AMUG 2022 Recap
The Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) conference 2022 was held April 3-7 in Chicago, Illinois at the Hilton Downtown Chicago. With over 2,000 attendees, this event is the largest AM user-only conference in the world. Throughout the week they had keynote speakers, smaller breakout sessions on every 3D printing topic imaginable, an exhibition hall packed with major AM companies, and networking opportunities for users of all levels. From 3D printing chocolate bars to rocket engines, you can see it all at AMUG!
In attendance representing AdvancedTek were Alan Soriano, our Wisconsin sales manager, and myself, David Kadlec, Senior Application Engineer. Alan and I had the chance to sharpen our AM skills and meet with a variety of AdvancedTek customers and partners in a unique environment, one that allowed us to share our successes and pain points with one another and grow together as users.
Stratasys was out in full force at AMUG 2022, showcasing the new J5 MediJet, H350 SAF powderbed fusion system, and NEO 450S SL printer (which ironically is the same NEO 450S that will be installed in AdvancedTek’s TekCenter after it leaves the conference).
I learned from one of the founders of RPS – the company behind the NEO printer series and recently acquired by Stratasys – David Storey, that they name each of their printers because of the great care they take to engineer the highest quality systems. The NEO 450S AdvancedTek will be receiving is named “Ronin”.
The NEO line of stereolithography printers utilize material resins made by Covestro (formerly known as DSM), a leading supplier of high quality industrial photopolymers for 3D printers and global materials leader. Another thing we learned this week was that not all data sheets for material are created equally and it’s important for all companies to use the standardized SAE and ASTM procedures, especially for tests involving long term UV stability and weathering for 3D printed materials. In doing so, it will help companies build trust and confidence with manufacturers using 3D printed materials in their product development cycles and manufacturing applications.
EOS, manufacturer of the metal 3D printers AdvancedTek reps, was across the aisle from Stratasys and had an impressive display of parts ranging from tiny medical implants/devices to rocket engines more than 3 feet tall! Their custom machine division AMCM can tailor a solution for customers with a specific build volume, material, or process control need. This is extremely valuable due to the niche nature of metal 3D printing for production. Pairing their wildly successful core metal technology with customization is why they have over 1,000 machines installed in North America alone.
One of my favorite sessions at AMUG was Bauer Hockey’s presentation on mass customized hockey helmet liners. They would scan the athletes head and generate a 3D printable lattice structure that fit the individual athletes head for optimal comfort and airflow to keep their heads from overheating while providing optimal protection.
To smooth, seal and deep dye the liners, Bauer uses a DyeMansion finishing systems. This makes the liners more resistant to bacterial growth and gives them an injection molded finish.
It was great to be back in person at AMUG 2022 and preview many of the technologies and applications that AdvancedTek will host at its TekCenter in Minnesota. From hockey helmets to rocket engines, it’s all possible in today’s world. Seeing innovation on the software, material, hardware, and post processing side of 3D Printing is what’s going to drive this industry to new heights in the coming years. Wherever you’re at in your 3D Printing journey, AdvancedTek is there to support you.
– David Kadlec, AdvancedTek Senior Application Engineer