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US-Turkey Workshop

September 28, 2009

Filed under: additive manufacturing,education,event — Terry Wohlers @ 14:26

An event entitled “U.S.–Turkey Workshop on Rapid Technologies” was held last week (September 24-25) in Istanbul, a city of about 12 million people. The U.S. National Science Foundation provided financial support to conduct the workshop, which was held at Istanbul Technical University. ITU is the world’s third oldest technical university dedicated entirely to engineering sciences. The workshop was the first international event of its kind in Turkey and it could not have gone much better. More than 50 people attended from Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S.

Dr. Ismail Fidan of Tennessee Tech University did a fine job in organizing most of the speakers and topics. Eighteen presentations provided basic and advanced information around the science and application of additive manufacturing technology. An estimated 380 AM systems have been installed in the country through the end of last year, so a number of people in Turkey are quite familiar with the capabilities of the technology. It is believed that a significant percentage of those systems are from Solidscape and used for making jewelry.

I got the impression that Turkey as a whole is not yet applying AM technology at the same level as countries such as Germany, the UK, or the U.S. Industry and academic events, such as this one, will surely help accelerate the country’s understanding and adoption of the technology. A tentative plan is to hold a second conference, probably in two years. I could envision a second event with additional speakers, a portion of the conference dedicated to medical applications, and table-top displays and exhibits for those who have equipment, software, and services for sale. Overall, Dr. Fidan and the team at ITU did a very good job with the first one and I’m glad I attended.


September 14, 2009

Filed under: life — Terry Wohlers @ 16:47

This is a favorite time of year for many. I like the crisp mornings and evenings and the changing colors. Brilliant patches of yellow become scattered across the Colorado Rocky Mountains as clusters of Aspen trees transition to a new season. The color helps make up for the countless evergreen trees that have been devastated by pine beetles.


American football also makes this time of year special, at least for some. There’s few ways that I’d rather spend a Saturday afternoon than to watch two college teams battle it out. Students and others of all ages join in to cheer their team to a victory. Sharing the fervor of supporting a team brings people together in a surprising way.  Where else would you receive an enthusiastic “high five” from a complete stranger?


Football and the changing colors and temperatures are signs that winter is not far off. This means snow, and hopefully a lot of it, in the high country. Football offers excitement that only a team sport can give, but it’s downhill skiing that provides an adrenaline rush like no other. It requires some gear, and the lift tickets are not inexpensive, but the reward is breath-taking scenery and exhilaration that I look forward to year after year.


With summer holidays and vacations behind us, autumn can be a busy time of year, especially if you are in school, or have kids who are in school. I urge you to break away from your hectic schedule to enjoy this time of year. I hope you live in place, or can easily get to a place, to witness the natural beauty that this season brings.