Excitement is always the buzzword at SME's RAPID conference and trade show, and this year was exceptionally exciting. With the buzz about 3D printing, aka additive manufacturing (AM), filling the manufacturing media headlines over the past year with new applications and innovative developments, RAPID 2014 last week was the pinnacle of that media attention.
Frank Medina, chairman of the Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) committee for SME, noted in his opening remarks for RAPID that the 2014 conference had broken previous records for attendance. In addition to North American attendees, there were attendees from 27 countries, Medina reported. People came from around the world to see some of the latest and greatest in 3D printing.
In his opening remarks, Lonnie Love, senior research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) in the automation, robotics & manufacturing group, noted that 3D printing is the "gateway drug" for manufacturing. "However, science is only good if you can apply it," he added. "We can't work in silos."