Hope to See You in Knoxville!

Come to our Additive Manufacturing Conference, October 20-21, co-hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The sole focus of the conference is industrial parts and tooling.


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I hope to see you in Tennessee in October.

If you are reading these words either as a recurring visitor to this site or a recipient of our Additive Manufacturing supplement, then it is likely that you are interested in the specific and highly demanding topic the site and the supplement were created to cover. That is, it is likely you are interested in additive manufacturing. Perhaps you have begun to make production parts or tooling this way, or perhaps (more likely) you expect you might be making parts this way in the future. If so, then the Additive Manufacturing Conference, October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee, will probably be worth your time.

Additive manufacturing is different from 3D printing. Some use the terms as though they are interchangeable, but they are not. 3D printing describes a mechanism or operation. Objects are built up from digitally defined layers. By contrast, additive manufacturing seeks to apply that mechanism within a disciplined methodology. A given 3D printer may or may not deliver acceptable part properties, it may or may not provide repeatable output or efficiency, and inspecting or validating the part might not be part of the way the printer is used. But when properties, repeatability and validation can all be locked in sufficiently to create a functional part, perhaps even a production part, then the result is additive manufacturing.

This distinction is important to make because the Additive Manufacturing Conference, as its name stresses, will be all about additive manufacturing. The event is not broadly about 3D printing, and that separates it from many other gatherings. This event is about something more rigorous. The two-day conference is focused solely on industrial applications of digital part-making, solely on applications related to printing functional parts. Indeed, just about all of the speakers at the event (from companies such as GE Aviation and Honeywell, and from institutions such as Penn State University and the National Institute for Aviation Research) are primarily concerned not just with additive manufacturing, but with applying it in metal.

Additive Manufacturing is hosting the event in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is the reason for the Knoxville location. If you attend, you’ll receive a tour of Oak Ridge’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, which assists U.S. manufacturers to develop and succeed with additive manufacturing capability. (This facility is also the site of the “Big-Area Additive Manufacturing” machine that has been used to create the bodies of two 3D-printed cars.)

And if you attend, you’ll also receive something else. It will be a small gift—not enough reason on its own to make the trip, but something meaningful to us. Starting with its next issue, the small Additive Manufacturing publication will be small no longer. It will grow to a full-size magazine. The demand for coverage of industrial additive manufacturing justifies this expansion, and we are excited about taking this step. This October, in Tennessee, it will be our pleasure to give you a copy of the new, larger publication in person.