The Additive Manufacturers User Group Conference (AMUG) is underway in St. Louis, Missouri. This year, the theme is innovation. Hardware and material technology are rapidly evolving in additive manufacturing. With new offerings coming on the market daily, it can be difficult to pinpoint which technology is the right fit for your application. AMUG brought all technologies to one place for hands on learning.
Here are a few takeaways from my first two days at AMUG!
- The Stratasys J750 is awesome. This printer has the ability to print six different materials at the same time. This surely will be a powerhouse for making some exceptional concept models – not to mention that the J750 has a palette of more than 360,000 colors! Check out TriMech’s blog on the J750.
- Jason Lopes of Legacy Effects showed some of the things he was doing with PolyJet technology during the keynote presentation. Can you say ultra-realistic?! Only a picture will do this justice. See the image of Jason Statham's face below. Several parts of the face were 3D printed and used for GCI components in an LG commercial.
- Carbon 3D showcased their new M1 3D printer with five material types. They presented some cool applications such as urethane casting and RTV molding. Both of these resulted in time and cost savings over traditional manufacturing methods.
- Diamond sponsors covered some really interesting 3DP statistics.
- About 10 to 15 years ago, 3D printing was nearly synonymous with prototyping. A whopping 75% of all 3D printing applications were for prototypes. Only 5% of applications were for end-use parts.
- Today, within tooling applications (jigs, tools, fixtures and assembly aids), it’s about a 50/50 split between prototypes and end-use parts.
- Keep an eye on XJet. They introduced ‘nanoparticle jetting’ for 3D printing with metal. XJet has been around for 10 years and the technology is similar to Stratasys PolyJet hardware. The first material they are introducing is stainless steel. This technology is important because you are able to print a support material along with the primary model material. This allows for printing assemblies and other complex designs with minimal finishing. I have a feeling XJet will disrupt metal printing.
- Voxel8 has a printer that can print silver for electrical applications and many different surfaces. Check out how they participate in printing drones, watches, small fixtures and custom printed circuit boards.
Want more information about the different printer options? Download the Entry-Level 3D Printer Buyer's Guide.