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Melbourne, Australia

June 13, 2011

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,event,review,travel — Terry Wohlers @ 04:23

The purpose of my recent six-day visit to Melbourne was business, but I had some free time to explore the city. I was there a year ago, but the stay was too short, making it impossible to see as much as I had hoped. Sydney has long ranked as my favorite Australian city, but Melbourne is now a strong contender for the top spot. The place offers a wide spectrum of restaurants, shops, night life, entertainment, history, and architecture that had me wanting more.

What struck me the most about the city was its energy and vibrance. By mid afternoon on most days, the city would come alive with people of all ages. Street entertainers, some that are very good, made my walks from place to place amusing. Last Saturday, for example, I watched a young guy (maybe 12) and his little sister draw a crowd of hundreds. He played a keyboard and sang impressively with the support of a sound system not typical of entertainers in pedestrian areas.

I found Asian and Greek restaurants to be plentiful and some superb. My favorite was Stalactites (the souvlaki is excellent) where a queue outside developed early. I also visited the Victorian Market more than once. I found it to be excellent for buying gifts to bring home to family and friends. The weak US$ makes prices in Australia very high for Americans, but the Victorian Market offered some good bargains.

I also visited RMIT University, which is spread across parts of the city. The university launched its impressive Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) last Tuesday, which I had the privilege of attending. This $15 million facility is equipped with some of the finest CAD/CAE, additive manufacturing, and CNC equipment that money can buy. More than 3,000 square meters (32,292 square feet) of space is spread across four floors in this beautifully renovated building.

During my stay, I had the privilege of participating in the first Pacific Additive Manufacturing Forum (PAMF) in Melbourne, which coincided with the opening of AMP. PAMF was organized by Dr. Milan Brandt of RMIT University with support from many organizations including CSIRO, the Defense Materials Technology Centre (DMTC), Enterprise Connect, and Formero. PAMF events were also organized for Adelaide, Sydney, and Brisbane.

If you visit this fine country, Melbourne should be on your list. There’s so much to see and do and the place becomes electric as the day progresses. If design and manufacturing technology is your thing, a stop to RMIT’s new AMP building is a must. You will not be disappointed.