I’m here at the 2010 Rapid Conference in Disneyland Anaheim and enjoying every minute. There wasn’t much time to hang out with Mickey but a lot to be learned about 3D printing/ Additive Manufacturing (AM). The term rapid prototyping has been a term used in the past but that has now been replaces by AM because it’s not just for prototypes anymore. We are starting to make functional parts for real world applications. The end goal is to be able print metals and plastics that come out of these “magic” machines and end up in the consumers hands. You may have seen this technology in Star Trek years ago but it will soon be a reality and a part of everybodies daily life. There is a wide range of industries advancing these various technologies including medical, automotive, and entertainment (to name a few). They each have their own drive and specialty materials but they all speak the same language and share the knowledge for the great good.
Rapid advancements are being made everyday and parts that once looked like a blocky Teris game in your hand are now organic shapes with printed layers measured in microns. It has a great opportunity to see the new products, machine, and materials first hand and pick the brains of the creators as well as getting feedback from beta tested professionals. There was a lot to see and many samples to examine but here are a few item of personal interest.
Posted by Derek