicure, for instance, a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology, has developed a new 3D Printing process known as hot lithography that allows for the processing of viscous photopolymers and resin systems. This in-house processing and coating technology is the first to combine the precision of light-curing Printing processes with outstanding material properties for the construction of technical components. Carbon’s CLIP technology is another innovative process. CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) is 25 to 100 times faster than previous 3D Printing methods and works with UV light and oxygen. ‘For applications beyond imagining,’ say Cytosurge, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, announcing a lecture on the new fluid FM technology, which enables 3D Printing of metallic micro and nano components.
‘Visitors will be able to see and interact directly with much of the technologies discussed at the Users Conference on the Rapid.Tech exhibition stands. This sophisticated blend of technical expertise and user-oriented samples has helped turn the conference and its associated exhibition into one of the leading German events for the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing sectors. And thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Advisory Board, the 2017 programme is once again set to meet these high standards’, explains Michael Kynast, CEO of Messe Erfurt GmbH.
In addition to the Users Conference on the 2nd and 3rd days of the exhibition, the Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D conference programme also includes trade forums on Additive Contract Manufacturing, Medical Technology, Design, Tool, Mould and Fixture Making and Electronic Engineering on 20 June, on the Automotive Industry and 3D Metal Printing on 21 June and concludes with the Aviation and Forum of the Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance on 22 June. The AM Science trade forum will welcome industry experts to Messe Erfurt on 21 and 22 June.
Alongside the conference programme, companies, research institutions and networks will be demonstrating their latest AM solutions at the accompanying trade show on all three event days. While Rapid.Tech focuses on industrial applications, FabCon 3.D’s 3D Printing Conference serves as a meeting place for the international 3D Printing community, bringing together creative Start-Ups, prominent players and hobbyists.
In 2016, 4,500 (2015: 3,971) trade visitors and conference attendees from 19 countries and 176 exhibitors from 17 countries travelled to Erfurt for Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. Both the trade show and the conference therefore set new records in 2016.