3D fab+print: additive manufacturing at the K 2016

Hardly any technology is currently attracting so much attention as additive manufacturing, which is also called generative manufacturing or 3D printing. Additive manufacturing processes are causing a stir among users in the design and packaging, aerospace and automotive industries as well as in the fields of dental and medical technology and machines and plant engineering. The processes promise great freedom of design and allow individual components to be manufactured with highly complex geometries and internal structures. A presentation at the K 2013 made many plastics processors aware of the opportunities presented by the direct additive manufacturing of plastic parts with thermoplastics. The technologies have matured to such an extent that they are now sometimes being used to complement or even replace conventional production processes, particularly in view of increasingly fast-changing consumer tastes and trends as well as in view of the new challenges that the industry is facing in regard to the individualisation of plastic products. Messe Düsseldorf established the 3D fab+print brand three years ago to focus especially on this topic of the future. The K 2016 fair will represent comprehensive opportunities for visitors to explore the possibilities and limits of additive manufacturing.

The 3D fab+print touchpoint in Hall 4 will be the central location for information about these topics. This presentation is being organised and manned by Messe Düsseldorf in cooperation with its partner, KCI Publishing BV – a leading knowledge, communications and information company based in the Netherlands. Technology providers and users, exhibitors and visitors, visionaries and practitioners may meet here to swap notes and drive this trend-setting topic forward.

Furthermore, in-depth presentations and discussions about this topic are to be staged in two half-day conferences to take place on Thursday, 20 October, and Tuesday, 25 October, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. respectively. The 3D fab+print Summits, also organised by KCI Publishing BV, will further focus on developments in materials as well as on the different methods used in the processes of additive manufacturing, including best practices, application scenarios, market potentials and costs. Contributions by such leading manufacturers as Stratasys, Arburg, Proto Labs and EnvisionTec as well as by experts from the fields of research and science will be ensuring that the topics will be competently illuminated from all sides. Each of the 30-minute presentations will be structured as short talks, which will be followed by question-and-answer sessions. The presentations on Thursday, 20 October, will be hosted by Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerd Witt from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Manufacturing Technology.

On the K 2016’s opening day on 19 October, a short presentation entitled, ‘Additive Manufacturing for Individualising Series Products’ is going to be given in Hall 6 during the theme day focusing on Industry 4.0 within the special show entitled, ‘Plastics Shape the Future’.

Additive manufacturing will be available to see, touch and try out on the ‘Wolfgang’ FabBus that will be parked in front of Hall 3 throughout the fair. The former double-decker bus from Berlin was converted within the framework of a EU funding project into a mobile laboratory by GoetheLab of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. ‘Wolfgang’ will be bringing the latest scientific findings in the field of additive manufacturing straight from the laboratory to the exhibition centre and making the technology understandable and accessible. The FabBus’ lower deck is fitted out as a showroom with exhibits and components manufactured using all the usual methods of additive manufacturing. Its top deck is home to eight workplaces with their own CAD computers and 3D printers where visitors will be able to design their own objects, print them in 3D and take them home with them.

Last but not least, many exhibitors at the K 2016 will be presenting many other interesting innovations in the field of additive manufacturing. Messe Düsseldorf will be introducing these exhibitors in a special brochure to provide a direct overview for all interested visitors.


Plastics – Trends and Perspectives

imageSince 1952, the K trade fair in Düsseldorf has been presenting tangible evidence of the plastics and rubber industry’s global success. The twentieth edition of the K trade fair in 2016 is no different: a benchmark and orientation point for the plastics and plastics processing industry.

Between 1950 and 2015, the consumption of plastics and rubber have risen by an average of 8.5 % per annum. Since the beginning of the new millennium, the growth rates have still been rising by between 4 and 5 %. They do, however, vary significantly from region to region, and change with the product and application.

imageThe rising global population and the overall improvement in living standards are the main factors that drive global growth. The effects of increasing prosperity can be seen in many markets for plastics application, spearheaded by packaging for food and convenience goods, but also in the variety of storage and shipping containers. Infrastructure and construction also require the use of plastics in water, electricity and gas supply systems, as well as in insulation, window profiles and many more. Another aspect is increasing mobility – in cars, lorries and airplanes. Medical engineering is one area of application where polymer materials have become indispensable: without safe, disposable and hygienic plastics products, technical dimageevices and systems, diagnostics, laboratory equipment and the safe application of medical drugs would not be able to comply with current quality standards. This also applies to our modern and widely appreciated sports and leisure products. In their markets, these applications, equipped with or entirely made of plastics or rubber, contribute to the global acceptance and proliferation of polymer materials.

In 2015, the association of European plastics producers, PlasticsEurope, reported a global plastics production volume of 322 million tonnes. A proportion of almost 270 million tonnes was attributed to polymer materials, i.e. materials used for the production of plastics applications. The remaining amount, about 50 million tonnes, were used for the production of coatings, adhesives, dispersions, lacquer or paint. Analyses of the same period published by the International Rubber Study Group IRSG show a global rubber production and consumption volume of almost 29 million tonnes, 12 million tonnes of which were attributed to natural rubber and almost 17 million tonnes were synthetic rubber.

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K 2016: Print@home tickets available

e-Tickets for K 2016 from 19 to 26 October are available online HERE.
The eTicket offers dual benefits, as it saves time and money. Visitors can purchase their tickets online, print them out on their own printers or download them as codes, and then travel free of charge to the trade fair by bus and rail. The eTicket is also much cheaper than tickets bought on site. The 1-day ticket thus costs EUR 49, while the price over the counter in Düsseldorf is EUR 65. The 3-day ticket can be had for EUR 108 online, and for EUR 135 over the counter.
Anyone still looking for accommodation during K 2016 is well advised to make use of the services of Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH (DMT). This subsidiary of the city has the best overview of the hotels and private rooms available in Düsseldorf and environs during the world’s No. 1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry and will help you make your booking. Incidentally, the pressure in the hotel sector has eased further. Within Düsseldorf’s boundaries alone, some 1,000 new hotel beds have been created in the last few years, and in the neighbouring cities. DMT has put together its entire package of services for K 2016 online, available HERE.


At K 2016, over 3,000 international exhibitors will be presenting their latest developments in the areas of machinery and equipment for the plastics and rubber industry, raw materials and auxiliaries, and semi-finished products, technical parts and reinforced plastics. Some 200,000 trade visitors from all over the world are expected at the trade fair.

K 2016 with full space

imageThe demand for stand space at K 2016 has climbed yet again. More than 3,000 companies will be exhibiting at K 2016, to be staged from 19 to 26 October. Despite the space limit, all companies that registered by 31st May and whose exhibits meet the K 2016 nomenclature will be allocated a stand, in some cases with less exhibition area.

"Right now, companies throughout the industry are already working hard to make sure they present themselves in the best light when the date comes around in October 2016. And “in the best light” stands for “with interesting innovations”, says Mr. Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf – "Another unique feature of K is its high degree of internationalism, both on the exhibitor and on the visitor side. This guarantees that trade visitors will find world-class products and services in every area covered"

Besides the focus on materials and machines, topics like resource efficiency, lightweight construction, new materials and Industry 4.0, and even the controversial marine litter, will be addressed in panel discussions.