Keynote: Dr. Radu Donose. Image credit: Christian Seeling/Messe Erfurt

With Rapid.Tech 3D that is in full swing, no explanation is required to see how this 20th edition is unique. While smiles, handshakes and even hugs punctuate the halls of Messe Erfurt, we can’t help but notice the small elements that are making this 20th anniversary a memorable one for the industry.

The opening keynote of the event highlighted the use of AM in the semiconductor industry – a sector that is not often seen as a top tier by AM users.

Dr. Radu Donose, Competence Lead Additive Manufacturing at the Dutch company ASML – a manufacturer of lithography systems for chip production, explained that the company already additively manufactured more than 200 machine parts from metal, plastic or ceramic in series.

Using the example of a wafer carrier system weighing twelve kilograms, he illustrated some of the advantages AM can enable: While conventional manufacturing requires 200 kilograms of starting material and 44 weeks of production time, Additive Manufacturing requires 22 kilograms and 16 weeks. In general, AM helps to increase the performance of ASML machines. To ensure quality, the company has developed an internal standard for the entire value chain, which enables suppliers to produce parts reliably on a continuous basis.

Schaeffler | Image credit: Christian Seeling/Messe Erfurt

Another key highlight that raised attendees’ attention was the demo from pump manufacturer KSB who gave a preview of its 3D-printed containment shroud, a series component for magnetically coupled pumps, which are in demand in the process industry. The containment shell is completely covered with vacuum channels which integrate a sensor system that can help detect leaks before they occur. The premiere of this innovation will take place in June at ACHEMA, the world forum for the process industry.

In the same vein, one application that we also invite you to discover is a mobile processing center for 3D printed parts that only weighs 45 kg. It is showcased on the Metrom’s booth – a company acknowledged for its CNC machines, along with sustainable load carriers made from additively manufactured product-specific plastic inlays and wood.

The role of AM as a driver of innovation and growth in Germany and Europe was examined from various perspectives by the participants in the afternoon panel discussion. Keynote speaker Dr. Donose was joined by Christian Ochs from Siemens Mobility, Prof. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum from RWTH Aachen University, Juri Munk from DLR, Thomas Kerk from Rheinmetall and Christoph Hauck from toolcraft. A quintessence of the discussion moderated by Dr. Bernhard Langefeld from Roland Berger was that Germany in particular has a good AM basis, but that the implementation of commercial applications must be further accelerated.

Credit: Christian Seeling/Messe Erfurt

Beyond the classic format that includes keynote speeches, conferences and sessions, this 2024 edition is also the opportunity for organizations to gather and discuss relevant AM projects that could shape European manufacturing. It is the case for instance of AM-platform, the European Technology Platform in AM, that will hold its meeting today to provide updates on news from the European Commission, AM standards as well as projects in progress.

 Stay tuned.

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