The annual International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing, sponsored by Renishaw, will bring together a host of AM industry experts next month in a three-day event that focuses on the production of end-use components for additive technologies.
Celebrating its 10th year in its new home of Nottingham, the conference will be attended by over 300 delegates from 19 countries and promises valuable insight from both academic and industrial speakers. Attendees can expect to hear from the likes of Daan Kersten of Additive Industries, Neil Mantle of Rolls Royce and Jim Zunino of US Army Research Lab.
Conference Chairman, Richard Hague from the University of Nottingham, had this to say about the event:
“Much has changed over the last ten years since the first International Conference on Additive Manufacturing in 2006. Back then, there was absolutely no other conference on additive manufacturing anywhere in the world; of course there were “RP” and “product development” conferences, but none that focused solely on the manufacturing aspects – how things have changed!
In 2006, we also still had to explain what “Additive Manufacturing” or “3D Printing” was (actually, it was still referred to as “Rapid Manufacturing” at that point, which probably explains a lot), but given the (over?) excitement in the past few years, that lack of awareness seems incredible now, when even my mother, and certainly virtually all the children I know, seem to readily grasp what 3D Printing is all about.
For our conference, in addition to trebling in size over the years and changing to our new home of Nottingham, we’ve also moved to embrace the change in name from “Rapid” to “Additive” and to also include the all-encompassing “3D Printing” term – these amendments acknowledged the expansion of the additive manufacturing industry and its incorporation of the more consumer, product-focused, branch of 3D printing, both of which contain exciting and thought provoking developments that are of interest to our eclectic audience. In particular, the 3D Printing aspects have taken the media –and the events industry — by storm, causing a mixture of knowing nods, eye rolling, excitement and also opportunity for those of us that have been using the technology for years.
In the last couple of years I have seen the emergence of countless 3D printing events, shows and exhibitions, which I’ve watched – and taken part in – with a combination of fascination, interest and even a little concern. So we are definitively not alone now anymore – but I have also wondered whether the market has become too diluted and questioned what place our conference does / should have? Will people stop coming up to Nottingham to talk about additive manufacturing when they can go to the London Science Museum, Business Design Centre or even the V&A to hear visionaries speak and see everything from printed engines, limbs and machine parts to bicycles and miniature versions of Evan Davis on display?
However, we have always striven to evolve the conference over its lifetime – and this has been key to its continuing success and so I look forward to many more years of our event, which continuously gets excellent feedback from our ever-growing participant. While other exhibitions and conferences continue to crop up, even those that have a more business-orientated programme, these are mostly serving a different audience to our own established event. Other events are often dedicated to converting the masses, enabling them to understand ‘the miracle’ of the machines that create brightly coloured pieces of functional plastic; this ‘conversion’ is an important step in helping to grow the market, attract more funding and ultimately, getting more people, entrepreneurs and businesses interested in its possibilities. Our part to play in this market is representing the research and science behind the technology – showing how it works and what it can (and in some cases, cannot) do and trying to foretell what the future will be for this still evolving field.
So the role of our International Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Conference is a more specific one. Our programme is not aimed at the masses, but at those driving the industry and pushing to research and develop it – whether they’ve been in it for 30 years or two. By gathering this audience together for a few days at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel, with guided tours around our fantastic facilities at the University of Nottingham, we aim to stimulate and challenge both industry and academia, providing a platform to discuss and debate what’s happening, what needs doing and where additive manufacturing (and yes, that includes 3D printing) is going in the next five, 10 and even 20 years.
I’m really excited about this year’s conference. We’ve got some great speakers on the agenda, all delivering presentations about various aspects of the industry, technology and business of additive manufacturing. Some you will have heard of, some will be new to you; this is because the organisers deliberately want to bring fresh ideas to our, generally, educated audience to stimulate both new thinking and challenge preconceptions.”
For further details and to register for the International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing, visit www.am-conference.com or contact Donna Cope at firstname.lastname@example.org.