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Global innovations, countless business deals, and a record number of visitors make formnext 2017 a resounding success

A vibrant platform of innovation and networking formed a solid basis for outstanding business opportunities. This was the conclusion drawn by visitors and exhibitors who attended the formnext powered by tct 2017 from 14-17 November. The exhibition and conference drew a total of 21,492 attendees, representing an increase of over 60 percent and another chapter in formnext’s impressive success story. 

On all four days, formnext 2017 cemented its status as a catalyst of innovation in modern production technology and additive manufacturing around the world. Numerous leaders from these industries were on hand to unveil their most prominent products to those in the know. Meanwhile, a total of 470 exhibitors from 33 countries showed off an array of compelling innovations from various areas along the process chain of cutting-edge industrial manufacturing. 

A key source of inspiration for the global manufacturing industry

“The numbers show just how successful formnext 2017 was: In our third year, the sheer amount of world premieres we hosted, and the huge gains we saw in exhibitors and visitors bolstered formnext’s reputation not only as the industry’s leading exhibition, but as a key source of inspiration for the complete sector,” states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

Visitors came away enthusiastic about the exhibition’s dynamics as well as the quality and scope of the exhibits and trade events: 

“The groundbreaking growth of this Fair is impressive. There are even more innovative technologies combined with several interesting start-up companies – and there are some real pearls amongst them. I, for example, have discovered a technology, which seemed to be technically unattainable. This discovery now offers us new opportunities for the application of our products in surface analysis”, stated Holger Rübesame, Business Development Manager at Specs GmbH.

Fertile ground for new business and new target groups

The many deals closed on the exhibition floor serve as further evidence of how important formnext has now become in real business terms to the industry. At the same time, its diverse range of supporting events helped stoke interest in additive manufacturing among other target groups, including in mechanical engineering and the mid-sized supply sector.

An extraordinary international presence

In addition, formnext once again underscored its worldwide prominence in drawing 46 percent of its audience from outside of Germany. This year’s attendees included representatives from the world’s leading OEMs and key suppliers from numerous fields of industry, ranging from the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors to sport and oil and gas.

This led to a high level of visitor traffic throughout the exhibition halls as well as a high quality of talks, much to the delight of the exhibitors in attendance.

“We are more than satisfied because the quality of expert talks is incredibly high and the general quantity excellent. We see ourselves closer to our mid-term goal of expanding the formnext to a leading fair worldwide. I believe that the heart of Additive Manufacturing has been beating in Frankfurt over the last few days and that pleases me no end”, commented Dr. Christoph Schumacher, Department Manager Marketing and Corporate Communications at Arburg and member of the formnext Exhibition Advisory Board.

“The formnext is simply the place to be,” added Dror Danai, Chief Business Officer, XJET. “There are visitors from all over the world and I can come here and meet everyone I need to meet in one place. It’s a fabulous business opportunity. Every year we get more than we need and more than we expect from it.”

Conference features leading speakers from numerous industries

Held on two stages in parallel for the first time this year, the formnext conference focused on both current applications and the future of additive manufacturing on all four days of the exhibition. Leading experts from myriad industries gave 1,028 attendees (in terms of booked day passes) an excellent overview of how AM can be used now and going forward, along with plenty of food for thought that could lead to further developments.   

Next year’s edition of formnext is scheduled to take place on 13-16 November 2018 in Frankfurt am Main. 

 formnext 2017 in figures:

Exhibition space: 28,129 m²

Exhibitors: 470

Visitors: 21,492

Conference participants: 1,028 (booked day passes) 

For an infographic illustrating this year’s key figures, please visit

New seminar series set to introduce novices to AM Technology

In the “discover3Dprinting” series of seminars, formnext will be offering information on additive technologies to those new to the field. This two-hour presentation program, which will be held on all four days of the exhibition, is geared toward developers, CEOs, and other decision-makers – particularly those from small and midsize companies interested in learning more about how they might utilize 3D printing. Among other aspects, participants will find out where the potential of this technology lies and where it can benefit their own production operations.

discover3Dprinting is being held in cooperation with the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM). The center’s director, Dr. Kristian Arntz, believes that midsize industrial companies, in particular, need a great deal more information about this emerging technology. “Industrial 3D printing is breaking through in many sectors and applications, but firms often don’t know enough about the specialized uses, unit quantities, and areas in which these new methods really pay off,” Arntz points out. 

