Playing to additive’s strengths


Design forum on 5 June 2018 to focus on the paradigm shift from designing for manufacturing to manufacturing for design

Additive Manufacturing is accelerating the paradigm shift from designing for manufacturing to manufacturing for design. In order to fully exploit the potential of industrial 3D printing, we need to rethink the product development process. “Additive Manufacturing really comes into its own when designers are aware of the freedom and benefits it gives them and start to rethink both components and the roles they play in the overall system. This empowers them to create entirely new solutions, for example for integrating a higher level of functionality into products. In order to do this, however, they need to change the way they approach the design process at the same time as being aware of the technical aspects of the manufacturing process”, says Professor Dr.-Ing. Detmar Zimmer, Chair of Design and Drive Technology at Paderborn University, who is overseeing the content of the Design forum at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt on 5 June 2018.

A key focus of the forum presentations will be how design methodologies can be adapted to the opportunities additive processes can offer. Laser melting technology will be amongst the technologies highlighted. Other talks will discuss how we can combine the vast amount of knowledge we have gained in recent years from applying additive technologies. “It is about converting our findings into general, workable design guidelines for the different processes, integrating them more closely with up- and downstream processes and thereby using industrial 3D printing more broadly. Talks given at our forum in the past have already been of significant help in turning experience and knowledge into recommended practice. This is set to continue this year”, continues Professor Zimmer. The exceptional quality of contributions to the forum is not least due to the double-blind reviews undertaken as part of the talk selection process. Reviewers assess submissions solely on their technical merit, without knowing who the author is. 

A third area, which is once again being discussed this year, is topology optimization. This is a key method for generating Additive Manufacturing design concepts. A number of other talks will discuss component design approaches that are opening up new ways of making products lighter, integrating new functionalities and optimising media-carrying systems.

The Design forum is part of the Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D international trade fair and conference for additive technologies, which will take place from 5 to 7 June 2018 at Messe Erfurt. The event is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It has been held in Erfurt since 2004, and is a pioneer of 3D technologies at international level. Its comprehensive conference programme, the only one of its kind, also includes the users conference and AM Science forum (both being held on 6/7 June). New this year, also held across both days, will be the Medical, Dental and Orthopaedic Technology forum. Another new forum on Law will be held on 5 June, alongside the Additive Contract Manufacturing, Tool, Mould and Jig Construction and Automotive Industry forums. The 3D-Printed Electronics & Functionality and 3D Metal Printing forums will follow on 6 June, with the Aviation forum on 7 June closing the three-day long fair. 

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 also give behind the scenes insights into their research and development activities and selected competitions. Talks will cover everything from start-up financing and digital fabrication to education and training. 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. 

More than 200 exhibitors will be presenting the latest developments, products and services in Additive Manufacturing at the trade fair, which is sold out. 

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.