By Shannon VanDeren, AMUG President, and Ed Graham, AMUG Director, Education and Conference
The 2024 AMUG Conference is rapidly approaching. The five-day event opens on March 10, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois, to host additive manufacturing (AM) users in ways that advance their skills, broaden their horizons and ignite new collaborations.
On the surface, the AMUG event may appear to be just another AM conference with an exposition. But that illusion is dismissed the moment you enter. The vibe, the content, the discourse, and the agenda are distinctly unique from all others.
First-time attendee and Senior Editor for WTWH Media Rachael Pasini wrote in her March 2023 article, “The AMUG Conference is unlike any other event. The enthusiasm for additive manufacturing is contagious, and the knowledge among members is unmatchable. AMUG as an organization truly lives up to its mission, and the annual conference reflects its dedication to the people of this unique industry.”
For Users. By Users.
The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) is a nonprofit organization fueled by AM users who volunteer to serve on the board, serve on committees or support activities at the conference. Without exception, they contribute because they are passionate about AM and the AM community.
These volunteers are also strong advocates of the ‘AMUG way’ of hosting a conference. Refined over the past 36 years, AMUG Conferences are designed to promote conversations, expand networks and build a community.
These are some reasons that AMUG and its conferences are stated as being ‘For Users. By Users.’ Dr. Les Kalman, the 2023 recipient of AMUG’s Randy Stephens Scholarship, summarized what this approach meant to him as a first-time attendee.
Kalman said, “The AMUG family is kind, welcoming, and supportive. The AMUG events are big, bold, and fun. I returned energized and charged with an abundance of passion to continue expanding our AM research and teachings.”
The AMUG Conference Difference
There are three significant differentiators of an AMUG Conference. Two factors are elements of AMUG’s program, and one is an outcome of the others.
First, the halls of the Hilton Chicago, the location for AMUG 2024, will be filled with AM users. To ensure relevant conversations, conference registration requires that attendees’ companies have direct ownership of industrial AM equipment used for professional applications. So, everyone you meet will have a personal or vested interest in AM.
Second, each day concludes with a social event, and after Sunday, each day starts with breakfast. By serving ample food and beverage throughout the days and into the nights, AMUG creates an atmosphere where conference attendees want to be engaged with the other users from breakfast until bedtime. At ‘last call,’ you will see hundreds of AM practitioners talking shop.
From those two program elements, the sense of community builds. And with that dynamic, AMUG Conference attendees are open and candid with the information that they share. Those who have attended have stated that more information is gleaned in a single day (and at a deeper level) of an AMUG Conference than a whole week at other events.
AMUG 2024 Program
In January, a comprehensive AMUG 2024 agenda will be available for download. Throughout it, you will see the theme of ‘Back to the Users.’ While AMUG has never strayed from its ‘For Users’ philosophy, attendees have urged AMUG to place even more focus on delivering valuable technical content.
Spread throughout the week will be two keynote presentations and the Innovators Showcase. The keynote speakers, Jason Lopes (Gentle Giant Studios) and Olaf Diegel (University of Auckland, New Zealand), will bring creative flair to the stage with insights and applications that will inspire and stimulate— insights from the world of filmmaking and from the application of DfAM (design for additive manufacturing).
The Innovators Showcase will feature Greg Morris (Zeda, Inc.), a pioneer in the realm of metal AM. His story is fascinating, his thoughts are pivotal and his backstory is intriguing. Attendees will hear about him and his thoughts on the industry in this ‘intimate conversation between two friends that is witnessed by all.’
Back by popular demand, the Workshops on Thursday will once again be hands-on learning experiences. The workshops are joined by nearly 130 technical presentations in the areas of metal AM, non-metal AM, materials, software, metal casting, scanning, metrology, aerospace, transportation and healthcare.
Featuring nearly 150 exhibitors, the AMUGexpo will have an additional day for AMUG 2024, running Sunday night through Tuesday night. During the AMUGexpo, AMUG will host its annual Technical Competition and its inaugural AMUGderby, where gravity-powered, 3D-printed cars race head-to-head.
Evening social events will include the Special Event & Dinner, which will have an ’80s theme, and the closing Family Dinner.
Join Your AM Peers at AMUG 2024
Pasini concluded her March 2023 article by saying, “Along with the fun and new friendships, this was an event to remember and an excellent education that will pay dividends in members’ lives and move the industry forward.”
The AMUG Conference is your ultimate destination for forging new connections and partnerships. Embrace the camaraderie, ignite your creativity, and unlock the potential for groundbreaking collaborations that can shape the future of AM. It will be an exploration you won’t soon forget.
For details and registration, visit www.amug.com.
AMUG Education & Training Conference
March 10 – 14, 2024
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