Succeeding in AM requires a different mindset 

At formnext 2017, numerous exhibitors will be presenting intriguing solutions that can help industrial companies of all sizes benefit from the opportunities afforded by additive manufacturing. “To succeed with AM technology and ultimately turn a profit, you have to adopt a different, more ‘additive’ mindset,” asserts Christoph Stüker, the project manager responsible for discover3Dprinting at formnext organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “That means coming up with lighter designs, integrating functions, and opting for complete assemblies rather than individual functional components, for example.”

Besides offering a sound overview of the technologies involved, discover3Dprinting will further support this change in mindset by discussing highly practical approaches to assessing the cost of AM equipment, integrating it into existing production processes, and accounting for all of the key factors in play during corresponding implementations. The two-hour program will feature experts from ACAM, who will demonstrate where additive manufacturing has proven useful and where problems can crop up based on real-world examples.

On all four days of the exhibition, the discover3Dprinting seminar will take place right in the middle of the action in the am4u area (Hall 3.0, booth H50) from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. It will be held in both German (Tuesday and Thursday, 14/16 November) and English (Wednesday and Friday, 15/17 November). Following each seminar, visitors will have the chance to explore specific questions further with the experts from ACAM and apply what they have learned in conversations with this year’s exhibitors. Formnext attendees can take part in discover3Dprinting free of charge.

To find out more and register, please visit

In formnext Start-up Challenge, Impressive Innovations

With outstanding innovations that are sure to amaze many attendees, the winners of the formnext Start-up Challenge 2017 are set to reveal future directions the additive manufacturing sector could take. AIM3D, AM Technologies, Authentise, Elementum 3D, and Identify3D are the names of the young companies whose entries have won over this year’s international jury.

In awarding prizes to firms from Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, formnext powered by tct is also demonstrating its ability to attract up-and-coming innovators from around the world. The Start-up Challenge, which was held in cooperation with the MUST 3D Printing network this year, enables the exhibition to recognize creative young companies in additive technology on an annual basis.

In addition to software solutions for automation and the entire supply chain, one of the five winning companies of 2017 has unveiled a new type of technology capable of producing high-quality surfaces. Several developments in new materials and a 3D printer that facilitates faster, more cost-effective production of metal components will also receive accolades.

The five winners’ appearances at the exhibition, which include booths in the Start-up Area, are being sponsored by formnext. The awards – 3D-printed, of course, courtesy of Voxeljet – will be officially presented on the tct introducing @ formnext stage at 5:00 p.m on the first day of formnext 2017 (Tuesday, 14 November, Hall 3.1, B10). “formnext gives young, award-winning companies like these the chance to present themselves and their products to a highly qualified international audience on our innovative exhibition platform,” states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for formnext at exhibition organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

In the exhibition’s Start-up Area, the year’s winners will be offering visitors a look at current innovations in additive manufacturing and a glimpse of where the industry is likely headed. “Our attendees will encounter some highly intriguing solutions based on this exciting technology, which we hope will inspire them in plenty of other areas,” Wenzler adds.

The winners:

AIM3D – more cost-effective 3D metal printing

AIM3D GmbH captured the jury’s attention with its new 3D metal-printing technology. Founded in 2017 as a spin-off of the University of Rostock, the company plans to bring its ExAM255 series printer to market next year. Here, AIM3D employs a technique known as composite extrusion modeling (CEM), which combines additive manufacturing with metal injection molding. The procedure turns inexpensive metal injection molding granulate into fine filament that is applied in layers. This results in green bodies that can then be sintered into finished parts.

