formnext 2016 Powered by tct – Innovation and Applications of Future Intelligent Production in Combination with Additive Manufacturing


formnext powered by tct (Rapid New Publications Ltd.) and organized by Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH enters its second year following a highly successful 2015 debut. The trade show, based in Frankfurt, Germany, focuses on modern product development and manufacturing. This year’s formnext will feature product groups that address additive manufacturing, industrial tooling, manufacturing solutions, design and product development, quality management and metrology, materials and components, training and education, and research and development.

formnext 2016 powered by tct
Messe Frankfurt, Hall 3.1
15-18 November, 2016

We caught up with Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice-President of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, to learn more about this year’s formnext powered by tct in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.


AMazing®: Sascha, thank you for your participation. In its debut last year, formnext attracted attendees from around-the-world. In fact, as noted in the January 2016 edition of formnext magazine, approximately 42% of all attendees came from outside Germany. Were you surprised by the high turnout of attendees from abroad? Do you anticipate an equally strong showing of international exhibitors and attendees at formnext 2016?

Sascha Wenzler, Vice-President of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH  (Photo courtesy of Mesago Frankfurt GmbH)

Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice-President of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH (Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)

Sascha Wenzler: The strong international presence did provide outstanding momentum to formnext 2015. However, we were not too surprised by this, since we had announced our “outstanding” exhibition concept in advance by launching a global marketing campaign and activating the Messe Frankfurt group’s international network.

The sheer number of exhibitors unveiling global premieres meant that formnext was attractive to international attendees even before its 2015 debut. By the way, we are very proud not only of the strong international turnout, but also of the extraordinarily high quality of the attendees who came to Frankfurt from so many global groups in the various continents. And the international presence is no less impressive this year. We intend to do more than simply continue with our international promotional activities: we intend to purposefully expand them.

AMazing®: With regard to the use of additive manufacturing in more traditional manufacturing processes, what makes Frankfurt an ideal setting, perhaps, more so than most?

Sascha Wenzler: Situated at the heart of Europe, Frankfurt is a highly networked and modern exhibition location with top-class infrastructure and accessibility. At the same time, its central location in Germany and Europe means that it is close to major technology locations and centers. Many of the world’s leading producers in both conventional technologies and additive manufacturing, particularly in the field of metals, are based here, as are a huge number of current and future users from the manufacturing industry.

Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH

AMazing®: In a recent formnext press release, we understand over 70% of last year’s exhibition space has already been booked. What can you share with us about the diversity of industries and global market leaders that will be present at this year’s formnext?

Sascha Wenzler: Preparations for formnext 2016 are progressing so well that more than 130 percent of last year’s total exhibition space has already been booked. And we already have more than 70 new exhibitors. Almost all of the global market leaders in the field of additive manufacturing are represented among the exhibitors, including Additive Industries, Alphacam, Arburg, Arcam, Citim, Concept-Laser, 3D Systems, EOS, EnvisionTec, FIT, Keyence, Materialise, Prodways, Realizer, Renishaw, Ricoh, Sisma, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Trumpf, and Voxeljet.

Major players from the upper echelons of the mechanical engineering industry have also signed up: GF with its own stand, as well as Hermle and Sauer/DMG Mori. Besides well established producers of conventional technologies (such as Antonius Köster, Bikar Metalle, Heraeus, Käfer Werkzeugbau, Kegelmann, Knarr, Lamy, Listemann, Werth Messtechnik, and others), the software field will also be more strongly represented by companies such as Altair, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, IKOffice, and MachineWorks-Polygonica.

Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH

Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH

AMazing®: In your conversations with formnext exhibitors, what are a few “hot” topics with regard to the integration of additive manufacturing with more traditional manufacturing?

Sascha Wenzler: The integration of additive manufacturing into existing or new manufacturing ecosystems is certainly a “hot” topic at the moment. This generally involves not only combining additive and conventional manufacturing, but also dealing with the very important area of quality assurance as well as further processing. Apart from the technical challenges, there is also a growing awareness of the need for a further “change in mindset” in the world of engineering, for example, in the form of training, collaborations, or the incorporation of external expertise.

