The Technical University of Munich will host the 1st Munich Technology Conference in October this year with a fascinating topic to kick things off – additive manufacturing. Run over two days from 11th – 12th October 2017, the conference coincides with the inauguration ceremony of the brand new Oerlikon Additive Manufacturing Innovation and Research Center. Additionally, the Technical University of Munich has launched its own Research Institute for Additive Manufacturing. The two-day conference promises to bring together experts in the energy, aerospace, medical and research industries to discuss present and future applications of additive manufacturing to various industries.
A Brief History of Additive Manufacturing
Also referred to as 3D printing, additive manufacturing (AM) processes were first practiced in Japan, France and the United States in the 1980’s. In the decades that followed, additive manufacturing emerged as an industry for 3D printing processes that added materials such as plastics, ceramics and metals to a 3D work envelope to create layered objects in the third dimension, suitable for uses in aerospace, automotive manufacturing, medicine, architecture, engineering and design, among other industries. The most common metal powders used in additive manufacturing are aluminum, stainless steels, titanium alloys, cobalt-chrome and nickel. Plastics include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polycarbonates, polyamide, nylon and photopolymer resins. Today, additive manufacturing is primarily applied to machinery for use in business and industry and for aerospace and motor vehicle developments using metal powders and processes such as direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering and selective laser melting of metallic powders.
Breakthroughs in AM
The last decades have seen significant breakthroughs in the application of additive manufacturing in a wide range of industries and we are close to seeing many more. Laser-produced jet parts using AM and cobalt-chromium powder may replace traditional casting and welding processes. AM has revolutionized the printing of custom-produced medical implants for use in orthopedics, neurosurgery, dentistry and prosthetics, using both plastics and metals such as titanium alloy. In the fashion industry, custom-fit accessories can be developed for high-performance athletes and eyewear can be printed according to customer specifications on demand.
Additive Manufacturing: Trends, Developments and Controversies
The conference will cover topics that have both plagued and inspired industry leaders, such as:
- How will AM affect business models over the next decade?
- Which industry applications have made an enormous impact?
- What’s stopping AM from thriving in serial production and how can this be addressed?
- Public-private collaborations for manufacturing technology developments
- How can the industrialization of additive manufacturing be facilitated?
Bavaria as a Technology and AM Hub
Bavaria is already home to technology and industry leaders working with additive manufacturing, among them Airbus, Audi, EOS, GE Additive and Oerlikon AM. The 1st munich technology conference will be held at the Technical University of Munich’s Audimax. Although the conference only offers limited placements, applications are still being accepted via the conference website.