Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing International Conference preview

There is nowhere I would rather be in the second week of July than Nottingham, where the Belfry is a welcoming, now familiar venue for me when I attend the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing International Conference. It’s a must-attend on my calendar.

The conference is hosted by the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Group from Nottingham University, led by Prof Richard Hague, and organized/sponsored by Added Scientific, the independent consultancy firm that filled the void left by Econolyst when it became part of Stratasys a couple of years ago.

When it comes to longevity, this event is right up there with RAPID (in the US) and TCT (in the UK), albeit in the beginning via its earlier incarnation as the Rapid Prototyping/Rapid Manufacturing Conference at Loughborough University.

However, while RAPID (now RAPID + TCT) and TCT have evolved from conference-focused events into large exhibition events, the AM Conference has maintained its focus on the conference format. The emphasis is on the sharing and dissemination of information about AM—formally through carefully curated presentations and informally via extensive networking opportunities.

I always learn something new at this conference. Without fail. In past years, new knowledge has come via speakers I have never heard present before or delegates working on new applications of additive technology.

The tone is always one of realism, where AM successes are celebrated and the many challenges are not hidden but highlighted and debated with a view to real progress being achieved.

This year, the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing International conference is taking place over three days, on July 11-13, 2017.

Tuesday 11th is dedicated to a pre-conference event entitled Industrial Realities of Additive Manufacturing, involving stakeholders from right across the AM industry who are not afraid to speak the truth.

The main event takes place on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th. The contents point to a broad approach to the latest AM developments, going well beyond the hardware into issues including computation and implementation.

Among the sessions dedicated to new industrial AM processes and materials, BMW’s should be an eye-opener, and I keenly anticipate Alex Fickerl’s presentation, Additive manufacturing with laser metal deposition in automotive applications.

I will also be prioritizing Daniel Revier of Texas Instruments, who will present More than Moore’s Law: innovation in the semiconductor world with additive manufacturing, and Johannes Gumpinger from the European Space Agency (ESA), with Additive Manufacturing: on earth, on orbit, on planet.

The entire program looks first class. I hope to see you there.