AMazing®: Last year, Ricoh surprised the industry at formnext and unveiled the RICOH AM S5500P 3D Printer. Is there any pre-conference buzz about potential world premieres? What can attendees expect from this year’s formnext with regard to innovative products, processes or new ways of doing things?

Sascha Wenzler: formnext 2015 made a very strong impression on industry professionals thanks to its extraordinarily high level of innovation. Numerous global market leaders deliberately presented their world premieres at the event in Frankfurt and many will do the same at formnext 2016. We also have highly innovative start-ups on board, who will be presenting their most promising breakthroughs. Although it is still too early to discuss specific innovations, we will be providing news about product premieres in our press releases and in our formnext magazine.

AMazing®: As we understand, an exhibitor’s advisory board consisting of formnext exhibitors was established to identify market demands for the purpose of influencing formnext’s development and direction. Are there any notable trends developing in the additive manufacturing industry? If so, how will these trends affect formnext 2016?

Sascha Wenzler: The exhibitors’ advisory board has allowed us to deepen our already intensive contact with the industry even further. Among other tasks, it is now playing a part in keeping formnext up to speed with the latest trends and establishing it as a leading international exhibition for next-generation intelligent industrial production. Together with a wide range of exhibitors, we will present the current industry trend toward integrating additive manufacturing into existing production processes. We are also planning an extremely interesting application showcase. But we will tell you more about this shortly.

First row from left to right: Duncan Wood, Daniel Lichtenstein, Dr. Christoph Schumacher Second row from left to right: Günther Rehm, Wolfgang Kochan, Dr. Kristian Arntz, Ingo Kuhlmann, Marco Schülken, Günther Hofmann, Rainer Lotz, Stefan Ritt, Kai Witter (Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)

First row from left to right: Duncan Wood, Daniel Lichtenstein, Dr. Christoph Schumacher Second row from left to right: Günther Rehm, Wolfgang Kochan, Dr. Kristian Arntz, Ingo Kuhlmann, Marco Schülken, Günther Hofmann, Rainer Lotz, Stefan Ritt, Kai Witter (Photo courtesy of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)

AMazing®: Finally, what event strategies would you like to share with formnext attendees to help explore the rich, diverse network of leading experts and industries?

Sascha Wenzler: Top decision-makers from user industries around the world attended formnext 2015, including various international OEMs from the aerospace, automotive, medical technology, energy, chemistry, jewelry, and clothing fields. This illustrates the importance of the role held by “future intelligent production” in combination with additive manufacturing in global groups all over the world. If you are interested in this area, formnext can offer you all of the latest innovations as well as a wide range of current and future developments and potential applications.

This concludes our interview. Sascha, thank you very much for your participation. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn about formnext powered by tct.

About formnext
formnext covers the process chain from a product idea through to production of the final product. It brings together additive and conventional procedures and showcases the next generation of product development. In particular, formnext highlights the interaction between tool and form-making and additive technologies, and it attracts visitors from a wide range of manufacturing industries. The conference, which takes place simultaneously to the exhibition, focuses on trends in additive technologies and 3D printing as well as in tool making. The convention’s content is designed by tct Show + Personalize. Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has overall organizational responsibility for formnext. (

About Mesago Messe Frankfurt Group
Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, founded in 1982 and located in Stuttgart, specializes in exhibitions and conferences on various topics of technology. The company belongs to the Messe Frankfurt Group. Mesago operates internationally and is not tied to a specific venue. With 120 members of staff Mesago organizes events for the benefit of more than 2,700 exhibitors and over 100,000 trade visitors, conference delegates and speakers from all over the world. Numerous trade associations, publishing houses, scientific institutes and universities work with Mesago closely as advisers, co-organizers and partners. (

About tct
With tct Show + Personalize, tct Magazine, and tct + Personalize Asia, tct has been part of the additive technologies/3D printing industry for over 20 years and maintains close links with all participating parties. tct is operated by Rapid News Publications Ltd, a division of Rapid News Communication Group, a leading publishing company and event organizer. (

Sascha F. Wenzler
Vice President
Phone +49 711 61946-825
Fax+49 711 61946-11971

Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH
Rotebuehlstr. 83-85, 70178 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 61946-0
Fax +49 711 61946-96

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