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2022 Technical Competition Winners

By April 27, 2022news, Press Release

Additive Manufacturing Users Group Names Technical Competition Winners

Bill Braune, Nanci Hardwick and Jung Kyu Im/Daniel Goncalves take top spots.

MILWAUKEE, WISC., April 27, 2022 – The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) today announced the winners of its annual Technical Competition, which recognizes excellence in additive manufacturing applications and finishing techniques. A panel of industry veterans selected Bill Braune of Dinsmore, Inc. and Nanci Hardwick of MELD Manufacturing as winners in the Advanced Finishing and Advanced Concepts categories. AMUG Members selected Jung Kyu Im and Daniel Goncalves of Custom Prototypes Inc. for the first-ever Member’s Choice Award.

The Technical Competition took place at the annual AMUG Conference in Chicago, Illinois. According to Bonnie Meyer, Chair of the Technical Competition Committee, “With 32 entries, this was the largest AMUG Technical Competition we have ever held.” She noted that quantity did not diminish quality. “I received many comments from the competitors and from the AMUG Members praising the high quality of the entries.”

Winning entries (from left) submitted by Bill Braune, Jung Kyu Im & Daniel Goncalves, and Nanci Hardwick.

AMUG Members cast votes to determine the winner of the Members’ Choice Award. Of the 32 entries, they selected Jung Kyu Im’s and Daniel Goncalves’ entry titled “Metal 3D Printed Bathroom Faucet.” The custom design, which had floral inspirations, incorporates water channels within the organically shaped ‘stems’ that twist as they rise to connect with the ‘flower’ that discharges the flow of water.

The faucet and the accompanying handles were manufactured in stainless steel using laser powder bed fusion technology from Renishaw. In their entry description, Im and Goncalves said, “The complex shape could only be produced with powder bed metal 3D printing.” They also commented, “We had to design the water channels in a way that would avoid internal supports.”

Nine judges scrutinized every detail of the competition entries to select the winners in Advanced Finishing and Advanced Concepts.

Bill Braune’s winning entry in the Advanced Finishing category was “Mars Attacks,” a large, highly detailed homage to the hit film by Tim Burton. Measuring 34 by 23 inches., everything from the base to the Martians to the Las Vegas sign was 3D printed and brought to life through artistry and craftsmanship.

Braune said, “The Las Vegas sign has 111 individual pieces, ninety of which are individual light bulbs that go around the sign.” He continued, “We embarked on this journey to showcase everything we [Dinsmore Inc.] have to offer.” To bring Mars Attacks to life, Braune and his team invest over 200 manhours and countless hours of build time on seven different AM platforms.

Meyer said, “This is the third win in a row for Bill Braune. The methods he uses and the attention to detail never disappoint.” The judges commented, “The finishing techniques and use of many AM technologies are impressive. Amazing hand finishing work and creative techniques to achieve a wide variety of looks.”

Nanci Hardwick received first place in the Advanced Concepts category for “Metal 3-D Printing Raises the Bar for the Army’s Jointless Hull Program.” The entry was a representation of what the U.S. Army plans to do with MELD Manufacturing’s technology, which was chosen to be a part of the world’s largest metal printer for the Jointless Hull Program.

The patented MELD® method is a solid-state process that ‘stirs’ plastically deformed metal. The Army’s program plans to have a printer with a build envelope of 20 x 30 x 12 feet, which is big enough to manufacture a monolithic hull. Hardwick’s entry was a section of a hull made from aluminum and weighing over 200 pounds.

Meyer shared the following comments from the panel of judges. “Fascinating, novel AM technology that enables large-scale manufacturing.” “Maybe the most impressive new AM technology here.”

For Advanced Finishing, Mark Abshire took second place with his work titled “Adding a Colorful 3rd Dimension.” Third place was awarded to Brent Wright of LifeNabled for “Curiosity Revealing and Animating Gears.”

Andreas Vlahinos of Advanced Engineering Solutions received the second-place award for “Avionics Heat Exchanger” in the Advanced Concepts category. Third place went to Jason Jones of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies for his entry “Using PBF to Enable DED in a CNC.”

As winners of the Technical Competition, each receives complimentary admission to the 2023 AMUG Conference so that they can elaborate, from the stage, on the project details and processes that were used.

The Technical Competition judging panel was comprised of nine AMUG DINOs, a recognition of selfless service to AMUG, its members and the additive manufacturing community. These judges were Ron Belknap, Rey Chu, Jeff DeGrange, Jason Dickman, Dave Flynn, Sheku Kamara, Bruce LeMaster, Bob Markley and Robin Van Bragt.

About Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG)

AMUG is an organization that educates and advances the uses and applications of additive manufacturing technologies. AMUG members include those with industrial additive manufacturing/3D printing technologies used for professional purposes from companies such as Covestro Additive Manufacturing, Desktop Metal, DMG MORI, Dyndrite, EOS, Essentium, ExOne, fabWeaver, Formlabs, GE Additive, Hexagon, HP 3D Printing, LuxCreo, Meltio, Nexa3D, Stratasys, and Tekna. AMUG meets annually to provide education and training through technical presentations on processes and new technologies. This information addresses operation of additive manufacturing equipment and the applications that use the parts they make. Online at