One of the highlights of my editorial year is attending the annual AMUG Conference. I have been fortunate enough to attend this unique event for many years. It truly is unique, unlike any conference, tradeshow, or exposition you have ever attended. First, the AMUG association that develops the conference is a member-run, not-for-profit corporation. About 140 companies participate as sponsors and exhibitors at this event. The next major difference is the exposure to so many experienced additive manufacturing users who willingly answer questions on how to make the most of additive technology.
There’s a little bit of booth exhibition for a couple of evenings, which is a great way to get more in-depth information on new systems. But primarily, the AMUG Conference is about education. It always has been. After all, this is still new technology and very few know everything about it.
Whether you are new to additive or have 30-years of experience, there is always something of value to gain by attending. Attendees are those who use, operate, or own AM technology professionally. You can expect an immersive environment where everyone you meet can contribute to your knowledge base. Networking is a key element of this conference and is always encouraged. I’ve heard many stories of people connecting at this Conference and then calling each other at another time to solve a problem with their design.
As part of this immersive experience, you will be with your fellow attendees all day and into the evening. From morning talks to sit-down luncheons, to afternoon sessions to evening dinner events, you will be immersed in additive technology.
The AMUG Conference is about creating a community that helps each other and that expands the use of this technology.
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect at this year’s conference, going on from March 22 through March 26.
For first-time attendees, the members of the AMUG Association work hard to make you feel welcome and part of the AMUG community throughout the event. The 2020 program will once again have a Sunday evening (March 22) reception for first-timers. New for 2020 are first-timer gatherings throughout the week where they will regroup, get answers to questions, and get connected with long-time AM users.
Monday, March 23, morning presentations will include extended discussions of insights and highlights with a focus on the tools/companies supporting the conference. This session is always interesting as it supplies guidance on what to investigate at the conference and after.
As the Conference has grown, it has added a feature called Innovators Showcase. This will be the sixth time for this feature. Here, a key player in helping to develop the field of additive manufacturing is interviewed about his experiences and his knowledge about the industry. Then, attendees get a chance to ask the innovator questions.
The recipient of this year’s Innovators Award is Hans Langer, founder of EOS. Previous recipients are:
–Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems
–The late Carl Deckard, creator of Selective Laser Sintering
–Scott Crump, co-founder of Stratasys
–Fried Vancraen, founder of Materialise
–Gideon Levy, developer of materials and technologies
The AMUG Conference also holds more than 160 speakers, panel and training sessions throughout the week. Track sessions include:
AM Metal Technologies
AM Technologies Non-Metal
Education and Training
Medical and Dental
Scanning & Metrology
There will also be sessions from Platinum and Diamond Sponsors (the two highest support levels) throughout the week. A number of panel sessions will also take place. These sessions include the two-way communication that yields great insights and exceptional conversations (and sometimes great debates).
One of the highlights of the AMUG Conference is the Technical Competition. Returning for the 26th year, the Technical Competition showcases the talent and ingenuity of attendees. All entries will be on display, and the user behind the project will be available to discuss the entry, Monday evening (March 23) during the AMUG Expo.
There are two categories: Advanced Finishing that shows visually stunning pieces, and Advanced Concepts where entries push the boundaries of possibility.
And one of the highlights of the conference is the announcement of the DINO Awards (Distinguished INnovator Operator) winners. The recipients have contributed to the advancement and development of additive manufacturing in some way. The awards are announced at the Tuesday, March 24, dinner and it is always a great way to engage will acknowledge experts.
You will have opportunities to experience extracurricular activities. This year, on Sunday, attendees can visit the Renishaw facility and the Fast Radius facility.
If you are interested in training, ASTM will hold sessions on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday March 22 at an additional cost. UL+SME will hold a session on Sunday, at an additional cost.
So, are you ready to attend? Register at the AMUG site,
(Registration fee includes: Access to conference and AMUGexpo (March 22 – 26, 2020), All meals including evening meals and entertainment, Tuesday’s Offsite Dinner, open bar every evening, breakfast, lunch, morning snack, and afternoon snack.