Applications, Metal, Maturation in 3D Printing Shine at RAPID + TCT

Anticipation is always high for a major event, and RAPID + TCT draws great focus to 3D printing in North America. Several major themes were intentional as this year’s event curated programming centered around medical, metal, and aerospace innovation; others, as they always will, arose throughout the course of the show. This week, writer Sarah Saunders and I were on site in Fort Worth, Texas, as the 3D printing community came together to celebrate technological and business advances — and some friendly armadillo races — for a very busy four days in additive manufacturing.

From the keynotes to a plethora of interviews and opportunities for conversation, the week was nonstop. As always, the intense scheduling still didn’t leave room to see nearly everything nor to have time to catch up with more than a fraction of attendees. Personally, I didn’t have any time at all to walk the floor outside of dashing to scheduled meetings until the last morning of the show, creating an informed if disjointed impression of whirlwind introductions, showcase projects, and a contagious energy.

With 351 exhibitors and a wealth of workshops, presentations, networking events, and awards, RAPID + TCT 2018 did not leave attendees wanting for interaction. We’ve been following closely with the announcements made at the show, as new 3D printersmaterials, and partnerships have been launched; seeing the newest technologies first-hand is invaluable to understanding their capabilities and place in the industry, while the opportunity to catch up with industry influencers is not to be missed.

“It’s always about potential,” Glynn Fletcher, President, EOS North America, told me as we discussed the company’s latest strategic approaches and the growth of the industry.

“Compare RAPID today to ten years ago; then it was more like a flea market, and now it is very important as a vehicle to present ourselves against our competitors. For me, the goal is not to beat the people in this room; the point is with the people in this room, we should be winning business from casting, from foundries, from subtractive manufacturing.”

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