The topics for the many of the presentations at Inside 3D Printing in Düsseldorf were some of the most “industry centered” in the show’s recent history. The Synergies with the METAV show may have had some influence, as the speakers focused primarily on offering practical insights into technologies as well as materials and applications.
First, though, the fun stufff. Jeff DeGrane, CEO of Impossible Objects, opened the morning with a keynote on how emerging technologies continue to shape businesses. His company uses one of the first composite-based additive manufacturing methods (which they dubbed CBAM) to make parts in carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass (among others).
The Impossible Objects keynote was followed by another moment of industry self-rewarding, with the yearly IAMA (International Additive Manufacturing Award) ceremony. This time Concept Laser took home first prize for its Meltpool Monitoring system. Additive Industries’ innovative MetalFAB also received an award from a jury that included representatives from Siemens, BMW, GE Aviation, Fraunhofer and many more industry experts.
Additive Industries’ CEO Daan Kersten was up next to explain his company’s vision for a new type of fully industrialized metal 3D printing. Altair, the makers of SolidThinking software (one of the first to introduce generative trabecular and topological optimization capabilities), expanded upon this vision. Finally Jasper Middendorp, founder of Reflow Filament, showed how to 3D printing can help emerging economies leapfrog technology (in his case through a fully recycled 3D printing filament).
This basically sums up the primary themes of the keynotes at Inside 3D Printing: hardware, software, materials and applications. In the field of both hardware and special materials, Johannes Homas, founder and CEO of Lithoz (a leading manufacturers of high performance ceramics 3D printers) certainly stood out. Other topics touched upon were mass customization, which Frens Pries, from Frank & Frens in Holland, made a primary objective of the studio’s design work.
Moving on to some serious industrial applications, Dr. Dominik Rietzel, Product Manager at BMW, described how AM in the automotive industry holds a great potential for added value, not just in first prototypes but also in classic car restoration. The panel discussion included contributions from Siemens Digital Factory’s Ulli Klenk and from Dr.Ing. Claus Emelmann, who is working at building the Bionic Productions additive factory as an extension of the LZN (Laser Zentrum Nord).
The rest of the afternoon saw mainly the biggest powder bed metal fusion 3D printer manufacturers describe their visions for the Industry 4.0. Starting with SLM Solutions’ Dieter Schwarze, Head Additive Processes, who showed off the beauty of the quadruple lasers in the new SLM 500hl system “dancing” together while building a component of the 3D printer itself.
Arcam’s Patrick Ohldin spoke about the path to production for the company’s unique EBM technology. EOS’s Floria Pfefferkorn touched upon the use of polymers in industrial SLS additive manufacturing and, finally, Concept Laser closed the day as it opened it, explaining its vision of what is needed for the Industry 4.0 to take hold.