Lou Kren Lou Kren
Senior Editor

Preview: 2020 AMUG Conference

February 3, 2020


The additive manufacturing (AM) community can choose from a host of conferences and events,―each with a distinct feel, and unique and informative offerings that make attendance well worth the cost, time and effort. That said, there’s nothing like the AMUG Conference. This Additive Manufacturing Users Group annual get-together is not just a conference, not just a tradeshow, not just a networking event. It’s all of that and a lot more. More than 2000 attendees representing all levels of education, experience and job titles—attendance is limited to those that use/operate/own AM technology used in a professional setting—took in last year’s conference in Chicago, IL, with nearly 100 exhibitors showcasing services and technology, and providing hands-on demonstrations and one-on-one deep dives with attendees. Expect more attendees and exhibitors in 2020.

Open and Interactive

Close interaction is part of the AMUG Conference’s draw, with AMUG, a member-run nonprofit organization, earning a reputation for running an open, interactive event.

For example, at conference lunches and dinners, everyone attending, whether attendee, exhibitor, speaker or organizer, pulls from a hat to select seating location. The head of research for a metal-printer producer may share a table with a self-taught builder of fishing rods, a purchasing manager from a manufacturer of teeth-straightening mouth guards, a U.S. Air Force colonel, a movie-production model maker, a quality control technician from an electric razor producer, an automotive-parts designer and a trade journalist. In such a setting everyone asks something, and everyone learns something. The stimulating conversation veers in any and all directions, leading to good ideas to take home; collaborations; equipment or process innovations; and more. And this is only during the meals.

The dining chats, combined with camaraderie-building special events such as the offsite AMUG Awards Banquet—NASCAR ride-alongs and a night at the museum are recent destinations, all kept secret from attendees until they arrive; entertaining and informative conference presentations; and educational give-and-take sponsor sessions and workshops lead to lifelong professional relationships. Many attendees are repeats, able to count their annual AMUG pilgrimages on more than one hand, but this is no closed club. Through the aforementioned assigned meal seating and the New Member Welcome that kicks off the conference, newbies quickly assimilate. And, beginning this year, AMUG offers gatherings throughout the conference that answer first timers’ questions and connect them with long-time AM users and AMUG veterans.

Learning Opportunities Galore

2020 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference

March 22-26, Hilton Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL

Schedule At a Glance

Sunday March 22

Free Tours:
Renishaw 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fast Radius noon-2 p.m.
Conference Program:
New Member Welcome 3:30-4 p.m.
AMUGexpo and Dinner 4-10 p.m.

Monday, March 23
Presentations, Sponsor Sessions and Training Labs
8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
AMUGexpo 10 a.m.-noon; 6-10 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24
Presentations, Sponsor Sessions and Training Labs
8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Offsite Dinner and Awards Banquet 5-10 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25
Presentations, Sponsor Sessions and Training Labs
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Dinner-Roaring ’20s Chicago-Style 6-10 p.m.

Thursday, March 26
Presentations, Sponsor Sessions and Training Labs
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Family Dinner and Closing 5:30 p.m.-??

Cost (covers all sessions, meals, open bars each evening, and onsite and offsite events)
$995 through February 22
$1495 after February 22
Register at www.amug.com/attendee-registration
Presentations; the AMUGexpo, with about 140 exhibitors and sponsors expected this year; and sponsor sessions and workshops form the educational meat of this conference. From material and machine qualification to post-processing, knowledgeable speakers run the gamut, with presentations covering all aspects of AM technologies and processes. Attendees can hear about developments and real-world results in biomedical, aerospace, automotive and many other applications.

On the first full day of the conference, Monday, March 23, morning presentations cover industry, technology and conference highlights in depth. AMUG designed these presentations to help guide attendees on what they should investigate at the conference and after. Overall, the 2020 AMUG Conference provides more than 160 speaker, panel and training sessions. Track sessions include Aerospace/Transportation/ Defense/Military; AM Metal Technologies; AM Technologies Non-Metal; Casting; Education and Training; Materials; Medical and Dental; Scanning & Metrology; and Software.

