This year’s Formnext was, once again, the center of global additive manufacturing and modern production technologies. In its ninth year, the Formnext exhibition welcomed 32,851 specialists and managers – representing a further increase of 11.1% on the impressive numbers recorded for the previous year – over an exhibition space of approximately 54,000 m².
With 859 exhibitors (59% of which were international), it proved to be another record year for Formnext. The exhibitors, varied events, and special shows demonstrated the wide range of possibilities offered by AM for numerous user industries, including medical technology, automotive and mechanical engineering, architecture, and aerospace.
The latest next-level developments in industrial 3D printing were also on display. Exhibitors presented robotic 3D printing systems for plastics, for instance, which can be used to print entire boats. While in metals, companies such as AMCM, Eplus3D, InssTek, and others, demonstrated that highly complex components weighing several tons – such as rocket engines – can be manufactured in one piece using precision AM. In nanotechnology, exhibitors such as BMF and Nano Dimension presented new solutions that can be used, for example, for the 3D printing of electronic components and much more, and will make numerous new applications and products possible in the future. The high level of innovation at Formnext was also demonstrated by established players and young start-ups alike, including Bosch, D3-AM, Reinforce 3D, and Venox Systems, which presented the latest AM technological developments.
An impressive track record
“With the unparalleled concentration of innovations, decision-makers, and AM experts, the event offered a unique trade fair experience. In the context of an extremely dynamic sector Formnext provides a roadmap for the evolution of cutting-edge manufacturing industries,” said Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President for Formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.
“I really enjoyed being at Formnext. I’ve seen a lot of AM technologies and it has been fantastic to see that a lot of them have been translated to the needs of companies as well as society. I can see high impact generated by AM,” said Mahdi Bodaghi, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Engineering at Nottingham Trent University and Director of the 4D Materials & Printing Lab.
“That’s the place to be to see the improvements in the AM market. Here at Formnext, we are able to explore and review all the various systems and materials efficiently in one place. That gives us the opportunity to find and select the most suitable solutions for our production,” said Chip Gear, CEO of The Technology House.
A broad and varied program of supporting events
The supporting events at Formnext 2023 were more diverse than ever – focusing on a wide range of user industries, from automotive and construction through to mechanical engineering. The new service provider marketplace put the spotlight on the special role of service providers in expanding the AM user base. The new multi-stage concept was extremely well received and showcased AM applications, technologies, and innovations while providing a platform for discussions on industry-relevant topics such as sustainability, cybersecurity, and investments.
A strong international flavor
With a remarkably high proportion of international visitors (50%), Formnext once again demonstrated its credentials as the leading international exhibition for AM and modern industrial production. Exhibitors also praised the impressive volume of visitor traffic and the high standard of discussions
“This is the first time we exhibited at Formnext with 3D-Werk and we are thrilled! The quality and quantity of the discussions we’ve had and the new contacts we’ve been able to make exceeded our expectations – especially considering the current economic situation. You can see here that Additive Manufacturing is still on the rise!” said Gerhard Duda, CEO and Founder of 3D-Werk Black Forest GmbH.
“Formnext was overwhelming for us in every respect! The sheer amount of innovations here and the many valuable discussions we were able to have with potential customers… We realized here that a completely new market is opening up for us in additive manufacturing and now see even more potential for us to fully enter the supply chain as a powder supplier,” said Robin Bappert and Christof Dratner from Cunova.
“We generated a high number of contacts, we are happy about the frequency and quality of visitors that came to our booth. People have more and more knowledge about the technology, they are asking technical questions and are more and more likely to take decisions in their companies,” said Daniele Grosso, Marketing Manager at Prima Additive.
“We wanted to bring 3D printing to the factory floor and announced the shipping of our Array system. Therefore, we met the right partners from all over the world. The interest was overwhelming; at our booth, we had lots of people with buying power,” said Mitch Debora, Co-founder and CEO of Mosaic.
Stay up to date with Formnext streAM
Content from the stage program will continue to be available on demand even after the event on Formnext streAM. Until the end of November, contacts made during the event can be cultivated online and discussions continued.
Next year, Formnext is scheduled to take place from 19 to 22 November 2024, in Frankfurt.
Formnext’s portfolio of international events includes Formnext + PM South China (28 – 30 August 2024); Formnext Forum Tokyo (26 – 27 September 2024); Formnext at IMTS Chicago (9 – 14 September 2024); and Formnext Chicago (8 – 10 April 2025).