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Best of 2010

December 26, 2010

Filed under: life,review — Terry Wohlers @ 08:55

Near the end of the year, I like to reflect over the past 12 months on outstanding products and services. The following are among the best.

K2 Rictor Snow Skis. After seven years, I decided to upgrade my ski equipment and I’m glad I did. The new K2 Rictor skis are much better than my older K2 Axis, which served me well. When rocks are showing through, I will use them. What I discovered almost immediately with the new skis is that they hold the turns far better. Also, they are good for relatively deep powder, which came in handy last weekend when I skied on 13-15 cm (5-6 inches) of fresh powder at Copper Mountain. I’ve never been good at skiing deep powder, but I feel like the new skis are helping a lot.

Copper Mountain. This Colorado ski resort is my favorite. It is not as well known as Aspen or Vail, but it gets good snow and it’s not as expensive. My friends and I ski the runs serviced by the Super Bee six-person, high-speed lift. It is rarely crowded and some of the runs are long and pretty spectacular, especially after new snow. Compared to some other places, you can get in the equivalent of a full day of skiing in about a half day. A lift ticket is not inexpensive at $96, but few Coloradoans pay full price. I purchased a season ticket for $359, which comes with unlimited skiing and other discounts and benefits.

HTC Evo 4G Smart Phone. I purchased this product earlier this month from Sprint and like it a lot. The large screen, 4G speed, and amazing range of features makes it one of the best smart phones on the market. Independent testing at CNET scores it higher than the iPhone 4. If you are considering the best of the best, look carefully at the Evo 4G. I believe you’ll be impressed. And, if you prefer a holster to carry your phone, consider the spring-clip holster from Seidio. It is the best one on the market, in my opinion, and it’s available from Amazon for $20.

Best wishes to you for a safe and peaceful holiday season. Have a Happy New Year!

EuroMold 2010

December 12, 2010

Filed under: additive manufacturing,event — Terry Wohlers @ 08:20

EuroMold was held December 1-4 in Frankfurt, Germany. Every EuroMold that I’ve attend has not only been worthwhile, it has been filled with planned and impromptu meetings and important discoveries. People from around the world use it to get together, rekindle and strengthen relationships, and conduct business. EuroMold also provides the opportunity to see and better understand the most interesting developments and trends from the recent past.

When I started attending EuroMold 14 years ago—and I haven’t missed one since—few Americans were present. Today, far more attend, but it’s still a low percentage of the overall total. Nearly 37% of the 56,372 people that attended the 2009 event were from outside Germany. Only 1.7% of this international total were American.

DEMAT, the organizers of EuroMold, has made a strong effort to make additive manufacturing (AM) an important part of the event for more than a decade. In fact, Hall 11—the newest and most impressive hall of three—was packed this year with exhibitors and visitors interested in buying and selling products and services associated with additive manufacturing. Nearly all of the major AM materials and system manufacturers, many service providers, and others were there to show their latest and most impressive offerings.

I have had the privilege of organizing and chairing an additive manufacturing conference at EuroMold for 12 years. This year’s event focused on the business impact of AM technology. We had an excellent line-up of invited speakers from Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. The topics included business issues related to aerospace, medical/dental, custom product manufacturing, economic development, industry standards, and intellectual property. For the first time, we had an IP attorney on the program, who also happens to be a mechanical engineer.

If you can attend only one international exhibition per year, and additive manufacturing is your thing, EuroMold is the place to be. It brings it all together in one place like no other event. We received more favorable comments on this year’s AM conference than ever before, so I feel that we are on the right track. Add EuroMold 2011 to your calendar. It is November 30 – December 3, again in Frankfurt. I hope to see you there.