RAPID + TCT 2019 preview: strong schedule adds automotive track for Detroit

North America’s largest additive manufacturing event RAPID + TCT has announced its schedule for 2019. Hosted at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, from May 20 – 23, the must-attend 3D printing event features over 110 technical presentations, a renewed focus on medical applications, plus an all-new automotive conference track.

Almost 400 exhibitors from across the 3D printing industry are included in RAPID + TCT 2019’s exhibitor list. And, based on figures from 2018, around 6,000 people are expected to attend the show.

“As one of the most influential events for additive manufacturing across the globe, RAPID + TCT is designed to drive industry change and disruption,” said Maria Conrado, SME’s senior event manager for RAPID + TCT.

“We look forward to returning to our birthplace of Detroit to host our largest event yet – and showcase the innovators who are driving disruption in their companies and industries.”

Previous attendees to RAPID + TCT. Photo via SME
Previous attendees to RAPID + TCT. Photo via SME

What to expect at RAPID + TCT 2019

The RAPID + TCT conference is produced by manufacturing association SME. Its first event was hosted in 1990, making it the longest running additive manufacturing conference in North America. In 2019, the show is celebrating its 29th birthday. To commemorate the decades RAPID + TCT has spent at the cutting edge of this industry, it will be returning to the place it was founded in Detroit. This year’s conference schedule will also reflect the Motor City’s heritage with a specialist presentation track covering AM for automotive.

Each day opens with a keynote presentation, setting the tone for some of the show’s highlights, and reporting on observed trends across the industry as a whole. Exhibit day one will be opened by a presentation from Bill Taylor, co-founder of leading business magazine Fast Company.

Highlighting medical, one of the themes for RAPID +TCT 2019, Naomi Murray, Director of Advanced Operations for Additive Technology Solutions at Stryker, will introduce day two.

And, on day three Dominik Rietzel, Head of Additive Manufacturing (Non-Metals) at BMW Group, will feed into the show’s automotive theme.

Following the keynotes, visitors are free to explore the exhibition, returning for any choice presentations within their area of interest. Selecting which presentations and workshops to take part in can be difficult however. To make it easier, organizers have labelled each article on the schedule with its level of suitability, i.e. novice, intermediate and expert. The schedule can also be sorted into to 22 different conference tracks, dependent on application, technology and purpose.

Organizers of RAPID + TCT have labelled each article on the schedule with its level of suitability, i.e. novice, intermediate and expert. Photo via SME
Organizers of RAPID + TCT have labelled each article on the schedule with its level of suitability, i.e. novice, intermediate and expert. Photo via SME

Finding the additive manufacturing application for you

A jam-packed schedule inclusive of all industries, the presentation and workshop content of RAPID + TCT covers application case studies, new research, tips for exploring AM in specific workflows, and projections for the future of the technology. As an example, major manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and GE Additive will be there to discuss the application of additive manufacturing for end use parts.

As a rising vertical, with demonstrable value to hospitals and medical centers, medicine is one of the topics granted its own conference track at RAPID + TCT. For 2019, as in previous years, this topic is led by Medical Manufacturing Innovations Program (MMI). MMI speakers and workshop leaders include representatives of the FDA, Materialise, DePuy Synthes, 3D Systems, the Mayo Clinic, EOS and VA Puget Sound Health Care System.

Tapping into Detroit’s heritage and another growing vertical for the industry, RAPID + TCT 2019 will feature an automotive conference track for 2019. These specialist presentations include “Some Practical Experience Gained While 3D Printing a Car” by Slade Gardner, President of Big Metal Additive, and “Advanced Transportation: The Next AM Revolution” by Jon Walker, Business Development at EOS North America.

Exciting research discoveries will be presented in Detroit by scientists from NASA, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, The University of Delaware, and other leading institutions. A third specialist conference track even focuses on emerging additive manufacturing technologies, including a new multi-metal 3D printing method Admatec Europe.

Metal AM at RAPID + TCT. Photo via SME
Metal AM at RAPID + TCT. Photo via SME

Attend RAPID + TCT 2019

The full conference schedule for RAPID + TCT 2019, and the Cobo Center’s floorplan and exhibitor list can be viewed here.

Click here to register now for RAPID + TCT 2019.

3D Printing Industry will be reporting live from RAPID + TCT 2019, email us if you’d like to meet.

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Featured image shows previous attendees to RAPID + TCT. Photo via SME