Formnext: A new home for the international AM industry?
Industrial metal AM system premieres in Frankfurt
For instance, visitors were able to virtually explore Additive Industries' Metal-FAB1 industrial metal AM system, which celebrated its world premiere at the exhibition. The Eindhoven (NL)-based young company is dedicated to bringing metal additive manufacturing for functional parts from "lab to fab", it says, by offering a modular 3D printing system and seamlessly integrated information platform to high-end and demanding industrial markets. The machine's multiple build chambers with individual integrated powder handling make this industrial 3D printer the first to combine up to four materials simultaneously in one single machine, the company explained, and features a furnace for integrated stress relief heat treatment.
Furthermore, more and more companies offering complementing technologies cooperate to move AM to the next level. We have already reported about the partnership of GF and EOS GF and EOS partner to integrate AM technology into mould inserts production process. At the Stratasys press conference, Stuart Heavyside from PTC explained the advantages of PTC and Stratasys working together. The companies want to deliver a seamless experience between PTC Creo design software and Stratasys 3D printing solutions. According to PTC, the joint vision is to make additive manufacturing more accessible to designers and manufacturers and to allow them to fully realise the advantages of the technology. These advantages are said to include geometric freedom and part functionality, economic low volume and on-demand manufacturing, the production of customised products, and more.
At the opening ceremony, the Hessian Minister of Economics, Tarek Al-Wazir, welcomed the fact that Formnext has established a key international platform for additive technologies and modern product development in Frankfurt, which has the potential to become a leading international exhibition for this cutting-edge technology, he said.
Whether this inaugural event with 233 exhibitors will in fact create enough momentum to become exactly that - or even a leading show for the international tool and mould making sector - remains to be seen. We will continue this report next week. The show runs until Friday, 20 November 2015.