RAPID + TCT – Celebrating 30 Years at the Forefront of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Technologies

RAPID + TCT is one of the most influential and largest additive manufacturing events in North America, offering a broad range of activities and topics including additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection and much more. This year, the four-day event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Anaheim Convention Center
800 W. Katella Center
Anaheim, CA 92802 USA
April 20 – 23, 2020

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

We caught up with Maria Conrado, SME event manager, to learn about RAPID + TCT 2020 in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.

AMazing®: Maria, thank you for your participation. In 2019, SME hosted 11 events across three countries. Looking ahead this year, SME will host AeroDef Manufacturing, Fort Worth, Texas; RAPID + TCT, Anaheim, California; and Smart Manufacturing Experience, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; North American Manufacturing Research Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Montreal Manufacturing Technology Show (MMTS), Montreal, Quebec, Canada; as well as a number of FABTECH events. What makes SME events successful, and in the case of RAPID + TCT, unique to the community?

Video courtesy of SME – RAPID + TCT 2019 Recap

Maria Conrado:  RAPID + TCT is the largest event in North America focusing on the topic of 3D printing or additive manufacturing. What really makes our presence in North America so solid is that this year we’ll be celebrating our 30th year. We started as a conference and have grown into a unique event that now encompasses an exhibit floor, conference sessions, several education-content opportunities as well as a variety of networking features and activities.

AMazing®: The breadth of this year’s conference schedule is quite impressive, from sessions about the FDA and 3D printing to a surgeon’s perspective on 3D-printed anatomic models. What would you recommend to attendees to help customize a show schedule to fit their needs?

Maria Conrado: Attendees have so much from which to choose — not only in the conference sessions, but also in educational-content activities, as well as everything they can learn from visiting the exhibit floor. When it’s specific to the conference session we’ve added a unique feature on the website that allows you to select presentations based on your level of expertise. Whether you are at a novice, intermediate, or expert level, presentations all can be sorted so that you can best determine your plan for the week during the conference sessions.

AMazing®: This year’s show offers a number of keynote presentations and panel discussions to learn from leading experts. What would you like to share about these exciting show opportunities?

Maria Conrado: On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will have our thought-leadership panels. We started those last year and it’s great to continue them again in 2020. We work with experts in industry to develop a topic. Moderator and participants are at executive levels, so you’re really getting that executive thought leadership from industry.

Photo courtesy of SME
Photo courtesy of SME

The Tuesday-morning keynote speaker, Jordan Noone, co-founder & CTO of Relativity Space, will speak about additive manufacturing as the future of aerospace. The thought-leadership panel on Tuesday afternoon focuses on sustainability. We’re very excited to have Brian Neff, CEO of Sintavia; Bruce Bradshaw, CMO of 6K; Edvin Resebo, CEO of AMEXCI; and Marie Langer, CEO of EOS on the panel, which will be moderated by Sherry Handel, Executive Director of AMGTA.

On Wednesday, we have a strong focused medical theme including the morning keynote, by Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest. He will speak about the latest trends in regenerative medicine. The afternoon thought-leadership panel will focus on 3D printing in hospitals. We have a great group of experts including moderator Andy Christiansen from University of Ottawa. Our outstanding group of panelists includes Beth Ripley from VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Jonathan Morris from the Mayo Clinic, Justin Ryan from Rady Children’s Hospital and Peter Liacouras from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Thursday morning, we kick off the day with our keynote speaker, Jonathan Brill from HP. He is a global futurist and will be discussing the social, economic, political and technological shifts affecting the market of tomorrow. All of the keynote presentations and panel discussions are great opportunities to really hear what folks are thinking and doing in the industry.

AMazing®: With regard to new technologies that may affect the market of tomorrow, the Smart Manufacturing Hub seems like a must-attend event to learn about new technology advancements. What are some topics that will be discussed in the Hub?

Maria Conrado: We have some great programs this year in the Smart Manufacturing Hub. The schedule includes topics focusing on the advancement of manufacturing and new, innovative technologies. Some sessions to choose from include: Cognitive Augmented Design: The Highway to Excellence, Additive Manufacturing in SOLIDWORKS, From Simulation to Print with SIMULIA and DELMIA.

AMazing®: SME has a rich history of advancing medical technology through additive manufacturing. What show features will be available to attendees interested in learning about medical additive manufacturing technologies?

Photo courtesy of SME
Photo courtesy of SME

Maria Conrado: New at RAPID + TCT 2020 will be the Medical Additive Manufacturing Showcase. This will include workshops, conference tracks, keynote speakers, thought leadership panels and 100 exhibitors all featuring medical addictive manufacturing technologies.

