The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announced Fried Vancraen, founder and CEO of Materialise, as the recipient of its esteemed Innovators Award. The award is bestowed on those that have cultivated innovative ideas that in turn have advanced the additive manufacturing industry.
The Innovators Award will be presented at the 2018 AMUG Conference, which is now in its 30th year, following Mr. Vancraen’s onstage appearance during the conference’s Innovators Showcase. Previous recipients include technology creators Chuck Hull, Scott Crump, and Carl Deckard, inventors of Stereolithography, Fused Deposition Modeling, and Selective Laser Sintering, respectively.
Paul Bates, AMUG president, said, “The list of award finalists, named by AMUG members, was quite impressive, which made selection challenging and makes the award quite prestigious. However, Fried rose to the top of the list because of the breadth of impact from Materialise’s software and services as well as the long-lived passion he has for making the world a better place through the application of additive manufacturing.”
After receiving a Master of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Wilfried (Fried) Vancraen discovered 3D Printing while working as a research engineer and consultant at the Research Institute of the Belgian Metalworking Industry. Passionate about this new technology called ‘rapid prototyping’, and firm in his belief that it could help create a better and healthier world, Mr. Vancraen founded Materialise in 1990, where he remains CEO to this day.
Materialise was established as the first rapid prototyping service bureau in the Benelux countries. Immediately after its foundation, the company concentrated on researching and developing solutions for transferring data to rapid prototyping machines in industrial and medical applications. Today, Materialise is a global company that provides open and flexible platforms that enable users in industries such as healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods to build innovative 3D printing applications that make the world a better and healthier place.
Mr. Vancraen holds several patents related to the technical and medical applications of 3D printing and remains committed to using the technology to make positive changes in people’s lives. In recent years, he has been awarded the RTAM/SME Industry Achievement Award, has been selected as the most influential person in Additive Manufacturing by industry professionals and TCT Magazine, and has been listed as one of the five leading players in this sector by the Financial Times. He is also the recipient of a 2013 Visionaries! Award from the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and most recently, an inaugural inductee into the TCT Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Mr. Vancraen will take the stage for a casual, relaxed interview during the 30th annual AMUG Education and Training Conference. In the Innovators Showcase, he will respond to questions asked by the host and conference attendees with the intent of getting to know the man behind the company and gaining guidance from his experiences. Paul Bates noted that the Innovators Showcase is unique in that it is structured to be an intimate conversation between two friends that just happens to be witnessed by over 2,000 AMUG Conference attendees.
Designed for both novice and experienced additive manufacturing users, the AMUG Conference agenda topics range from technology basics to advanced applications to business considerations. Although the agenda is still in development, AMUG anticipates having nearly 200 presentations, workshops and hands-on training sessions.
The 30th annual AMUG Conference will be held April 8 – 12, 2018, at the St. Louis Union Station in St. Louis, Missouri. Conference details and registration are available at www.amug.com.