SME’s RAPID + TCT Returns Home to Detroit, Michigan


RAPID + TCT is North America’s largest conference and exposition on additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection, and related technologies. This year’s RAPID + TCT promises to uphold its rich tradition with over 150 experts that will speak on topics including additive manufacturing applications, materials, design considerations, research, final part production and post processing

Cobo Center
Detroit, Michigan USA
20-23 May 2019

We caught up with Maria Conrado, SME conference manager, to talk about SME’s upcoming RAPID + TCT conference in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.


AMazing®: Maria, thank you for your participation. This must be an exciting time with RAPID + TCT returning to its birthplace, Detroit, Michigan. As Michigan ranks number one in automotive manufacturing, what show features will be available to attendees interested in learning about additive manufacturing technologies in the automotive industry?

Maria Conrado: Thank you, David, for offering up this great opportunity to share with you and your followers all of the exciting things happening at this year’s RAPID + TCT event. We are extremely excited to be back in Detroit for many reasons; it’s SME’s home, the city is a shining jewel with a lot to offer; and finally, the strong presence of manufacturing via the automotive industry.

We have created an ‘automotive day’ on Thursday, May 23rd to showcase the latest advancements in automotive additive manufacturing. The day will start with a keynote from Dominik Rietzel, Head of Additive Manufacturing (Non-Metals) at BMW Group, continue with an automotive conference track and conclude with an automotive/aerospace collaborative thought leadership panel. So many advances are occurring within the technology that it will be important for not only the auto makers to attend but their supply chain as well.

Photo courtesy of SME

Photo courtesy of SME

AMazing®: At this year’s RAPID + TCT, SME will feature a new tool called iRAMP (Interactive RAPID AM Portal) to help businesses interested in the purchase of additive manufacturing machinery or 3D printers. What exactly is iRAMP? How can show attendees access the portal?

Maria Conrado: The Interactive Rapid Additive Manufacturing Portal (iRAMP) is a tool that supports critical additive manufacturing (AM) decisions. It allows users to make informed decisions when considering a purchase of an AM machine/3D printer.

More than a searchable database, iRAMP allows users to specify the build envelope, material category, and more to find the AM machine to meet their needs. iRAMP saves users time and money by narrowing their search for AM/3D printing machines to only products applicable to their specifications.

Kiosks will be available on site for attendees to utilize the search tool. Each iRAMP Premier Sponsor will have a kiosk near their booth.

Photo courtesy of SME

Photo courtesy of SME

AMazing®: This year’s AM Technical Insights Forum at RAPID + TCT seems particularly well-suited for businesses new to additive manufacturing or still unclear about the benefits of additive manufacturing. What types of sessions will be available to show attendees?

Maria Conrado: The event is focused on the sharing of information. At the AM Technical Insights Forum, all attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on presentations featuring the latest applications, processes, and research in additive manufacturing. Presentations will range from novice to intermediate to expert, providing education for all levels of experience. Topics will include scaling up to mass production, medical and aerospace additive manufacturing applications, laser scanning, and much more.

AMazing®: As AM adoption grows, businesses will need capable, skilled and available employees to support the growth of AM in design, processes, machine and technology. What show features will be available to students, faculty members and young professionals interested in a career in additive manufacturing?

Maria Conrado: We have much to offer, starting with our with our Student Summit. The Student Summit is focused on providing high school students with the opportunity for hands-on learning and engagement with our exhibitors. Next, the university students will have a chance to attend our Career Development Forum, which will give them exposure to various companies and the preparation these companies expect from the incoming workforce. We will feature a poster challenge as well as a job board.

AMazing®: Finally, what conference strategies and tips would you suggest to attendees to maximize their conference experience? 

Maria Conrado: Make time and plan ahead – there is so much to see and experience, but more importantly there are so many conversations to be had. We are the conveners of industry – the event is all about the people who have advanced the technology and will continue to do so.

Appreciate the opportunity – we look forward to seeing you and the rest of industry in Detroit!

This concludes our interview. Maria, thank you very much for your participation. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn about this year’s RAPID + TCT event.

About Maria Conrado
Maria Conrado is the Event Manager for RAPID at SME. She has been a manufacturing event manager in the industry for more than 20 years. Maria received her education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

For over 25 years, RAPID + TCT has defined the crucial role of additive manufacturing and empowered the establishment of an industry that continues to conceive, test, improve and manufacture new products at a faster, more cost-efficient pace. The two industry leaders in 3D technology events, SME and the TCT Group have teamed up to produce the annual RAPID + TCT event. For users and suppliers alike, the event is the premier destination for those who provide technology and for those who need to understand, explore and adopt 3D printing, additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection technologies. For more information, please visit

About SME
SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFGon Twitter or

Dana Nielsen
Senior Marketing Specialist, SME
[email protected]

Source: SME/AMazing

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