Rapid.Tech 2014: Additive Manufacturing in Aviation


Specialist forum explores established procedures and applications as well as potentials

For the 11th time, on 14 and 15 May 2014, Rapid.Tech in Erfurt will be the meeting place for newcomers and experts, researchers and users to get to know and discuss the latest results, trends and opportunities of additive manufacturing processes. As part of this, the 4th “Aviation” specialist forum will enable participants from this field to have an especially deep exchange of knowledge and information. The two-day specialist forum, designed especially for applications and opportunities in aviation, is characterised by its meshing of lectures and practical exhibition.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one of the key technologies for the implementation of global trends such as Industry 4.0, sustainability and individualisation. “Additive manufacturing processes have already become partially established for the serial manufacture of components in aviation. The potential of the applications, however, has not yet been fully tapped”, reported Dr Eric Klemp, Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) of the University of Paderborn and Head of the “Aviation” specialist forum, which offers 13 simultaneously interpreted lectures (German <> English) this year. The first two presentations, which deal with the importance of additive manufacturing in aviation, also emphasise this. In one, Stephan Eelman from Boeing gives an overview of the significant areas of application that have achieved sustainable success in technology development and product development at Boeing. He also explores the requirements with regard to the transfer of rapid prototyping to (serial) production, depending on the different manufacturing processes and materials. In the second presentation, Georg Rayczyk, Liebherr Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH, presents a new approach to the additive manufacture of highly stressed hydraulic valve blocks using a selective laser melting process (SLM). The programme of the specialist forum also includes presentations on different strategies and procedures for the serial production of modules and components, such as the manufacture of engine components using metal laser sintering at MTU Aero Engines and the use of the SLM hull-and-core strategy discussed by Dr Dieter Schwarze from SLM Solutions, among others. Further presentations are concerned with future-oriented research strategies, for example RepAIR – European collaborative research for the use of additive manufacturing in aircraft maintenance and scenarios of potential changes to the MRO processes through the use of AM. There will also be a presentation about the possibilities created by a new software application for the additive manufacture of grid structures. Another topic in the programme is certifications in the aviations sector, as well as economic factors and influencing factors of additive manufacturing.

Rapid.Tech 2014 – the full spectrum of additive manufacturing

Alongside the “Aviation” specialist forum, there will be forums for medical and dental technology, a user conference and the design engineer days at Rapid.Tech 2014. The Rapid.Tech specialist trade fair provides comprehensive information about the latest developments in materials, procedures and machines. “Additive manufacturing processes are becoming ever more relevant across multiple industries and are playing an increasingly important part in production processes. This is generating an enormous demand for information, as well as for an interchange of experiences and discussion”, reported Wieland Kniffka, Head of Messe Erfurt. “Rapid.Tech is setting standards here, with its mix of think-tank, knowledge transfer and an exhibition geared toward practical applications.”

FabCon 3.D – 3D printing for consumers and industry

From 15–17 May 2014, Messe Erfurt will also be hosting the second German Personal Fabrication Convention, FabCon 3.D. Numerous exhibitors will be showcasing current developments and products from the 3D printing sector for entrepreneurs, designers, hobbyists and any other interested parties. The combination of Rapid.Tech and the “Industrial Day” (15 May 2014) will give fans and industry experts a chance to engage in direct dialogue and provide insights into the latest developments for the consumer market in the up-and-coming technology of 3D printing.

The complete programme of the “Aviation” specialist forum as well as further information about Rapid.Tech and about FabCon 3.D can be found at www.rapidtech.de and at www.fabcon-germany.com.
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