AM Technologies – automated post-processing for unparalleled surfaces

Hailing from Sheffield, England, AMT will also be at formnext to showcase its intelligent, automated post-processing solution for 3D-printed polymer components. The company’s patented PostPro3D technology (which itself is based on boundary-layer automated smoothing technology, or BLAST) is said to produce a level of surface quality comparable to injection molding. AMT also states that this innovation saves time and money in production.

Authentise – software for automation

Authentise, a company founded in Silicon Valley in 2012, provides software designed to automate and monitor AM operations. With two of its modules – the 3Diax modular platform and the Authentise Manufacturing Execution System – users can implement automated order processing in additive manufacturing, which Authentise says ultimately reduces per-unit costs while speeding up production.

 Elementum 3D – RAM technology for special materials

Elementum 3D specializes in the development of high-performance materials for 3D printing, including special metals, ceramics, and composites. A partner of EOS, the company wants to devise 3D materials that transcend the known limits of density and even particle distribution using its patented reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology.

 Identify3D – software for digital supply chains

Identify3D, which was founded in San Francisco in 2014, has developed digital supply chain software that adapts processes and products to established engineering standards. This enables it to offer quality assurance that covers everything from initial designs to finished products. At the same time, the software is intended to help engineers make the right decisions in creating new products and optimizing existing ones.

For more information, please visit

“am4u”: career opportunities, business networks, and personal contact for additive manufacturing

The “am4u” platform at formnext powered by tct combines opportunities for careers, networks, and personal contacts for the additive manufacturing industry. This combination enables the event to offer a wide range of possibilities and detailed information not only for companies but also for professional newcomers, experts and executives interested in this exciting sector.

In addition to a career platform with a Careers Day on 16 November 2017, the “am4u Area” Hall (3.0, Booth H50–51) also offers an international cooperation exchange, as well as the VDMA-organized

forum “AM – Mehr-Wert für die Industrie” (Additive Manufacturing – Added Value for Industry) on 14 November 2017.

Top opportunities for newcomers and executives
As well as a job wall, the Careers Day on Thursday, 16 November 2017 will provide an array of opportunities for gathering information and making new contacts: 

  • On the careers stage, exhibitors will be showcasing career opportunities and other prospects within their company, from midday onwards.
  • Universities, institutes, and educational institutions will be presenting their study programs and further training opportunities.
  • Recruiting experts from proJob Personal- und Unternehmensberatung GmbH will be on hand to provide visitors with in-depth career consulting. They will also be offering advice on writing applications and résumés.
  • Between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., visitors will also be able to haveprofessional job application photographs taken free of charge.

  Business opportunities in additive manufacturing

On Tuesday, 14 November 2017 at 3:15 p.m. visitors can discover how mechanical engineering companies can make use of additive manufacturing and enter this field of technology at the additive manufacturing forum on generating added value for mechanical engineering (“AM – Mehrwert für die Industrie”), organized by the VDMA (Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association).

The programme includes five talks by representatives from industry who will share their experiences of using additive manufacturing tools and components. Amongst the speakers is Dr. Waldemar Sokolowski from the company Oskar Frech GmbH & Co KG, who will talk about optimized high pressure die casting using conformal cooling: Efficient temperature control enables high product quality, shorter cycle times and a longer tool life. In addition to the SMS Group, Hirschvogel and EDAG, Dr. Böhme from the company Poligrat GmbH will be reporting on defined surface areas of AM components and the significance of this.

To implement business ideas even more successfully, formnext visitors and exhibitors can take part in the international cooperation exchange, which will be hosted by Enterprise Europe Network and Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH on Wednesday, 15 November 2017. “Visitors will not only discover new innovative technologies, but also have the opportunity to discuss concrete ideas, projects, and innovations, while expanding their network of international business opportunities”, added Anne-Kathrin Hötter.

To attend the cooperation exchange free of charge, companies and research institutes can register in advance at and specify their cooperation wishes.

