Every year, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG), a member-run, not-for profit corporation which works to educate, support, and advance the uses and applications of AM technologies, holds its AMUG Conference, which spans several days and brings together designers, educators, engineers, and managers from around the world to share their application developments, expertise, challenges, and best practices in regards to 3D printing. It’s a really exciting annual event, filled with workshops, presentations, keynotes, panel discussions, the AMUGexpo, networking opportunities, the awarding of scholarships, and my personal favorite, the Technical Competition.
In July, AMUG installed its nine-member board for 2019-2020, and in addition to developing an organizational structure to support the growing event, these board members are responsible for building and overseeing the 2020 AMUG Conference, which will be held in Chicago from March 22-26, 2020 and promises to be “the biggest and best” yet…exciting news for 3DPrint.com, as we are honored to be attending this year!
“With AMUG’s expanded scope, expert, intermediate and novice users of all commercial additive manufacturing technologies are welcome,” the AMUG website states about this year’s conference.
The AMUG Conference has a well-deserved reputation of being a very open event, thanks in large part to participants’ willingness to share information with each other, but is limited in attendance to people who use, operate, and/or own AM technology that’s used in a professional setting. According to AMUG, this “creates an immersive environment” that allows everyone to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way. Additionally, AMUG works hard to make first-time attendees feel welcome with a Sunday evening reception just for the newbies. But this year, for the first time, there will be gatherings throughout the week where first-timers can get answers to their questions and connect with long-time AM users.
Also new this year are extended AMUGexpo hours and a revamped conference kick-off on Monday morning, March 23rd. Instead of a traditional keynote presentation, there will be “extended discussions of insights and highlights,” focused on the many companies and tools that are supporting the conference. This is really helpful, as it will provide attendees with an idea of what specifically they should investigate during the conference, as well as after.
But this doesn’t mean that keynote speeches are out completely – James Hobson, of Hacksmith Entertainment, will present the Tuesday keynote, while neuroradiologist Johnathan Morris, MD, the co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s Anatomic Modeling Laboratory, will be the keynote speaker on Thursday. Dr. Morris and his Mayo Clinic colleague Amy Alexander, BME, MS, also presented one of the keynote presentations at RAPID 2018.
Also at this year’s AMUG Conference, EOS founder Hans Langer will be receiving the Innovators Award; past recipients include other big names in the industry such as Chuck Hull, the co-founder of 3D Systems; Scott Crump, co-founder of Stratasys; and Fried Vancraen, the founder of Materialise.
Approximately 140 companies will be participating as sponsors and exhibitors at AMUG 2020, which includes almost 100% of the companies that supported AMUG 2019. Two programs have been combined into one agenda – the AMUG conference sessions will be conducted mainly by AMUG members throughout the week, while AMUG’s Diamond and Platinum Sponsors will conduct the sponsor conference sessions, mainly in the afternoons. The conference will offer presentations on a variety of topics, from “The Role of X-Ray and Computed Tomography for Additive Manufactured Parts” to a “Flame Retardant Materials Panel Discussion.”
There will be so much to do at the 2020 AMUG Conference: offsite tours of Renishaw and Fast Radius are being offered on Sunday, while ASTM and UL+SME are holding training sessions, for an additional cost. AMUG provides meals, and the three dinners sound pretty spectacular – Tuesday night will be held at an undisclosed offsite location, while Wednesday will be a ““Roaring 20s: Chicago Style” themed event. Thursday night is called “Family Dinner,” and will celebrate the AMUG community. Breakfast, lunch, and two snacks are provided Monday-Thursday, and there will even be an open bar every night.
AMUG is currently accepting applications for scholarships, the coveted DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator) Awards, and the Technical Competition. Now through February 22nd, registration for the 2020 AMUG Conference is $995; after that, the price goes up to $1,495. You won’t want to miss it!
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