A Future Topic?

by Sascha F. Wenzler - 05/09/2018

Is additive manufacturing still a future topic? This may surprise you, but I’d say it’s not. While we still have lots of plans for the future, additive manufacturing is already well under way. And that doesn’t just apply to a few pioneers in the sector.

Additive manufacturing is now well established in the industry. This is not only demonstrated by our experience and that of our exhibitors and partners; it is now statistically proven. According to a survey conducted by Bitkom Research, 27% of German manufacturing companies are already using 3D printing. In the larger companies with more than 500 employees, the figure is as high as 45%. Even more impressive is the result of a survey by the German industry association VDMA, which found that 47% of VDMA members use additive manufacturing – mainly for prototypes, but often also for tools and spare or series parts.

200,000 companies

Considering that there are more than 200,000 companies in the manufacturing industry in Germany alone, this gives a good idea of just how widespread additive manufacturing has now become.

Of course, not all companies that use 3D printing produce large volumes using additive manufacturing techniques. Sometimes the development department has only one plastic printer. But even this is an important step in many companies. After all, the additive thinking of developers and designers is the starting-point and prerequisite for the success of industrial 3D printing.

how midsize companies can produce high volumes

In current issue of formnext magazine, we’d like to show you how additive manufacturing can be deployed in various industrial sectors. That’s why we’ve visited many industrial companies exclusively for you. We’ll show you how midsize companies can produce high volumes and how printed components can create added value even in the extreme environment of a forge.

The success story of additive technologies is also evident at Formnext. This summer – despite significant growth at the Frankfurt exhibition center – our Formnext exhibition in Hall 3 is already at full capacity. And if you, too, would like to share your success stories with us, you’re welcome to contact us. I hope you find the read enjoyable and inspiring. And I look forward to seeing you at Formnext 2018 in Frankfurt!