Additive manufacturing is playing an increasingly dominant role in product development, the manufacturing value chain and customisation, and Formnext Powered by TCT is bringing the most advanced 3D printing technology to Frankfurt.
Following the show's success in 2015, Formnext is expecting numerous first-rate speakers – including top German Paralympic athlete Denise Schindler, world-renowned market analyst Terry Wohlers and an array of international experts – to turn all four days of the conference into another global forum on modern product development and production.
In cooperation with TCT, the Formnext conference will cover the latest insights from the realms of science and research; brand-new applications being explored by leading international companies; and key topics in law, design, cutting-edge technology, and ongoing professional training. By providing an ideal platform for sharing knowledge and experiences, it offers real added value to speakers and visitors alike.
Fresh from winning silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, world-champion cyclist Denise Schindler – who was named Germany’s Disabled Athlete of the Year in 2012 – will be on-hand on the first day of Formnext to report on how new technologies in disabled athletics are paving the way to success. She herself is contributing to work on a procedure that digitally scans amputation points to facilitate the 3D printing of prostheses.
On the second day of the conference, speakers from BMW, Deutsche Bahn, Laser Zentrum Hannover, Ricoh, and other luminaries will discuss the latest industrial applications and developments. Felix Haeckel, for example, will show how BMW is employing additive manufacturing techniques not only in prototypes, but also in serial production to achieve greater process stability.
In his Thursday keynote, Terry Wohlers will offer his vision of the future of additive manufacturing processes. The president of Wohlers Associates will explore a number of hot-button issues, including how far the use of 3D technologies will continue to spread, how this will be affected by state subsidies and mergers and acquisitions, and how individual companies can leverage the current environment to their own advantage.
In addition, Martin Kurz from the world-leading sensor manufacturer Balluff will present the latest technical possibilities in automating additive manufacturing. Among other subjects, Kurz will highlight the potential afforded by control and sensor systems to indicate the different development paths this key industry field could take.
Under the theme “Mobility Goes Additive”, Stefanie Brickwede from Deutsche Bahn will discuss how the German railway service is using additive manufacturing, including in procuring spare parts and reducing its stock levels. Franziska Kaut from industry leader Procter & Gamble will then offer a glimpse into the future production of consumer goods using 3D printing on the third day of the conference. And finally, Dr Kaj Führer from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will be on-hand to demonstrate how improved machine technology and new materials can affect the 3D printing of plastic components.