The 2024 AMUG Conference is set to introduce significant enhancements, driven by community feedback. The event will feature an extended AMUGexpo, now spanning three nights, and a rescheduled Special Event & Dinner. An intriguing ’80s-themed dinner and the first-ever AMUGderby, inspired by the Scouts of America’s pinewood derby, are among the novel attractions planned for the event.
Ed Graham, a seasoned pioneer in the field of additive manufacturing and the current Director of Education & Conference at AMUG provided insights into what attendees can expect at this year’s event.
Education remains a central pillar of AMUG’s agenda. The conference will continue to offer scholarships and poster sessions, encouraging participation from universities and industry newcomers. A longtime attendee of the AMUG Conference, Graham is now responsible for keynotes.
The selection of keynote speakers includes Jason Lopes and Olaf Diegel, “Jason Lopes was always somebody who just wowed me. His presentations were always amazing. He’s working with the latest and greatest in technologies,” said Graham. Lopes has moved between the AM sector and Hollywood, bringing movies from the Muppets to Marvel to life with additive manufacturing. Diegel, a Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland is known for his design and guitar projects. “He’s been involved in a lot of the DFAM world and has a broad base of projects and scope of work,” said Graham.
Additionally, the conference will honor Greg Morris with the Innovators Award. As the award winner, he will be the featured guest in AMUG’s Innovators Showcase, which offers attendees a chance to hear from a key industry figure in a fireside chat setting.
A key differentiator for the AMUG Conference is its emphasis on hands-on workshops. Graham is a strong proponent of practical learning, stating, “The best thing for learning and knowledge is getting your hands dirty, right? Really diving into it.” Popular workshops like ‘Foundry In A Box’ and ‘Beyond Adhesives’ will return, supplemented by new offerings. These workshops are included in the conference fee, a unique feature that sets AMUG apart from other industry events.
Emphasizing the importance of community input, Graham notes, “We listened to the users who said we need some more time, and we’d like to do some more, you know, communicating.”
Networking is another focal point of the AMUG experience. The conference is designed to foster connections among attendees through innovative strategies such as ‘fishbowl lunches,’ where attendees are assigned to tables randomly to encourage meeting new people. This approach is part of what makes the AMUG networking experience unparalleled in the industry.
For those new to AMUG, Graham advises attending the new member welcome session to better navigate the event and maximize the experience. He also prepares attendees for a marathon of learning and networking, indicative of the conference’s comprehensive agenda.
In conclusion, Graham reiterates the educational mission of AMUG, stating, “Our entire agenda is set up to educate our members.” This commitment to education, coupled with a focus on innovation and networking, positions the 2024 AMUG Conference as a unique and enriching event in the world of additive manufacturing. “The general track sessions are designed with the intent to educate. They are not intended to be sales pitches; theyare learning sessions. The rest of the conference is set up to promote collaboration and networking. We aim to educate our members and provide a fun atmosphere to foster networking and knowledge sharing. AMUG is a one-of-a-kind event that will not disappoint,” Graham concludes.
Plan your visit to the 2024 AMUG Conference here.
Featured image shows Ed Graham [R] Director of Education & Conference at AMUG. Photo via AMUG.