The potential of layer manufacturing processes


1. specialist 'Aviation' forum in Erfurt

As part of the 'Rapid Tech 2011' trade fair and user meeting, the specialist 'Aviation' forum is set to take place for the first time. It is taking place in Erfurt on 24 and 25 May. The series of presentations and accompanying specialist trade fair provide an overview of the latest developments and the possible uses of additive manufacturing procedures in the area of aviation.

Aviation is one of the key growth markets for additive manufacturing (AM) processes. The typical applications include, for instance, components for interior fittings and furnishings of cabins, ventilation and air conditioning components, and also manufacturing equipment. In addition to this, experiments have been made on the first uses in the area of jet engine- and turbine components. The clearest advantage of this technology is that it enables the realization of highly efficient components with highly complex geometries and defined attributes extremely quickly and at low cost. In addition to this there are the savings in terms of materials and weight which lead to big fuel savings. On top of this, additive manufacturing procedures can also supply individual products. And finally, production in small numbers of units is also possible subsequent to manufacturer-specific adjustments and without additional tools and without incurring high costs. On top of this, AM-based components can also be constructed all over the world; for supplying spare parts, for instance. Additive manufacturing processes have left their niche and are now a strategic component in development and manufacturing in the aviation industry.

Ready for take off: Direct Manufacturing

For the successful configuration of business over the long term, future developments have to be identified on a forward-looking basis. It is necessary to identify the potential successes of tomorrow early on, and to develop them with new products and services in good time. Both the opportunities from the dynamism of markets (market pull) as well as the technological developments (technology push) have to be identified and aligned with each other. Before the background of additive manufacturing processes in air and space travel, the user requirements of the future are hence to be coordinated with the technological development possibilities of the machine manufacturers.

The scope of the specialist 'Aviation' forum focuses on the detail but remains focused on the overall development at the same time. On the one hand, the speakers present the possibilities and potentials from the point of view of the machine manufacturers, whilst on the other hand, the users have their day. With practical examples, they highlight the topics of materials, the requirements of AM components, the approach during the production of spare parts and the implementation in jet engines and structures. At the same time, the methodical support required for successful implementation is highlighted with practical examples. The two day event comes to an end with a look ahead to the future trends and developments.

The world of rapid manufacturing is visiting Erfurt

On 24 and 25 May 2011, experts and interested visitors will be gathering at the 'Rapid.Tech' for the eighth time. The improved levels of precision, the optimised component qualities and the hugely expanded range of materials are making direct manufacturing using generative processes interesting to more and more sectors. This year's Rapid.Tech is mapping out this development and offering both 'old hands' and newcomers superb opportunities for expanding their knowledge and contacts. Accompanying the specialist trade fair, the users' meeting, the 'CAD/CAM and Rapid Prototyping in Dental Technology', 'Medical Technology' and 'Aviation' specialist forums, and the Design-Engineers' Day will provide an overview of the status and the development of the production of prototypes, and of the direct production of end-products and their components.

With the 5th STUDENT DESIGN AWARD for Rapid Manufacturing, endowed with a 6,000 Euro prize, talented young newcomers get the chance to stand out through the creative use of generative manufacturing procedures.

The programme for the specialist 'Aviation' forum and that of the users' meeting, the Design-Engineers' Day, as well as additional specialist forums and information on the STUDENT DESIGN AWARD are available for downloading in the internet at