Formnext 2022 transformed the host city of Frankfurt into the global capital of the largest 3D printing exhibition in the world for four days. As the coronavirus pandemic continues and new political and economic challenges emerge, additive manufacturing can play a critical role in decentralising manufacturing processes and production, strengthening supply chains, and facilitating resource and energy efficient production in order to bring innovative new products to market faster.
A quick look at the numbers demonstrates how important Formnext has become. The performance of the world’s leading exhibition for additive manufacturing and modern production was virtually on par with pre-Covid levels, with 802 exhibitors (the corresponding figure in 2021 was 606) and 51,148 square metres of booked exhibition space.
Formnext 2022 was a testament to the enthusiasm that exists for meeting and sharing ideas face-to-face, with the lineup of eager experts and executives expanding by 65,6% to 29,581 (the corresponding figure in 2021 was 17,859). These figures confirm the event’s impressive track record, which is now in its eighth year.
Companies at Formnext 2022 3D Printing Exhibition
Leading international companies such as 3D Systems, Additive Industries, AddUp, Arburg, BigRep, Carbon, Desktop Metal, DMG Mori, Dyemansion, EOS, Farsoon, Formlabs, GE Additive, HP, Keyence, Markforged, Materialise, Renishaw, Ricoh, Siemens, Sisma, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Trumpf, Voxeljet, XJet, and Zeiss Furthermore, many well-known international corporations, such as BASF, Covestro, Evonik, GKN Sinter Metals Components, Henkel, Höganäs, Linde, Mitsubishi Chemical, Nikon, Oerlikon, Sandvik, SMS Group, and many others, presented innovative solutions for every stage of the process chain. Novel AM technologies and new and improved AM systems, as well as new materials ranging from wood to ceramics, software solutions, service offerings, post-processing solutions, and much more, were among the numerous world premieres and innovative developments.
“We are proud of the fact that Formnext has returned to its impressive pre-Covid level. We have once again demonstrated the importance of Formnext as the world’s premiere AM platform and the vital role of face-to-face interaction at Formnext for the further development of this highly innovative sector.”– Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH
Visitors to the event were impressed by how Formnext has grown and by the sheer number of innovations on show.
“The possibilities of AM are limitless and we have to unleash this potential in a way that ensures more sustainable manufacturing. Having Formnext as the world’s leading meeting point to discuss and develop these opportunities is of extreme importance for the AM ecosystem, but also for manufacturing as a whole.”– Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, CEO at Danish AM Hub
Alex Kingsbury, Industry Consultant at Additive Economics underlines the importance of AM for industrial production and states: “As modern manufacturers look to become more agile and responsive, they inevitably need to look to advanced and emerging technologies. Additive manufacturing is an innovative technology that when properly harnessed can supercharge manufacturing capability. Formnext is the world’s premier 3D printing event that showcases the depth and breadth of additive manufacturing hardware, software, materials. Despite the fact that you can access additive manufacturing technology from all over the world, Formnext remains the centre of gravity where everyone in the AM ecosystem converges.”
Partner Country France
France, Formnext’s partner country, solidified its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers and users of additive manufacturing solutions. At Formnext 3D printing exhibition, over forty French companies, associations, and research institutes were represented. AddUp, Lynxter, Constructions3D, Pollen AM, and VLM Robotics, as well as material manufacturers Fabulous and Constellium, and a slew of other exhibitors, showcased their exciting innovations and impressive additive manufacturing expertise.
On Wednesday afternoon, the French delegates’ presentations on the AM4U stage ranged from research and development to automotive and aerospace applications, sporting goods, and international strategies for the widespread use of additive manufacturing in Europe.
A broad and varied program of supporting events
The supporting event programme at Formnext 2022 was larger and more diverse than ever before, taking visitors through the worlds of innovative startups, 3D-printed houses, and cutting-edge medical technology applications.
The implementation of decentralised additive manufacturing, the promotion of sustainable manufacturing solutions, and the growing maturity of additive manufacturing in the industrial setting were recurring themes.
The special “BE-AM | Built Environment Additive Manufacturing” showcase and symposium demonstrated how 3D printing can be used in architecture and construction in an impressive manner. The Additive Manufacturing Association of the VDMA presented applications and developments in industrial 3D printing for tools, machine components, prototypes, and much more.
The international Formnext Start-up Challenge has recognised young companies from the world of additive manufacturing for their innovative business ideas and technical developments for the eighth time. Visitors flocked to the Pitchnext event once again, where start-ups competed for the attention of investors. The tenth anniversary of the purmundus challenge ideas competition was marked by a reception and a special show titled “Best of 10 Years.”
Every day during the exhibition, the Discover3Dprinting seminars were a popular stop, especially for those new to additive manufacturing. The seminars will be held in various locations throughout 2023. Participants at the TCT Conference @ Formnext had the opportunity to see and discuss a variety of exciting applications, as well as get a glimpse of the future of additive manufacturing. The ASTM Standards Forum focused on the importance of standards and standardisation for 3D printing on November 14, the day before the exhibition opened. On the same day, the new “Wohlers Report LIVE at Formnext 2022” event made its Formnext 2022 debut.
A strong international flavor
Formnext once again demonstrated its status as the leading international trade fair for additive manufacturing and modern industrial production, with attendees from 96 countries and a remarkably high proportion of international visitors (51%) and exhibitors (58%).
Exhibitors praised the impressive volume of visitor traffic as well as the high quality of discussions:
“Formnext is always a pool of ideas at which people inspire each other. We’ve managed to attain a great number of leads, had very qualified visitors with concrete projects and are returning home with equally concrete orders.”– Johannes Matheis, Managing Director at Murtfeldt Additive Solutions GmbH
Andreas Rudolf, MDM Additive Manufacturing at nLight is equally enthusiastic: “If you want to visit a trade fair on the subject of additive manufacturing, this is it. There is no way around Formnext. All of our target groups from the automotive, aerospace, medical and contract manufacturing sectors, among others, were here on-site with the best teams. This includes OEMs and especially end users, who are otherwise difficult for us to reach.”
For the first time, Desktop Metal united a company portfolio of nine companies on a European booth.
“We reached a very international audience with a great many new contacts. The stand visitors, including representatives from the oil and gas industry, OEMs from the automotive sector and foundries, were pre-informed and came to us with concrete projects and budgets. There were business deals for our sand, polymer and metal equipment,” reports– Guersel Demircali, Vice President EMEA Sales Channel, Desktop Metal
All content from the AM4U stage, as well as impressions, opinions, and more, were recorded and will be available for viewing on Formnext.TV on Demand after the event. Formnext, in collaboration with AM4U, is an innovative driving force in additive manufacturing all year round, with the AM Directory, Formnext.TV, Formnext Magazine, AM Field Guide, and much more.
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