Sponsor sessions, running concurrently with conference presentations to provide options for attendees, and the AMUGexpo enable attendees to witness technologies up close, from software to materials to machines, and ask questions while learning valuable tips and tricks. Panel discussions—more in 2020 by popular request—and workshops immerse attendees in specific technologies and trends that shape the expanding AM universe.

See training, presentation, roundtable and workshop schedules at www.amug.com, and visit www.amug.com/amugexpo-exhibitors for a list of 2020 AMUGexpo exhibitors.

Honors, Competitions and Nominations

Hans Langer, founder of EOS, receives AMUG’s Innovators Award at this year’s conference, and via a ‘fireside chat’ will provide insight into his background, successes, trials and tribulations, and thoughts on where AM is heading. He joins five previous honorees: Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems; Carl Deckard, creator of Selective Laser Sintering; Scott Crump, co-founder of Stratasys; Fried Vancraen, founder of Materialise; and Gideon Levy, developer of materials and technologies.

On Tuesday, March 24, at the offsite Awards Banquet, AMUG reveals winners of its DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator) Awards, which recognize contributors to AM who have advanced the industry as a whole or unselfishly advanced the skills and knowledge of individuals. AMUG is accepting nominations for the 2020 DINO Awards through March 1. Visit www.amug.com/dino-selection to nominate.

AMUG recognizes two scholarship winners, one student and one educator, on Monday, March 23, where each will address attendees. The Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship—founded by his wife, Renee Bourdeau, and financially supported by Cimquest, Inc., is awarded annually to one college student. The Randy Stevens Scholarship, founded by Stevens’s employer, In’Tech Industries, is awarded annually to one educator.


AMUG includes on offsite dinner and event, kept secret until arrival. Last year, AMUG attendees enjoyed the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.
And, in its 26th year, AMUG hosts its Technical Competition, comprised of two categories: Advanced Finishing (visually stunning pieces) and Advanced Concepts (applications of AM that push the boundaries of possibility). Each category is open to all AM technologies with a winner and runner-up selected from each. Entries will be displayed on Monday evening, March 23, during the AMUGexpo, with entry creators available to discuss their projects. A panel of five DINOs judges the entries, with winners announced during the Awards Banquet.

The 2020 AMUG Conference wraps on Thursday night, March 26, with the Family Dinner. As a reflection of AMUG’s conference style, the Family Dinner offers appetizer, entrée and dessert menus populated with solicited family recipes.

Pre-Conference Tours, Educational Programs

Attendees have opportunities for AM-facility tours and educational programs preceding the formal AMUG Conference. UL and SME offer a two-day AM-technician review program, from Saturday, March 21, to Sunday, March 22, that provides a preparation course followed by a certification exam. The certification covers key roles and responsibilities for an AM technician; the AM process chain; design for additive manufacturing; materials and process selection; secondary processes; and key safety considerations.

An ASTM workshop, Accelerating AM Technology Adoption Through Standardization and Certification, takes place Sunday, March 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eight technical talks and a panel discussion cover these topics: the AM standard development process; gaps in AM standards; R&D initiatives from ASTM’s Center of Excellence that drive standard development; R&D opportunities skewed to standard development; and a certification approach for AM. For pricing, details and registration links for either program, visit www.amug.com/ 2020_train_certify.

Free tours of Renishaw, West Dundee, IL, and Fast Radius, Chicago’s West Loop, are available on Sunday, March 22, with transportation provided from the Hilton Chicago Hotel. The Renishaw tour departs at 10 a.m. and returns at 3:15 p.m., and offers the opportunity to explore the challenges, complexities, machine capabilities, processes and qualifications required to take AM into production. Participants also interact with HP AM-machine technology and nTopology engineering software, as well as with representatives from those companies. Also on the agenda: a tour of Renishaw’s core industrial metrology businesses to see how these interact with the 3D printing space.

The Fast Radius tour, from noon to 2 p.m., includes a guided tour of the company’s factory and additive applications gallery. Fast Radius is home to reportedly the largest publicly accessible Carbon factory in North America, and also features metal and nonmetal AM technologies from HP, Stratasys and Desktop Metal. Participants can absorb best practices, hear ‘lessons learned’ and kick off the AMUG Conference week with a happy hour.

The tours require advance registration. 3DMP

 

See also: Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG)

Technologies: Management, Safety & Training

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