Erfurt 3D printing trade fairs close with 35% rise in visitors


The verdict from the exhibitors: “The combination of Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D definitely has a big future.”

A winning combination: With nearly 3,500 conference and trade fair visitors from across Germany and Europe (2013: 2,600), the duo of Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D at Messe Erfurt continues its success story. Both events were able to extend their reach considerably. Around 40% of the professional visitors travelled over 300 kilometres to attend. Foreign visitors made their way to Erfurt from Denmark, the United Kingdom, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Switzerland. Of the German visitors, the largest numbers came from Thuringia (33%), Bavaria (21%) and Baden-Württemberg (11%). 28% of visitors came from the research and development sector.

“The results confirm the appeal and the potential of this unique trade fair combination. We reached the experts and the steadily growing 3D printing community,” said Wieland Kniffka, Managing Director of Messe Erfurt. This is also borne out by the statistics: 67% of Rapid.Tech visitors and 32% of FabCon 3.D visitors also visited the other event for information.

More and more companies are using the specialist events in Erfurt as a venue for product launches. These include EOS, the world-leading supplier of systems, materials and solutions for laser sintering technology, which specifically timed the global launch of its new metal system EOS M 290 to coincide with Rapid.Tech. “Here, the specialists of the 3D printing world converge with people who are interested with the innovative technologies behind it,” said EOS Manager Stephan Wein of the decision. igus GmbH from Cologne – a leading manufacturer of energy chain systems and polymer plain bearings – presented the world’s first tribo filament for 3D printers at FabCon 3.D. The material is ideally suited for use in bearings because it is up to 50 times more abrasion-resistant than products made from traditional 3D print materials.
Also at FabCon 3.D Botspot from Berlin celebrated the world premiere of its 3D photogrammetry scanner that can produce 3D scans of people, animals and objects in fractions of a second.

For the first time, the traditional printing sector also counted on Erfurt’s 3D printing expertise. The Ring of Graphics Trade Specialists (Ring grafischer Fachhändler) linked its specialist event Print Cocktail to the Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D trade fairs. In the Glass Hall of Messe Erfurt’s exhibition centre, 19 companies from the graphics industry, including the most important market and sector leaders like Ricoh, Xerox and EPSON, and around 360 professional visitors sounded out the potential of 3D printing for their own sector.

The exhibitors’ verdict on Rapid.Tech:

Daniel Hund, Marketing Manager, Concept Laser GmbH:
“Rapid.Tech’s development over the last years has been very positive. Both the quality and the quantity of exhibitors – and above all visitor numbers – have improved once again this year. We were especially pleased to see how the specialist trade fair Rapid.Tech and the consumer fair FabCon 3.D vitalise each other. This model should definitely be kept.”

Jonas Kühling, Owner of Jonas Kühling & Simon Kühling GbR:

“For us, exhibiting this year at Rapid.Tech was the right move. Thanks to the high-quality attendees who are very relevant for us, we made a whole host of interesting contacts. The combination of Rapid.Tech and FabCon 3.D definitely has a big future. We’ll be back!”

Stephan Wein, Area Sales Manager, EOS GmbH:
“We intentionally chose Rapid.Tech 2014 for the world launch of EOS M 290, our new metal system for additive manufacturing. Here, specialists from the world of 3D printing converge with people who are interested in the innovative technologies behind it. The EOS stand with the EOS M 290 producing live became a crowd magnet, generating a lot of interest amongst conventional visitors, as well as institutes and universities too. Conclusion: our premiere at Rapid.Tech was a resounding success. We not only saw a significant increase in the number of visitors to our stand; the quality of the contacts was also higher than average.”

The exhibitors’ verdict on FabCon 3.D:

Bettina Schwenker, Head of Sales, HAFNER’S BÜRO – MakerBot:
“The combination of FabCon 3.D and Rapid.Tech was very productive for us. We were able to make promising contacts from Hamburg to Nuremberg and also meet interested people from the local region, including smaller workshops that do not attend industry events like EuroMold.”

Alexander Mühlens, igus:

“In the colourful context of FabCon 3.D, we as an industrial company were able to secure ourselves a place in the maker community and make some interesting contacts with decision-makers, especially in the field of prototype construction.”

Manfred Ostermeier, botspot:
“We were able to make a success of our first trade fair appearance and the world premiere of our 3D scanner at FabCon 3.D. The contact with customers, the community and others in the sector was very lucrative for us. Above all, it is the combination of FabCon 3.D and Rapid.Tech that has expanded our spectrum. Customers from the UK, the Netherlands and all over Germany visited us here, and were very impressed with the trade fair.”