The International Manufacturing Technology Show is coming soon—how will you spend your time at the show? This year, consider giving one afternoon to a technology that perhaps is not part of the way you manufacture today, but might figure into the way your shop makes parts in the future.
I am referring to additive manufacturing.
This year at IMTS, Modern Machine Shop and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will debut a new event: the Additive Manufacturing Workshop, to be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place (site of IMTS) on September 9 from 12 to 5 p.m. Registration is now open.
Significantly, this will be a manufacturing event. Consumer and artistic uses account for some of the hype around 3D printing, but our focus will be elsewhere. Additive manufacturing—industrial 3D printing—makes it possible to “grow” parts with internal details that couldn’t be produced any other way, and also to make complex, customized components without any need for casting, forging or the associated tooling. Speakers will discuss the promise and the challenges of manufacturing components in this way.
Scheduled speakers include manufacturing leaders from Boeing and GE, as well as from Linear Mold & Engineering, a Michigan manufacturer now making mold inserts and production parts through direct metal laser sintering, an additive manufacturing process. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will also speak, because this institution now offers services to help U.S. manufacturers succeed with additive production.
One other speaker will be Jon Baklund, owner of Baklund R&D, a Minnesota job shop. This CNC machining business recently expanded its capabilities by adding a 3D printer able to make production parts. Mr. Baklund will talk about the ways this capability has changed his company and the doors it has opened, including doors to new machining work.
I will emcee the event. I’ll also moderate an unscripted Q&A in which Greg Morris of GE Aviation will open the floor to questions from the audience. Mr. Morris is one of the leading figures in additive manufacturing; he built a world-renowned additive manufacturing business that was sold to GE. Now, GE is proceeding with plans to produce jet engine components through additive manufacturing, while Mr. Morris works for the company to help other GE businesses apply additive manufacturing to their products. If you won’t be at IMTS but would like to ask Mr. Morris a question as part of this discussion, send it to me. If there is a lull in the audience questions, I might throw your question into the mix. On the other hand, if you will be at IMTS, then I hope you will join me in exploring the possible future of production with some of the manufacturers who are seeing that future take shape today.
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