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Expert Insight

Lichtenfels: How 3D printing brings new economic and social perspectives to a rural region

In early 2020, committed citizens in the town of Lichtenfels in Upper Franconia, Germany, joined forces to make a practical contribution to the fight against the pandemic. Their virtual meetings led to quick and uncomplicated help where it was needed most: from organizing surgical gowns for the district hospital to digital solutions for retailers in distress to sourcing spare parts at a time of strained global supply chains.

This commitment formed the nucleus of the FADZ, the Research and Application Centre for Digital Future Technologies in Lichtenfels. Since then, its members have volunteered many 1,000 hours to make the project with its various programmes a reality. And together they have raised the considerable sum of over 20 million euros in funding.

In the course of time, Lichtenfels has become a university town, which, through the FADZ, is home to Germany’s only Master's degree programme in "Additive Manufacturing and Leightweight Design". Today, more than 50 companies with a total of 3,600 employees pool their interests in a business association that creates programmes and initiatives true to the motto "by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs". The most recent addition is a specialist training programme to become a design engineer for additively manufactured injection moulding tools. The FADZ, which is located in the city centre of Lichtenfels, also features a creative workshop and a repair café. From schoolgirls to tech-savvy neighbours, this is an environment where people can tinker, build and learn from each other.

As a regional driver for economic growth, 3D printing is the common thread running through all the programmes. Frank Carsten Herzog is one of the main initiators of the FADZ project and founder of Concept Laser, now part of General Electric. In his keynote speech, he will explain how 3D printing can contribute to the economic and social growth of a region.

The speaker is:
Frank Carsten Herzog, Founder and Managing Partner, HZG Group


  • Aus- und Weiterbildung
  • Forschung und Entwicklung