All you ever wanted to know about 3D printing you can see at RAPID

One of the largest and most interesting trade shows will be coming up in June: the RAPID Conference and Exposition, the biggest event in North America for the 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing) industry, June 9-12 at the Cobo Center, Detroit. The topic of the event is "3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Shape the Future." Co-located with RAPID will be The BIG M Manufacturing Convergence, and the 42nd North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC 42).

RAPID, produced by the SME and in its 24th year, always proves to be exciting and full of new technology, lots of 3D equipment to wet your appetite, and more information than you can absorb in three days. Reading badges is a fascinating exercise because there are engineers there from a wide range of OEMs that you'd never get to rub shoulders with at any other show.

The OEMs are there to see what 3D printing can do for their product development and speed-to-market efforts. I'd recommend that plastics processors and moldmakers put this event on their calendars and make it a point to attend so that you'll become informed as to what 3D printing can do for you and your customers.

Let's face it, OEMs are getting on this bandwagon and are expecting more out of their suppliers when it comes to helping them reduce costs of product development, including developing cores and cavities for pilot molds in a matter of days for faster time-to-market. 

One mold manufacturer, Linear Mold & Engineering of Livonia, MI, was an early adopter of direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology from EOS GmbH. Today, Linear operates six DMLS machines and one SLM machine, with more on the way. Linear will be offering a Destination Tour of its DMLS facility during RAPID. There will also be a bus from the Amerimold trade show to Linear's facility. 

In fact you block out that entire week, because Amerimold is also that week, June 11-12 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. Of course Amerimold is the show for all things moldmaking. The two trade shows will go nicely together and they are conveniently located near each other with Linear in between. More information on signing up for the Linear plant tour will be forthcoming soon.

In today's fast-paced technology world, you can never have too much information. 

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