As the importance of additive manufacturing (AM) continues to grow, the nature of AM conferences changes. In place of a mainly industry insider feel to the events, more and more professionals interested in discovering what AM can offer for their business will attend to meet AM industry leaders and see AM first-hand. You won’t find a greater concentration of AM in North America than at RAPID.
I was privileged to attend RAPID 2012, and you can find highlights of my coverage here. The annual conference hosted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers draws attendees from around the world. Along with the impressive exhibitor hall, the main draw to RAPID is the speakers that come to share their knowledge of AM, and to discuss breakthroughs in the technology. Continue reading
I spend nearly every day reading and writing about additive manufacturing (AM). I know the terminology, the players, the processes, and the industries involved. In short, I know plenty about AM. Compared to the encyclopedia of AM knowledge contained in Terry Wohlers’ mind, though, I might have just heard about this whole 3D printing thing for the first time today.
We talk a lot about Wohlers (and his consulting firm, Wohlers Associates) here at Rapid Ready. We’ve asked him about the Stratasys/Objet merger, we frequently quote him, and we (particularly, me) give thanks to your deity of preference that his yearly report exists. It seemed only proper that we ask for a bit of his time to sit down and have a conversation with him. He very graciously accepted. Continue reading
Every year thousands of designers, engineers and manufacturers gather in Frankfurt, Germany for the EuroMold conference. Last year’s attendance tallied to nearly 60,000, including attendees from 97 different nations. With those numbers and the diversity of attendees, EuroMold is one of the premiere events around the world for manufacturing of every sort, including additive manufacturing (AM).
Any conference of this size is made up of multiple, smaller themes and events. Rapid Ready already covered the International Wohlers Conference, run, not coincidentally, by Wohlers Associates. That is only the tip of the iceberg for what is to be available for this year’s EuroMold. Continue reading
Given the nature of my work, I try to keep an eye out for anything manufactured using additive manufacturing (AM). I have a friend that has a 3D printed camera stand, I’ve seen several iPod Nano wristband holders and a couple custom cell phone cases. Consumers are starting to catch on to the possibilities offered by AM.
More proof of consumer interest in AM came with a Wohlers Associates report that announced the top industry served by service bureaus is “consumer products/electronics.” Many of those are manufacturers, I’m sure, but the power to create, or at least modify, nearly any kind of product is exciting even to people without direct access to a 3D printer. Shapeways is one of a handful of service bureaus offering AM products to a mass consumer audience. Continue reading
If you ask most people in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry who they believe is the most recognizable expert in the field, they’ll probably tell you Terry Wohlers, president and founder of Wohlers Associates. Wohlers has appeared on television, radio and in multiple forms of print media, extolling the virtues and explaining the workings of AM.
Wohlers makes the conference rounds, showing up to speak at nearly every important AM event. For the last 14 years, Wohlers Associates has held its own international conference to discuss AM and rapid manufacturing. This year’s conference will be held on November 29 at Euromold 2012.