Additive manufacturing and digitalization: a match made in heaven

26.06.2019

Software & processes, 3D printing in schools, and the final of the 3D Pioneers Challenge were just some of the highlights on day two of the 16th Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D in Erfurt

(Erfurt, 26 June 2019). Additive manufacturing (AM) can have a positive impact on trends such as individualization, digitalization and climate change. And the keynote speech given by Ulli Klenk, Principal Key Expert at Siemens Gas and Power, opening the second day (26 June 2019) of Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, fully supported this proposition. Mr Klenk presented Siemens' work on AM industrialization and outlined the obstacles still to be overcome.

Using a turbine burner tip as an example, he demonstrated the huge potential of AM for the manufacture of more efficient and weight-saving components, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions both in the production process and when components are used. Whereas conventional methods require twelve individual parts for the component, the tip can now be printed as a single part. An additional coating process that had previously been required is now no longer necessary.

Siemens Gas and Power has been involved with AM since 2006, using 3D printing processes to produce turbines amongst other things and printing the first turbine blade in 2017. “AM enables us to cut development times by up to 75 %, save up to 65 % of resources in manufacture, and reduce delivery times by around half. We’ve also managed to achieve a significant increase in the proportion of climate-neutral hydrogen in the tip,” Ulli Klenk went on to say, listing the key benefits.

He is certain that pushing ahead with digital processes will tap into even more potential. “AM and digitalization are a match made in heaven; in combination they have great potential to clear any remaining obstacles,” he stressed. One key task is to create a completely continuous digital chain, such as already exists in the pharmaceutical industry. “We want this kind of transparency in our industry too. No one wants to live next door to a power station if they can’t be certain that all of its components are fault free. We are working with AM manufacturers and service providers to achieve this.”

This year, Messe Erfurt is dedicating a separate event to designing a transparent digital AM value creation chain. At the first ever Software & Processes forum, visitors made the most of the opportunity to update themselves issues such as intellectual property, protection against counterfeiting, and reliable and secure supply chains. Providers and users discussed a variety of approaches and a range of tried-and-tested techniques.

In order to ensure continued success for additive manufacturing in the long term, the sector will need the right specialists. And the foundations for this need to be laid by schools. The new Education forum saw MedienLB and a number of partners from the world of training and education present the latest interactive teaching aids and digital tools as well as methods for incorporating digital technologies into lessons from an early stage. Mathis Jung, who unveiled his project to incorporate a 3D printed camera mount into a firefighter’s helmet, attracted great attention when he revealed that he had started out at the age of twelve. Still only 15, he is a student at the Konrad Adenauer Grammar School in Westerburg/Rheinland-Pfalz, and to date the youngest speaker in Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D’s 16-year history. He had strong support from his partners at Stratasys, Makerbots and Antonius Köster. Today he is already sharing his experience with CAD and 3D printing technologies in courses for students at the University of Koblenz. It was at summer camps here that Jung, a technology fan from an early age, first discovered 3D printing.
 
The competition entries for this year’s 3D Pioneers Challenge (3DPC) ? including a fully 3D-printed (and roadworthy) motorbike with integrated electronics ? illustrate the sheer wealth of creative innovation coming from the minds of young designers working with additive processes. Germany’s BigRep team had the bike fully up and running in just twelve weeks. They are just one of the 36 finalists to showcase their products at a special exhibition at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. A jury panel of 17 announced the winners in the different categories, who will receive their awards tonight at the gala hosted at the conference exhibition (Press notice to follow tomorrow). The committee included renowned international experts in design and AM: Dutch FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht, Sarah Goerke from US company Additive Integrity LLC, and Gilles Retsin from UCL Bartlett in Great Britain.
The team of experts from the worlds of industry, press, design, teaching and software were supported by 25 top-calibre partners including DCC Deutscher Designer Club, Stratasys, Autodesk, Würth Elektronik eiSos, BASF, Farsoon Europe, Deutsche Bahn, and, fittingly in its “100 Years of Bauhaus” anniversary year, the Bauhaus Universität Weimar.

Wrapping things up tomorrow (27 June 2019), Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D promises to fly high. In his keynote address, Dr. Steffen Beyer from the Ariane Group will look at the importance of additive manufacturing for future space propulsion.
The Regulations & Occupational Safety and Plastics forums will be held for the first time, alongside the Aviation and Metals forums. The AM Science forum and 3D Printing Conference are set to continue as well.


Further information: www.rapidtech-fabcon.com

You can download this press information here.

Impressions of the 16th Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D you can find here.

 

 

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