Dearborn, Mich. (PRWEB) 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 worlds 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 industrys 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. Mcors 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: