Credit: Christian Seeling. Shared by Rapid.Tech 3D

Two years ago, when Rapid.Tech 3D | Additive Manufacturing Hub got back on track, after a year of digital events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first thing that came to my mind was: “almost two decades of an industry event that has shaped the way companies have grown their knowledge and use of AM technologies.”

I would have loved to say that time flies when you’re having fun, but the truth is, in 2004, AM only raised the interest of a few insiders. Nothing would have predicted that the global Additive Manufacturing market size would be estimated at USD 15 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to surpass around USD 95.62 billion by 2032.

And here we are today, in 2024, reflecting on the opportunities that Messe Erfurt GmbH, the organizer of Rapid.Tech 3D, has been creating for the AM community over time. One thing Mr. Michael Kynast, Managing Director of Messe Erfurt GmbH would like to keep in mind is their focus on users:

M. Kynast. Copyright: Christopher Schmid. Shared by Rapid.Tech 3D

Rapid.Tech 3D has its origins in a strongly user-oriented congress. It is still the heart of the event and has been supplemented over the course of two decades by a trade exhibition and attractive networking opportunities. It is precisely this evolved triad that makes the event a unique meeting place for the entire AM industry. This is made possible in particular by the exceptionally high level of commitment of our advisory board and our motivated partners and regular exhibitors. We have also recognized that visitors use a wide range of options to prepare for their visit. That is why we have transformed our website into a 365-day platform that now offers exciting content and matchmaking opportunities for both exhibitors and visitors all year round.”

From a rapid prototyping event to a “glocal” AM community

What started as a local event in Erfurt, a city once lauded as the City of Towers, has become a hub that attracts several other organizations with the same vision: shaping the engineering landscape of Germany. This can be seen through the numerous partnerships signed over the years to make the event more and more attractive and educational for industrials.

Credit: Christian Seeling. Shared by Rapid.Tech 3D

[Those partnerships] demonstrate the unbroken appeal of the pioneering AM event as a trailblazer for the industrialization of 3D printing. As of this year, the Additive Manufacturing Working Group of the German Engineering Federation VDMA is the conceptual sponsor of the trade congress. It is organizing the new AM4industry forum in Erfurt. The growing importance of AM for the chemical industry was demonstrated last year at the Chemical and Process Engineering Forum, which was held for the first time. Due to the great interest, the forum will be continued – with the new cooperation partner DECHEMA, the German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. With Springer Nature Progress in AM and the RTe Journal, the AM Science Forum has gained further renowned publication partners. The new international publication channels have once again significantly increased the attractiveness of the forum, as evidenced by the further significant increase in the number of papers submitted compared to previous events. The diversity of topics at Rapid.Tech 3D is also evident in the other specialist forums that have been on the agenda for years. These include the Aerospace, Mobility, Software/KI/Design, Innovations in AM and AM Science by Fraunhofer forums,” Mr. Kynast said.

Furthermore, today, as the AM industry keeps evolving into a “glocal” community ( a community that is both global and local), Messe Erfurt GmbH has expanded the reach of the event with international cooperations.

Since 2023, Rapid.Tech 3D has been cooperating with AMTech Expo, India’s largest business networking platform and trade fair for AM. Mutual visits and presentations help to get to know the potential of the respective markets and open doors for possible cooperation between Indian and German companies. The joint platform for knowledge and technology exchange is to be further expanded with a joint Indian stand at the 20th Rapid.Tech 3D”, the Managing Director explains.

The 2024 edition of Rapid.Tech 3D

Credit: Christian Seeling. Shared by Rapid.Tech 3D

We would recommend three specific angles to plan your visit at Rapid.Tech 3D 2024: by choosing the sub-event that raises your interest the most, the topic you would like to learn more about in the programme or by discovering what’s happening in the exhibition floor.

Commenting on the key supporting programmes, Mr. Kynast said:

The keynote speeches at the specialist congress are a highlight. This year, experts from the microelectronics, chemical and automotive industries will speak about the importance of AM for the various sectors. Another highlight is the exhibition and award ceremony for the finalists of the international design competition 3D Pioneers Challenge. Of course, participants at this year’s event can also look forward to the gala evening to celebrate the 20th anniversary.”

Each event is sometimes a combination of experiences that leave a lasting and unique impression. And for that to happen, you just must experience it yourself. That’s in any case what we plan to do from May 14 to 16, 2024 in the beautiful backdrop of the city of Erfurt.

Editor’s notes

We may be talking about Rapid.Tech 3D as the event will be held in just a couple of weeks, from May 14 to 16, 2024 but it’s important to keep in mind that, today, Rapid.Tech is more than just 3 days of interactions. Throughout the year, it’s still possible to discover the innovations, expertise, offers, and events from leading suppliers of the industry. This article has first been published in the March/April edition of 3D ADEPT Mag.

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