A great deal of development work is still needed in the field of industrial 3D printing with plastics

16.05.2019

The new Plastics forum at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. brings together the requirements and achievements of users, technology providers and researchers

(Erfurt, 16 May 2019). The world’s first additively manufactured component was made of plastic. Thirty-five years ago, 3D-printing pioneer Chuck Hull succeeded in using UV light to firmly bond photopolymers. Since that time, additive manufacturing (AM) with plastics has developed at a rapid pace. The ongoing transition from pure prototyping to industrial production prompted Messe Erfurt and the Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D advisory board to establish a separate forum on plastics at the 16th edition of the conference and trade show. The new format will make its debut on 27 June 2019, the final day of the three-day event.

“There is still a great deal of development work to do in the field of 3D printing with plastics. As more techniques and materials come on stream, the number of application fields increases as a result. This trend can be seen in the production of plastic grippers in mechanical engineering, for instance. These new opportunities also increase the demands placed on suppliers of 3D-printed components. One of these is lot size 1, meaning rapid production of the first fully-operational plastic component,” says Stefan Hins, explaining the challenges. Working with colleagues, the Head of Mould Technology at the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid developed the content for the new forum. Alongside the manufacture of functional components, there is now an increasing focus on other issues. “These include the visual appearance and design of the product, as well as finishing processes. Production technologies also require further improvements. The machinery still lacks precision and accuracy. There remains a lot work for users, equipment manufacturers and researchers to do in this field. Central to the forum’s programme are the individual groups’ positions, their mutual requirements and how they might achieve them through collaboration,” says Stefan Hins.

An important issue for all stakeholders in the AM chain is how to guarantee consistently high quality. Helge Klippstein of the Direct Manufacturing Research Center at the University of Paderborn will present a methodology for validating the laser sintering process for series production. The TwoCure technique developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT Aachen and Rapid Shape GmbH requires no support structures. Higher throughput and a reduction in post-processing with 3D photopolymerisation are two of the additional benefits of 3D printing technology that will be discussed by Holger Leonards of the Fraunhofer ILT in the forum.

Dr Robert Gmeiner, CEO of Cubicure GmbH (Vienna, Austria), and Steffen Hachtel, Managing Partner of Hachtel Werkzeugbau GmbH & Co KG (Aalen, Germany), will present the user perspective on the manufacture of high-quality, industry-standard products through the use of high-performance polymers and hot lithography, the 3D printing technology which was developed for this purpose. Stefan Zoller, Technical Consultant DACH-Region at Stratasys GmbH, will give a presentation detailing the innovative production technologies that are making full-colour professional design and engineering applications possible instead of the black or beige that we typically expect from 3D printing. Ralf Burghoff, Business Development Manager at Murtfeldt Kunststoffe GmbH & Co. KG Dortmund, will report on innovative methods for the surface finishing and post-processing of components manufactured using AM. Franziska Kaut, Development Engineer at Procter & Gamble Service GmbH Kronberg, will share insights into the production of consumer products such as razors using 3D printing.

The Plastics forum is one of three new events on this year’s conference programme for Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. Standardization & Occupational Safety and Software & Processes are also appearing on the agenda for the first time. More than 100 lectures in a total of 14 subject- and sector-specific forums will present the latest developments, trends and findings relating to additive technologies and applications in theory and practice. Alongside the new additions, the programme will also feature the established Automotive Industry; Medical, Dental & Orthopaedic Technology; Aviation; Contract Additive Manufacturing; 3D Printed Electronics & Functions; Design; Tool, Mould & Jig Construction; Metal; and Law forums, as well as a session by the Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance and the two-day AM Science forum.
The 3D Printing Conference and the redesigned presentation spaces and networking opportunities at the exhibition will also help attendees to share their knowledge and experiences and to build and maintain their networks.

For their 16th edition, to be held from 25 to 27 June 2019, Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D are yet again expecting over 200 exhibitors from Germany and abroad, as well as more than 5,000 international trade visitors and conference delegates.


Further information: www.rapidtech-fabcon.com

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