COMPANY NEWS: FORMNEXT “Every Production Company Should Take a Look at Additive Manufacturing”
Sascha F. Wenzler, Head of Division for formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, talks about the latest developments in AM
Mr. Wenzler, 2017 already marks the third year in which you’ll be holding formnext. How have the conference and exhibition evolved, and what can we look forward to this year?
At formnext 2017, we’re planning to build on the remarkable success we achieved in our first two years. We've grown significantly each year since debuting in 2015. This year, we're once again on track to easily outpace the strong numbers we turned in last year in terms of exhibitors, visitors, and overall space. All this shows that formnext has evolved into the leading trade fair for modern and intelligent industrial manufacturing. The exhibitors we’ve got on board represent the global elite in additive production. You also won’t find the same atmosphere of innovation anywhere else, which is a big reason why highly qualified experts come to formnext from all over the world.
Which companies and industries have an interest in additive manufacturing and intelligent industrial production in general?
Basically, whether they build tools or cars some other product, every industrial manufacturing company should take a look at AM. The exciting part is that additive manufacturing – or industrial 3D printing, as it's often called – covers such a diverse range of application areas. AM is already being used to create plenty of products, from sneakers to rocket engines. Meanwhile, the potential uses are only going to keep expanding. After all, industrial 3D printing involves not just end products, but components, spare parts, and other means of production, as well.
Additive manufacturing is still a young and vibrant industry. In what direction are things trending right now?
We’re always witnessing new developments through our exhibitors at formnext, such as in the automotive and aerospace sectors. At the same time, medical technology, consumer goods, tool- and form-making, mechanical engineering, and other fields are also teeming with innovations. Among the factors driving them are the ongoing advancements in 3D printing systems. Here, we’re seeing both constant improvements in existing processes and the emergence of new technologies, including from Desktop Metal, HP, XJET...