More exhibitors, more exhibition space, high-profile keynote speakers


Now in its 15th edition, the international trade show and conference for additive manufacturing is set to make new records – keynote speeches by the inventor of FDM and by renowned users from the automotive and commodities industries

(Erfurt, 20 February 2018) Now in its 15th edition, the international trade show and conference for additive manufacturing, Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, is well on its way to breaking records. Compared to the same time last year, almost 20 per cent more exhibitors have registered a whole three months before the event, which will take place from 5 to 7 June 2018 at Messe Erfurt. The increase is even more evident when looking at the exhibition space reserved, which is up 30 per cent compared to the space booked in February 2017.
“This growth is a clear indication that additive manufacturing is still expanding and that Erfurt is the right place to present the latest developments in this technology of the future. With the support of the leading experts from industry and research on our Advisory Board, we focused on this issue very early on and, thanks to our consistency and commitment, have established ourselves as the first port of call for exhibitors, visitors and conference participants since 2004. Erfurt can quite rightly claim the title of “3D printing capital” for the three days of the show as the whole world of AM gathers here to exchange knowledge and experiences. This is also what we will achieve with the 15th edition of the show,” says Michael Kynast, CEO of Messe Erfurt GmbH.
Alongside the attractive presentations by exhibitors, a conference programme with high-profile keynote speeches is the key to the event’s success. Renowned inventors and users of 3D printing from very different industrial sectors will provide insights into current and future developments in this field and will demonstrate the very broad spectrum of applications for additive manufacturing (AM) in keynotes. The opening speech on the first day (5 June 2018) will be given by Dr Dominik Rietzel. He received his doctorate in material behaviour and process analysis in the laser sintering of plastics. Today, he runs the Non-Metals department in the BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Centre, where he is responsible for R&D activities, prototyping and series production using AM. In his presentation “AM on the road” in Erfurt, he will outline how the Bavarian automaker has worked and is working on making additive manufacturing processes usable in series production with the aid of a strategic roadmap. The aim is not to produce “showcases”, but instead always to leverage the advantages specific to this process, e.g. for tool substitution in small batches, product individualisation and/or component design customised to the processes and loads of the series.

The second day (6 June 2018) will be opened by a 3D printing pioneer: Scott Crump. He is the inventor of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), a technology now used in 90 per cent of all 3D printers worldwide. Together with his wife, Lisa, he founded Stratasys in 1989 and expanded the company into a leading international provider of 3D printing solutions for sectors across the board, from automotive to dental medicine. As the Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, Scott Crump focuses on developing, fostering and implementing new ideas that customers can use to achieve maximum design freedom and flexibility in production. He will present some current examples of various applications in Erfurt and also talk about the future direction for Stratasys and additive manufacturing in general.
Christoph Wangenheim will address the potential of additive manufacturing for the oil and gas industry in his keynote on 7 June 2018. Wangenheim, whose background is in mechanical engineering, took the lead in developing additive manufacturing at GE company Baker Hughes at its facilities in Houston/USA and Celle/Germany. He has headed up the AM department in Celle for the Drilling Services product line since 2016. His keynote will demonstrate, among other things, that equipment for the oil and gas industry must have maximum resistance to abrasion, erosion and corrosion as well as strength and reliability, and show which additive processes and materials can be used to solve these challenges.
The conference programme has more highlights in store besides the keynotes. New additions for 2018 include the Law Trade Forum on 5 June and the Medical, Dental and Orthopaedic Technology Trade Forum on 6/7 June. The tried-and-tested formats of the Users Conference (6/7 June) and AM Science (6/7 June), the Additive Contract Manufacturing, Tools, Mould and Jig Construction, Design, Automotive Industry Trade Forums (all on 5 June), 3D-Printed Electronics & Functionality and 3D Metal Printing (both on 6 June) and Aviation (on 7 June) will all be returning to the event. The 3D printing community will once again gather on all three days for the 3D Printing Conference. Messe Erfurt is once again looking for the most innovative company founders for the Start-Up Award and the best design ideas for the 3D Pioneers Challenge.
In 2017, 4,800 (2016: 4,500) trade visitors and conference participants as well as 207 exhibitors (2016: 176) from 13 countries attended Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt.


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