RAPID + TCT 2020 Conference Welcomes Aerospace and Defense 3D Printing Track


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In just a couple of short months, it will be time for RAPID + TCT 2020, taking place in sunny Anaheim, California from April 20-23. The globally renowned conference, held every year in the spring, is the largest, longest-running, and by far most important additive-manufacturing event in North America. RAPID + TCT is co-hosted by nonprofit organization SME, which works to support the manufacturing industry, including 3D printing, and Rapid News Publications, a media group operating trade shows and publishing magazines focused on additive manufacturing. RAPID + TCT serves as a combined effort to support the additive
manufacturing industry and gives participants opportunities to network with each other and learn more about advanced-manufacturing technologies.

“RAPID + TCT has been produced by SME since its inception nearly 30 years ago as an additive-manufacturing conference and exposition. The two leaders in additive manufacturing, SME and owner of the TCT Group, Rapid News Publications, joined forces in 2016 to produce the RAPID + TCT event, combining decades of 3D-technology insights and experience,” the RAPID + TCT 2020 website states.

“SME is the definitive industry source for 3D-technology knowledge, experience, education, and connections. With a community of over 200,000 people, we are fully committed to the advancement and increased adoption of additive-manufacturing technology.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event, which promises to be better than ever, and everyone who’s anyone in the AM world should be there. The schedule for the RAPID + TCT 2020 conference was just announced, and as always, this will be an event you won’t want to miss. With more than 110 technical presentations scheduled, the conference will bring together over 150 industry experts who will present and speak about the AM industry’s latest applications, materials, processes and research.

The keynote speakers this year will be Jordan Noone, the co-founder and CTO of Relativity Space; Anthony Atala, MD, the W. Boyce professor and chair of the Department of Urology of the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the G. Link professor and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine; and Jonathan Brill, global futurist and product innovation executive for HP.

New at this year’s RAPID + TCT is a dedicated aerospace and defense conference track, which will teach attendees how the major suppliers and manufacturers in this constantly changing industry are evolving how they plan for end-product and tooling applications through the use of additive manufacturing.

Sessions for the defense industry will be held on April 22 and include:

  • Advanced Development of Asset Protection Technologies, by James Zunino, Additive Manufacturing Principal, US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command
  • Army Additive Manufacturing Update for Autonomous Ground Vehicles, by Walker Brand, Mechanical Engineer, US Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center
  • Additive Manufacturing of Discontinuous Carbon Fiber Thermoset Polymer Composites, by Frank Gardea, PhD, Research Engineer, US Army Research Laboratory

Sessions for the aerospace industry will be held on April 23 and include:

  • Development and Qualification of Additively Manufactured Launcher Parts Made of High-Strength Aluminum Alloy, by André Dröse, Advanced Materials & Processes, ArianeGroup GmbH
  • The Impact of Large-Format Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace Tooling, by Sean Henson, Global Product Manager, Composites & Additive Manufacturing, Ascent Aerospace

Just because there’s a new conference track for aerospace and defense AM applications doesn’t mean that RAPID + TCT won’t also be continuing its established coverage of one of the AM industry’s fastest-growing application areas: medical and biomedical. For another year running, RAPID + TCT’s Medical Additive Manufacturing (MAM) program will be expanding the focus on 3D-printing applications in these fields.

MAM conference presentations and workshops are set to take place on all four days of RAPID + TCT and will include:

  • In-Hospital 3D Printing Precision Anatomic Models for Orthopaedic Surgery: The Surgeon’s Perspective, by Alexis Dang, MD and Alan Dang, MD, both Associate Professors at the University of California, San Francisco
  • Point of Care Manufacturing: The Veterans Health Administration Experience, by Beth Ripley, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Brian Strzelecki, Research Engineer, Center of Limb Loss and Mobility, both of VA Puget Sound Health Care System
  • FDA and 3D Printing of Medical Devices: Past, Present, and Future, by Matthew Di Prima, PhD, Materials Scientist, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Benefits of Titanium Coating on 3D-Printed Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK), by Daniel Storey, PhD, CTO, Alcadyne
  • High Impact/Low Cost: Additive Manufacturing in Orthotics and Prosthetics, by William Wright, Vice President, LifeNabled
  • The Use of NPH-Enabled Ceramic AM in Treating Breast Cancer, by Dror Danai, CBO, XJet
  • Advances in Simulation in Head and Neck Surgery Using 3D Printing, by Robert Morrison, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan

Seven sessions will be held on April 21 regarding new and emerging AM processes that are shaping the future. Metal 3D printing topics include faster powder-bed fusion printing for Ti-6Al-4V and wire-based DED for large-format additive applications, while the polymer 3D-printing topics include selective thermoplastic electrophotographic process (STEP) technology and a new-technology platform for 3D printing composites with optimized-fiber orientation.

Leaders in the AM industry will discuss how 3D printing can reduce the time to market, make stronger and lighter parts, cut costs and create complex geometries. All RAPID + TCT conference presentations will be labeled as novice, intermediate, or expert so attendees can plan in advance how best to maximize their time at the conference. Major manufacturing companies like GE Additive and General Motors will explain how they use the technology to create and implement production-ready parts, and Texas A&M University, the National Institute for Naval Research, and Virginia Tech will share some of their latest research.

The Hollywood Showcase is new this year, and attendees can learn from Gentle Giant Studios how AM and 3D-scanning technologies are incorporated in the entertainment industry. In addition, there also will be thought leadership panel discussions, a variety of workshops, the Medical Enabling and Emerging Technologies (MEET) Showcase, the Live Lab powered by Mayo Clinic, the Innovation Auditions and the Startup Zone, three networking receptions, and complimentary education sessions, which will be held on the exhibit floor in the SME ZONE, in the Smart Manufacturing Hub and in two Knowledge Bars.

SME’s RAPID + TCT 2020 conference begins in less than 60 days, so register now on the event website. Use this link to claim a free exhibit hall pass or save 30% on the conference.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

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