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Events this Week

October 1, 2011

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,event — Terry Wohlers @ 09:55

I had the privilege of participating in two special events this week. The first was TCT Live 2011 in England, which began on Tuesday. The event has expanded dramatically since I last attended in 2008 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. In fact, it outgrew the place and was held this year at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham.

TCT Live now includes many focused but related events under one roof, including MM Live, MEMS Live, and NANO Live. Additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, and CAD occupied the lion’s share of the main exhibit hall. In an adjacent hall, Interplas 2011 ran during the three-day event. My stay was much too short, so I was unable to spend the time TCT Live deserved. What I saw, however, was impressive. Rapid News Publications—the organizers of all five events—did an outstanding job.

By late afternoon on the first day, I was winging my way to Brussels and then on to Lisbon. After a very short night, I was participating in the bi-annual VRAP conference in Leiria, Portugal, which is located about 150 km (93 miles) north of Lisbon. The conference consisted mostly of results and reports from university research in additive manufacturing (AM) from around the world. The technical content was excellent and the event was well organized, thanks to the strong team at Polytechnic Institute of Leiria. Nearly 200 attended from 30 countries. Yet, the conference was small enough to offer special entertainment for the attendees, including dinner at Leiria Castle and spectacular live music in an old church near the center of Leiria.

I appreciate the chance to attend events such as these. They introduce a wealth of new developments, ideas, and perspectives. More than anything, however, I enjoy spending time with friends and meeting new people. After nearly 25 years in the AM and 3D printing industry, I have been fortunate to have met many wonderful people. Some have retired, but most are still going strong. These people are the reason why I treasure each and every opportunity to travel, sometimes great distances, to these interesting places.