In mid April of this year, myself and other members of the Hardware Sales and Application team made the short trek to the St. Louis Union Station for the 30th annual AMUG conference. AMUG is first and foremost a User Group for users and operators of additive equipment to come together to learn from one another. This is the only place I would feel comfortable in talking to vendors and manufacturers of competitive equipment and ask them how it works. Attendees spend most of their morning attending training classes and breakout sessions on different topics. My favorites have been the hands on events. Post processing FDM and PolyJet parts as well as sand and investment casting. There are also after hours events every night with a special “secret” event on one of the nights. This year the secret event was located at the Gateway Motorsports Park. We were able to race go karts, have a nice dinner, and then on to the NASCAR experience. We were able to ride for several laps in older NASCAR cars. Highly recommended whether you’re a NASCAR fan or not. I rode in the Ericsson Car.
This year during the break out sessions, I built up my knowledge on many competitive technologies. There are a lot of companies out their “Slinging” printers and this is a prime opportunity to see them all at once, side by side. I learned there’s a lot of printers out there, some good ones, and a lot of not so good ones. There is a huge interest in Metal Printers and I’m glad Stratasys has finally announced their entry into the metal printing market.
Lastly, I learned that interest in Additive Manufacturing is only gaining momentum year after year, the User Group continues to grow. I started attending in 2015 when there was a little over 750 attendees. In 2018 they estimated (final tally still being counted) 1750 attendees and next year they expect to see over 2100! It’s awesome to see how much this has grown, and will continue to do so.
Additive Manufacturing Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, Inc