Spotlight on Additive Manufacturing at IMTS 2012
The Emerging Technology Center (ETC) at the International Manufacturing Technology Show – IMTS – has earned a reputation as the forum that showcases the most innovative technologies that are influencing manufacturing and stand on the precipice of revolutionizing the industry. Additive manufacturing is just such a technology — and it was a run-away success in the ETC at IMTS 2012.
ExOne, 3D Systems, Renishaw, and Objet provided both machines for attendees to see and molds, workpieces and parts they built using additive technology. Throughout the show, visitors paused and studied the intricate forms, marveling at the detail the machines could create out of metal, plastics, and new composites. The looping video featuring additive industry experts drew attention and generated palpable excitement about the future role of additive manufacturing, not just as a means to quickly prototype a new design, but as a viable production mechanism.
In addition to educating many visitors and exhibitors about the additive manufacturing industry, both ExOne and 3D Systems showcased new models and their respective advantages. ExOne’s M-FLEX 3D Printing System raises the bar on the speed of output vs. other machines in use and has the flexibility to be able to print not just metal, but tungsten, glass, ceramics, and other materials. 3D Systems’ ProJet™ 3500 strength is in its high level of precision and durability, regardless of whether the part is a prototype or casting. All of the exhibiting companies had experienced and knowledgeable staff in the ETC to help the attendees understand the technology, machines, and true ramifications of what 3D printing will do for manufacturing.
Judging by the crowds and buzz in the additive section of the ETC, the message definitely resonated with the tens of thousands of visitors at IMTS, and makes the future bright for the exhibitors and everyone involved in the additive manufacturing sector.
For more information watch the Additive presentation that was on display in the ETC during IMTS 2012: http://www.imts.com/video/index.cfm?vid=749.