11th Erfurt Rapid.Tech 2014, Germany– The Full Spectrum of Additive Manufacturing

Erfurt, 31/03/2014: Rapid.Tech ranks among the leading international events in the field of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The conference and trade fair is scheduled to take place for the 11th time in Erfurt on 14 and 15 May 2014, and it owes its popular success to its concept of remaining relevant to users.

With a user conference, design engineer day, specialist forums for the aviation and medical and dental technology industries, and the specialist trade fair itself there will be ample opportunity for interchange among newcomers to the field, experts, researchers and users, covering both theory and practice. In tandem with Rapid.Tech, the second German Personal Fabrication Convention FabCon 3.D will be taking place in Erfurt from 15–17 May 2014.

Sustainability, the Industry 4.0 project and individualisation are all global trends, and there is one key technology required to implement them all: additive manufacturing (AM). To exploit the potential of AM effectively it is necessary to be fully informed about all the latest developments covering materials, processes and machines. “Generative manufacturing processes are becoming ever more relevant across multiple industries and are playing an increasingly important part in production processes. This is generating an enormous demand for information, as well as for an interchange of experiences and discussion”, reported Wieland Kniffka, Head of Messe Erfurt [Erfurt trade fair]. “Rapid.Tech sets the standard here, with its mix of think-tank, knowledge transfer and an exhibition geared toward practical applications.”

This view is backed up by the programme for this year’s event on 14 and 15 May 2014, which will feature over 60 presentations given by speakers from countries including Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Switzerland and Spain, all simultaneously translated between German and English.

11th Erfurt Rapid.Tech 2014   (Photo courtesy of Erfurt Rapid.Tech)

11th Erfurt Rapid.Tech 2014  (Photo courtesy of Messe Erfurt/Barbara Neumann)

The opening presentation at the keynote session will be on “The Future of 3D Printing at Siemens”. It will describe the rapid development of additive manufacturing processes in recent years, highlight the huge potential AM has for industry and examine the challenges involved in carrying out the necessary refinement of this innovative technology. There will also be discussion of what is needed with regard to standardisation so that these processes can be fully integrated into industrial manufacturing.

In another talk, Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Langefeld of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants will be using findings from a recent study to answer the thought-provoking question: “Additive Manufacturing – A Game Changer for the Manufacturing Industry?” There will be a presentation by Dr.-Ing. Oliver Keßling on the Arburg Plastic Freeforming (Arburg Kunststoff-Freeformer – AKF) process, a new industrial procedure for additive manufacturing which enables even the most complex components to be created in mass-produced plastic materials. Friedemann Lell of Sauer GmbH / DMG Mori Seiki will be showcasing an innovative solution for the production of finished parts using additive manufacturing. This hybrid solution is the first in the world to combine additive laser cladding and a full-fledged 5-axis milling machine in one system.

Afterward, specialist forums under the headings of “Aviation”, “Medical Technology” and “CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology” plus the user conference entitled “New Technologies” and the design engineer day will all give industry-insiders a chance to look at the latest applications, discuss the possibilities of additive processes in their specialist fields and cast an eye towards the future. This is also facilitated by the specialist trade fair, where around 100 exhibitors will be showcasing new developments and follow-up products.

Aviation specialist forum – established processes and great potential
What significance does additive manufacturing have for the aviation industry? This question finds an answer in the first session of this event, which will include a presentation entitled “Additive Manufacturing from the Perspective of Boeing”. Other topics covered in the specialist forum include current applications in the aviation industry such as additive manufacturing of heavy duty hydraulic valve blocks and series production of engine parts using metal laser sintering.

The remaining presentations at the two-day event will cover RepAIR, a European joint research project into the use of additive manufacturing for aircraft maintenance, as well as scenarios regarding potential changes to MRO processes resulting from the use of AM. There will be a presentation about the possibilities created by new software for the additive manufacture of grid structures. The programme will also include the topics of certification in the aviation sector and economic aspects and influencing factors involved in additive manufacturing.

Medical technology specialist forum – new possibilities for individual solutions
One of the topics covered at the medical technology specialist forum will be new developments in the field of additive manufacture of artificial bone. This includes the manufacture of ceramic implants and modification of the active agent in them by means of powder-based 3D printing, as well as 3D printing of artificial bone based on calcium phosphate and the post-processing of 3D-printed ceramic bone replacements.

11th Erfurt Rapid.Tech 2014   (Photo courtesy of Erfurt Rapid.Tech)

11th Erfurt Rapid.Tech 2014 (Photo courtesy of Messe Erfurt/Barbara Neumann)

There will also be a presentation on a process for the selective laser micro-melting of platinum-iridium. Participants at the “Clinical Applications” session will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of computer-aided orthopaedic operations with patient-specific targets, among other topics. Surgery planning, visualisations and implant manufacture are further topics in the programme of the two-day event.

CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping in dental technology – the latest trends
Generative manufacturing processes are already well-established in the field of dental technology, with new possibilities opening up all the time as a result of digital production. The CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping in dental technology specialist forum will be looking at the latest trends in dentistry, including hybrid manufacturing processes for making dental prosthetics. There will also be a presentation about incorporating virtual implant planning into the CAD/CAM workflow and new directions in immediate implant placement through the manufacture of custom implants via CAD/CAM and DVT. Other presentations will deal with monolithic materials, economic manufacture of complex non-metal prosthetic reconstructions and new analytical processes for patients with CMD.

User conference – discovering new technologies
The use of additive manufacturing processes in series production is increasing all the time, and with it the available choice of procedures, processes and machines. This conference will feature presentations and discussions about key issues such as 3D printing of aluminium oxide and silicon carbide ceramics, multi-material 3D colour printing and solutions in the fields of miniaturised additive manufacturing for large batch production as well as the additive manufacture of large-scale heterogeneous architectural components. An innovative rapid test enables parameters in the additive manufacturing process to be specified. Also on the agenda are reports from users on the application of additive manufacturing technologies (AMTs) at BMW, 3D printing of design items and e-commerce solutions for service providers.

Design engineer day – tools for exploiting new freedom
Almost unlimited freedom in terms of design and construction: this is simultaneously one of additive manufacturing’s greatest advantages and one of design engineers’ greatest challenges. Designing components to be built using additive manufacturing processes requires attention to a specific set of rules. This will be the subject of presentations at the design engineer day on 15 May 2014, where one of the specific issues will be the extension of the scope of previously calculated rules covering various boundary conditions in laser sintering.

The programme will also include talks on product development using a combination of topology optimisation, rapid prototyping and precision casting, as well as talks on the load-compliant design of sandwich components for additive manufacturing. The event will also provide information on the methodology for using laser additive manufacturing to make production-ready bionic lightweight structures from titanium alloy.

FabCon 3.D – 3D printing for consumers and industry
From 15–17 May 2014, Messe Erfurt will also be hosting the second German Personal Fabrication Convention, FabCon 3.D. Numerous exhibitors will be showcasing current developments and products from the 3D printing sector for entrepreneurs, designers, hobbyists and any other interested parties. The combination of Rapid.Tech and the “Industrial Day” (15 May 2014) will give fans and industry experts a chance to engage in direct dialogue and provide insights into the latest developments for the consumer market in the up-and-coming technology of 3D printing.

More information about Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D, including the programme for the user conference, design engineer day and specialist forums, can be found at www.rapidtech.de and www.fabcon-germany.com.

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