For many years I attended the SME RAPID Conference with its focus on rapid prototyping. Since rapid prototyping was one of the first applications of additive manufacturing [AM], there was always lots of 3D Printing included in the technical talks. While it was fascinating to us engineers in the trenches, I have to admit it could be pretty dry. So, I was totally unprepared for last year’s Inside 3D Printing show in New York. Although I know that the industrial markets are really driving 3D Printer sales, I was totally wowed by the genuinely exciting things going on in non-industrial sectors and in research.
Inside 3D Printing was a whirlwind of ideas from university professors, futurists, equipment manufacturer CEO’s, makers & hackers, artists, educators, innovators, and inventors. In short, the coolest of the cool that was being developed at the cutting edge of the technology! And this year’s event on April 3 and 4 looks like it will be equally stimulating.
Key industry players such as 3D Systems and AutoDesk are highly visible with keynotes by their respective CEO’s, Avi Reichental and Carl Bass. Highlights include presentations by Brian Federal, who has been working the last few years on a documentary about 3D Printing, Gabriel Rangel, Associate CTO, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where 3D Printing is going into space, and Brian David Johnson, a Futurist at the Intel Corporation, who looks 10 to 15 years out to see where technology fits into the world.
New this year at the Inside 3DPrinting Show is a pre-show Workshop day on April 2. Speakers such as Michael Raphael, Founder & Owner, Direct Dimensions, Inc. and Dr. Brent Stucker, Professor of Industrial Engineering, University of Louisville will give 2-hour courses that delve into the detail of such things as 3D Scanning and integration of 3D Printing into Manufacturing. To encourage startups with cool new concepts and technologies, this year there’s a special Maker Pavilion as part of the Expo. Showing their wares will be everything from startup 3D Heights in uptown Manhattan to the arguably more advanced, FormLabs, and everything in between! Of course, industry regulars like MakerBot, 3DSystems, MCor, and Stratasys will also be exhibiting in the main expo.
I’ll be bringing you live tweets from the show so follow @FabLabHub and @3DPrinter_net on Twitter using hashtag #3DPrintConf. Also watch this space for all the news coming out of what promises to be another mind-boggling event!
Photo Credit: New York Skyline “NYC” by vitasamb2001