Interdisciplinary technology is a driving force


Rapid.Tech trade fair proves generative sustainability

“New, small and cost-effective machinery is as much on the upswing in the field of generative manufacturing processes as is the movement towards materials with nano-particle admixtures. These provide higher strength in terms of heat and wear.” This is how Prof. Dr. Andreas Gebhardt from the Aachen University of Applied Sciences describes two important trends in a technology which after twenty years is establishing itself successfully in more and more branches of industry. The 6th Rapid.Tech trade fair in Erfurt has also profited from this conquering of the market. “With 300 congress participants, 1000 visitors and 59 exhibitors, including ten companies from Thuringia, we are registering the best result for this small congress trade fair,” weighs up Johann Fuchsgruber, from the Messe Erfurt AG board of directors.

Visitors to Rapid.Tech appreciate the intensive conversations and the combination of a trade fair and expert conference. The brief, interdisciplinary insight into the geometry-free world of manufacturing works in Erfurt. In the meantime increasingly more small ranges and individual end products are being generatively manufactured. As in the past technical feasibility and financing is still the main focus. The generative track record of success proves itself within dental technology because here the whole process chain is closed and thus the infrastructure is in place. You cannot do anything with a car without roads. The same applies to the generative processes. In dental technology the processes join together seamlessly – from dental impression at the dentists, to scanning, data compilation to model-making and the casting and processing of the implant. Therefore the hosts this year also organised a special expert congress on the topic of dental technology. Also in the medical technology special exhibition the suitability of the process was demonstrated for individual, complex geometries. Templates for limbs are already generated today from computer tomography data and manufactured by means of generative processes. The premier of the Central German Plastics Conference initiated by Polymermat e.V was also a success. Next year the hosts can imagine offering more scope for the topic of jewellery design. Individual pieces of jewellery could be seen this year. Students from various universities also exhibited their work alongside the designer Lionel T Dean from London. The participants in the Student Design Award for Rapid Manufacturing also scored with ideas. Peter Böckel from Coburg University emerged as the winner of this prize presented for the third time by the Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung Thüringen (STIFT- Thuringia Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research) with a reinterpretation of a musical wind instrument. The special prize – the BMW Group GINA Design Award – went to the students from the Weimar Bauhaus University Max Klimke, Achim Meran and Stefan Trebbin from the company SXPCK with a solar sculpture in the form of a blade of grass which serves as a street light. The world of professionals should be curious about what winning work the year of 2010 will produce. The next Rapid.Tech will take place from 18th to 19th May 2010.