Fried Vancraen February 16, 2017

This coming April, Materialise will be holding a 3D printing technology summit, in the tradition of the Materialise World Conference. I am very proud to announce this international event at a moment when Additive Manufacturing is on the brink of amazing breakthroughs towards new opportunities. The long-awaited and much-hyped Industrial Revolution 4.0 is finally becoming a firm reality. And, to further its progress, here at Materialise we continue to evolve the way we innovate and enable our customers and partners to reap the greatest benefits of 3D printing technologies.

I have always believed that innovation is linked to value. It means taking a product or a service, and adding that extra dimension to it that increases its value. So, when I first encountered 3D Printing in a research facility in Bremen almost 30 years ago, my mind started racing with the possibilities the technology presented – here was something which could really add value to the way we make things.

In fact, one of the key strengths of 3D Printing is that it is such a flexible technology, one with almost endless possibilities. There is no one killer application – there are several. Since 1990, I’ve seen the technology grow and expand the boundaries of its applications in diverse ways. And, I have been proud to see Materialise playing a crucial role in developing many transformative applications around the world in a wide range of industries, from aerospace to healthcare.

Our experience has taught us that the best way for the industry to move forward is to make the transition together with creative partners who aren’t afraid to think big. It is by working together that we can learn from experts in other fields and in doing so, find out where and how to use 3D printing technologies to add value to the whole process. It is not just about the hardware; it is about the people, the knowledge, and the software that turn vision into reality.

With this idea in mind, I started the first Materialise World Conference back in 2010 with the objective of sharing knowledge between experts in 3D Printing. With the new summit format we want to go one step further and empower decision-makers looking to expand and innovate their current applications or businesses. Our goal is to address the challenges and opportunities that open up in this new digital era for different industries, but also on a human level.

The technological maturity of Additive Manufacturing is often underestimated but I am confident that we are ready to make it happen. I believe that we are already in the future of AM – a future called reality. The industry might be in a transition phase, but the opportunities to use the technology are already there. The moment is now, there is no way back – playtime is over but the real fun is just beginning. I look forward to seeing you in April in Brussels, to Think.Beyond.Together. about Additive Manufacturing.

Fried Vancraen
Materialise CEO