The spectacular Halle 3.1 filled with educated visitors who knew what they wanted and found it all at formnext powered by tct 2015
If you’re looking for an overview of the technologies launched and exhibited at the inaugural formnext powered by tct, please see here.
Like many people I have been making a regular pilgrimage to Frankfurt towards the end of each year to catch up on the latest innovations in product development and manufacturing technologies. Since my first trip in 2010, a number of things have changed…
Perhaps the biggest change — and perhaps the biggest elephant in the room — is that for over two decades our pilgrimage was to Euromold. At its peak some years ago this event spanned five halls and was important as a meeting place for the industry and as the place that new wares were unveiled.
That all changed in November 2014 after Euromold (for reasons beyond the scope of this piece) relocated in both time and location. Initial reactions were mixed, some welcoming the change, many others decrying the lack of a platform in one of the true global hubs. And so, after discussions between the trifecta of industry, organiser and partner, formnext powered by tct emerged not as a replacement for Euromold but as a new show to reflect the new shape of the industry today.
I think its fair to say that anyone arriving expecting Euromold 2.0 would have been surprised. There was only one hall to start with. One impressive hall however. Halle 3.1 is light, lofty and, when fully carpeted, is amazingly quiet for an exhibition space. There’s none of the booming, echoing cacophony that usually marks a tradeshow. The natural light and sculptured ceiling makes it a pleasant place to be, and the modern air conditioning meant that lip balm was required only toward the end of the four-day event.
Of primary importance is defining ‘the industry’. Who exactly is formnext for — who should visit, exhibit, speak or sponsor? Anyone that attended in 2015 will have found a show with additive at its heart, both literally and figuratively. The central aisle of the event was dominated by large (sometime enormous) stands from new and established additive technology providers.
Where Euromold always had a predominant focus on traditional tooling and moulding technologies, formnext powered by tct was — in 2015 — additive first. The exciting question for the organisers, exhibitors and visitors is ‘where next?’ It’s a question that will require input from all stakeholders to ensure the right answer.
The core of additive technologies that participated in formnext 2015 are part of a process chain that starts with an idea and ends in a final product. Almost always this final product is not a standalone but rather a single part in a larger, often complex assembly. Think of a bracket on a commercial jet liner, or a fuel nozzle in a jet engine. So, additive technologies are not an island, they rely upon, compete with and complement dozens of other technologies from CAD to milling, 3D scanning to injection moulding.
The most exciting part of working with Mesago Messe Frankfurt on formnext powered by tct is that in 2015 we saw a glimpse of the future but between us, as an industry — or more correctly as chain of industries — we can decide what that future really looks like.
I look forward to seeing you in Frankfurt once again 15–18 November 2016!
Check out our interviews and videos from the 2015 formnext powered by tct here.