On the exhibit floor there will be a Medical Additive Manufacturing Solution Center featuring Medical Enabling & Emerging Technologies (MEET) exhibitors. These companies are showcasing the latest enabling and emerging technologies in medical. Many of them are biofabrication companies. This area of innovation and transformation of healthcare as we know it will provide a unique networking and development opportunity with industry leaders.

Also, in this area will be the Live Lab, a project we are working on in conjunction with Mayo Clinic. This is an area where attendees will be able to go through the complete AM ecosystem as it pertains to medical. Attendees will have an opportunity to see firsthand how Mayo Clinic runs a 3D printing lab at the point of care. RAPID + TCT guests of all experience levels are welcome to interact with lab staff and observe the processes up close and in person.

Dr. Anthony Atala of Wake Forest will present a keynote on regenerative medicine on Wednesday morning and we’ll have a thought leadership panel focused on 3D printing in hospitals on Wednesday afternoon with panelists from Mayo Clinic, Rady Children’s Hospital, Veterans Health Administration and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Also, on Wednesday, following Dr. Atala’s keynote, the SME Medical Additive Advisors Group, ARMI | BioFabUSA and RSNA 3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG) will present the Medical Additive Manufacturing Report Out panel on what these groups are currently doing to advance medical additive manufacturing.

Photo courtesy of SME
Photo courtesy of SME

AMazing®: At this year’s event, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a course in preparation for earning a certification in additive manufacturing. Please tell us about the Certified Additive Manufacturing program. How can earning a certification provide a competitive edge to those seeking a career in additive manufacturing?

Maria Conrado: This year, Tooling U-SME has collaborated with UL to provide RAPID + TCT attendees the opportunity to take advantage of the gold standard in additive manufacturing certification. Individuals may pursue an Additive Manufacturing Certification at both the Fundamentals and Technician level. These certifications are ideal for young professionals who are pursuing a career in additive manufacturing. Completing these programs will help you gain a better grasp on the principles and processes of additive manufacturing. You’ll be one step closer to better understanding this technology and how you can incorporate additive manufacturing in your organization.

AMazing®: Finally, what other activities would you suggest to RAPID + TCT attendees to explore the rich, diverse network of industries in the Southern California region to maximize their conference experience? 

Maria Conrado: What makes RAPID + TCT truly unique is that there will be 400 exhibitors from across the globe showcasing the latest in technology and applications for all attendees and delegates to explore. We’ll have educational content across the exhibit floor and within the conference program. This includes different showcases. We talked about the Medical Additive Manufacturing Showcase. We’re also going to be featuring a Hollywood Showcase. We are working with Gentle Giant Studios in Southern California to present and show some unique pieces from the entertainment industry with which I’m confident all our attendees will be familiar. They’ll get to see them up close and personal and have opportunities to take pictures, selfies and really enjoy the fun side, versus the industrial side of additive manufacturing.

Photo courtesy of SME
Photo courtesy of SME

Monday is a welcome reception held at the Hilton Terrace from 5:00-6:30 p.m. This is a time to enjoy everyone coming home and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the RAPID + TCT event. On Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., we’ll conduct the RAPID +TCT opening event which will be held right in front of the Anaheim Convention Center in the Grand Plaza. This event is sure to not disappoint. Attendees will have a great time continuing conversations that have taken place in the conference sessions, on the show floor, and everywhere else in the convention center.

On Wednesday we have our exhibit floor reception that takes place partially in the SME ZONE and around the surrounding exhibit floor area. We are really going to focus on California and make this a fun block party, giving everyone a chance to experience the different regions California has to offer, while still allowing for continued engagement.

Last but not least, networking opportunities abound. RAPID + TCT is like a homecoming for many. Attendees and exhibitors catch up with old friends and meet new ones. It is a chance to engage and share what’s been happening in the industry and discuss how they’ve been advancing their own facilities. We have three networking activities scheduled throughout the week.

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.

Maria Conrado, SME Event Manager (Photo courtesy of SME)
Maria Conrado, SME Event Manager (Photo courtesy of SME)

About Maria Conrado
Maria Conrado is the Event Manager for RAPID + TCT 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.

Celebrating its 30th year in 2020, 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 Rapid News 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 need to understand, explore and adopt 3D printing, additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection technologies. For more information, please visit rapid3devent.com.

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 sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.  

Michael Scholl
Sr. Public Relations Representative
Southfield, MI 48075 USA
[email protected]

Source: SME/AMazing

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