SME is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the manufacturing industry. One of the many ways SME works to fulfill its goal is by hosting manufacturing industry events, giving people in the industry opportunities to network with others and learn more about advanced manufacturing technologies.

One of the shows SME hosts is the RAPID + TCT conference, a globally-renowned event that takes place each year and serves as a gathering for all the important movers and shakers in the additive manufacturing industry. RAPID + TCT got its start back in 1990, and is the longest-running additive manufacturing conference in North America.

SME has just announced the schedule for the upcoming 2018 RAPID + TCT conference, which will be held April 23-26 in Fort Worth, Texas.

As the conference will bring together over 150 industry experts to talk and present about the latest AM applications, materials, processes, and research, it’s not hard to imagine that setting up the event itself took a massive amount of work.

“You’ll hear from the most influential leaders in the industry about how 3D technologies can cut costs, reduce time to market, produce stronger and lighter parts, improve efficiency, create complex geometries, and solve many other industry challenges,” said Maria Conrado, RAPID + TCT event manager, SME.

The industry has been continuing to increase the focus on adoption and advancement of metal 3D printing, which is why the 2018 RAPID + TCT show is making it easier than ever for conference attendees to find the presentations related to metals, like the Industrial Additive Manufacturing with Multilaser presentation by TRUMPF.

One of the other fastest-growing areas of application for 3D printing technology is biomedical and medical. Once again, RAPID + TCT’s Medical Manufacturing Innovations Program (MMI) will, as Conrado told 3DPrint.com, “expand the medical focus at RAPID + TCT 2018.”

The MMI page writes, “From manufacturing of end-use surgical devices and personalized implants, to bone scaffolds and functioning organ replacements, additive manufacturing/3D printing is truly changing lives. At the conference, you will find in-depth sessions covering design and manufacture of implants, dental devices, tissues, and more using a variety of additive manufacturing technologies.”

Jonathan M. Morris, MD and Amy Alexander, BME, both from the Mayo Clinic, will be presenting this year’s MMI keynote, titled “Rise of Point-of-Care Manufacturing: Impacting More Patients with 3D Printing,” on Wednesday, April 25, from 8:30 – 9:45 am.

Presentations at this year’s RAPID + TCT conference have been labeled as Novice, Intermediate, and Expert, so attendees can easily maximize the time they spend at the conference by customizing a schedule that perfectly fits their needs. The conference website lets you filter presentations by day, level, and session, so you can figure out which sessions you’re going to attend before you even enter the conference.

Some of the other highlights to keep in mind before you register for the conference include the Department of Defense presenting how it’s incorporating additive manufacturing of radiofrequency devices and systems, and high-tech manufacturers like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin discussing how they use the technology to develop and implement production parts for applications with high consequences.

By attending this year’s RAPID + TCT conference, you’ll have the chance to hear about some of the exciting research that places like Carnegie Mellon University, the University of North Texas, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and NASA Langley Research Center are working on. You’ll also get to learn how organizations like Oerlikon and the US Army Research Laboratory are producing production-ready parts using new and novel materials, like metals and flexible materials.

Other topics being covered at the 2018 RAPID + TCT conference include bioprinting; 3D printing carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite parts; applications for the technology in the aerospace industry; 3D printing in hospitals; using FFF 3D printing to fabricate individualized PEEK implants; and 3D printing large-scale precast concrete patterns.

There’s even a New Products Gallery, featuring some of the latest innovations from companies like EOS and Wacker Chemie AG – ACEO. The Independent Technical Evaluation of Additive Manufacturing Consortium (ITEAM) that was announced at last year’s conference will have its official debut in April.

The 2018 RAPID + TCT conference, hosted by SME, will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center this year. It starts in just 75 days, so make sure to register now so you won’t miss out.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Images provided by SME]

 

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