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3D Printing Europe highlights top trends in 3D printing

06 April 2016

3D Printing Europe on 27 & 28 April in Berlin has a speaker program curated by IDTechEx to cover the latest innovations in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Extensive analysis has highlighted a few key trends, and IDTechEx has brought together a wide range of industry experts to talk about 3D printing and new materials.

One of the most talked about trends in 3D printing is how major aerospace suppliers are using more 3D printing, including for production parts. At 3D Printing Europe, Bastian Schaefer of Airbus will give insights about the design and manufacturing process of the world's largest 3D printed airplane cabin component. Brian Rosenberger from Lockheed Martin will be presenting on challenges for production implementation of additive manufacturing. 

Due to expiring patents, a number of low cost Selective Laser Sintering machines are scheduled to become available during 2016. SinterIt shipped their first 20 SLS machines in January 2016, and will ship another 15 in March 2016. SinterIt machines are only €7000, which is significantly cheaper than most other available SLS machines. At the conference in April, CEO Konrad Glowacki will present on the technical challenges of developing a high quality machine at a low price point.

Now 3D printing has moved beyond individuals printing ornaments, the safety and quality of these products must be ensured. Reimer Spriesterbach will talk about the work Lloyd's Register have been doing improving safety, quality and performance of 3D printed objects. Ernst-Jan Louwers of Louwers IP will talk on the legal aspects of 3D printing, which are overlooked.

As 3D printing ceases to be a novelty, and is being evaluated as a serious manufacturing technique, it must stand up to being compared to other manufacturing techniques. Peter Kettle of Roland DGA will present on selecting the right prototyping and production technology for your product, by comparing 3D printing and CNC milling technologies for a range of applications.

A key aspect of ensuring quality is being able to predict the object properties from the material specifications and processing parameters. Dr Burghardt Klöden will talk about process development including design, materials and application for Electron Beam Melting.

The ways of designing for traditional manufacturing do not make the most of the advantages of 3D printing. Jannis Kranz of Materialise will talk about the transition from design for manufacturing to manufacturing for design, looking at how the geometrical freedoms of 3D printing enable us to build the most efficient part, not the part that can be most efficiently made.

Downloadable content for hobbyists to print out at home is increasingly popular. Thingiverse now contains over one million designs. However, for the most part the available designs are new combinations of existing designs. Sascha Friesike of University of Würzburg will be investigating this trend, and what it means for design software.

Applications of 3D printing are held back by not being able to use the same materials as traditional manufacturing. At 3D printing Europe, Jasper van Dieten-Blom of DSM will talk about their new photopolymers for demanding applications and David Mason of NGF will talk about using glass flake for 3D printing. There are continuous materials developments to allow a wider variety of options for 3D printing and IDTechEx analysts have selected the most innovative for discussion at the 3D Printing Europe Event. 

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