Additive Hardware: 3D printing for the creative DIY enthusiast

Special area for additive manufacturing options for hardware stores, specialist retailers and spare parts production

4–7 March 2018, Cologne

Location: Eisenwarenmesse 2018, KölnMesse, hall 5.2
Organizer: KölnMesse
Materials selection and didactics: Dr. Sascha Peters

According to a current forecast by financial experts at ING Bank in the Netherlands, 50% of all goods by 2060 will be produced with the help of 3D printers. It is therefore an opportunity, but also a must for the hardware industry, to deal with the potential of additive manufacturing. Because new business models are not only emerging for manufacturing companies in a rapidly developing new technology field.

The trade and especially the logistics sector are also facing changes in the coming years. Companies like Deutsche Bahn have already started to convert their spare parts logistics for older trains to processes that incorporate additive manufacturing processes, which results in significant cost optimization. New business models are also developing in the area of hardware stores, specialist and online retailers. Some of the leading trading houses have started to offer 3D printing services including a platform that offers the creative do-it-yourselfer new possibilities for the implementation of individual projects and precise individual and spare parts.

The highlights of the exhibition were: 3D printed spare parts from Deutsche Bahn, a bicycle frame with printed connectors, additive-made textiles made of nylon and components produced with metal filament printers. For the entire duration of the trade fair, the world’s first carbon printer from the USA, a desktop laser sintering system and a large plastic filament printer were available for live presentations from 3D printers.

image: Additively generated security key with 3D cavity structure (source: Urban Alps, Zurich)