AMS 2024: A New Era of 3D Printing Unfolds in New York

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The annual Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) summit has once again opened its doors in New York City. This year’s event, AMS 2024, has already begun delivering a mix of insights and advances in the additive manufacturing (AM) sector. Building on the momentum of its predecessor, AMS 2024 is shaping up to be a not-to-be-missed event for industry professionals and beyond.

New Faces

Kicking off on February 6th, AMS 2024 introduces an impressive roster of new sponsors and speakers, infusing the summit with new perspectives and possibilities for the future of technology. Ai Build leads the charge as the Platinum Sponsor showcasing its Artificial intelligence (AI)-driven approach to optimizing 3D printing processes. Other notable sponsors like Seurat Technologies, Cantor Fitzgerald, 6K Additive, and Norsk Titanium are set to kick off discussions with their groundbreaking contributions to the field. Meanwhile, newcomers like panelist Dawne Hickton shared the story of her company, Cumberland Additive, which recently purchased the Stratasys Direct facility in Austin, Texas.

Frank Roberts from 6K Additive at AMS 2024. Image courtesy of 3DPrint.com.

Keynote Highlights

The opening day set the stage with Yoav Zeif, CEO of Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS), revealing how the industry can seize the opportunity to increase its presence in the broader, $17 trillion global manufacturing industry. By focusing on five key AM advantages that present a $550 billion opportunity, Zeif believes that 3D printing can move beyond “the hype” and drive its potential to solve the problems that only additive can puzzle out.

According to Zeif, “It’s very easy to fall into the blues because our industry is depressed.” However, Zeif considered, “We will make it together because our competition is not among ourselves; our competition is the status quo, and we need to remember that because we can join forces and really deliver the promise.”

In his presentation, “Make Additive Work for You,” Zeif explained that although the additive manufacturing industry accounts for only 0.1% of global manufacturing, it’s “in a good place because the situation forced us to face reality.” This reality is the need to deliver and meet manufacturing standards.

Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif at AMS 2024. Image courtesy of 3DPrint.com.

A Glimpse into the…Present?

These interactive sessions are where ideas meet reality. For Additive Manufacturing Research’s (AMR) Executive Vice President Scott Dunham, “Although the promises are as attractive as they’ve ever been, they’re still really only realistic with a pretty intensive undertaking strategy, costs, hiring expertise development, all the additional processes that we now know are more or less non-negotiable. The reality for most areas of the additive industry is that this is very much a long-term play, and it’s probably longer-term than most initially expected. But the good news is, is that we’re getting down, we’re getting down that path. We’re well into the era of production with AM. So, while it is quite a long and challenging road, the further we get down that road, the more we know what to expect about the future.”

Dunham’s “Additive Manufacturing in 2024” lecture provided a comprehensive analysis of the growth areas in 3D printing and looked at what we can expect in the coming months. Dunham says we see more optimistic signs while the “growth engine bottomed out” in 2023 with three flat quarters. “Show me another industry where 10% growth is something to get really down about?” questioned Dunham. “This is our bad year, our bad quarters, but many other industries would be very excited about these numbers.”

Bridging Innovations 

AMS 2024 isn’t just about the present; it’s a “gateway to the future of AM,” as 3DPrint.com Executive Editor Joris Peels suggested during the opening conference. Sessions on market forecasts and trends, led by industry leaders, provide attendees with a roadmap of what’s to come, offering a peek into the strategic directions of major AM companies.

During Tuan TranPham‘s AM Services Roundtable, 3DEO Co-Founder and CEO Matt Petros and JawsTec CEO Oscar Klassen discussed some of the latest 3D printing service bureaus trends. TranPham noted that the industry needs to focus more on improving, but the technology is still costly, slow, and fragmented. However, the expert, who spent almost a decade in the 3D printing industry, suggests the future of 3D printing lies in exceeding customers’ material and cost expectations.

“Do we have a king of 3D printing yet? Well, no. I don’t see anybody doing what needs to be done because, for that, you need to have all the technologies. And today, no manufacturer or service bureau has all the 3D printing technology machines. The field is still very fragmented, so there is a conflict between what the customer really needs and the machines available to them,” remarked TranPham.

More Than Just Talks

True to its reputation, AMS 2024 goes beyond panels and discussions. Networking events, like a Bavarian-themed reception sponsored by AM Ventures on the first night of the event, offered attendees unique opportunities to forge new connections and collaborations. These gatherings are so much more than just social events; they are ideal opportunities for building new relationships in the AM sector.

With its diverse lineup of speakers, sponsors, and topics, AMS 2024 continues to be a landmark event in the 3D printing world thanks to its unique platform for professionals to learn, network, and be inspired, driving the future of additive manufacturing toward new horizons.

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