Society of Manufacturing Engineers RAPID 2012 Conference and Exposition Proves 3D Imaging and Additive Manufacturing Technologies are Hot

Attendees inspired by the creative, innovative and revolutionary new uses for AM equipment, materials and applications in a wide range of industries.

DEARBORN, Mich., May 31, 2012 — The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID 2012 Conference and Exposition held May 22-25 in Atlanta, attracted students and professionals from 24 countries interested in 3D imaging and additive manufacturing technologies. The event provided real-world examples of how additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the way new products are designed, prototyped and produced, offering manufacturers advantages in terms of creativity, manufacturability, cost-savings and time-to-market.

The robust program offered plenary sessions with keynote speakers Paul Doe (Prodrive Motorsport Ltd.) and Terry Wohlers (Wohlers Associates), and fundamental workshops lead by Graham Tromans (G P Tromans Associates), Giles Gaskell (Wenzel America Ltd) and Brent Stucker (University of Louisville).

The program offered two full-days of 3D imaging and additive manufacturing conference sessions and workshops with presentations from more than 60 technical papers about 3D imaging, medical and dental industry, transportation industry, final part production, additive manufacturing applications, rapid technologies, metal casting, creative and innovative uses of rapid technologies, and direct write printed materials for electronics. The event revealed that 3D printing is not only cool, hip and hot among makers and mainstream media, additive manufacturing technologies are gaining in popularity and acceptance among the world’s leading manufacturers and engineering professionals seeking ground-breaking ways to bring new products and ideas to market.

“I attended RAPID Conference and Exposition to learn more about advanced uses of 3D imaging and additive manufacturing technologies and found the event inspiring and educational in terms of presentations and exhibits. I attended many of the available seminars and took away a great deal of insight from the industry’s veterans,” said first time RAPID attendee and PartSnap professional engineer Michael Moussa. “I would say this conference is extremely valuable to any newcomer to the industry and I look forward to learning more next year and to seeing how the technology continues to develop.”

On the RAPID show floor, an ‘Exhibitor Innovation’ award was presented to 3D printer OEM Mcor Technologies. The company was recognized for its Matrix and Iris product lines, and for displaying technology innovation to improve business operations and manufacturing. Mcor’s mission is to bring eco-friendly 3D printing to the masses and to make it easy as printing on paper. The entries were judged by members of the SME Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) community. A “Best in Show” award was presented to the Ex One Company, and designated by popular vote. ExOne has decades of manufacturing experience and over $50 million dollars invested in research and product development to pioneer the evolution of nontraditional manufacturing. This investment has yielded a new generation of rapid production technology in the field of additive manufacturing as well as advanced micromachining processes.

Three winners of the Reality Redesigned contest where announced in the 3D Systems Corporation exhibit on the RAPID 2012 show floor. The contest focused on a mountain-biking theme from the Edge Factor Show. Contestants submitted innovative design ideas for mountain-bike component, suspension and frames:

•        1st Place: Cody (Chico, California) designer of the “Thomson to I-Beam Adapter” seat mast design and mounting system.
•        2nd Place: Daniel (Algonquin, Onario) for the “DF-350” frame design.
•        3rd Place: Stephanie (Oakville, Ontario) was recognized for the “Flexible Floating Piston” suspension design.

The RTAM/SME Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award was presented to Emanuele Magalini (Eurocoating spa) for submitting “Biological Evidences of Benefits for Additive Manufactured Porous Titanium Foams.” The paper described an innovative application of rapid prototyping processes and techniques for rapid technology and additive manufacturing industry.

The Industry Achievement Award presented to Dr. Brent Stucker (University of Louisville) and Pat Picariello (ASTM International) for their contributions to the ASTM F42 Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies.

The 2012 Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing Competition recognized high school and university students:
•        Ian Veenstra & Austin Stiers (Cedar Falls High School) for “Next Generation Tail Light”
•        Mathew Mueller (University of Louisville) for “Camera Cap and SD Card Holder”

The RAPID 2012 Conference Planning Committee would like to thank members of the Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community (RTAM) and guest speakers for an informative and engaging conference.

RTAM Event Advisors:
•        Andrew Christensen (Medical Modeling Inc.)
•        David Leigh (Harvest Technologies Corp.)
•        Graham Tromans (G P Tromans Associates)
•        Kevin Ayres (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
•        Todd Grimm (T. A. Grimm & Associates)

3D Imaging Technical Advisors
•        Pierre Aubrey (ShapeGrabber Inc.)
•        Giles Gaskell (Wenzel America)
•        Michael Raphael (Direct Dimensions)

Casting Technical Advisors:
•        Tom Prucha (American Foundry Society)
•        Thomas Sorovetz (Chrysler Group, LLC)

Consumer Products Technical Advisors:
•        Ryan Larson (Nike, Inc)
•        Arno Schmadl (EOS Electro Optical Systems GmbH)
•        Tim Thelin (RedEye by Stratasys)

Creative/Innovative Technical Advisors:
•        Thomas Donahue (3D Systems)
•        Nancy Hairston (VanDuzen SculptCAD)
•        Jamie Milas (Materialise USA)
•        David Van Ness (Northern Arizona University)

Printed Materials Technical Advisors:
•        Denis Cormier (Rochester Institute of Technology)
•        Vesna Cota (Tyco Electronics Canada)

RAPID 2012 Conference Speakers:

•        Agnes Klucha, Pratt & Whitney
•        Andreas Berkau, citim GmbH
•        Andreas Wegner, University of Duisburg-Essen
•        Anna Calluori Holcombe, University of Florida
•        Arif Sirinterlikci, Robert Morris University
•        Brent Stucker, University of Louisville
•        Bretton Swope, BaroSense
•        Charles-Olivier Roy, Artisans due Passage
•        Chuck Hansford, Morris Medical
•        Damion Shelton, threeRivers 3D, Inc.
•        Dan Maas, ExOne
•        David Dean, Case Western Reserve University
•        David Espalin, University of Texas at El Paso
•        David Rosen, Georgia Institute of Technology
•        David ten Have, Ponoko
•        David Van Ness, Northern Arizona University
•        Deon de Beer, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
•        Duane Byerley, Xerox Corp
•        Ed Tackett, RapidTech
•        Emanuele Magalini, Eurocoating spa
•        Francois Kern, C2P Inc
•        Francisco Medina, University of Texas at El Paso
•        Giles Gaskell, Wenzel America
•        Graham Tromans, G P Tromans Associates
•        Howard Kuhn, University of Pittsburgh
•        Jason Jones, De Montfort University

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