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Welcome to Voices AMplified

Christopher Williams
By Christopher Williams, PhD Virginia Tech, SME Member Since 2021
Chris Williams, Chair, SME Additive Manufacturing Technical Community

It wasn’t that long ago that, outside of some forward-thinking companies and labs, additive manufacturing (AM) technology was almost unknown. Since then, the public—and industry—has gone from no concept of AM to an exaggerated one to a rapidly maturing technology delivering tangible benefits, opportunities and rewards. Great strides have been made to get here and it’s worth remembering that people, more than machines, materials, or processes, made those strides possible.

The true story of AM—it’s current and potential abilities and, just as important, the people who continue to develop it—deserves to be heard.

SME has played a key role in engaging and convening leaders to advance and accelerate the adoption of AM for more than 30 years. Recognizing early on the world-changing possibilities, SME quickly took a leadership role in advancing this technology.

Thirty years ago, SME launched the genre-defining RP&M Conference & Exposition, now known as RAPID + TCT, and today additive extends throughout the constellation of SME events, media, membership, educational initiatives and collaborations with industry and academic partners. Through all of this, our organization convenes and engages with leading voices from all corners of the additive world.

Voices AMplified is a cross-platform initiative with content across print and digital, including features in SME magazines, podcasts, and webinars.

Now, to better tell the AM story, we are proud to announce, “Voices AMplified.” Here, we will showcase the depth and breadth of individuals and knowledge within SME’s AM ecosystem, including SME’s AM Community leaders and advisors. Voices AMplified is a cross-platform initiative with content across print and digital, including articles in SME magazines (Manufacturing Engineering as well as SMART Manufacturing), podcasts, and webinars.

What you can expect to find in the coming months—whichever medium you choose—are stories of individual people, ones who truly inspire innovation and advancement in manufacturing, and the technology and opportunities AM makes possible. These are people who not only made AM technology a practical success, but also enabled it to capture the popular imagination. Because behind the novel machinery, materials and finished products are specific, individual human beings. We are proud to share their stories.

In the SMART Manufacturing Voices AMplified installments for February, 2022, two fascinating developers of AM technology—Benny Buller, founder & CEO of Velo3D and Eliana Fu, industry manager for aerospace and medical at TRUMPF North America, share their journeys and insights. Then, Franco Cevolini, CEO and CTO of CRP Technology, shares how his company helped improve printed components for Local Motors’ autonomous electric vehicle. I hope you enjoy these and will join us for future installments of Voices AMplified.

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