If anyone still had doubts about the bright future of AM, the success of the World’s most important AM industry trade show should help to dissipate them. Formnext 2019 results included 34,532 specialists and managers (2018: 26,919), who attended an impressive display of digital manufacturing capabilities. In total, 852 exhibitors (2018: 632) made Messe Frankfurt the stage for the ever-increasing fields of application of additive manufacturing. The move to the modern and architecturally-sophisticated exhibition halls 11 and 12, made to accommodate such strong growth, proved it was justified and expanded the overall exhibition space to 53,039 square meters.
AM companies from all phases of the AM industrial and process framework presented even more efficient and new manufacturing technologies, along with advanced solutions for their integrated industrial use. Numerous internationally established as well as also young companies presented world firsts along the entire process chain. These included new 3D printable materials that significantly expand the application range of additive manufacturing in the aerospace, automotive, and railway industries, as well as in tool and mold making. In the important field of post-processing, numerous exhibitors were also able to present innovations that further advance the industrial use of additive manufacturing.
An impressive track record
“Even in its fifth year, Formnext continues its impressive success story”, states Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext at the organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “Additive manufacturing has definitely arrived in the industry. Together with our enormously dynamic industry, we will continue to accompany, support and advance this development as a trade fair organizer”.
The visitors were also enthusiastic about the development of Formnext and the numerous innovations of the exhibitors. “Formnext is a one-of-a-kind show. There is no other place where you can go and meet companies from all across the additive value chain in Europe, United States, China and other market places. The amount of value that we get out of participating and the ROI of visiting is incalculable,” commented Haden Quinlan, Program Manager, Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Lee Bilby, from Bilby 3D in Australia, stated: “This Event is so worth traveling around the world for! I work in the 3D industry and there’s nothing like this in Australia. It’s a great opportunity to meet with our suppliers as they’re here on one spot but it’s also an ideal platform to get an idea of the technologies we haven’t heard of yet in Australia. Well worth the 32-hour flight! Formnext is awesome!”
Increasing interest from investors
For the industry, Formnext is an important business platform at which many companies record concrete business transactions directly on the exhibition floor. The still-young world of additive manufacturing is also attracting more and more investors. At Formnext 2019, there was a significant increase in interest from venture capital companies and industrial companies who, for example, would like to become strategic partners for young companies. With the Start-up Challenge and the Start-up Area, Formnext in 2019 was again able to offer these companies an efficient trade fair platform to present themselves to an international trade audience and pave the way to a successful entrepreneurial future through contacts with investors.
A complete success for partner country USA
The USA was the first partner country to present itself at Formnext 2019. Visitors were able to experience a varied supporting program designed by the US Commercial Service and numerous important associations. The transatlantic AM Standards Forum, which took place for the second time at Formnext, further advanced the development of internationally uniform norms and standards for additive manufacturing. More than 50 US exhibitors presented themselves in the exhibition halls or at the US pavilion. “Formnext is very important for the industry and for US companies. This year the participation of US exhibitors grew by almost 40% compared to 2018, so that we could really show the variety of innovative products and services of American companies,” says Ken Walsh, Commercial Consul of the US Commercial Service. At the same time, the number of US visitors grew by 25%.
The high degree of internationality
With an impressive degree of internationality of visitors from 99 nations, Formnext has once again proven its position as the world’s leading trade fair for additive manufacturing and modern industrial production. Specialists and executives from various user industries were convinced by the latest developments in additive manufacturing and the ever-increasing range of applications.
The impressive visitor frequency and the high quality of the discussions were also praised by the exhibitors:
Formnext. “With increased collaboration as a catalyst for innovation, Formnext represents a perfect opportunity to showcase our new solutions and technologies and to interact with potential customers and fellow travelers,” said Fried Vancraen, Founder and CEO Materialise
“We had an amazing show. It’s so good to see the AM community growing every year. As always we do not have to take our exhibition equipment back to Munich and are very proud that they found a home in Finland at our new customer 3D Formtech,” added Pia Harlaß, Head of Global Marketing & Corporate Communication at Dyemansion.