Leaders in sports, entertainment and several other industries will take the stage and demonstrate innovative applications of 3D printing at SME’s RAPID + TCT event at the Fort Worth Convention Center April 23-26. As 3D printing becomes more accessible on a global scale, manufacturers have continued to innovate across a range of industries. RAPID + TCT, now in its 28th year, is a technology showcase and leading forum for ideas across all industries in the fast-growing and consistently evolving world of 3D printing. Additive and advanced manufacturing industry leaders will headline keynote sessions of interest and use to all attendees.
Whether it’s luging or the cinema, 3D printing creates winners
One unexpected application of 3D printing comes from the world of sports, with the U.S. Luge Team using 3D printed molds for custom parts that were then implemented into sled prototypes. On Monday, April 23, Rich Garrity, president, Stratasys Americas; Phil Reeves, vice president, strategic consulting, Stratasys; and Jon Owen, technical programs manager, USA Luge, will share details of Stratasys’s partnership with USA Luge, and talk about how the quick pace and turnaround of new molds enabled the team to make quicker changes to sleds and experiment with new designs closer-than-ever to the start of the competition.
Monday’s keynote will highlight the application of 3D printing in the film industry. Brian McLean, director of rapid prototype, LAIKA, will explain the role 3D printing plays in stop-motion films – and how creators of this intensive and fantastical form of cinema have used 3D print technology to bring their animated ideas to life.
3D printing advances aerospace and defense
Advances made in additive manufacturing materials and processes have led to expanded applications in the aerospace and defense sector. On Tuesday, April 24, Michael D. Packer, FSME, director of manufacturing, Advanced Production Programs – Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, will discuss how Lockheed Martin is leveraging additive manufacturing for the benefits it provides – from the agility to quickly fabricate a drilling template for an aircraft assembly to the creativity and innovation it enables to produce one-of-a-kind hardware that will fly on a next-generation satellite. But it has yet to become a pervasive manufacturing process. There remain critical advances that must be made within the additive industry, academia and the A&D community itself before the promise of additive manufacturing can be fully realized.
Mayo Clinic: impacting more patients with 3D printing
One of the most exciting and promising uses of 3D printing is in point-of-care healthcare manufacturing. Within hospitals, point-of-care manufacturing is providing patient care advantages, presenting unique engineering obstacles, creating the need for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and positively impacting the lives of many patients and their families. Three-dimensional POC manufacturing has risen in the last few years supported by advancements in machines, materials, software and awareness.
From the clinical side, Mayo Clinic has become a leader in point-of-care manufacturing, establishing its first 3D printing lab in 2006. On Wednesday, April 25, Dr. Jonathan M. Morris, MD, Mayo Clinic, and Amy Alexander, BME, Mayo Clinic, will share how the Mayo Clinic Radiology Department has used medical imaging data to work with surgeons and other healthcare professionals to manufacture anatomical models, surgical guides and more.
Printing the future
On Thursday, April 26, industry expert Terry Wohlers, FSME, principal consultant and president, Wohlers Associates Inc., will share the latest perspectives and insights on additive manufacturing. The additive manufacturing industry is growing with the help of new approaches to design and even biomimicry, but designers and engineers must now decide what is practical and where to focus their attention. Meanwhile, new additive companies, products and services are developing at a staggering pace, adding urgency to the need for a clear organizational additive strategy. The industry also faces opportunities and challenges related to material pricing, supply chains, quality and infrastructure development. Can users of additive manufacturing really achieve digital inventories and on-demand manufacturing? And, will they uncover the industry’s dirty little secret? Wohlers’ presentation will provide insight and answers to these questions.
RAPID + TCT