Additive manufacturing in the chemical industry gets a stage of its own for the first time

Chemistry & Process Engineering Forum premiers at Rapid.Tech 3D with a keynote address by Shell

Rapid.Tech 3D is giving additive manufacturing in the chemical industry a stage of its own for the first time. The new Chemistry & Process Engineering Forum on 10 May 2023 at the well-known specialist conference will provide a focus on a topic that has mostly flown under the radar until now. ‘No AM event offers a dedicated platform for this topic at present. But the chemical industry is very important for additive manufacturing – whether it's supplying an increasingly powerful range of materials or benefiting from the potential of this technology for plant engineering and production technology,’ notes Dr Özlem Weiss. A graduate chemist, Dr Weiss is curating the new forum at Rapid.Tech 3D.

The forum, which is being held for the first time, will get off to a flying start on the morning of 10 May with a keynote address by Jurjen Meeuwissen from global energy company Shell. The senior research scientist/project leader will speak on the topic of ‘3D printing for catalysts at Shell: Future or fiction?’

The basis for around 90 per cent of all products

The chemical industry occupies a dominant position in the value chain in general, with the sector providing the raw materials for around 90 per cent of all manufactured products. ‘The potential of additive manufacturing is now enabling the chemical industry to improve its own processes too,' says Dr Weiss. Summarising the main impacts of using 3D printing for plant and process technology in the chemical industry, he adds, 'Production technology can be designed to enable plants to operate more efficiently, to reactions to be more energy-efficient and other temperature control systems to be used.’.

The haute couture of chemical engineering

Prof. Dr Carlos A. Grande from the KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC) in Saudi Arabia describes additive manufacturing as ‘haute couture’ for chemical engineering. In his presentation in Erfurt, the internationally renowned expert will focus on the latest developments in catalysis research. Catalysts are the starting point of chemical process chains and among other things play a key role in sensor technology and renewable energy technology. KCC is a world leader in catalysis research and takes a multidisciplinary approach using innovative design and modelling concepts.

Marco Kennema’s session will consider BASF's use of an innovative additive technology to produce tailor-made catalysts. The new technology provides more freedom in catalyst design than conventional processes. This creates scope for performance enhancements, and enables catalysts to be customised to specific customer requirements.

Alongside catalysts, reactors are another fundamental component in chemical and technical processes. Microreactors are particularly important for research Together with its partners, Bosch has developed a new complex microreactor whose combination of additive manufacturing and technical ceramics means it can be used for high-temperature reactions. Nikolai Sauer from Bosch Advanced Ceramics will talk about the project.

In his presentation, Götz Erhardt, a basic materials industry expert at management consultancy Accenture, will address the renaissance of additive manufacturing in the chemical industry. This resurgence is due to the contribution that 3D printing is making to climate protection and the opportunities that are arising for new materials and business models. These aspects will also feature in the new forum.

The Chemistry & Process Engineering trade forum is part of the Rapid.Tech 3D specialist conference. Each day will open with high-profile keynotes from renowned experts in the automotive, aviation and defence industries. The three-day programme from 9 to 11 May 2023 will also offer insights into the latest AM applications and developments in the Mobility, Medicine, Aviation, Design, Software & Processes, Innovations in AM, Post-Processing & Quality Assurance and Science trade forums.

More information on how to take part in the event is available at:

Rapid.Tech 3D 2023's conference and exhibitor areas will focus amongst other things on the expertise of India in 3D printing. A wide range of preparations are currently under way for Indo-German meetings at the event in Erfurt.

Information on special show areas such as the Additive Area and the Start-up Area is available at

Over 2,500 trade visitors from 18 countries flocked to Rapid.Tech 3D 2022 in Erfurt. They learned about new products and services in additive manufacturing from 97 exhibitors from eleven countries, including the US, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland. Visitors were delighted with the conference programme, which featured ground-breaking keynote addresses and trade forums offering in-depth presentations. Delegate numbers were higher in comparison to the last in-person conference in 2019.

Further information: