Each year for more than 20 years, the RAPID Conference and Exposition has brought together the people, software, systems, materials and machinery used in rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, including 3D imaging and 3D printing technologies. This year’s event, to be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, June 10-13, features 75 conference presentations and more than 30,000 sq. ft. of exhibits.
“The RAPID 2013 event schedule is designed to connect attendees and exhibitors with technologies and resources needed for businesses looking to remain competitive in a global marketplace and challenging economy,” says Gary Mikola, business development manager for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), which produces the show.
Tours on Tap
Tours of five local additive manufacturing facilities will be conducted in conjunction with the conference.
On Monday, June 10, registrants can tour Bally Design, which is just a block away from the convention center. Bally specializes in product design and development, engineering, branding, corporate identity, and environmental design.
Attendees can also sign up for one of two tours on Thursday, June 13.
One tour includes ExOne and threeRivers3D, while the other visits the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at VA Pittsburgh and TechShop Pittsburgh.
At ExOne, attendees can see the company’s 3D metal printing process from start to finish as well as its machine build lab.
While at threeRivers 3D, visitors will see how 3D scanners are manufactured, from the mechanical assembly of the scanner core, burn-in and on to final assembly/validation. A 3D scanning demonstration will also be given.
Human Engineering Research Laboratories at VA Pittsburgh’s mission is to continuously improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation. Part of that engineering includes final parts made with additive manufacturing.
TechShop is a community based workshop and prototyping studio with seven locations. TechShop Pittsburgh provides makers with 16,000 sq. ft. of workshops that include rapid prototyping and machining tools and equipment, as well as computers loaded with design software.
On-site Training and More
In addition to the tours, Monday’s workshops will provide attendees with hands-on learning opportunities in four areas:
- Fundamentals: Additive Manufacturing, is a workshop presented by Graham Tromans, G P Tromans Associates, that introduces additive manufacturing technologies and applications.
- Fundamentals of 3D Scanning and 3D Modeling by Giles Gaskell, Wenzel America Ltd. provides an introduction to 3D scanning technologies, software and processes, followed by a demonstration of scanning devices.
- The Metal Parts Using Additive Technologies workshop by Frank Medina, University of Texas at El Paso, gives an overview of additive processes used for creating metal parts–from casting metal parts from rapid prototyped patterns to direct metal fabrication using lasers, electron beams or ultrasonic energy.
- The Fundamentals of RTV Mold-making and Polyurethane Casting workshop is presented by Bill Molitor, Innovative Polymers; Myra Bumgardner, Silicones, Inc.; and Terry McGinnis, BJB Enterprises. It focuses on using silicones to create molds and polyurethanes to create cast parts in silicone tooling.
In addition to the conference sessions and exposition, tours and workshops, keynote addresses will be presented by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), Disney Research, and industry consultant Terry Wohlers. Other activities include technical briefings, networking receptions, and the Additive Manufacturing Certificate review course and exam.
For more information on this topic, visit rapidreadytech.com.