For the professional user of additive manufacturing systems, there are two key conferences. This year, the first one up is The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Education & Training Conference, which will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, from April 19 – 23, 2015.
The next one is the RAPID Conference & Exposition, which has been showcasing manufacturers of 3D printers and additive manufacturing machines for 25 years. RAPID will be held at Long Beach Convention Center, in Long Beach, Calif. The conference kicks off with workshops and presentations on Monday, May 18 and ends on Thursday, May 21.
The AMUG conference is a great conference to attend. Last year there were about 600 attendees, most of them users of additive machines. This conference not only offers classes and sessions on improving what you know about additive manufacturing, it’s a great opportunity to converse with others in your field and share ideas, insights, and learn something you didn’t know before.
This year, the keynote speakers will be Lonnie Love, Jason Lopes and Todd Grimm. Said Mark Barfoot, AMUG president, “We have an exciting lineup of keynote speakers, including two returning favorites and one that has gained notoriety for the development of new additive manufacturing technologies and processes. These three keynote speakers are internationally recognized, but more importantly, they are passionate about additive manufacturing. That passion will jump start each day of our conference.”
Todd Grimm, president of T. A. Grimm & Associates and AMUG’s AM industry advisor, will open the conference on Monday, April 20th. I have found Todd’s presentations always interesting and informative. He will share his thoughts on the present and future with highlights of recent developments, current trends and future advances, while reinforcing the “education and training” aspect of the conference. This will be his fifth appearance as an AMUG keynote speaker.
Want to learn what Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been doing in the additive manufacturing field? Lonnie Love, group leader of ORNL’s Manufacturing Systems Research Group, will tell you on Tuesday, April 21st. Love states that he has the best job ever because his team is free to innovate and has access to an impressive array of advanced technology. In his presentation, he will share the results of that work and offer insights on current projects.
Returning for his third AMUG keynote appearance, Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects opens the final day (Thursday, April 23rd) with a visual journey of the special effects the studio has worked on that have used additive manufacturing. Jason has spoken a number of times at AMUG and has always shown the diversity of all the additive machines his team uses. (And he has just about one from every major manufacturer.) Spanning film, TV and appearances, Lopes pushes the limits of the technology to make amazing physical effects a reality. In his presentation, he will share the tools he has used, the creativity employed and the amazing results his team has achieved. If you’ve seen the following movies: Avatar, Terminator Salvation, Alice in Wonderland, Ironman 1, 2 and 3, Avengers 1 and 2, Robocop and Pacific Rim, you’ve seen Legacy Effects work using additive manufacturing.
The AMUG agenda will be jam-packed with sessions that will inform, educate and train additive manufacturing professionals. Added Barfoot. “There will be hands-on workshops and presentations that cover art and architecture, metal casting, education, manufacturing tools, materials, medical, direct metals, scanning, stereolithography, laser sintering and transportation.”
The users group conference, now in its 27th year, is open to owners and operators of all additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies. For details and registration, visit www.am-ug.com.
Shortly after AMUG, plan on attending the RAPID Conference & Exposition. Aaron Kemmer, chief executive officer and co-founder of Made In Space, will kick things off on Tuesday, May 19 as he addresses the latest in aerospace additive manufacturing and how his company is evolving in-space travel with its Zero-G 3D Printer, which recently became the first 3D printer deployed on the International Space Station.
“By creating additive manufacturing tools and technologies for in-space use, the aerospace industry can expand on learning new ways to accelerate space development,” said Kemmer. “At RAPID 2015, I’m excited to present how we’ve advanced our initial vision for the aerospace industry, what we hope to achieve in the coming years and generally connect with likeminded individuals who are all working toward the same goals.”
Joining Kemmer as keynote presenters are William Warren, PhD, who helped initiate the field of bioprinting as a program manager at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and industry influencer Terry Wohlers, principal consultant and president, Wohlers Associates Inc.
“The current state of additive manufacturing, and the potential for future applications, continues to gain interest and momentum from the general public and across many industrial sectors,” said Wohlers.
In addition to the keynote presentations, registration is now open for SME’s 2015 RAPID Conference & Exposition. Register for the conference by Jan. 31, and receive last year’s conference pricing for a savings of more than 10%. Keynote presentations are complimentary for all conference and exposition attendees. Go here to secure your spot at this year’s show.
I’ll see you at both conferences!