For more information on “am4u”, please visit

formnext 2017 continues its strong growth trend with a 50 percent increase in the number of exhibitors and numerous world premieres and innovations from the entire process chain

With an impressive 50 percent increase in the number of exhibitors compared to last year, formnext powered by tct 2017 continues its strong growth trend. The formnext exhibition, which is scheduled to take place for the third time on 14-17 November 2017 in Frankfurt am Main, also sets new standards thanks to its strong international presence, exceptional variety of global market leaders, and sheer density of innovations from areas along the entire process chain. A multifaceted and innovative program of supporting events provides extra added value.

With 393 registered exhibitors two months before the trade fair opens its doors, formnext 2017 has already surpassed the figures of last year’s successful event by around 50 percent. The exhibition space is also set to expand by more than 50 percent – from 15,500 to around 27,000 square meters. “With this extremely impressive growth, formnext underscores its status as the leading international conference and exhibition for additive manufacturing and the next generation of intelligent production solutions,” states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “In a highly dynamic market, formnext has its finger right on the industry’s pulse and provides the solutions required to meet current and future challenges.”

An impressive international presence

Under the theme “international exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies,” formnext boasts an impressive international presence of around 49.6 percent, with participating companies from 33 countries.[1] The top countries in terms of exhibitors are China (accounting for 14.7% of international exhibitors); the USA (10.2%); France and Great Britain (each with 9.6%); Spain (7.1%); and the Netherlands, Austria, and Russia (each with 6.1%).

Featuring the global elite of additive manufacturing

In 2017, formnext will once again present the global elite in additive manufacturing, including 3D Systems, Additive Industries, Arburg, BigRep, Concept Laser, Dassault, Envisiontec, EOS, Formlabs, FIT, HP, Keyence, Materialise, O.R. Laser, Prodways, Renishaw, Ricoh, Sisma, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Trumpf, Voxeljet, XJet, and, for the first time this year, Desktop Metal, and the GE “AM family” will be together under the same roof for the first time. An array of highly innovative young AM companies from all across the world will be showing off their latest developments, as well. Visitors to formnext will be treated to numerous world and European premieres as well as technology-driven product developments.

An even stronger process chain

“We are proud of the fact that we have been able to expand into more specialized fields along the process chain,” says Sascha Wenzler. formnext will also be showcasing some of the world’s most sophisticated technology in various other industry sectors. Featuring global innovation leaders like BASF, Böhler Edelstahl, Heraeus, Höganäs, Linde, LPW, Sandvik, and Airbus subsidiary APWorks, the lineup in materials will be even stronger than it was last year.

From the mechanical engineering industry, first-rate representatives from the likes of DMG-Mori, Hage, Hermle, Matsuura und Sodick will be in attendance and will present, among other things, the latest developments in hybrid machines. Finally, formnext will be expanding further in measurement technology and postprocessing (Faro, Joke, Nikon, Wenzel, Werth Messtechnik, and more), as well as in software – with Additive Works, Altair, Dassault Systèmes, IKOffice, MachineWorks, Sigma Labs, and others.

A cutting-edge program of supporting events

As of 2017, formnext’s new conceptual sponsor, the VDMA’s Working Group Additive Manufacturing (AG AM), will also be supporting the continued successful development of the exhibition. The AG AM will also be in attendance with its own booth, featuring a range of exhibits from its members.

In the Start-up Challenge, promising young companies will also be recognized and have their chance to exhibit at formnext in an area bearing the same name. With the theme “Fusion – Intelligent Combinations in 3D Printing,” the purmundus challenge at formnext 2017 will recognize creative companies who enrich our lives with their ideas for products and developments in 3D printing.

Double the number of presentations at the formnext conference

Following the huge success of previous years, the formnext powered by tct conference will present the future of additive manufacturing for the first time on two stages in parallel, on all four days of the event. The conference will therefore feature twice as many presentations as before, while showing the applications, developments, and findings of leading international industrial companies and research institutions such as Airbus, Deutsche Bahn, Honeywell, Premium Aerotec, and Volkswagen. The formnext 2017 conference is an international think tank that provides exceptional added value to participants.

