Formnext 2015 Additive manufacturing and its influence on the international tool and mould-making industry

Editor: Barbara Schulz

Germany - At Formnext 2015, the international tool and mould-making industry will experience the huge potential of additive manufacturing. About 20% of exhibitors are tool and mould makers, organisers say. The international trade fair for additive technologies and tool and mould-making will be held in Frankfurt, Germany from 17 to 20 November 2015.

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Series production of mold cores.
Series production of mold cores.
(Source: Ecoparts)

Current trends in tool and mould-making will be presented at Formnext, including faster and more flexible production of mold inserts, use of new materials, and use of different additive manufacturing methods, organiser Mesago says. “Visitors to Formnext will discover solutions and ways to tackle current and future challenges in product development, which are demanding greater speed and flexibility with high quality,” says Sascha Wenzler, vice president for Formnext at Mesago Messe Frankfurt.


Besides additive technologies, tool and mould-making is one of the main topics on the agenda at Formnext 2015, Mesago claims. Of the 213 exhibitors, 38 are active in the industry, which corresponds to about 20%. With 23 publishers also to attend, Formnext currently has a total of 213 participants (as 26 October 2015).

The tool and mould-making industry will also have a high degree of internationality, with specialist tool and mould-making companies such as Käfer Werkzeugbau, Lamy Werkzeugbau (Germany), Ecoparts (Switzerland), E-Mould Plastic Technology (China), Hispamoldes (Spain), Intertech Machinery (Taiwan) and Uratani Shoji (Japan).

Furthermore, Formnext will also feature the special Audi tool-making exhibit, providing unique insights into product development in the automotive industry.

Due to ever decreasing development periods of OEMs with higher product diversity, toolmakers will “need to constantly reduce their cycle time for tools,” says Dieter Käfer, Managing Director of Käfer Werkzeubau. Productivity, too, has to be improved continuously, including “flexible standardization at customer and product group level.” According to Käfer, additive manufacturing plays a key role in this development, particularly in injection molding technology. “However, the sheet metal forming industry is also advised to watch the market development very closely on the supplier and customer side.”