Hardly any technology is currently attracting so much attention as additive manufacturing, which is also called generative manufacturing or 3D printing. Additive manufacturing processes are causing a stir among users in the design and packaging, aerospace and automotive industries as well as in the fields of dental and medical technology and machines and plant engineering. The processes promise great freedom of design and allow individual components to be manufactured with highly complex geometries and internal structures. A presentation at the K 2013 made many plastics processors aware of the opportunities presented by the direct additive manufacturing of plastic parts with thermoplastics. The technologies have matured to such an extent that they are now sometimes being used to complement or even replace conventional production processes, particularly in view of increasingly fast-changing consumer tastes and trends as well as in view of the new challenges that the industry is facing in regard to the individualisation of plastic products. Messe Düsseldorf established the 3D fab+print brand three years ago to focus especially on this topic of the future. The K 2016 fair will represent comprehensive opportunities for visitors to explore the possibilities and limits of additive manufacturing.
The 3D fab+print touchpoint in Hall 4 will be the central location for information about these topics. This presentation is being organised and manned by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation with its partner, KCI Publishing BV – a leading knowledge, communications and information company based in the Netherlands. Technology providers and users, exhibitors and visitors, visionaries and practitioners may meet here to swap notes and drive this trend-setting topic forward.
Furthermore, in-depth presentations and discussions about this topic are to be staged in two half-day conferences to take place on Thursday, 20 October, and Tuesday, 25 October, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. respectively. The 3D fab+print Summits, also organised by KCI Publishing BV, will further focus on developments in materials as well as on the different methods used in the processes of additive manufacturing, including best practices, application scenarios, market potentials and costs. 2
Contributions by such leading manufacturers as Stratasys, Arburg, Proto Labs and EnvisionTec as well as by experts from the fields of research and science will be ensuring that the topics will be competently illuminated from all sides. Each of the 30-minute presentations will be structured as short talks, which will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. The presentations on Thursday, 20 October, will be hosted by Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerd Witt from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Manufacturing Technology.
On the K 2016's opening day on 19 October, a short presentation entitled, ‘Additive Manufacturing for Individualising Series Products’ is going to be given in Hall 6 during the theme day focusing on Industry 4.0 within the special show entitled, ‘Plastics Shape the Future’.
Additive manufacturing will be available to see, touch and try out on the ‘Wolfgang’ FabBus that will be parked in front of Hall 3 throughout the fair. The former double-decker bus from Berlin was converted within the framework of a EU funding project into a mobile laboratory by GoetheLab of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. ‘Wolfgang’ will be bringing the latest scientific findings in the field of additive manufacturing straight from the laboratory to the exhibition centre and making the technology understandable and accessible. The FabBus' lower deck is fitted out as a showroom with exhibits and components manufactured using all the usual methods of additive manufacturing. Its top deck is home to eight workplaces with their own CAD computers and 3D printers where visitors will be able to design their own objects, print them in 3D and take them home with them.
Last but not least, many exhibitors at the K 2016 will be presenting many other interesting innovations in the field of additive manufacturing. Messe Düsseldorf will be introducing these exhibitors in a special brochure to provide a direct overview for all interested visitors.