For more information, see


formnext 2017 conference now on two stages for the first time: even more presentations, groundbreaking applications and technologies, than ever before

In its third year, the formnext powered by tct conference will become an exceptional think tank for additive industries. After the huge success of previous years, the conference from 14 – 17 November 2017 in Frankfurt am Main will present the future of additive manufacturing for the first time on two stages in parallel. In cooperation with partner TCT, the conference will show the applications, developments, and findings of leading international industrial companies and research institutions. By providing an ideal platform for sharing knowledge and experiences, it offers added value to speakers and visitors alike.

With the conference now on two stages for the first time, it will deliver not only twice as many presentations, but will represent more intensively the entire bandwidth of the topics and technologies shown in the exhibition halls. Discussions will include key aspects such as automation, design, quality assurance, personnel, and value-added chains.

First-hand information from representatives of prominent companies

In the multi-facetted program, the application of additive manufacturing in the industry plays a key role. Participants will get first-hand information from representatives of prominent companies like Airbus, Deutsche Bahn, Honeywell, Premium Aerotec, and Volkswagen on how additive manufacturing is being used within these companies, how this is increasing efficiency, and what future developments are already planned. Special focus will be given, for example, to the industrial areas of medicine and aerospace in individual sessions.

In his keynote, Uwe Fresenborg, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors at DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung, will discuss how additive manufacturing at Deutsche Bahn is revolutionizing spare parts supply. In the past two years, 1,500 parts have already been produced using additive manufacturing. Fresenborg will share his wide experience of how Deutsche Bahn is selecting suitable spare parts for 3D printing and how exactly this production technology is being implemented within the company.

At the Volkswagen Group, too, additive manufacturing is already an important and established technology. Luis Pascoa, Pilot Plant Manager at Volkswagen Autoeuropa, will talk at formnext about the efficiency level that the Portuguese VW subsidiary Volkswagen Autoeropa has already reached by using 3D-printed devices, tools, and support mounts in the assembly line. This allows VW to reduce not only costs but the development time for tools – from weeks to just a few days.

Conference participants will discover, for example, how glass can be produced using additive manufacturing and what opportunities this opens for areas such as optics, medicine, chemicals, biotechnology, data transfer, and others. Information about the latest digitalization concepts will be shared by Nilay Parikh from the Additive Manufacturing Post Graduate Program at Dafoss, an international engineering company.

Leading additive manufacturing experts will show participants not just the latest business trends but give them an exclusive insight into the future. The conference is incorporated directly within the exhibition hall in a separate area. This will give participants immediate access to exhibitors and exhibition events during breaks and after sessions.

For more information about the conference and a detailed program, visit

Looking for smart combinations of 3D printing technology: purmundus challenge at formnext 2017

Looking for smart combinations of 3D printing technology: purmundus challenge at formnext 2017

The purmundus challenge 2017 now has a theme: “Fusion – 3D printing intelligently combined”. This competition is once again teaming up with formnext powered by tct to invite the creative minds out there to enrich our lives with their ideas for innovative 3D-printed products. The purmundus challenge is geared toward designers, engineers, and programmers, including those from universities, design agencies and studios, start-ups, and SMEs.

A new challenge: making everyday opposites attract

This year’s competition is looking for innovative models that use 3D printing to present new possibilities in our high-tech daily lives and bring them closer to reality through more “human” applications.

Here, the main hurdle facing those who enter the purmundus challenge 2017 will be coming up with sensible ways to combine seemingly averse material characteristics and methods – analog and digital, additive and subtractive, hard and soft, and so on.

Meanwhile, an international Jury (comprising market experts representatives from prominent industrial companies and Research institutes) will be evaluating more than just the complexity and versatility of each Submission; the main criteria will also include design, relevance, level of Innovation, and economic and social potential. The purmundus challenge 2017 also encourages those interested to submit procedures and materials that have not yet broken through, are currently still undergoing research, or have not yet been invented. 

The submission deadline is 30 September 2017.

