RAPID 2012: A Post-Conference Summary

RAPID 2012 has come and gone yet highlights from the conference keep making an appearance on many engineering, design and 3D printing blogs; which attests to the importance and impact of this conference.

Unfortunately 3D Innovations was unable to attend the RAPID 2012 event this year. However, we kept up-to-date on the conference via news outlets, blog posts and social media. While reading about the event we realized that there are other people and companies that were not able to make it but still want to know what happened.

Below is a daily account of what went on via a compilation of news outlets including Rapid Ready, Make Parts Fast, and Fabbaloo.

Rapid Ready’s day-by-day account of the conference from John Newman (we found this to be very informative):

Day 1: The “Conference Kickoff” was dedicated to innovations in additive manufacturing (AM). The field of 3D imaging was covered in broad strokes, covering topics such as industrial CT scanning, dental imaging (which is quickly becoming a field all its own), human body imaging (prosthetics, custom-fit clothes) and large scale scanning (like, entire building large).

Day 2: Keynote address by Paul Doe, chief designer for Prodrive’s rally car program. Doe spoke about how additive manufacturing (AM) has changed the way Prodrive modifies automobiles. Following the keynote, the floor show opened its doors. Just under the tumult of conversation you could hear 3D printers quietly humming away.

Stratasys was showing off its new printer, Mojo, and Objet had its newest offering, the Objet30 Pro on display. The 3D Systems booth was busy with people ogling the new ProJet 3500 Series and the recently revealed ZPrinter 850McCor Technologies made its first appearance in the United States, showing off the Matrix 300 and announcing a new AM system to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Iris. The Iris produces 3D objects in full color, still using normal letter paper.

Fabbaloo shared some wonderful images, Around the Show Floor at Rapid 2012.

Day 3: Keynote address by Mr. Terry Wohlers began by informing the crowd that this was the 20th year of RAPID. The industry has changed a lot in more than two decades. According to Mr. Wohlers, since 1988, the CAGR of additive manufacturing (AM) has increased by 26.4%. Around 6,500 industrial AM systems were sold in 2011 and material sales to feed those systems added up to $327 million.

Mr. Wohlers said quantifying just how many personal 3D printer units have been sold is more difficult, partially because it’s harder to track small start-up sales and even harder to guess how many hobbyists are building their own printers. He estimates that around 23,265 personal 3D printers were sold in 2011, up from 5,978 in 2010.

An article by Leslie Langnau on Make Parts Fast summarizes Mr. Wholers keynote address into 13 key developments in the 3D printing industry. A last key trend mentioned by Mr. Wohlers is the increasing number of 3D printers built for kids and students. The benefits from this trend may not be felt for a decade, but these future engineers are learning now. (We could not agree more!)

*If you were at the conference and have information to share please comment below.


June 2024

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