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Live 3D Printing Events Re-Emerge from Quarantine: RAPID + TCT, AMUG, Inside 3D Printing

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After a year of quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic, live 3D printing events are beginning to announce their trade shows for 2021, perhaps acting as a bellwether for the industry and commercial life as a whole. These include the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference, and RAPID + TCT, while the biannual International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) will hold off until 2022. Another event that did not take a hiatus last year was Inside 3D Printing Seoul, which will also have a live show in 2021.

The first 3D printing event of the year will be AMUG, set to take place in Orlando, Florida from May 2 – 6, 2021. This intimate group hosts a very close-knit collection of those already expert in 3D printing technology or looking to become specialists. It is growing every year, indicating just how active the industry has become. For a price of $995 through April 4, attendees can access keynotes and technical sessions, as well as workshops, training labs, the technical competition, the Innovators Showcase, the AMUGexpo, and food from morning until evening, including the notable off-site dinner and event that always tends to surprise and entertain guests.

A photo from a previous AMUG conference. Image courtesy of AMUG.

This will be followed by RAPID + TCT, North America’s largest additive manufacturing (AM) conference, which will take place at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois from September 13-15. The 2020 event was originally postponed to April 2021, but the new dates allow more time for the pandemic to be controlled as vaccines continue to be distributed. It was expected to attract over 10,000 guests and more than 400 exhibitors.

The event’s organizers, SME and Rapid News Group, said of the impact of live shows on the industry: “We are committed to empowering the industry by providing access to advanced technologies, offering ongoing education opportunities to professionals and students in the industry, connecting the community of manufacturing and expanding business networks in the industry, and facilitating commerce between buyers and sellers. Events, conferences, and trade shows are vital to the manufacturing industry, and their absence has slowed the pace of manufacturing’s post-pandemic recovery. The resumption of such events will benefit the industry and fuel its economic engine.”

A photo from a previous RAPID + TCT event. Image courtesy of RAPID + TCT.

Inside 3D Printing, which began in New York City in 2013, will host its 8th round in Seoul, South Korea in 2021. The trade show was successfully conducted in 2020, in part due to the well-executed management of the pandemic in the country.

Inside 3D Printing Seoul 2020. Image courtesy of KINTEX.

The event saw a total of 70 exhibitors (200 booths), 6,887 visitors and 23 speakers from around the globe grace the floors and halls of the show. This year, Inside 3D Printing Seoul, taking place from October 13-15, 2021 at KINTEX, is expected to have over 10,000 delegates, more than 800 visiting companies and greater than 500 executives from 25 countries in attendance.

All of this bodes well for an industry that seems to be experiencing a recovery. As long as vaccines continue to roll out and no giant shipping freighters block travel to these events, 2021 is tentatively looking like the beginnings of a return to normal for the world of 3D printing.

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