Future of RP for Conceptual Design and Series Production Conference

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Date and Time: Friday 3 December 2004, 9:30 – 17:00
Location: Exhibition Center Frankfurt, Hall 9.1, Room Logos
Organizer: DEMAT GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany)
Chairman: Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates, Inc.

Conference Language: English
Fee Per Session: EUR 70. Includes entrance into the conference and trade fair, technical papers, lunch, GARPA reception and party, and a chance to win valuable prizes. 
Registration: Phone 49 69 27 40 03 16, fax 49 69 27 40 03 40, www.euromold.com.

Now in its sixth year, this conference has established itself as one of the most important events at EuroMold. Each year, world-class speakers focus on emerging applications, developments, and trends in the fast-moving rapid prototyping (RP) industry. Through the careful selection of 10 speakers, each with something very special to share, this conference has gained a reputation of delivering quality, not quantity.

In the recent past, the highest growth segment of RP has been 3D printing for the conceptual design of new products. This is one of two focal points of this year’s event. Affordable systems from companies such as Stratasys and Z Corp. are selling in numbers like never before. The conference will reveal how companies are using these machines to help speed product development, reduce cost, enhance communications, and improve product quality.

The second area of focus is on the use of RP technology for the manufacture of series production parts. Compelling examples show that rapid manufacturing is a viable solution for many types of parts in aerospace, motor sports, military, dental, medical, art, and consumer industries. Systems from 3D Systems, EOS, and Solidscape are the products of choice, with laser sintering leading the way.

9:30     Dr. Eberhard Döring, Chief Executive
               DEMAT GmbH

Session 1

9:45     New Developments & Trends
               Mr. Terry Wohlers, President
           Wohlers Associates, Inc. (USA)

The use of 3D printers for concept models, and even refined prototypes, continues to gain appeal and momentum. Last year, unit sales growth of this class of RP grew an unprecedented 57.3%, according to research conducted by Wohlers Associates. Even the smallest organizations are now considering the purchase of a machine. Meanwhile, companies are discovering ways to apply RP to the manufacture of series production parts in quantities of one to several thousand. This approach to manufacturing is allowing companies to introduce new products that before were not feasible due to tooling costs and risk.

10:15   Fast Solutions Ensure Success at Wincor-Nixdorf
           Dr. Martin Landwehr, Senior Engineer
           Wincor-Nixdorf (Germany)

Self-service systems such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are subject to continuous control, especially from a security point of view. Parts of these systems require ongoing improvement to ensure the highest degree of protection. The improvement process leads to modifications that require fast design and presentation to customers. Wincor-Nixdorf has been able to accelerate time to market using the Dimension 3D printer from Stratasys. As an example, Dr. Landwehr will show the development of a new ID card slot to prevent criminal attacks. The time from idea to customer presentation was reduced from three weeks to two days.    

10:45   Break

Session 2

11:15   Motorola’s Experiences with SL and PolyJet Technologies
           Mr. Yair Alon, Prototype and Design Lab Manager
           Motorola (Israel)

Motorola Israel has gained eight years of experience with stereolithography (SL). Most recently, the company has used the Eden260 3D printer from Objet Geometries in an effort to reduce cost and streamline the production of models. Mr. Alon will concentrate on productivity, ease of use, customer satisfaction, time to market, system maintenance, the cleaning of parts, chemicals, environmental considerations, and process limitations.    
11:45   Concept Development through Functional RP
           Dr. Deon de Beer, Chief Director of Technology Management
           Central University of Technology, Free State (South Africa)

This case study will review the role of RP for concept design and product development. RP is used to facilitate the design process by offering functional models at each stage for project meetings with the client. The laser-sintered prototypes used at project meetings gave rise to a number of new ideas, all of which were included in the final product. The client then purchased 10 complete functional units for internal evaluation and marketing. This led to an initial order of 25,000 units.

12:15   Reebok’s Big Secret: True Concept Modeling
           Mr. Gary Rabinovitz, Rapid Prototyping Lab Manager
           Reebok International Ltd. (USA)

From the beginning, Reebok has used its Z402 3D printer from Z Corp. as it was initially intended: as a concept modeler. The machine quickly and inexpensively outputs physical concept designs from Reebok’s CAD systems. The process is fast and the models from it require little post processing. Reebok’s main internal source for rapid prototyping is selective laser sintering from 3D System. After seven years, Reebok continues to use its RP and 3D printing resources as projected. Not all is rosy, however. Mr. Rabinovitz will also share the problems and challenges that he and his group have encountered.

12:45   Buffet Lunch

Session 3 

14:30   Unlocking the Design Potential of Rapid Manufacturing  
           Dr. Richard Hague, Head of the Rapid Manufacturing Research Group
           Loughborough University (UK)

Dr Hague will share the latest results from ongoing research that is being conducted at Loughborough University. The work is being funded by the UK in a project titled “Materials Analysis and Design Optimization for Rapid Manufacturing.” Project partners include 3D Systems, Delphi Automotive, Dyson Research, Huntsman, JCB, and MG Rover. Hague will also discuss the most recent work on the rapid manufacturing of textiles.

15:00   Rapid Manufactured Retail Products
           Mr. Janne Kyttanen, Managing Director
           Mr. Jiri Evenhuis, Creative Director
           Freedom of Creation (Netherlands)  

Various retail markets offer great possibilities for rapid manufacturing in the future, but current RP machines and materials are focused on mimicking existing product properties. If the current machines and their successors wish to be used for serious manufacturing of future consumer products, the unique benefits from using these processes must be further exploited. Mr. Kyttanen and Mr. Evenhuis will show examples of how to successfully use current RP machines and materials to directly manufacture products for the retail market. Examples include lighting designs, sports products, and fashion accessories.

15:30   Break

Session 4

16:00   Digital Sculpting of Custom Dental Prostheses
           Mr. Andrew Hofmeister, President
           GeoDigm (USA)

Except for changes in esthetic materials, production processes in dental laboratories have changed little in the past 50 years. Today’s dental prosthetic manufacturing process involves many labor-intensive production steps. Achieving good esthetic results, within the constraints of production, requires highly skilled technicians that are in increasingly short supply. GeoDigm has developed a process of manufacturing custom dental prostheses from digital sculptures using CAD, machines from Solidscape, and casting. This process increases the productivity of the existing technician labor base, reduces training times for educating new technicians, and dramatically improves quality management in the lab.

16:30   Using RP for Series Production Investment Castings
           Mr. Tom Mueller, Partner
           Express Pattern (USA)

The use of RP patterns for investment casting may be one of the most significant inroads to the use of RP for series production over the next few years. RP patterns have proven to be attractive for manufacturing because they eliminate the need for wax pattern tooling, thus reducing cost and lead-time. This approach makes low volume metal casting a viable option in cases that were previously impractical due to the elimination of tooling costs. Mr. Mueller will present several interesting and compelling examples.

17:15   GARPA Party & Reception

Meet representatives from the Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA) and win valuable gifts and prizes.