There are a number of additive manufacturing and 3D printing events around, not many of which manage to bring together experts and prolific adopters. The AM-Conference in Nottingham is one event that has managed to do so. The conference is a two day event which brought together Industry and Academia to demonstrate and discuss the problems and success the industry has been having in the last year. To accompany this there was a number of the top OEM’s in the space showing their stuff without impinging on the overall ethos of the event.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of a few of our favourite highlights from the event of which there was plenty:
Maxim Shusteff from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was first to present. Breaking the notion of what we see as ‘3D’ manufacturing, Maxim cleverly pointed out the fallacies involving the point by point or layer by layer manufacturing. This brought in the developments being made by themselves in the use of holography to produce three-dimensional objects in UV resins. Yes, it is producing an object in a number of seconds. Yes, we are getting closer to the Star Trek Replicator and yes this is something to keep an eye on.
Next presenter was Sarat Babu from Betatype. Deconstructing and optimising the metal powder bed fusion process, Sarat and his team have come up with clever ways to truly optimise scan and build strategies which goes a long way to making AM a much more viable mass manufacturing technique.
Aside from these, works presented ranged from the adoption of binder jetting for ceramic catalytic converters to the production of hearing aids in titanium to the very understanding of the metal melting process using a massive synchrotron CT scanner.
The event was packed with so much innovation it is hard to get it all down on paper, but never fear as the AM team in IMR are on hand should you have any questions about the progress being made in the industry.