Additive Manufacturing Conference 2017 Review

Thoughts from Our First AM2017 Show

Ed and I attended the annual Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC), held this year in Knoxville Tennessee, at the Knoxville Convention Center.  Knoxville is a great city with friendly people.  The convention center facilities were clean, comfortable and we wanted for nothing they didn’t handle within minutes.  Logistics, electrical, the Additive Magazine Staff were all courteous, efficient and fun to talk with.

The event is two parts, one being where various exhibitors have booths and make themselves and their products available for anyone interested.

 

Exhibitor floor view.

 

Plural AM Booth.

 

Ed presenting!

 

From an exhibitor point of view, I recommend this event.  The number and quality of people were both excellent.  Many great conversations had by all.  I could feel the general excitement surrounding all things additive and there were a wide variety of interesting products and services to check out.  The Plural booth was busy almost the entire time with some friends and customers stopping by to catch up and to look at the latest parts we’ve printed.  Then there were all the new people!  We experienced a lot of interest in our printers through our “Incorporating Additive Manufacturing Into Your Business” presentation.  People seemed most interested in any new Additive Manufacturing process and materials.  Many of our conversations centered around FDM, which is what we do, and the various materials and how they may be used to manufacture parts, fixtures and prototypes.  Flexible materials were a big draw and we received lots of questions on those, as well as what is coming next.

As attendees, both Ed and I loved the show.  We were able to break away from our booth and attend a few of the great presentations as well as deliver our own.  To the left is a photo of Ed, with me on the Stage to Ed’s left, talking to people about AM and their business.  Our presentation was well received.  While we had 30 minutes, we could have easily given this subject an hour.  Given that time constraint, we chose to hit the highlights to make sure the really important information was presented, along with an invite to visit us at our boothto up on more detailed discussion.  Quite a few attendees did exactly that.

Our presentation on “Incorporating Additive Manufacturing Into Your Business” was very well received!

Each evening, AMC featured an open bar and various foods all arranged in a friendly, “let’s have a conversation” way.  Kudos to the team here!  This turned out great.  People were talking with one another until fairly late in the evening.  All of the catered food was delicious and well presented.  Very enjoyable.

This conference included tours to Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and Local Motors, both of whom showed a lot of Additive Manufacturing innovation going on.  We got a chance to see new processes, materials, and projects up close with ample time to ask questions.

On the last day, there was a great bluegrass band, “Grassically Trained”, who performed around an hour set for us.  The last tune of the night was amazing!  Definitely a treat.  I recommend Grassically Trained for your event.  They are down to earth musicians, who can really deliver,  and have a lot of fun doing it.  There was a crowd of listeners near them the entire time they played.

Final morning wrap was quick, clean, no hassle.  All the things we arranged for, forklift, electrical, etc… arrived and executed without a hitch.  I can’t thank the Knoxville Convention Center team enough.  Great event, and they made doing what we do a lot easier.

To sum up:  I recommend this show to anyone interested in learning more about Additive Manufacturing.  The quality of people at this event means numerous networking opportunities, interactions with industry vendors, and a great commentary from people experienced in AM. Everyone was more than willing to share what they know.  AM is a fun industry, it’s on a growth path, and this event could be considered a required stop along the way. Would definitely attend and exhibit again.

Happy Printing!

Doug Dingus

 

 

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