More exhibitors and increasing international interest for Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D 2016 in Erfurt

The Erfurt 3D Printing events Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, running from 14–16 June 2016, will be considerably larger this year compared with 2015. 176 exhibitors will be presenting the latest products and applications in the fields of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing. This represents an increase of 21%. There has also been a 24% increase in floor space. Companies from 17 countries have registered for the event, representing Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the USA. With 30 international exhibitors, the participation from outside Germany this year stands at 17%. Organisers are expecting around 4,000 trade visitors and more than 700 conference attendees from Europe and overseas.

Local market leaders

The exhibitor list boasts a large number of market leaders, including botspot GmbH, Concept Laser GmbH, EOS GmbH, Keyence Deutschland GmbH, Materialise GmbH, SLM Solutions GmbH and Stratasys GmbH. “By extending the event to three days, we have also made it possible for many companies to enlarge their stand areas considerably and to exhibit more machines.” Messe Erfurt CEO Wieland Kniffka went on to say, “At the same time, increasing numbers of companies from traditional industrial sectors are using Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D as a marketing and communications platform.” Prominent newcomer Trumpf Lasertechnik, a global market and technology leader in industrial lasers, is making its trade show début here in Erfurt.

In 2016, Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D are also offering joint exhibition stands for universities and institutes of higher education as well as for start-ups. CAD, CAM and 3D visualisation suppliers will meet together in the new CAE forum.

Programme more international than ever

The conference programme also has an international face. 88 speakers from nine countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel) will be presenting the latest trends, visions and applications in the new trade forums “Additive Contract Manufacturing”, “3D Metal Printing”, “Automotive Industry” and “Electronic Engineering”. As in previous years, the “Science”, “Tools”, “Aviation”, “Medical Technology”, “Dental Technology” and “Design” trade forums and the Users’ Conference will provide excellent platforms for sector experts to exchange information and present new applications and products. This year’s keynote addresses by Stratasys, Siemens and Volkswagen will focus on series production.

Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D are continuing the education initiative they started last year. This year, the organisers have included a special “Education Area” combining talks, workshops and exhibitors focussing on the role of 3D Printing in schools, further education and training. The main focus of the “Additive Manufacturing and Education” strand in 2016 will be teachers themselves, for whom TinkerToys and premium sponsor MakerBot offer a comprehensive range of teacher training courses certified by the Free State of Thuringia.

For the first time, Messe Erfurt is hosting the “3D Pioneers Challenge” in collaboration with the design and consulting firm d.sign21. The design competition for additive manufacturing processes aims to attract international participants from the worlds of design, architecture, automotive, fashion and medicine, who are breaking new ground with 3D Printing and picking up on the latest key trends and ideas. The winners will be chosen on 15 June 2016. All the finalists’ submissions will also be on display as part of a special exhibition at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. The winning exhibits will then embark on an international road Show.

FabCon 3.D: where the community meets

Rapid.Tech has been run in tandem with by its sister trade fair, FabCon 3.D, since 2013. It is a meeting point both for creative start-ups and for experts and major players in the 3D Printing community. The 3D Printing Conference held alongside the world-class trade fair as part of FabCon 3.D has quickly established itself as an important international forum in its own right. 27 speakers from 7 countries will discuss key trends in the 3D Printing industry. The range of topics will cover everything from printing food, to furniture design, to architecture, to laser sintering, to whether the consumer market for 3D Printing is on the ropes. Other presentations will deal with 3D Printing in the shift from rapid prototyping to digital manufacturing, the use of 3D technology in retail, and will introduce 3D printer creations made from junk.

The artists’ collective Co-Laborativ will present an art project featuring a gigantic, manually operated 3D printer, which aims to address the challenges people face when getting to grips with the technological and social implications of 3D Printing.

The trade show special “3D Food Printing” is directed at ambitious chefs, confectioners and food industry professionals who want to start using digital technologies in their kitchens or factories. New York-based start-up 3DigitalCooks will be running an exclusive three-hour workshop on each day of FabCon 3.D. Topics covered will include a theoretical introduction, basic concepts and design guidelines for the 3D printing of foods, potential materials, safety and legal aspects, alternative food products such as insects, and how to pair 3D-printed foods with wines and beers. Participants will also have the chance to create and taste their own 3D-printed delicacies.

The 3D Printing conference will also see the selection of the winners of the national schools' competition “Teach the Fabby” and the presentation of the “Start-up Award” to creative entrepreneurs.

Erfurt Print Cocktail: 2D meets 3D

2016 will see the Group of Graphic Arts Specialized Dealers (Ring grafischer Fachhändler) link its specialist “Erfurt Print Cocktail” event to the Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D trade fairs for the third time. Key market and industry leaders will be in Exhibition Hall 2, exploring the potential of 3D Printing for their industries. A highpoint here will be the special show “3D Printing in Preservation of Historical Monuments and Architecture”. Original sculptures from Cologne Cathedral and 75 high-quality prints will be used to illustrate the challenges of using 3D Printing to help preserve historic monuments.