Additive Manufacturing Education and Fun at AMUG 2024

The AMUG 2024 conference will feature a 3D printed Pinewood Derby race and a retro-80s dinner.

The AMUG 2024 conference will feature a 3D printed Pinewood Derby race and a retro-80s dinner.

Attendees at the 2024 AMUG Conference can participate in the first AMUGderby by designing and 3D printing their own Pinewood Derby cars. Image courtesy of AMUG.

Attendees at the upcoming 2024 AMUG Conference will have more networking opportunities during an extended Expo, and can take part in a retro 1980s-themed dinner and a first-ever Pinewood Derby-style race (the AMUGderby) using their own 3D printed cars.

The five day event will be held at the Hilton Chicago, March 10-14. 

According to Ed Graham, director of Education & Conference at AMUG, the Expo has been extended from two nights to three, which will give attendees more time to network. 

In addition, Graham said the conference tracks will include even more technical content, with a heavy focus on end user education and knowledge that will help them with specific deployment and design issues.

“When we had our feedback sessions last year, that is what we heard – attendees wanted more technical content,” Graham says.

Keynote speakers this year are Jason Lopes, director - Additive Manufacturing, at Gentle Giant Studios, who will take the stage on Tuesday, March 12. Olaf Diegel, professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will be the keynote on Thursday, March 14.

Lopes and Diegel will infuse problem-solving and practical applications with creativity, imagination, inspiration and ingenuity. Lopes, who works in the creative services industry, will focus on 3D scanning, design and additive manufacturing. Diegel will address creativity through tales of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) as a tool to use the technology.

Also new this year will be the AMUGderby, a Pinewood Derby event that will see dozens of attendees racing their own 3D-printed cars built on the standard wheels and axles used by the Boy Scouts. The cars will race on a regulation Pinewood Derby track provided by a local Scout master with prizes awarded to the fastest and also the best designed cars. 

“This is the first time we have done the AMUGderby, and we want to get attendees more engaged in designing and creating these cars,” Graham said. “We will race the cars on the track to see who is the fastest, and a Scout master will be there to select the best looking car.”

You can find more information about participating in the derby here.

Wednesday will include an offsite dinner with a 1980s theme, Back the User (a play on Back to the Future). 

The final day of the conference will include the annual Student Day events, as well as hands-on workshops that will allow attendees to create, print and finish items on the show floor. 

Graham introduced the hands-on workshops two years ago at AMUG. “It gives people real world experience, and they also get a break from sitting in conference sessions,” Graham says. “Hands on is really the best way to learn about this technology. They get to literally pour molten metal into a ceramic shell, a 3D-printed sand mold, and then bust it out.”

The event also features a Technical Competition, as well as the presentation of the Distinguished Innovator Operators Award (DINO). There will also be two scholarships awarded for students and professors/teachers.

You can register for the event here.

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