AMUG Conference 2020 preview: who to see at the upcoming conference

Later this month, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) will return for the 2020 edition of the annual meeting. Now in its 32nd year, the event has established itself as a highlight on the AM calendar; it is a meeting point for experts and leaders from across the AM world to provide and share valuable insights and experiences in 3D printing. The AMUG conference is open to owners and operators of industrial additive manufacturing technologies used for professional purposes.

The five-day event will take place from March 22 through March 26 2020 in Chicago, Illinois, at the Hilton Chicago. The conference is an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the industry and technology with education and training sessions by AM industry experts and in-depth presentations from keynote speakers taking place each day. Attendees can also meet and discuss with members of the AMUG network, including users with years of experience in the 3D printing industry, bringing together engineers, designers, managers, and educators from around the world. 

Ahead of the event, AMUG has announced its line-up of keynote speakers. This year, presentations include those from James Hobson, a.ka. The Hacksmith on YouTube, and CEO of Hacksmith Entertainment; Dr. Hans Langer, Founder of EOS; and Jonathan Morris, MD, of the Mayo Clinic. 3D Printing Industry spoke with the keynote speakers to find out more about their upcoming presentations for AMUG 2020. 

Attendees are welcomed to the St. Louis Union Station Hotel for AMUG 2018. Photo by Michael Petch.
Attendees are welcomed to the St. Louis Union Station Hotel for AMUG 2018. Photo by Michael Petch.

James Hobson, the Hacksmith, Hacksmith Entertainment

James Hobson is best known for his YouTube channel ‘the Hacksmith’, where he takes fictional ideas from movies, video games and the world of comics, and attempts to make them into real working prototypes. Hobson has been using 3D printing to bring his projects to life for over six years now; the technology has proved integral for a number of his replicas, including the Particle Cannon from Blizzard’s popular FPS Overwatch: “One of our biggest 3D printed projects was a working replica of Zarya’s Cannon from Overwatch, featuring an 80W CO2 laser inside,” explains Hobson. “It measures almost 4 feet across, and since it was a single prototype, 3D printing was the only option, other than completely sculpting it by hand, which would be difficult considering all the precise electronic components inside.”

Hobson has extensive experience in 3D printing, and so will have much to share in his keynote. He is a previous attendee of AMUG, having first visited the event in 2015: “My first visit to AMUG was back in 2015 when I was working for Christie Digital as a young engineer excited about 3D printing — it was fascinating to see where the technology was headed. 5 years later, I run my own company, have over a dozen 3D printers in our rapid prototyping lab, and have a team of engineers prototyping fictional technology for the world to see.”

Hobson will be delivering his keynote on Tuesday 24 March, from 9am to 10am. Additional presentations to consider for this day are “Boeing Additive Manufacturing” by Dr. Melissa Orme, of The Boeing Company, and “An Automotive Perspective on the Materials Development and Verification Pipeline” by Matthew Cassoli and Giuseppe Lacaria of Ford Motor Company.

Dr. Hans Langer, Founder of EOS, Innovators showcase

Dr. Hans Langer is the founder of German 3D printer OEM EOS, having launched the company in 1989. EOS has since grown to become a leading name in the global additive manufacturing market, and so his presentation will focus on driving innovation in the industry. Last year, Dr. Langer was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing accolade at the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards. 

Discussing what’s in store for 3D printing in the next decade, Dr. Langer sees digitization pervading through most AM businesses: “What we all see is that digitalization is and will in the future increasingly dominate all parts of business – and production in particular. AM, as a digital production process, is one of the key drivers here. In such a business environment, embracing digital technologies such as AM for companies translates into staying competitive in the future.”

In specific regards to EOS, the next decade will bring further focus on sustainability, a key goal for the company as outlined by EOS’ recently appointed CEO Marie Langer, daughter of Dr. Langer. 

“Sustainability will be another key driver for our customer and for our industry in the future,” explains Dr. Langer. “By its very nature, AM is sustainable by delivering new resource efficiencies, lightweight designs, longer product life, reconfigured value chains, and inventory waste reduction. At the same time, for EOS additive manufacturing is and will always be responsible manufacturing – and we will actively pursue further sustainability efforts as we progress.”

“Another major development is the fact that we are now able to use materials for powder-based AM that need substantially less energy (around -90%) during the powder production process, at the same time enabling a substantially higher productivity of the AM build process.”

Dr. Hans Langer’s presentation will take place on Wednesday 25 March, from 9am to 10am.  Other highlights from this day include “Performance of Affordable Metal Additive Manufacturing” by Jonathon Hollahan of Xact Metal, and “3D Printing Applications and Benefits in Medical Device Design” by Alexis Dang of Printerprezz.

Dr. Hans Langer, founder of EOS, and the 2019 3D Printing Industry trophy for Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing. Photo via EOS
Dr. Hans Langer, founder of EOS, and the 2019 3D Printing Industry trophy for Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing. Photo via EOS

Jonathan Morris, MD, Neuroradiologist and Co-Director of the Anatomic Modeling Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic

Also speaking at the 2020 AMUG Conference program will be Jonathan Morris, MD, Neuroradiologist and Co-Director of the Anatomic Modeling Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic implemented additive manufacturing into its pre-surgical planning processes over ten years ago with help from Dr. Morris, who had previous 3D printing experience from his time at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Within the Mayo Clinic is the Anatomical Modeling Lab, allowing for in-hospital 3D printing of useful healthcare devices. 

Dr. Morris reflected on the positive impact that in-hospital 3D printing has had in addressing unique and complex surgeries in a previous keynote speech: “[3D printing] has to happen where the doctors are. The fact that it’s in-house makes the lab very accessible for everyone [meaning] surgeons can simply come by between surgeries, explain what they want to visualize, and leave the rest to the radiologists.”

Dr. Morris will take the stage at AMUG on Thursday 26 March, from 9am to 10am.

You can register for the conference here.

The nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. Who do you think should make the shortlists for this year’s show? Have your say now. 

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Featured image shows AMUG 2018 attendees at the Union Station hotel. Photo by Michael Petch.