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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
FabCon 3.D Highlights the Massive Phenomenon of 3D Printing
Messe Erfurt: Rapid.Tech Trade Fair Gets a Cool Sister

ERFURT, GERMANY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/08/13 -- What do Messe Erfurt and Britney Spears have in common? That's right, they both use the absolute latest hype 3D printing. While in the pop star's latest video (see a of copy of the rapper's head is generated using this technology, "FabCon 3.D" is celebrating its premiere at the exhibition centre on 14th and 15th May.

As the cool sister to the Rapid.Tech users' conference that runs concurrently, the new event is dedicated to a technology that will revolutionise our everyday life after it goes into industrial production: 3D printing. The American IT guru and former chief editor of the cult magazine "Wired" Chris Anderson reckons: "The effects of the 3D printing revolution will be bigger than the discovery of the Internet."

Trade fair for a billion-dollar market

With this, Messe Erfurt is entering a billion-dollar market. Experts estimate that a global market with a volume of approx. 1.2 billion dollars has in the meantime developed out of this niche technology. The consultancy firm Wohlers Associates is forecasting a sector-wide growth in turnover of 3.1 billion dollars for 2016 and even 5.2 billion for 2020. According to forecasts, both the enthusiastic amateur user and representatives from the creative professions, for example architects or jewellery and product designers, may even be digitally producing models, spare parts, food or fashion in the near future. The so-called fabbers (correct: digital fabricators), which can generate three-dimensional solid objects from digitalised data, are what make this possible. This kind of 3D printer could be found in one in ten households in Germany in 2020.

The trade fair manager Wieland Kniffka sees enormous potential here for an event with international appeal: "Whilst Rapid.Tech deals with the industrial use of this technology, FabCon 3.D is aimed at private users and interested parties. We are therefore the only location that covers both areas in depth!"

Dr. Martin Schilling, CEO of 3D-Schilling in Thuringia and regular exhibitor at Rapid-Tech, has also been a fan of FabCon right from the start: "This step is totally the right thing to do. With FabCon 3.D we are adapting to new application areas and can tap into new target groups."

For professionals and amateurs

The new highlight in the Erfurt trade fair calendar is mainly aimed at exhibitors who are providers of products and services, which are primarily determined for the private or semi-professional sector, so providers of 3D printers, operators of so-called FabLabs and Hackerspaces as well as 3D printing service providers, e.g. online portals who take over the printing once data is uploaded.

The people being addressed as visitors are interested end consumers (including amateur designers, crafts hobbyists, model makers, FabLab users), trade visitors who are planning to purchase a 3D printer (including architects, fashion designers, restorers, inventors) as well as the education sector (teachers, head teachers etc. who want to find out information about the potential use of 3D printers in lessons).

A wide range of lectures are aimed at both the professional user and the amateur fabber. Topics focus, among other things, on transforming drafts into printable files, producing 3D objects, presenting best practice examples from successful users, providing information about developing a FabLab, the possibilities for using 3D printers in the education sector, copyright and patent law, financing and fundraising, as well as presenting 3D printed products, such as jewellery, clothing, furniture and household objects.

You can find basic information about 3D printing at:

Rapid.Tech 2013: A unique platform for professionals

The Erfurt Rapid.Tech trade fair and users' conference has been offering a central platform for the presentation of new processes, machinery and systems, conveying relevant specialist knowledge and discussing solutions for additive manufacturing (AM) applications in different industries since 2004. In 2012, the special event recorded 1,300 conference and trade fair guests from 14 countries and 67 exhibitors from four countries at the accompanying trade exhibition on the topic of generative production processes. In 2013, the Erfurt trade fair is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Specialist forums for aviation, medical technology and dental technology will scrutinise the possibilities of AM in the selected fields on 14th and 15th May. At the same time, the event is highlighting the whole production process, starting from strategies, to construction, materials and machinery. At Rapid.Tech 2013, lectures during the users' conference and the design engineers' day will also deal with topics from different specialisms.

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