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Four Events in One Week

September 17, 2007

Filed under: additive manufacturing,CAD/CAM/CAE,education,event,manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 08:30

Next week, four design/prototyping/manufacturing events are being held simultaneously in Europe and the USA. VRAP 2007 is September 24–29 in Leiria, Portugal. (VRAP stands for Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping.) This every-other-year event, being offered for the third time, draws some of the best academic researchers, as well as a few presentations from private industry. The Portuguese are excellent hosts and do a fine job with this international conference.

TCT 2007 is September 26–27 in Coventry, England and has been running as an annual event for many years. (TCT stands for Time-Compression Technologies.) It is an industrial conference focused exclusively on rapid manufacturing, with a relatively strong exhibition associated with it. The people at Rapid News Publications—the publisher of the European TCT magazine and organizer of the TCT event—are excellent at bringing together a good group of people from the UK and many other countries.

The other two events are in the USA. NDES (also known as National Manufacturing Week) is September 25–27 in Rosemont, Illinois. NDES stands for “National Design Engineering Show” and is organized annually by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The event is not like it once was and has been on “life support” in the recent past. I’ve attended several times, but not over the last few years.

3D Systems World Conference is September 25–27 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a first-year event sponsored and organized by 3D Systems. The event competes with the 3DS Users Group Conference, an annual event organized and conducted by 3D Systems’ customers.

I’m attending the VRAP and TCT events. I’ve been to them in the past and know that they deliver a wide spectrum of views and opinions from top industry and academic leaders. TCT struggled for a few years when it became affiliated with another event organizer, but it is back on track. I’m looking forward to attending both, but wish they were not the same week.