Attractive prizes await

At the next formnext exhibition and conference (14 –17 November 2017) in Frankfurt am Main, the year’s competition entries will be on display in the purmundus challenge area. The 2017 awards, which include a total of € 6,000 in cash and other attractive prizes, will then be presented at a ceremony scheduled for 16 November. Rounding out the purmundus challenge will be this year’s audience prize, the winner of which will be determined over the course of formnext 2017 by its attendees.

Outstanding value for visitors and exhibitors

For formnext visitors and exhibitors alike, the purmundus challenge offers exciting ideas and insights into how the creative use of new technologies can shape our future and usher in long-term improvements in our daily lives. The participants and the innovations they present thus provide inspiration for the development of new products and market concepts based on additive manufacturing methods.

To learn more about this competition and access a direct link to submit your idea, please visit

» About formnext

» About Mesago

» About TCT

» About the Working Group Additive Manufacturing (honorary sponsor)


VDMA’s Working Group Additive Manufacturing becomes honorary sponsor of formnext

formnext powered by tct and the Working Group Additive Manufacturing within Germany’s industry federation of mechanical engineers (VDMA) have just entered into a new partnership. In it, the Working Group Additive Manufacturing will serve as the exhibition’s honorary sponsor. This partnership will enable formnext to further expand its expertise in specific areas of the relevant process chains in additive manufacturing and other cutting-edge industrial production technologies. This year’s exhibition is scheduled to take place on 14 – 17 November in Frankfurt am Main.

Cooperation to provide fresh impetus

The key topic areas in this cooperation are to include various levels of training; knowledge transfer; and the advancement of technologies, application methods, and standards and norms.

“We’ve been in close contact with the Working Group Additive Manufacturing since 2015, and the in-depth discussions we’ve had have revealed a broad range of potential areas where we can collaborate,” reports Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

Among other topics, the new partners will be focusing on further efforts to promote the use of additive technologies in industrial production and develop new application areas.

“In formnext powered by tct, we’ll be working with the leading global platform where the world leaders in additive technologies and state-of-the-art production techniques come together with international decision-makers from a wide variety of user industries,” states the Working Group Additive Manufacturing director Dr. Markus Heering.

For the members of the Working Group Additive Manufacturing and the VDMA at large, this sponsorship will present significant opportunities to develop and realize the additional potential afforded by these technologies, including in mechanical engineering and other fields.

Working Group Additive Manufacturing booth at formnext 2017

formnext’s cooperation with the VDMA will already be on display at its 2017 event, where the Working Group Additive Manufacturing is planning to present prominent examples of additive manufacturing in action at its own booth. In doing so, it is hoping to leverage the exhibition as a chance to bring together potential users and development partners from various industries.

For more information, please visit

Logos (formnext / Working Group Additive Manufacturing)

Working Group Additive Manufacturing (VDMA)

formnext is launching its Start-up Challenge

Formnext powered by tct (14 – 17 November 2017 in Frankfurt am Main) is organizing this year’s competition in cooperation with the interdisciplinary network MUST 3D Printing.

The five winning entrants will receive attractive prizes, including a fully-equipped booth in the international Start-up Area of formnext 2017 and extensive marketing opportunities. The winners will also be given the opportunity to present a product pitch directly at the exhibition.

More information

“For the last three years, the Start-up Challenge has been giving young companies the chance to present themselves and their products to a highly qualified international audience on our innovative exhibition platform,” states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President formnext at exhibition organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. Previous winners have shown just how effective this platform can be for start-ups: Since winning the competition, the software and service provider trinckle and the printer manufacturer Sinterit have evolved into successful enterprises that have established themselves firmly on the market. They will also be exhibiting their accomplishments at formnext 2017.

Any up-and-coming company with a product or service that is market-ready in terms of customers, product status, and revenue can take part in the formnext Start-up Challenge, provided the start-up is not majority-owned by an established company. A high-profile jury made up of recognized representatives from the realms of science, industry, and investment will select the five winning entries. The winners will be announced in the fall of 2017. For more information, see The closing date for entries is 7 July 2017.