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RAPID + TCT 2018 Keynotes Announced, Showcasing Wide Scope of 3D Printing Innovation

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This year’s keynotes have been announced for RAPID + TCT 2018 in Forth Worth, Texas. The diverse group of speakers will cast a wide net on 3D printing technology, ranging from current use in Hollywood movies to the bright future of additive manufacturing.

Recognized as one of the most prominent additive manufacturing conferences in the world, RAPID + TCT has become the ultimate arena to show-off the latest in 3D printing products and technologies. This year, the North American trade show is taking place in Forth Worth, Texas, from April 23 to 26.

As the 3D printing industry continues to expand towards new frontiers, so does the overall scope of RAPID + TCT. The trade show has just announced the feature keynotes that will take place at the upcoming event, and the group of speakers are more eclectic and diverse than ever.

From the Hollywood big screen to the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, RAPID + TCT has put together a wide array of keynotes that showcase just how expansive the field of additive manufacturing technology has become. Over the four-day event, attendees will be treated to a daily dosage of innovation from some of the brightest minds in 3D printing and beyond.

Each day, the keynotes will focus on a different subject, covering mainstream innovations, medical improvements, and the future of additive manufacturing. Here’s a quick recap of the recently announced keynotes at RAPID + TCT 2018.

RAPID + TCT 2018, April 23: From Hollywood to the Olympic Games

On Day One, the RAPID + TCT Kick-off will host the very first keynote of the conference. Entitled “From Hollywood to the Winter Games – Making Additive Manufacturing the Competitive Advantage for Innovation”, the discussion will focus on how pioneers in sports and entertainment are using 3D printing technology to spur innovation in their respective industries.

Attendees will hear about the USA Luge team’s partnership with Stratasys, which helped 3D print tools to manufacture racing sleds for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. The talk will also focus on how the world-renowned animation studio LAIKA, responsible for films like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, uses additive manufacturing to achieve award-nominated visual effects.

The keynote will feature a number of accomplished speakers, including Jon Owen, USA Luge Technical Programs Manager and former Olympian; Brian McLean, the Director of Rapid Prototyping at LAIKA Studios; Rich Garrity, President of Stratasys Americas; and Phil Reeves, Vice President of Strategic Consulting at Stratasys.


(L to R) Brian McLean, the Director of Rapid Prototyping at LAIKA; Jon Owen, USA Luge Technical Programs Manager and former Olympian; Rich Garrity, President of Stratasys Americas; and Phil Reeves, Vice President of Strategic Consulting at Stratasys.

RAPID + TCT 2018, April 25: Medical 3D Printing and the Impact on Patients

After the glitz and glamour of Hollywood movies and Olympic sports winds down, RAPID + TCT 2018 will shift its focus onto medical 3D printing and the impact that innovation has had on patients. Entitled  “Rise of Point-of-Care Manufacturing: Impacting More Patients with 3D Printing,” the keynote for this day will feature two representatives from Mayo Clinic; Jonathan Morris, MD and Amy Alexander, BME, MS.

The Mayo Clinic has a 3D Printing/Anatomic Modeling Laboratory that produces over 700 anatomical models per year. These patient-specific models are used to help with complex surgical care, multidisciplinary care, pre-surgical simulations, custom device creation, as well as medical and patient education.

Dr. Jonathan Morris is the co-director of this lab and a member of the Division of Neuroradiology, and has been involved with medical 3D printing since 2001. The other speaker, Dr. Amy Alexander, is a biomedical engineer in the Department of Radiology’s Anatomic Modeling Lab. Her job is to convert 2D radiological images into 3D models and also to design custom surgical to improve efficiency in the operating room.

Together, the pair of medical professionals will discuss how point-of-care manufacturing is providing patient care advantages, presenting unique obstacles of engineering within a hospital, creating the need for collaboration across disciplines, and impacting the lives of many patients and their families.


(L to R) Amy Alexander, BME, MS; Jonathan Morris, MD

RAPID + TCT 2018, April 26: “Printing the Future” with Terry Wohlers

Last but certainly not least, RAPID + TCT 2018 will wrap up with a keynote from 3D printing pioneer Terry Wohlers, entitled “Printing the Future”. Wohlers will address a number of important topics, including where companies should invest effort, as well as the various opportunities and challenges related to material pricing, supply chains, quality, and infrastructure development.

Wohlers, the principal consultant and president of Wohlers Associates Inc., has worked as a consultant to more than 240 organizations in 24 countries, including some of the biggest names in manufacturing. He’s also the lead author of the annual Wohlers Report, the industry leading study on additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology for 19 consecutive years.


Terry Wohlers

Needless to say, RAPID + TCT 2018 is shaping up to be the most expansive and informative additive manufacturing conference to grace North America. The organizers also have a special keynote planned for Tuesday, April 24, so stay tuned to see who else is added to this star-studded lineup!

If you want to register to attend the upcoming event, you can do so here.  The trade show will take place from April 23 – 26 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

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