Huge Potential of Using Additive Manufacturing to be Exhibited at formnext 2015 by the International Tool and Form-Making Industry


At formnext 2015, the international tool and form-making industry will exhibit the huge potential of using additive manufacturing. The latest findings for even faster product development and manufacturing will be presented at the international trade fair for additive technologies and tool and form-making from November 17 to 20, 2015.

Current trends in tool and form-making will be presented, including faster and more flexible production of mold inserts, use of new materials, and use of different additive manufacturing methods. “Visitors to formnext will discover solutions and ways to tackle current and future challenges in product development, which are demanding greater speed and flexibility with high quality,” says Sascha Wenzler, Head of Division for formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the exhibition organizer.

Besides additive technologies, tool and form-making is one of the main topics on the agenda at formnext 2015. Of the 183 exhibitors, 38 are active in the industry, which corresponds to about 20 percent. With 23 publishers also to attend, formnext currently has a total of 206 participants (as at October 1, 2015).

The tool and form-making industry at formnext 2015 will also have a high degree of internationality, with specialist tool and form-making companies such as Käfer Werkzeugbau, Lamy Werkzeugbau (Germany), Ecoparts (Switzerland), E-Mould Plastic Technology (China), Hispamoldes (Spain), Intertech Machinery (Taiwan), and Uratani Shoji (Japan).

Furthermore, formnext will also feature the special Audi tool-making exhibit, providing unique insights into product development in the automotive industry.

Trends of exhibitors:
Due to ever decreasing development periods of OEMs with higher product diversity, toolmakers will “need to constantly reduce their cycle time for tools,” says Dieter Käfer, Managing Director of Käfer Werkzeubau. Productivity, too, has to be improved continuously, including “flexible standardization at customer and product group level.” According to Käfer, additive manufacturing plays a key role in this development, particularly in injection molding technology. “However, the sheet metal forming industry is also advised to watch the market development very closely on the supplier and customer side.”

The potential of combining additive manufacturing and tool-making will be demonstrated at formnext by Swiss company Ecoparts. It has specialized in additive manufacturing of molding inserts, supplying to mold manufacturers across Europe and overseas, according to managing proprietor, Daniel Kündig.

Sprue brushes manufactured for hot runner systems using a hybrid technique: The lower part has been turned conventionally, while the top has been created with a cooling channel by means of additive manufacturing.

Sprue brushes manufactured for hot runner systems using a hybrid technique: The lower part has been turned conventionally, while the top has been created with a cooling channel by means of additive manufacturing. Source: Ecoparts.

“Combining both technologies allows us, for example, to further reduce the cycle times in injection molding,” says Kündig. “Besides this, additive manufacturing has a great advantage in that we can produce competitively also on the high-wage island of Switzerland as most of the processes are operator free.

 Mold insert for an injection molding tool, which has been built on an existing mold section. Source: Ecoparts.

Mold insert for an injection molding tool, which has been built on an existing mold section. Source: Ecoparts.

Kündig also expects demand for additively manufactured mold inserts to increase further in the future due to the rapid advancement of technology that boosts speed and precision.

New additively manufactured applications for tool and form-making will also be shown by Fraunhofer IPT. The VentOpt project involved using a laser to place vent ducts in an injection molding tool, whereby component quality was increased within a shorter cycle time. This tool will be presented for the first time at formnext 2015.

Writing instruments manufacturer Lamy has relied on additive technology it its tool-making for around five years and will present its corresponding know-how at formnext. “We use it to manufacture mold inserts with conformal cooling or to prepare cores,” explains Bernd Hirth, Sales Manager for tool-making at Lamy. Hirth also sees significant potential for tool and form-making, particularly through the further development of new materials and alloys.

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About formnext
At formnext powered by tct, exhibitors of additive technologies, tool and form-making, as well as from other sectors of product development meet with the manufacturing industry. Every year at the international exhibition grounds in Frankfurt am Main, formnext shows how the process chain develops from a product idea through to its production. It brings together additive and conventional procedures and showcases the next generation of product development. The conference, which takes place in tandem with the exhibition, focuses on trends in additive technologies and 3D printing as well as in tool and form-making. The conference’s content is designed by tct + Personalize. Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH has overall organizational responsibility for formnext.(

About Mesago
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 + personalize
With tct Show + Personalize, tct Magazine, (including Europe, North America and China editions). tct + Personalize Asia, and regular partnership with CES in Las Vegas. tct has been part of the additive technologies/3D printing industry for over 20 years and maintains close links with providers and users of 3D technologies. tct is operated by Rapid News Publications Ltd, a division of Rapid News Communication Group, a leading publishing company and event organizer.(

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