AMUG 2019: Our 3 Biggest Takeaways
Well, folks, AMUG 2019 in Chicago has come and gone at last - and considering the growth taking place within the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry, it's no surprise that this has been the biggest turn-out for the conference to date.
Less commonly known as the Additive Manufacturing Users Group, 2019 brought more to the table than ever, in terms of presentations, competitions, workshops, technology reveals, and yes, even open-bars.
We made a point of being in attendance this year and thought it would make sense to mention a few note-worthy tidbits we gathered during our week there. With that being said, these are our 3 biggest takeaways from AMUG 2019:
Post-Processing Needs Love Too
Historically speaking, the AM industry has focused heavily on the steps that take place early in the 3D printing process - things such as design, and 3D printing itself. One of the things we noticed at AMUG 2019, was the attempt to bring an often-over-looked step - post-processing - closer to the forefront.
While not as glamorous a topic as 3D printing, it is still an important component, nonetheless. Thankfully, both AMUG and other leaders in the industry seem to be doing their part, highlighting the importance of all steps involved in the 3D printing process. Round Table sessions with leading companies like Bel Air Finishing, Dyemansion, Elite Additive, RAMCO, and others is a notable step in the right direction.
Newer Technologies and Materials for the Future
The Additive Manufacturing industry is still in its early stages, relatively speaking; new technologies are an inevitability as we move forward.
That said, AMUG 2019 allowed many of us in attendance to be privy to newer technologies and materials being released to market - ones that will certainly influence the industry as it continues to expand:
- Stratasys unveiled their newest SLA, V650 Flex Printer, as well as their FDM, F120 3D Printer.
- Titan Robotics showcased their pellet fed FFF printer
- Arkema promoted its new high performance materials for industrial applications
- BigRep promoted its new, 5G networked, "BigRep PRO"3D printer
Seeing this much innovation in an industry as young as AM is great to see and will certainly lead to much greater capabilities in the coming years. At the risk of sounding cliché, the future is looking very promising for AM.
Higher Efficiency with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
Time is money, as the saying goes. Increasing overall efficiency and better streamlining processes are a goal of companies across almost all industries.
That being said, Additive Manufacturing software experts, 3Yourmind, announced their new Agile Manufacturing Execution System software after a 5-year early-access period, with the goal of increased efficiency regarding the way manufacturers produce products.
The program will help streamline factory floor production by automating processes closely related to scheduling, machine capacity, and material selection, allowing resources to be reallocated as needed.
According to 3Yourmind, this is only the beginning, though, as there are plans to continue implementing features in the coming months and likely throughout the coming years.
In Other News
It’s safe to say that, overall, AMUG 2019 was a success. All the events, presentations, and socializing involved were everything you would expect them to be - we even managed to make some new friends during our stay.
Speaking of new friends, one of the best things about AMUG is that pretty much anyone who is anyone is at the event, at least anyone within the AM world. We had the opportunity to connect with the Evolve team and learn a bit about technologies they are working on in order to compete with high volume manufacturing. Their technology is poised to meet production requirements in regard to speed, accuracy and material properties in the near future.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for Evolve and the new technologies that they’re creating. Don’t forget about us either - we have a few tricks up our sleeve for the coming year as well, so be sure to keep an eye out.