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Editorial Formnext Magazine issue 02/2023

Fruitful combination

by Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext — 17 May 2023

As the German poet Theodor Fontane once said, courage is good, but endurance is better. Additive manufacturing has both qualities: the courage to identify and develop more and more innovations and applications, and the endurance the industry has demonstrated in expanding continuously for more than two decades. In fact, the AM sector has achieved double-digit growth nearly every year along the way, as the most recent Wohlers Report underscores. 

von Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext
Image: Formnext / Mathias Kutt

That happened again in 2022 (find more details here) and next year is looking good, as well. With that, the market is defying ongoing dilemmas like inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the shortage of skilled employees in Europe and the United States.

The latest survey conducted by the VDMA – the conceptual sponsor behind Formnext – also paints an optimistic picture: While companies are looking ahead with some caution, they seem to be in a positive mood overall.  

Leveraging opportunities

Here, the particular branch of industry you look at is an important factor. More and more AM components are being built in the medical and aerospace sectors, for example, which is providing for a good bit of momentum. We saw a striking example of AM’s increasing importance in aerospace just a few weeks ago during the successful launch of Relativity Space’s new (almost entirely 3D-printed) rocket. The mechanical engineering and automotive industries, meanwhile, are taking a more conservative approach to the future, but additive manufacturing continues to present tremendous potential in these fields, as well. To find out how to leverage such opportunities, check out the article on Andritz Kaiser.

Formnext is also on track for some outstanding results this year: Since the beginning of the year, we’ve received more registrations than ever before and now have our sights set on the overall figures from 2019 (the year before the COVID-19 pandemic). Our exhibitors will be representing the entire AM process chain – including key sectors like post-processing and services – on an even higher level in 2023. By the way, if you’re looking to succeed as a service provider both at Formnext and in your day-to-day business, don’t miss the article on Priomold

On the whole, we’re pleased to see a clear trend in industrial firms optimizing their production operations and making a conscious effort to apply AM in the process. At Formnext, you can find partners and solutions that will help you get the most out of activities like these. In providing an ideal showcase for innovative production solutions, we want to enable you to share in the success of our exhibitors, attendees, and community partners – and become part of the “fAMily”!


Sascha F. Wenzler
Vice President Formnext


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