RAPID + TCT 2021 rescheduled for September

North America’s largest additive manufacturing event RAPID + TCT has announced new dates for its 2021 event, which will now take place September 13-15. 

While the location of the event remains the same – McCormick place in Chicago, Illinois – it will be co-located with FABTECH 2021, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing show. 

In an announcement on the RAPID + TCT website, the organizers reiterated that the health and safety of show attendees is of the utmost importance, with the new dates allowing the “safest possible environment” for the show to take place.

Networking event on the first evening of RAPID + TCT 2019. Photo by Beau Jackson
Networking event on the first evening of RAPID + TCT 2019. Photo by Beau Jackson

Keeping people safe

Alongside announcing new dates for the event, the organizers have also brought in additional health and safety measures that will be in place throughout the show. 

As well as sanitization protocols, this year’s event will see smaller capacity educational sessions with simulcast and virtual viewing options available to attendees. There will also be a focus on smaller and more value-driven buyer-seller interactions while more digital and virtual tools will be implemented to better connect attendees and exhibitors. 

A statement on the event website said: “Events, conferences, and trade shows are vital to the manufacturing industry, and their absence has slowed the pace of manufacturing’s post-pandemic recovery. 

“The resumption of such events will benefit the industry and fuel its economic engine.”

What to expect at RAPID + TCT 2021

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. SME joined forces with owner of the TCT Group, Rapid News Publications, in 2016 to produce the event, and in 2021 the conference will be celebrating its 30th year.

The upcoming event will feature RAPID’s established additive manufacturing conference and thought leadership panels which will bring together more than one hundred experts in 3D printing to discuss industry trends and case studies, marketplace demands on additive manufacturing, and advancements across the spectrum of 3D printing. The sessions will cover the latest processes, applications, materials, and research related to 3D printing, scanning and related technologies.

This year, the event themes include post-processing technologies and certification, quality control, standards and inspection, and additive manufacturing design, including software, reverse engineering, workflow, IP, and other elements. There will also be a focus on business education and training, and hot topics such as supply chain and distributed manufacturing will be addressed. Regarding materials, particular attention will be paid to metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites.

The conference presentations will take place over three days, including three networking receptions and daily keynote presentations.

Additionally, a dedicated Medical Additive Manufacturing Showcase will delve into advancements in the design and manufacture of implants, dental devices, and tissues using 3D printing. Elsewhere, workshops will take a deep dive into specific 3D printing topics, and up-and-coming companies will showcase innovative 3D printing technologies with the potential to expand and accelerate additive manufacturing in the Startup Zone.

Meanwhile, product presentations will display must-see technologies, applications, and new products that can be found on the exhibition floor during the show.

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
The RAPID + TCT 2021 conference will bring together more than one hundred AM experts from around the world. Photo via SME

Recap of RAPID + TCT 2019

Held May 20-23 in Detroit, Michigan, the 2019 event saw nearly 9,000 manufacturing professionals from across the globe descend upon the exhibition floor, which spanned 112,200 square feet. A record 434 companies exhibited at the event to showcase what was new in 3D printing hardware, software, materials, applications, and 3D scanning, at the time.

The conference featured dedicated tracks to the 3D printed medical market and the automotive sector, while the exhibition played host to technology and product announcements spanning software upgrades and availability rollouts, new printing systems, advances in material composites, and 3D printing collaborations.

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Featured image shows entrance to RAPID + TCT 2019. Photo by Beau Jackson