RAPID 2013 Conference & Exposition
It seems that 2013 is becoming something of a golden year for 3D printing and industry events are among those benefitting from the increased interest in the technology.
Last week, more than 2,500 attendees turned out for the annual RAPID Conference and Exposition in Pittsburgh, PA. This, according to event organiser SME, is almost double the attendance recorded in 2012, reflecting the widespread excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing that has swept the globe.
Held on June 10th-13th at the David L Lawrence Convention Center, the event included more than 100 exhibitors from a range of different industries alongside a technical conference that attracted more than 900 attendees - another RAPID record.
RAPID is the US's leading forum on additive manufacturing and has been on the go for more than two decades.
SME Business Development Manager Gary Mikola commented: "Exhibitors said this was the best event they've ever attended, expressing an incredible level of enthusiasm about new and existing applications for 3D printing and additive manufacturing.
"It generated significant media coverage and included attendees from nearly 30 countries and the US."
Highlights of the event on Monday included workshops on the fundamentals of additive manufacturing, 3D modeling and 3D scanning, RTV Mould-making and polyurethane casting, and metal parts used in additive manufacturing systems.
Keynote speaker Dr Ivan Poupyrev, Director of the Disney Research Interaction Group, told attendees that combining the physical and virtual worlds is the future of entertainment.
It was followed by "20 for 20", a presentation by SME's Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community, which explored innovations in additive manufacturing that have changed the industry over the past two decades.
Tuesday's keynote speech was by Deputy-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy at the US Department of Defense Brett Lambert, Chief Manufacturing Officer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Mike Molnar and Director of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) Ed Morris. These were followed by a presentation by Rob Gorham, NAMII Deputy Director.
Wednesday's presentation was "The State of the Industry", presented by a respected authority on additive technologies Terry Wohlers, of Wolhers Associates which publishes the widely-read Wohlers Report on the global 3D printing industry, talked about how China is making strategic investments in additive manufacturing.
RAPID's educational component features SME's Bright Minds Mentor Program, developed by members of SME's RTAM Community.
The next 3D Printing show of this scale to welcome visitors from every side of the industry, as well as enthusiasts and makers, is TCT Show & Personalize. Registration is free and now open and the TCT Magazine team is looking forward to meeting as many attendees as possible on September 25th and 26th.