We exhibited at this year’s Rapid Conference and Exposition. This event is one of the most comprehensive events that focus on 3D Printing. There were over 3,400 attendees at this year’s event, which helped make the show one of its best in its 24-year history!
We had a number of our team member who ran our booth, and interacted with a lot of attendees. Below are some of their thoughts on the show and on the 3D Printing industry.
What Were the Major Difference You Saw Between this Year’s Show and Last Year’s?
-Much greater interest in production parts than last year. Last year, everyone seemed to be looking for general information on 3D Printing and additive manufacturing. This year everyone seemed to know the basics and was looking for the next step.
-The audience had a lot more engineers, buyers, and technical/materials personnel looking to either purchase a machine, or purchase services based on current projects or developing for future projects. Last year seemed like everyone was feeling out the industry, how to invest in it, how to make material or parts for it, and how their company could use it. In short, this year seemed to have more specific ideas and projects for additive manufacturing, while last year was much more of an industry research feel.
What Were Some of the Major Industries that Benefited from 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing?
-I think any industry that requires small complex parts with low quantities can benefit from it.
-I can’t speak for how industries have benefitted from additive manufacturing, but my opinion is that medical and aerospace have gotten the most from it. It gives them options. Industrial is using it more and more for non-load bearing parts as well as production fixtures.
Where Do You See 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Improving the Product Development Process?
-Options for more testing and low volume part production or testing.
-I don’t see additive manufacturing being the be all end all solution for the product development/manufacturing process. I don’t think all parts in 10 years will be made with only additive manufacturing. I see all processes, additive, and subtractive, working together in sync to help stream line the product development and manufacturing.
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