Manufacturing metallic glass using additive techniques


German scientists demonstrate first fully functional process – latest additive technologies research results to be presented at the AM Science forum on 6 and 7 June

The properties of metals can be transformed by changing their atomic structure into a disordered state. The resulting material class, commonly referred to as amorphous metals or metallic glasses, has a unique combination of high resistance, elasticity and strength. However, they are difficult to manufacture and process. For example, the melted metal has to be cooled quickly. Component sizes are also limited when conventional technologies are used in manufacturing. However, additive processes such as laser melting, with high cooling speeds and layered construction techniques, offer a promising approach that would enable larger and more complex components to be made from metallic glass in future. German scientists are amongst the first in the world to have been able to demonstrate a functional additive process for manufacturing a completely amorphous component based on a zirconium alloy. Methodologies and results from this new area of research will be just one of the topics covered at the AM Science forum on 6 and 7 June 2018 at the Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D international trade fair and conference for additive technologies, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary at Messe Erfurt.

The forum will highlight different issues and areas of activity right along the additive manufacturing process chain. These include approaches to process optimisation, preparation and post-processing, expansion of the range of materials used in plastic and metalworking, and regulation of properties in components made using additive technologies. The forum will also cover areas that have not been focused on in previous years. Speakers will discuss the role of the laser angle in powder bed-based laser melting – a factor that can influence process and component quality but that has not yet been fully explored by the R&D community.

“We are delighted to be able to introduce trade visitors to the latest scientific discoveries in additive manufacturing at our anniversary event, and to be able to transform knowledge and technology into practice. Our world class advisory board has once again created an excellent conference programme and chosen a range of attractive exhibits”, says Michael Kynast, CEO of Messe Erfurt GmbH.

Professor Gerd Witt, Chair of Manufacturing Technology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, co-founder of Rapid.Tech, and along with Michael Eichmann of Stratasys joint Chairman of the Advisory Board, is responsible for the content of the AM Science forum. “Researchers and developers are showing more and more interest in presenting their latest findings in Erfurt. This is evident from the large number of proposals we are receiving. We undertake double-blind reviews to ensure the quality of our talks. Our review commission comprises renowned researchers from the field of additive manufacturing, who assess proposals solely on the basis of their technical merit”, explains Professor Witt.

A number of other world class forums will be held alongside the AM Science forum at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. The users conference will take place on 6 and 7 June. A new Law forum will be held on 5 June, followed by the Medical, Dental and Orthopaedic Technology forum on 6 and 7 June. The Additive Contract Manufacturing, Tool, Mould and Jig Construction and Automotive Industry forums will take place on 5 June, with the 3D-Printed Electronics and Functionality and 3D Metal Printing forums following on 6 June, and the Aviation forum closing the event on 7 June.

The 3D printing community will once again come together on all three days for the 3D Printing Conference. As well as discussing current issues and technical innovations, speakers will give behind the scenes insights into their research and development activities and selected competitions. Talks will cover everything from start-up financing to digital fabrication to education. Messe Erfurt is also once again looking for the most innovative company founders for its Start-Up Award and the best design ideas for its 3D Pioneers Challenge.

And alongside all of this, more than 200 exhibitors will be presenting the latest developments, products and services in the field of additive manufacturing.

In 2017, 4,800 (2016: 4,500) trade visitors and conference participants, and 207 exhibitors (2016: 176) from 13 countries attended Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt.


You can download this press information here.

You can find impressions of Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D 2017 here.