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RAPID 2016: An Update on 3D Printing Industry

From May 16 to 19, Orlando is set to become a center for additive manufacturing technology, education and discussion as it plays host to the 26th annual SME RAPID conference. Over the course of four days, attendees can view the current AM systems and get insight from industry experts. The event will officially kick off with a roundup of the latest 3D printing and scanning products from Todd Grimm, president of T.A. Grimm & Associates.

Last year's RAPID event ran in Long Beach, CA, from May 18-21. Image courtesy of SME Rapid.

Last year’s RAPID event ran in Long Beach, CA, from May 18-21. Image courtesy of SME Rapid.

This year, RAPID is featuring keynote speakers from America Makes, GE, HP, University of Michigan and Wohlers Associates. The conversations will focus on digital manufacturing, 4D printing in medical and the future of additive manufacturing, according to the organization.

Monday starts with a panel about the transition to full-scale production. Speakers will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the technology, as well as how to understand repeatable processes and standards development. Joining the discussion are speakers from America Makes, Boeing and GE.

Tuesday will feature Stephen Nigro, president of 3D Printing at HP, talking about the “Factory of the Future” and what 3D technologies will help position the digital factory and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Wednesday brings medical 3D printing applications with Robert Morrison and Scott Hollister from the University of Michigan as they discuss how thoughtful device design and biomaterial selection allows production of medical devices that change with growing anatomy, also referred to as 4D printing.

Closing out the keynotes is Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, providing an overview of the additive manufacturing industry in his talk on “The Future of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing.”

“Once again, I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s RAPID event,” said Wohlers. “As additive manufacturing continues to evolve and gain traction for production applications, RAPID gives us a great opportunity to explore ways of further advancing this exciting industry.”

In addition to discussions and a multitude of conference sessions, visitors will also have the chance to participate in a host of activities and learning opportunities. These include the Technology LaunchPad, UserVersity, 3D Playground, a 3D Art Gallery and a Kennedy Space Center Tour.

According to SME, the Technology LaunchPad, which highlights the latest technologies, will feature several 15-minute, technically oriented presentations to divulge what’s new with some of the hottest companies in additive. Each presentation will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with both attendees and media.

UserVersity offers a range of topics for all levels of additive manufacturing expertise. Registration is available for courses on Fused Filament Fabrication, AM materials, polymers and application-specific software. RAPID will also be featuring eight half-day workshops on metal AM, casting, 3D scanning, business implementation, casting and more.

Outside the event, SME is also partnering with the Kennedy Space Center to offer an exclusive tour of the facility and a look at how Lockheed Martin is using 3D printing.

Registrants will have the opportunity to participate in a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. Image courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center.

Registrants will have the opportunity to participate in a tour of the Kennedy Space Center. Image courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center.

Running simultaneously with presentations is an extensive show floor with over 250 exhibitors showcasing technological advancements for all stages of the additive manufacturing workflow. These solutions can help cut costs, streamline operations and advance business, SME states. Guided tours of the exhibition hall will be available for those interested.

For more information, a full agenda and registration details,visit the RAPID 2016 website.

Learn more about last year’s RAPID event at Desktop Engineering

About Jessica Lulka

Jess Lulka is Digital Engineering's associate editor.

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