The future is getting closer

Editorial - by Sascha F. Wenzler - 21/01/2019

The future has always been an important topic for mankind – and in our current age, it is perhaps more important than ever. Never in human history has the future been so close at hand and the present so rapidly outdated as they are today.

Fortunately, this is not the case in all areas of life. However, technology is developing at a dizzying speed. Artificial intelligence is making inroads into new areas on an almost daily basis, and our industry, additive manufacturing, is also developing at a breathtaking pace. This was evident at Formnext 2018, where the future of manufacturing was literally tangible in the corridors and at the exhibition booths.

new processes

Formnext ideally reflected just how quickly additive manufacturing applications are spreading in industry, medical technology, mechanical engineering, and other sectors, and how they are increasingly gaining traction in series production. The industry has long since moved on from pure prototype assembly and has now expanded into many other areas.

In the world of additive manufacturing, new processes are being developed all the time. This also increases the number of potential business applications. In this issue, we’ll be introducing you to one of these fledgling technologies, DED (»see story BeAM), which is transitioning from its former niche status to a wide field of application.

tremendous growth and close-knit community

But additive manufacturing has long since ceased to be merely a vision of the future. For years, it has been generating opportunities for commercially successfully manufacturing – and for earning good money. To demonstrate this to you, we regularly visit midsize production companies that deploy additive manufacturing technology. Here, you can discover how one such company, Rolf Lenk Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau, has established a promising additive production department.

Personally speaking, what excites me about our industry is not just its tremendous growth and this steadily growing, close-knit community. It’s also our sense of shared identity and the desire of everyone in the industry to press ahead with and develop additive manufacturing as a life-changing technology. I look forward to your continued active support.