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Exclusive Insights from Formnext Forum Austin

Updated: Nov 7

The Formnext brand needs no introduction in the additive manufacturing (AM) community. Mesago Messe Frankfurt has produced Formnext for years, growing the show to be the largest industrial additive manufacturing event in the world. Now, with the help of AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology and Gardner Business Media, the event has a presence in the United States:


AM Sector, accelerated by Formnext, at IMTS 2024, Sept. 9-14


Formnext Chicago, April 8-10, 2025.


To kick off the new partnership, the organizations hosted Formnext Forum Austin in August. More than one thousand attendees joined the AM community for this three-day event featuring keynotes from EOS and Seurat, sessions on different technologies, and exhibits from dozens of companies and organizat

ions.


If you attended, you would have listened to a presentation from EOS and the U.S. Navy detailing the use of AM to advance supply chain resiliency in submarine manufacturing and development. You might have seen a custom heat exchanger for testing the pre-burners on Launcher’s E-1 rocket engines, made using NASA’s new GRCop-42 alloy. You could have learned about the next generation of medical devices, powered by design for additive manufacturing. But summaries about those are available online. Here are some things you missed that you could only appreciate by being there:


Facility Tours The first day of the event, participants toured Cumberland Additive and EOS. Staff from both companies walked attendees through their state-of-the-art factory floors, where they got a live view of additive manufacturing in action. If you’ve never seen a laser powder bed fusion machine operating in real life, it doesn’t compare to the videos!


Emerging Technology Center (ETC) Sponsored by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the ETC offered attendees a glimpse into the potential and the possibilities of industrial 3D printing featuring innovations from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Development Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (MDF at ORNL) displaying real-life examples of advanced additive manufacturing applications. In this display, I was surprised to see the world’s first 3D printed excavator coming in at 12,000 pounds and 19 feet long, 6.5’ wide, and 8.5’ tall; a wind blade of which the core is printed from foam PLA while the skin is made from thermoset resin and fiberglass.


Insider Access The forum had a full schedule of breakout sessions to go into detail on many different topics, from qualifications and standards to new 3D printers. I sat in on a presentation from a general manager at DMG Mori about the company’s new Lasertec 30 SLM machine and got to ask questions about their new non-contact recoater and adaptive beam control technologies.


Stories Sometimes you just had to be there. The amount of experience and knowledge held by the people at Formnext events is unparalleled, and nearly everyone is willing to share it. Elementum 3D gave a talk about how they’ve improved their process for developing new 3D printable materials. One of the main lessons was being willing to experiment, backed by a story about trying to 3D print thermite on one of their machines!


Making Connections With a focus on the individual, Formnext Forum Austin stands out as an event that gave every attendee a chance to contribute as we shape the AM industrial community or the “Formnext fAMily,” as the event touts. There were great networking opportunities and even “PRINT A DRINK,” the world's first 3D printing technology for drinkable liquids. The process uses a high-end industrial robot to accurately inject microliter drops of edible liquid into a cocktail.


If you’re itching to be a part of the action but can’t wait, you’re in luck. Formnext is happening this year in Frankfurt from November 7-10. Tickets are discounted until October 10! Visit and register at Formnext.com.

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