20161115_093800I’m here in beautiful Frankfurt, already half-dead on my feet following the first of the nearly full-week formnext 2016. It’s certainly the place to be this week for the latest on additive manufacturing, with announcements being made left and right. From new machinery to new software to new partnerships, formnext is absolutely hopping with news and exciting personalities.

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This massive sign from GE greets visitors to formnext

We’re hard at working keeping you up to date with all the latest news from formnext — and I’d love to give you a look inside this massive show, as well.

On my first day here at formnext, I attended an exciting press conference and interviewed several companies already to hear directly from them details about their latest goings-on. I look forward to sharing full details with you soon, but to whet your appetite, please enjoy some photos direct from Germany. Just on the first day, I’m sure I logged miles around Messe Frankfurt, and took nearly 100 photos already. There’s more to come, so stay tuned this week to 3DPrint.com for all the latest from formnext!

Among the companies I spent one-on-one time with today, gaining insights into their latest visions and strategies, were 3YOURMIND, Materialise, XJet, and 3devo. Each of the individuals I spoke to was filled with enthusiasm for the growing additive manufacturing industry, as they noted interest and enthusiasm across both their own operations and adopters around the world now working with 3D software and 3D printing technologies. As Materialise’s Vice President Stefaan Motte has been underscoring for some time, “Playtime is over” — and that message certainly seems to have taken root with many involved in the industry.

Today I also attended the press conference for BigRep announcing their latest — which includes two new 3D printers and a new partnership. The new BigRep Studio 3D printer offers the performance users have come to expect from BigRep on a scale smaller — and so more accessible for users — than the massive BigRep One. Rather than the one-cubic-meter build volume of the BigRep One, the new 3D printer offers a build volume of 50 cm x 1 m x 50 cm.

“Sometimes the product we have is too big for customers. So we decided to go one step down,” René Gurka, CEO of BigRep, told the enraptured room. “It’s funny that size can keep from making sales.”

The second 3D printer from BigRep appears through a partnership with Kühling&Kühling, which had also teamed up with Polymaker. The new BigRep Tech offers a 40 x 60 cm build volume, is the first to print using polycarbonate materials, and is set for full release next year. Finally, BigRep announced a new additive manufacturing solution in working with Netherlands-based TNO. In about 18-20 months, we should see the first machine arising from this partnership. More information about this partnership is set for release later this week.

Overall, day one of formnext this year is showing that additive manufacturing isn’t just a growing industry — it’s a fast-expanding wonderland of development. Several of the companies I spoke with today noted that this year’s show is significantly larger than last year’s presentation, which has certainly been a trend at every tradeshow I’ve attended in 2016. Floor space and exhibitors are only increasing across the board, and developments are focusing more than ever on partnerships to see symbiotic growth as companies increasingly complement one another’s technologies to provide the best for a variety of industry verticals.

Day one of formnext held energy and announcements — and there’s still so much more to go! Keep checking out 3DPrint.com as we continue to track all the excitement out of Germany this week.

[All photos: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]



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