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SME Awards Additive Manufacturing Leaders and Visionaries

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EOS Founder Hans J. Langer, PhD, Receives Additive Manufacturing Industry Achievement Award 

(ORLANDO, Fla., May 31, 2016) – SME, for over 80 years a leader in promoting advanced manufacturing and developing the workforce, announced its Additive Manufacturing Community Awards at the 26th annual RAPID Conference & Exposition in Orlando.

Hans Langer, PhD, founder and CEO of EOS GmbH, the global technology and quality leader for high-end additive manufacturing solutions, received the 2016 SME Additive Manufacturing Industry Achievement Award.

“This award is a recognition of Dr. Langer’s technical innovations and the widespread impact his company has had on the additive manufacturing industry since its start in 1989,” said Jason Jones, PhD, chair of SME’s Additive Manufacturing Community.

Langer is a major pioneer in the additive manufacturing industry. He was ranked among the 20 most influential personalities in additive manufacturing by the British additive manufacturing magazine, “TCT,” in 2011. In 2008, Langer was awarded the Bavarian State Medal. His company has also received several important industry citations — among them are three German “Top 100" Innovation awards for medium-sized enterprises, two German “Bavaria's Best 50" awards, and in 2015, the “Game Changer Award" by German “Manager” magazine and Bain & Co.

Nominations for the award come from previous winners, as well as SME's Additive Manufacturing Community advisors. SME's Additive Manufacturing Community promotes and showcases innovative additive manufacturing technologies as well as works closely with industry and academia to take manufacturing to a new level through their adoption.

Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award

SME also announced the winners of the Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award for “Contact-Free Support Structures for Part Overhangs in Powder-Bed Metal Additive Manufacturing,” written by Kevin Chou, PhD, and Bo Cheng of the University of Alabama, and Kenneth Cooper and Phillip Steele of Marshall Space Flight Center.

The Rochester Institute of Technology sponsored the award, which was given for the paper’s documented concept of employing a novel thermal management strategy to avoid distortion in parts made with metal powder-bed fusion. This innovation significantly reduces the need to anchor part features using conventional support structures, which, in turn, reduces the requirements for post-print finishing of parts (typically including wire EDM and machining). This innovation simplifies the process and helps reduce the infrastructure needed to print metal parts.

The award is named for the late additive manufacturing pioneer and innovator Dick Aubin.

Direct Digital Manufacturing Design Competition

In the 2016 Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing Competition, high school and college designers and engineers were challenged to take an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design, and by applying additive manufacturing, improve on it. Contestants chose from designs available in the public domain. The award was sponsored by SME’s Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group. The winners, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, were students Tito Arana, Jordan Castillo, Michael Gager, Dan Stella and Joanel Vasquez, along with their academic advisor, Stephen Johnston, PhD.

Their winning design illustrates an innovative application that helps reduce operational impact and increase efficiency in data collection of bridge evaluation and worker safety. The utilization of additive manufacturing enabled weight efficiency and structural optimization. The team compiled a complete report of the device, its application and the business case for the market. 

RAPID Exhibitor Innovation Award

The RAPID Innovation Award, sponsored by Stratasys, recognizes new products or services exhibited at RAPID and judged to have the greatest potential impact on the industry. With a record number of 27 entries this year, the finalists were 3DSIM, Additive Industries, Essentium Materials and HP Inc. All four companies brought forth inventive, significant technological advancements.

The overall winner was Essentium, which introduced a new and innovative method for welding thermoplastic interfaces of 3D-printed parts using the extreme heating response of nanoparticles. Essentium tackled the issue of strength in the z-direction inherent to additive manufacturing.

RAPID People’s Choice Award

The RAPID People’s Choice Award, also sponsored by Stratasys, was determined by popular vote of RAPID attendees. RAPID attendees were able to vote for their favorite display using the RAPID 2016 mobile app. The winning exhibitor was HP Inc. The award recognized HP for being the most interactive, technically and aesthetically impressive, and visually appealing and engaging.

HP made a huge splash at this year’s RAPID event with a major product announcement that unveiled the world's first production-ready, commercial 3D printing system. Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, also participated in a keynote session to kick off the event.


For over 25 years, the RAPID Conference & Exposition, produced by SME, has defined the crucial role of additive manufacturing and empowered the establishment of an industry that continues to conceive, test, improve and manufacture new products at a faster, more cost-efficient pace. As the leader and authority figure in additive manufacturing, RAPID attracts buyers, sellers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct digital technologies to a world-class event for discovery, innovation and networking. For more information, please visit

About SME

SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for industry. Follow @sme_mfg on Twitter or



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