Additive Manufacturing Technology Now Being Used in Hundreds of Fields
DEARBORN, Mich. February 23, 2010 — Technology that enables surgeons to make custom-fitted brain plates in a hospital setting, car enthusiasts to produce obsolete missing parts in their own garage, athletic trainers to fabricate boots that fit the special needs of a competitive skier and movie studios to create imaginary worlds inhabited by new forms of life was once the purview of science fiction. Today, these kinds of applications can be seen at RAPID 2010 and 3D IMAGING Conference and Exposition, a multi-day event organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), May 18-20 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.
Making its West Coast debut, RAPID 2010 will bring manufacturing professionals, designers and even artists together to view, explore and discuss new innovations in 3D scanning and rapid prototyping technology. Exhibits, keynotes and presentations will illustrate applications in aerospace and defense; automotive; arts and entertainment, including games; medicine; and sports and recreation. Buyers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct manufacturing equipment will get a chance to compare processes, talk to industry experts and participate in more than 70 technical presentations. A few examples:
- Medical presentations will explore uses of additive manufacturing for organ replacement, prosthetics, spinal injuries and even eye lenses.
- The Arts and Entertainment track will show how additive manufacturing can create special effects for movies, produce new types of sculptures and develop video games for education.
- In the Aerospace and Defense track, speakers will discuss rapid prototyping for airplane parts.
- Presentations in the automotive/motor vehicle session will cover the technology's application for machining and tooling.
The conference will also include a special interactive session, "Design Considerations for Additive Manufacturing," which will cover real world applications in additive manufacturing reviewed and discussed by a panel of experts. Attendees can participate live or virtually, via several social media avenues, before and during the conference.
Additive manufacturing processes, in combination with creative thinking, have also contributed to new forms of contemporary art. Attendees can learn how new approaches and use of unique materials are allowing artists to turn any creative idea into reality. Sculptures and other pieces created with the technology will be displayed on the show floor and famed artist Bathsheba, who explores the link between art and mathematics to produce three dimensional sculpture and other objects, will present at the conference.
For expo attendees new to the topic of additive manufacturing, RAPID will host two briefings on the show flor, Rapid Technologies and 3D Imaging and Reverse Engineering, Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at noon. These sessions will provide an overview of the technologies and help attendees identify equipment, companies and processes that fit their specific needs and interests.
RAPID will also hold organized tours of local additive manufacturing facilities and an educational institution offering a student curriculum on Monday, May 17. Included will be Northrop Grummans Aerospace Systems F-18 Assembly line, Composites Center, and SLA and/or SLS labs; and GROWit 3D "RapidTech," hosted by Saddleback College.
Find more information on RAPID 2010 and 3D IMAGING Conference and Exposition and register for any of the paid sessions at www.sme.org/rapid.
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Attending media will be provided free access to exhibit hall and free sessions. Prior approval required to cover paid sessions and tours. Register here.
Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, oil and gas and alternative energy. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations at 313.425.3000, email email@example.com or fax: 313.425.3403.