Nature as example: Design Engineers Day at the Rapid.Tech 2012 focuses on bionics


Newcomers and experts will meet for the ninth time from 8 to 9 May at the Rapid.Tech congress exhibition in Erfurt to discuss or to become acquainted with the latest results, trends and applications of generative manufacturing technology. The exhibition management is once again expecting about 1,200 participants and 60 exhibitors. Since 2004 Rapid.Tech has evolved as a leading venue for the cross-sectional technology – additive manufacturing (AM) – which is rapidly developing in many sectors.

Design Engineers Day 2012: adopted from nature

Only if the design engineer is very familiar with the tools with which products will be manufactured can he develop the respectively optimal design concept. The design engineer is closer than ever to the manufacturing processes with the digital manufacturing processes utilised in generative process. This requires particular knowledge of technologies from him. Generative processes also provide unique freedoms in the design of components. This year the Design Engineers Day will focus on bionic approaches. Professor Dr. Thomas Seul, who together with Professor Dr. Frank Beneke is responsible for the agenda of the Design Engineers Day, explains the thematic framework of this year’s Design Engineers Day: “We look at nature’s methods and strategies with the goal of adopting suitable design possibilities. They result in technical products which would not be possible with conventional processes.” The Design Engineers Day starts on 9 May with a presentation by Prof. Dr. Bernd Hill on “Applied bionics in systematic product development processes”. As a result, participants can gain practical experiences in the eponymous workshop that the speaker offers in the afternoon.

Develop business models with additive manufacturing

The keynote speaker at this year’s Rapid.Tech, Dr. Phil Reeves (Econolyst Ltd.), sets an important theme at the very beginning that will accompany the speakers and visitors through the entire congress with his lecture entitled “The business drivers to additive manufacturing – stimulating technology adoption”. It concerns the analysis of “market pull” and “technology push”, and their interactions under the influence of overriding economic, social and ecological factors. Professor Dr. Andreas Gebhardt, Rapid.Tech expert consultant: “The development of rapid prototyping into additive manufacturing has already prospered quite widely in technical terms. Now it concerns bringing the process into the markets and developing suitable business markets for this purpose.”

Rapid.Tech 2012: Information, impulses, innovations

Since 2004 Rapid.Tech has focused on the trend towards manufacturing end products. It has recognised and accompanied the evolution towards additive manufacturing at an early stage. Rapid.Tech 2012 also informs horizontally and vertically: on the one hand, the possibilities of AM in selected industries will be scrutinised in the Aviation, Medical Technology and Dental Technology trade forums. On the other hand, it deals with the entire manufacturing process, starting from strategies and including design, materials as well as machinery. Thinking outside one’s own box has proven successful for many participants in past years: because important, sometimes decisive impulses for the further development in applications and for solving specific problems are particularly gained in the exchange with other special fields. Rapid.Tech 2012 provides unique opportunities for discussion with and among each other through the combination of trade fair and conferences.

What you should bring along: the Pre-Session on 7 May in Erfurt

The cross-sectional technology AM is still new territory for many, not least because of its rapid development in recent years. In order to facilitate access for newcomers and to bring them to a level of knowledge with “insiders”, an overview event will be held at the Exhibition Centre Erfurt on the day before the Rapid.Tech: the necessary fundamentals of additive manufacturing will be clearly conveyed in models and components in two 2-hour sessions. The basic knowledge conveyed in this connection enables participants to rapidly filter out the innovations from the lectures and the trade fair.

Further information, the programme of events and registration documents are available for download at

Barbara Kraushaar
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T: 0361 400 1750
F: 0361 400 1111

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Thomas Tenzler
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