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RAPID 2011 Conference and Exposition Focuses on Revolutionizing Product Creation

By DE Editors

RAPID 2011 Conference and Exposition Focuses on Revolutionizing Product Creation

RAPID 2011, a conference and exposition showcasing how additive manufacturing is used to create almost any solid product while reducing production costs, will be held in Minneapolis, May 24–26, 2011. It is presented by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

RADID 2011 includes displays of equipment, software and service providers, as well as technical sessions with experts in additive manufacturing.

The RAPID Conference, including 3D IMAGING, will offer more than 70 technical sessions, keynotes and panels, allowing professionals in design, engineering and production as well as artists to evaluate the latest materials and machinery for creating 3D products using 3D imaging and additive manufacturing.

Exhibits, keynotes and presentations will unveil applications for industries serving medical devices, aerospace and defense, automotive parts, architecture modeling, the arts and emerging applications for custom consumer products. Buyers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct manufacturing equipment will get a chance to compare products and processes and discuss new cost-cutting and time-saving uses for the technology. Presentations will cover the use of additive manufacturing in combination with 3D imaging for:

  • Medical devices, bones and implants
  • Custom consumer products
  • Casting
  • Parts inspection and verification
  • Motor vehicles
  • Aircraft, aerospace and defense parts
  • Architecture modeling
  • Sculpture, entertainment figurines and jewelry

Special programs and events include:

  • The Rapid Implant Manufacturing Forum. SME is coordinating with Materialise to present diverse uses of image processing and manufacturing from medical industry leaders.
  • Industry-focused conference sessions.
  • The Contemporary Art Gallery represents the use of additive manufacturing in a new industry, expanding the horizons and demand for these technologies.
  • Additive manufacturing and 3D imaging technology briefings. These one-hour sessions provide an introductory overview of the technologies on the trade show floor.
  • Show floor networking reception on Tuesday evening.
  • Bright Minds Mentor Program. Members of the RTAM Education & Information Exchange Tech Group will hold the eighth annual mentoring program including students from Minneapolis area high schools.
  • Design for DDM Student Competition 2011. This annual student-only competition encourages student designers to use their imaginations and design a product that use direct digital manufacturing (DDM) features.
  • Technical Group Open Houses on 3D imaging, direct digital manufacturing, medical applications and nanomanufacturing.

Attendees also have the opportunity to register for one of four workshops, all of which take place on Monday morning.

The Fundamentals: Additive Manufacturing workshop, led by Graham Tromans of Loughborough University, introduces participants to the world of rapid technologies with discussions on the most widely used additive technologies and how they are applied.

Another Fundamentals workshop will focus on Reverse Engineering & 3D Data Capture. Led by Giles Gaskell, Xspect Solutions, it will provide an introduction to 3D scanning technologies, software and processes, highlighting the differences between data capture technologies followed by a hands-on demonstration of some of the most popular scanning devices.

Brent Stucker, Ph.D., University of Louisville, will lead the Metal Parts Using Additive Technologies workshop. It will provide an overview of additive processes used for creating metal parts. Methods for metal part fabrication range from casting metal parts from rapid prototyped patterns to direct metal fabrication using lasers, electron beams or ultrasonic energy.

The American Foundry Society will present the Metalcasting Solutions workshop, which will provide attendees with an interactive overview of metalcasting processes and alloys.

After the workshops, attendees can elect to take one of two tour tracks that are being offered Monday afternoon.

One tour visits Starkey Laboratories & RedEye On Demand. Starkey Laboratories is a designer, developer and distributor of hearing solutions. Starkey Labs uses stereolithography to manufacture the hearing aid shell. A 3D scanner is used to digitize the ear impressions, which are then used to sculpt the outside and inside of the impressions, add virtual electronic components and other options, and then print the modeled shell. RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service center, is a subsidiary of Stratasys, Inc. Attendees can observe FDM technology being used to produce concept models, functional prototypes and manufacture tool and end-use parts by experiencing the “factory of the future.”

Tour 2 visits Invest Cast Inc. & Vista Technologies. Invest Cast Inc. specializes in production metal investment casting and production quality prototypes. The tour of Vista Technologies ventures through the Rapid Prototyping Division’s multiple additive manufacturing technologies including FDM, SLA, Polyjet and Multi-Material Polyjet.

Concurrent conference sessions run from Tuesday through Thursday.

For more information on RAPID 2011 and the 3D IMAGING Conference & Exposition, or to register for the event, visit the SME website.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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