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Recent Conference in Finland

September 17, 2006

Filed under: additive manufacturing,event,review — Terry Wohlers @ 14:40

I had the pleasure of attending the International Conference on Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing on September 6-7, 2006 in Espoo, Finland. Espoo is the country’s second largest city with 230,000 residents and is located about 20 minutes west of Helsinki. The conference was organized by Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) and supported by the Finish Rapid Prototyping Association (FIRPA), the Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA), and several other organizations. 

The technical program exceeded my expectations. I listened to all 21 speakers and was surprised by the quality of information presented by the majority of them. Other than being the home of Nokia, Finland is not known as a hub for new product development and manufacturing. Yet, the conference really delivered, thanks in large part to the hard work and strong connections of Jukka Tuomi of HUT and his team.

The conference was truly an international event. After the conference, seven of the attendees choose to spend the evening together. Represented were China, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA. You don’t get much more international than that.

GARPA’s ninth annual Global Summit coincided with the conference and was held on September 5. FIRPA hosted a very productive meeting in which 10 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America had sent representatives. 

I hope that the conference becomes an annual or bi-annual event. If it does, I will be among the first in line to sign up. Congratulations to HUT for organizing an outstanding conference and GARPA meeting.