AMUG names Technical Competition winners, DINO awardees and three new board members

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced a flurry of news following the 2022 AMUG Conference, which wrapped up earlier this month. 

As well as naming its 2022 Technical Competition winners, AMUG has presented three more Distinguished INnovator Operator or ‘DINO’ Awards to members, for advancing 3D printing and its applications. The group has also announced that Mark Abshire, Shannon VanDeren and Jason Dickman have been elected to its board, as President, Vice President and Director of Membership, respectively.

“With over 30 years as an AMUG member and almost half of those years working on the AMUG Board of Directors in various positions and several committees, my business retirement did not mean ending a relationship with this users group,” said Abshire. “But rather, it offered an opportunity to give back and serve this community that has been an integral part of a successful lifetime career.”

“My goal as President is to ensure that AMUG’s growth and direction are sustainable while providing a path forward for a new generation to follow with success.”

AMUG Conference 2022 New Members Reception. Photo by Michael Petch
The 2022 AMUG Conference New Members Reception. Photo by Michael Petch.

Introducing the latest DINO Award winners

For those unfamiliar with the DINO Awards, they’re one of AMUG’s most prestigious prizes, designed to recognize those that have contributed to advancing 3D printing and the skills of those within it, in an altruistic way. In order to be selected, awardees need to possess a passion for the technology, and have attended at least three AMUG Conferences. 

As a minimum, award winners are also required to have spent ten years ‘personally involved’ in the sector, whether that be in areas such as practical research or standards development. Previous awardees include the likes of ExOne’s Bob Wood and Materialise’s Evan Kirby, and the 2021 DINO Awards saw ASTM International’s Shane Collins and Hexagon’s Giles Gaskell join this illustrious group, among others.  

At this year’s conference, in Chicago, Illinois, the list of DINO Award winners was extended, to include Massivit 3D’s Ben Arnold, Vulcan Form’s Matthew Donovan and Computer Aided Technology’s Nick Licari. According to Gary Rabinovitz, Chair of the DINO Selection Committee, the awardees were chosen from over 1,800 attendees, for their industry service, contributions and AMUG support. 

Rabinovitz described Arnold as a “mentor, educator and coach, brimming with passion,” while AMUG’s new VP Shannon VanDeren hailed Donovan as “quick to speak out on the value of AMUG.” Derek Ellis, Chair of the group’s New Member Committee and a former co-worker of Licari, also praised his ‘work ethic and willingness to share,’ in addition to his commitment to “introducing new ideas.”

The 2022 recipients of AMUG's DINO Award. Photo via AMUG.
The recipients of AMUG’s DINO Award at the 2022 AMUG Conference. Photo via AMUG.

AMUG’s 2022 Technical Competition winners

Alongside its latest DINO Award inductees, AMUG has also announced the results of this year’s Technical Competition. Introduced as a forum, in which users can display their latest 3D printing applications and finishing capabilities, the contest seeks to recognize those that really push the envelope with one or more technologies. 

With previous Technical Competition winners including established firms like Carbon and ProtoCAM, this year’s contest had some tough acts to follow, but Bonnie Meyer, Chair of the Technical Competition Committee, says she’s received numerous comments “praising the high quality of the entries,” despite there being a record-breaking 32 submitted. 

Following a vote by AMUG members, Jung Kyu Im’s and Daniel Goncalves’ Metal 3D Printed Bathroom Faucet was chosen as the winner of the inaugural Member’s Choice Award. Featuring a custom, florally-inspired design, the tap incorporates water channels within its organically shaped ‘stems,’ that twist as they rise to connect with a ‘flower’ tip, capable of discharging flowing water. 

In the words of Im and Goncalves, the shape of the Renishaw 3D printed faucet and accompanying handles, “could only be produced with powder bed fusion,” as it enabled the addition of water channels “in a way that would avoid internal supports.”

Elsewhere, a panel of nine judges closely scrutinized the merits of entries to the Advanced Finishing and Advanced Concepts categories, with Bill Braune of Dinsmore Inc ultimately crowned winner of the former. Braune’s victorious entry, his third in a row, features a replica of the famous Las Vegas sign, as part of a 34 x 23 inch 3D printed homage to the 1996 Sci-Fi hit ‘Mars Attacks!’

Bill Braune's winning 'Mars Attacks' entry in the Advanced Finishing category. Image via AMUG.
Bill Braune’s winning ‘Mars Attacks!’ entry in the Advanced Finishing category. Image via AMUG.

The Advanced Concepts category, meanwhile, was won by MELD Manufacturing CEO Nanci Hardwick for her entry ‘Metal 3D Printing Raises the Bar for the Army’s Jointless Hull Program.’ Hardwick’s submission centered on US Army plans to deploy her firm’s technology to build a 20 x 30 x 12 foot metal 3D printer, before using it to create an aluminum monolithic hull segment weighing north of 200 pounds.

Clearly captured, Meyer described the project as “maybe the most impressive new AM technology” at the show, given that it could “enable large-scale manufacturing.” Along with her fellow Technical Competition winners, Hardwick will receive complimentary admission to the 2023 AMUG Conference, so she and her co-victors can elaborate on their research findings on-stage at the event next year. 

AMUG's newly-elected 2022-23 President Mark Abshire. Photo via AMUG.
AMUG’s newly-elected 2022-23 President Mark Abshire. Photo via AMUG.

Expanding AMUG’s Board of Directors 

Lastly, in addition to recognizing the support and innovation of its members, AMUG has added three more to its Board of Directors. As previous Dino Award winners themselves, current AMUG President Carl Dekker says that Mark Abshire, Shannon VanDeren and Jason Dickman are “experienced and seasoned members,” with the ability to “support great advancements in the organization.”

Having recently retired from Computer Aided Technology, Abshire has filled numerous roles at AMUG’s Conferences over the last 32 years, while Layered Manufacturing and Consulting President VanDeren brings 8 years’ experience as AMUG’s Medical Track Leader to the role, and ClassIQmfg CTO Dickman has contributed to the event since 1995. 

“We have had very challenging endeavors over the recent pandemic years,” Dekker said as the election results were announced. “It has been a pleasure to work with Andrew [Allshorn] and Bill [Macy] as we overcame these challenging times. Their efforts have helped build the foundations our new board can build upon and helped generate a growing organization that will prevail the test of time.”

The newly-elected team will serve two-year terms in their positions from July 1, 2022 onwards. In their new roles, the board members are set to focus on soliciting support from businesses in the 3D printing industry, overseeing AMUG’s day-to-day activities and building the program for next year’s conference, which is scheduled for March 19-23, 2023. 

For those that missed out on attending this year’s event, they can catch up via the feedback of 3D Printing Industry’s own Michael Petch, who shared his 2022 AMUG Conference impressions here

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Featured image shows the AMUG Conference 2022 New Members Reception. Photo by Michael Petch.