Press release Rapid.Tech 3D 2024

Additive manufacturing for defence technology

3D printing applications for military technology will be the subject of a session at the Innovations in Additive Manufacturing forum on 15 May 2024 at Rapid.Tech 3D

(Erfurt, 25 April 2024).Defence technology issues have moved into the public spotlight. The role that additive manufacturing can play here will be the subject of the Innovations in Additive Manufacturing forum on 15 May 2024 at Rapid.Tech 3D.

Following last year’s highly acclaimed presentations on defence technology, the organisers of Rapid.Tech 3D have decided to dedicate a separate session to this topic at the 2024 Innovations in Additive Manufacturing forum. Experts from Force Technology, Rheinmetall and Metrom will be speaking on 15 May. “The advantages of the flexibility and speed that additive manufacturing processes offer are particularly evident in difficult environments – especially when it comes to stationary challenges, but also for mobile ones. As a result, additive manufacturing processes are often used in the defence industry and out in the field under particularly challenging operating conditions. The forum will present solutions based on specific examples,” says Dr Eric Klemp, Head of Hydrogen and Additive Manufacturing at Whitecell Eisenhuth GmbH & Co. KG and a member of the Rapid.Tech 3D advisory board.

Case study by Force Technology demonstrates material-conserving production of 3D-printed aircraft parts
Michel Honoré, Senior Team Leader at Danish company Force Technology, will report on a case study investigating the 3D printing of large components for the F-35 fighter aircraft. Switching from conventional CNC machining to additive manufacturing has reduced material consumption by more than 95 per cent. It can also significantly reduce production time – an essential aspect for supply lines in the military sector. The 3D-printed parts fulfil all requirements in terms of mechanical load, fatigue and other properties. To ensure this is the case, they require an additive manufacturing-appropriate design that complies with the military’s standards and guidelines, followed by its practical implementation.

Mobile Smart Factory by Rheinmetall for use in the field
One challenge in the field of defence technology is the rapid provision of spare parts. Thomas R. Kerk, Team Leader for System Support at Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, will present the Mobile Smart Factory – a complete modular logistics solution for use in the field. Housed in a 20-foot container, the factory can be deployed quickly in any location to produce spare parts. As an OEM of military vehicles, Rheinmetall recognises the importance of secure data handling and lifelong fleet management, including maximum quality assurance. The company therefore not only supplies a hardware solution for spare parts management with additive manufacturing, it also provides the corresponding digital processes. 

Thomas R. Kerk will additionally contribute his experience and knowledge of additive manufacturing in the panel discussion on 14 May 2024. The theme is: “Additive manufacturing as a driver of innovation and growth in Germany and Europe” and the panel will be moderated by Dr Bernhard Langefeld, Senior Partner at Roland Berger GmbH.

Mobile repair factory for hybrid machining by Metrom
The world’s first mobile repair factory for hybrid machining has been created by Metrom Mechatronische Maschinen GmbH. CTO Marcus Witt will be introducing it to the attendees. The containerised technology enables additive and subtractive manufacturing processes to be carried out in a single set-up. Its centrepiece is the Pentapod, which combines the precision and rigidity of stationary machine tools with the freedom of movement of a robot. The component is at the heart of this concept. While conventional machine tools see the workpiece brought into the correct position, in the mobile Metrom systems, the tools move around the component. This enables maintenance and repair work to be carried out on-site, even on large systems such as generators and turbines.

Further topics at the Innovations in Additive Manufacturing trade forum
In addition to 3D-printed solutions for defence technology, the Innovations in Additive Manufacturing forum is offering two further sessions. On 16 May 2024, additive manufacturing developments and applications for green energy and hydrogen technologies will be on the agenda, accompanied by application examples for 3D-printed electronics.

Specialist conference with eight industry and science forums
Alongside the Innovations in Additive Manufacturing trade forum, other forums at the Rapid.Tech 3D specialist conference will provide insights into the latest developments and applications in additive manufacturing. On the first day of the event (14 May 2024), the AM4industry format organised by the Additive Manufacturing Working Group of the German mechanical and plant engineering association VDMA will welcome visitors for the first time. The established Aerospace forum is also set to take place that day, as is the Additive Manufacturing Science forum, which will continue into the second day (15 May 2024). On day two, the Chemical and Process Engineering forum, presented by DECHEMA, will also run, alongside the Software, AI and Design forum. The Mobility and Additive Manufacturing Science forums by Fraunhofer will take place on the final day (16 May 2024).

About Rapid.Tech 3D:
In just two decades, Rapid.Tech 3D – with the specialist conference as its centrepiece – has become one of Central Europe’s leading additive manufacturing trade events. This year’s event will be held from 14 to 16 May at Messe Erfurt.

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About Messe Erfurt GmbH:
Central Germany’s largest trade show and conference venue, Messe Erfurt has established itself as a forum for businesses, scientists, doctors, trade unions and many other institutions. Every year, it hosts over 220 events, conventions, conferences, trade fairs, exhibitions, corporate events and concerts, attracting over 650,000 visitors.

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