While December is the month for reflection, January is the month for resolutions and plans. For us, that means – the AM Calendar. What AM shows and conferences are worth attending this year? We asked LEO Lane CEO Moshe Molcho and LEO Lane’s Director of Sales in Europe, Idan Cataife, which events they are looking forward to this year – here is our overview for the coming year.
In the last years, AM wasn’t only represented in dedicated AM shows such as Formnext, it began spreading into manufacturing shows such as Hannover Messe, where the AM presence continues to grow early. Last year we also saw the emergence of a new trend – shows addressing AM for a specific sector, such as Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Space, and AMI Composites in Rail. These types of events address AM solutions (as well as needs and challenges to overcome) within a specific sector, for specific applications. As AM grows and becomes an integral part of industrial manufacturing these two trends will continue to grow, and we can see that clearly in the AM calendar for 2020. Alongside the two, this year we see another new trend – events focusing on specific challenges or capabilities. Bringing us to 4 types of events on our AM calendar: (1) the established AM events, (2) the mega industrial events, (3) the specific industry events, and (4) the specific challenges or capabilities.
Let’s start with the big AM shows. In the US, the two biggest shows are AMUG and Rapid. AMUG is known for its sense of community, priding on not just being a trade show but a place of sharing knowledge. AMUG (which stands for AM user group) brings together engineers, designers, managers, and educators, to share their expertise under the understanding that bringing the AM ecosystem forward as a whole will benefit all players. RAPID+TCT seems to be the place for announcements and demos, as well as an overview of the different aspects and players of AM – hardware, software, materials, and applications. In Europe, we will have to wait until nearly the end of the year for the much anticipated Formnext, the biggest European AM exhibition and conference. Formnext breaks its own record early, in terms of exhibitors and exhibition space – definitely, a must show for the LEO Lane team. While we anticipate the November show, there are a couple of smaller events worth attending – the 3D Printing Expo and Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D under the motto “Understanding. Seeing. Experience”.
1. AMUG March 22-26, Chicago
2. RAPID+TCT April 20-23, Anaheim
3. Formnext November 19-22, Frankfurt Messe
4. 3D Printing Expo January 29-30, Dublin
5. Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D June 16-18, Messe Erfurt
Going Big, Going Industrial
The events above show the scope of the additive manufacturing umbrella, the ins, and outs of the ecosystem, yet the following events show how AM fits into the industrial manufacturing world. The industrial manufacturing events introduce new machines, tools, systems, processes, software, technologies – including AM. It’s where manufacturers, in general, can be introduced to the possibilities within additive manufacturing. They provide a setting where the questions and concerns regarding AM adoption can be raised and addressed.
7. IMTS September 14-19, Chicago
In our #AMapplications series, we point out additively manufactured applications that are in use today and the importance of these applications in establishing AM as a viable industrial option. These applications are beyond case-studies or proof of concepts. It seems that as the applications for AM become more specific so do the events. Each one targets a certain sector and its related applications, sharing knowledge of which parts can benefit from AM production, what are the challenges along the way and how can they be overcome. Just one example out of the 5 listed here is the Aircraft Cabin Additive Manufacturing conference. AM for aerospace has been gaining traction in recent years, and while the first thing that usually comes to mind is engine parts there is an entire sub-sector of interior plane parts – and now a conference dedicated to these specific applications and their specific requirements.
8. 3D Printing Electronics Conference January 28, Eindhoven
9. Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Space February 25-27, London
10. Aircraft Cabin Additive Manufacturing March 3-4, Hamburg
11. 3D-DRUCK (AM in the Automotive Industry) May 5-6, Hamburg
12. DRUPA – (mostly 2D printing with a section dedicated to AM) May 16-26, Düsseldorf
There’s always a need for both the specialized perspective and the wider overview. In the next group of events, the focus is on certain topics or aspects regarding AM integration that cross sectors. Whether its technological capabilities, business models, the automation of manufacturing, establishing processes, workflows, or standardization. There is an advantage to addressing a certain topic at a time, examining a limit or a challenge thoroughly.
13. Materialise World Summit (addressing sustainability) May 14–15, Brussels
14. 3DPARA (3D Printing, Advanced Robotics, and Automation) May 21-22, London
15. FMTX (the Business side) May 28, Copenhagen
16. Smart Manufacturing Experience (advanced manufacturing technologies) June 2-4, Pittsburgh
17. ASTM Symposium (Structural Integrity of Additive Manufactured Materials and Parts) October 7-10, Oxon Hill
If you’re looking to attend an AM event (or events) this year, there are so many options to chose from. It really depends on what you’re looking for. Are you an AM newbie or a veteran? Are you looking to learn about new technologies or to learn what would be your ideal first additively manufactured part? Perhaps you have already incorporated AM in your production and looking to expand? There is so much knowledge within the AM ecosystem, these conferences provide an opportunity to share that knowledge. Our team will do its best to attend most of these listed above. If you want to meet with us feel free to email or leave a comment below (up top Ford parts produced on Carbon at Rapid+TCT 2019). For more insights and information follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.