UK standout event Additive International has introduced this year’s pre-conference day, a session called Future Additive Manufacturing.
Additive International returns to Nottingham this July for its 14th iteration. Past events have been enlightening, with speakers exploring a variety of academic and industry topics. The experts gathering together at Additive International provide a fantastic experience over three days. The first, a pre-conference day, offers a focused program revolving around a specific session topic, while the next two days hold a packed full summit schedule.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending the event before, and honestly can’t recommend it enough. When colleagues like Rachel Park suggest an event is a must-attend, it’s hard to not be curious. Rachel was quite right, and I do very much hope to see the logistical stars align for me at some point in the future to attend again.
Last year’s pre-conference day focused on Business Innovation in Additive Manufacturing; Rachel’s excellent review can be found here.
For 2019, the focus is Future Additive Manufacturing, exploring the science behind additive manufacturing and focusing on UK-funded R&D initiatives. The funding for such science and industrial research comes from the likes of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, as well as key industry players.
“There continues to be a vibrant community in the UK working on cutting edge research advancing additive manufacturing. This year’s pre-conference and full Additive International summit will help to fuel this community, providing a platform for experts from the UK and around the world to share updates, new developments, knowledge, ideas and applications in additive manufacturing,” said conference chair Richard Hague of the University of Nottingham.
Topics to be explored under the Future Additive Manufacturing umbrella range from open architecture additive manufacturing to creating a plug-and-play platform for 3D printing to DfAM (design for additive manufacturing), encompassing looks in polymer, metal, and multi-material 3D printing. As 3D printing continues to grow, so do the applications for the future; the pre-conference program will look into “the science behind new potential applications for sectors from aerospace through to the electronics and pharmaceutical industries.”
Before the summit was rebranded as Additive International, it ran under the (rather longer) more descriptive name of The International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing. While much focus is intentionally placed on UK-funded and -run programming, the “international” aspect is very much in play. I appreciated the opportunity when attending to hear from and chat with expert speakers, exhibitors, and attendees coming in from throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, and North America.
The exhibit portion of Additive International is relatively small — but perhaps it only seems so now in May, as the North American industry prepares for the fast-approaching 400-plus-exhibitor RAPID + TCT. Exhibitors do come in from a range of industry activities, from academia and research to big-name players like Additive Industries, EOS, HP, Materialise, Renishaw, SLM Solutions, and voxeljet. And certainly there will be differences in exhibit floors between trade show and summit style events.
Because the event is all held on-site at the Nottingham Belfry, a hotel convenient for its all-in-one location, the networking is also top-notch. Meals, scheduled events, and after-hours lounge chats all proved unparalleled in my experience as opportunities to chat with some of the brightest minds working in global 3D printing activity today.
A tour of the nearby University of Nottingham also offers a look into their busy 3D printing operations on campus during the course of the event. The tour takes place shortly after the close of the pre-conference session, and is a refreshing step into the realities of the day’s discussions.
“Ongoing research in additive manufacturing is essential to advance the technology and its future applications,” said Rebecca Cheesbrough of EPSRC. “By sharing new updates and discoveries in the field, our project teams have the opportunity to learn from each other and the wider AM community to help tackle key issues in the UK and worldwide. Additive International plays a key role in the AM industry, and we are pleased to support this year’s pre-conference day.”
This year, the event runs July 9th for Future Additive Manufacturing and the 10th and 11th for the two-day full Additive International summit. Registration is open now.
Also it has to be said: one of the best parts of this event? Very, very low on hype. It’s science and realizable R&D here: not a strobe light to be seen.