AMUG awards winners of the AMUG 2024 Technical Competition

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced the winners of its Technical Competition, highlighting excellence in AM applications and finishing techniques. 

Held at the AMUG 2024 Conference in Chicago, Illinois, this year’s competition saw entries from various participants vying for recognition in different categories. Nine judges, all AMUG Distinguished INnovator Operators (DINOs), including Paul Bates, Bob Diaz, Sheku Kamara, Bruce LeMaster, John Schaefer, Harold Sears, Ed Tackett, Pat Warner, and Mark Wynn meticulously reviewed each aspect of the competition entries to choose the winners in the Advanced Finishing and Advanced Concepts categories.

Bonnie Meyer, Chair of the Technical Competition Committee, said, “This event showcases the innovations, craftsmanship, and dedication to driving advances in additive manufacturing. The participants range from individuals to team collaborations, but every entry demonstrates ingenuity and highlights projects that are only made possible with the use of additive manufacturing technologies.”

Members' Choice winner, Sam Mills of Eaton (right), receiving his award from Bonnie Meyer in the 2024 AMUG Technical Competition. Photo via AMUG.
Members’ Choice winner, Sam Mills of Eaton (right), receiving his award from Bonnie Meyer in the 2024 AMUG Technical Competition. Photo via AMUG.

Advanced finishing and concepts take center stage

Power management company Eaton received the Members’ Choice award through voting by AMUG’s Members. Sam Mills, an Engineering Specialist at Eaton, submitted “Fully AM Luminaire,” a collaborative project involving additive manufacturing and material science experts from Eaton. Mills acknowledged the contributions of team members John Hana (Senior Engineer), Mansura Islam (Senior Additive Engineer), Sabina Kumar (Lead Engineer), Riyanka Ribble (Engineering Specialist), and Chris Ring (Lighting Expert and Manager). 

Categorized under Advanced Concepts, the luminaire integrates additively manufactured components, constituting 90% of its parts. By employing design for additive manufacturing (DFAM) techniques, the luminaire meets U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manufacturing objectives, including reshoring, SKU reduction, and improved efficiency.

Chris Baschuk, Director of Clinical Services at Point Design, won the Advanced Concepts category with the entry “Lightweight Revolution: Ventilated Multi-material Shoulder Disarticulation Prosthesis.” Utilizing  HP‘s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology, employing rigid PA 12 and flexible TPU, this device is tailored to individual patients, emphasizing functionality and comfort through additive manufacturing. 

Baschuk highlighted the prosthesis’ reduction in bulkiness, weight, and fabrication complexity compared to traditional methods. Integrating advanced design features such as hexagonal lattices further enhances breathability, heat dissipation, and electronics integration, improving the patient’s experience.

(Left) Chris Baschuk of Point Designs LLC, with Bonnie Meyer, accepting the award for his first-place finish in the Advanced Concepts category of AMUG’s 2024 Technical Competition. Photo via AMUG.

In Advanced Concepts, second place was awarded to Rick Pressley of  Renaissance Services, for “Cooled Integrally Vaned Stator with ‘Cast-In Cooling Holes.’” Sam Mills, the Members’ Choice award winner, took third place in the Advanced Concepts category.

Mike Littrell, President of BuildParts by CIDEAS, Inc. and a previous Technical Competition winner, again claimed the top spot in the Advanced Finishing category. His submission, titled “Coin-Operated Rides,” showcased detailed scale replicas evoking nostalgia for a bygone era of entertainment and culture. Featured models comprised a “Race to the Moon” rocket scooter and a futuristic spacecraft from a 1950s perspective.

Littrell stated that each model consisted of 99% printed parts, employing three additive manufacturing technologies: Digital Light Projection (DLP), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), and Stereolithography (SLA). He showcased the scale models to educate AMUG Members, presenting them in three stages: fully finished, sanded/primed, and as-printed. Equipped with lights, clear lenses, and a transparent windscreen for the rocket scooter, the scale models were carefully painted with 2K automotive-grade paint to ensure durability and longevity.

(Left) Mike Littrell of BuildParts by CIDEAS, Inc. receiving the first-place award from Bonnie Meyer for the Advanced Finishing category of AMUG's 2024 Technical Competition. Photo via AMUG.
(Left) Mike Littrell of BuildParts by CIDEAS, Inc. receiving the first-place award from Bonnie Meyer for the Advanced Finishing category of AMUG’s 2024 Technical Competition. Photo via AMUG.

For Advanced Finishing, Ed Graham of Prototek took second place for “The Pumpkin King.” Third place was awarded to Olaf Diegel of the University of Auckland for “Darth Vader Reborn.” 

Baschuk, Littrell, Mills, or their designated representatives, will receive complimentary admission to the 2025 AMUG Conference to present project details and processes onstage.

Recognizing innovation with AMUG

Apart from Technical Competition Awards, this year’s 2024 AMUG conference presented five DINO awards and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, Thomas Murphy, Vadim Pikhovich, and Bob Renella were honored with DINO awards for their contributions to the industry. Gary Rabinovitz from Reebok received the Lifetime Achievement Award, marking only the second time in AMUG’s 36-year history.

Before the conference, Alex Campbell and Phil Rufe were announced as recipients of the AMUG 3D printing scholarships. On March 12, 2024, Campbell and Rufe took the stage, recognized for their dedication to advancing additive manufacturing in both educational and industrial realms. Campbell, an aerospace engineering student at Ohio State University (OHU), received the Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship, while Rufe, an Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), was awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship.

What are the 3D printing trends the industry leaders anticipate this year?

What does the Future of 3D printing hold for the next 10 years?

To stay up to date with the latest 3D printing news, don’t forget to subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter or follow us on Twitter, or like our page on Facebook.

While you’re here, why not subscribe to our Youtube channel? Featuring discussion, debriefs, video shorts, and webinar replays.

Are you looking for a job in the additive manufacturing industry? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.

Featured image shows AMUG 2024 Technical Competition entries. Photo via AMUG.