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2024 Keynote Speakers

By October 31, 2023news, Press Release

AMUG Announces Keynote Speakers for 2024 Conference

Jason Lopes and Olaf Diegel to inspire and stimulate with creative applications of additive manufacturing.

ZEELAND, MICH., Oct. 31, 2023 – The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) today announced its keynote speakers for the 2024 AMUG Conference, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois, from March 10 -14, 2024. Jason Lopes, Director – Additive Manufacturing at Gentle Giant Studios, will take the stage on Tuesday, March 12. Olaf Diegel, Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will engage the audience 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 unleash the transformative power of the technology.

Ed Graham, AMUG’s Director of Education and Conference, said, “Our 2024 keynote speakers embody additive manufacturing as an art form for tackling complex challenges and elevating what is possible. I believe that Olaf’s and Jason’s talks with be complementary, having different perspectives on the creative use of additive manufacturing, and they will bring a global view of additive case studies to the stage.”

“Some of my favorite keynote memories from AMUG Conferences feature Jason Lopes. His return to our stage will ‘Wow’ our members with his use of new technologies and out-of-the-box thinking,” Graham said.

Jason Lopes, pictured with his friend Sulley, will return to the AMUG stage for his Tuesday keynote presentation.

On the AMUG stage, Jason Lopes, a returning favorite, will discuss how additive manufacturing and 3D scanning have been advanced by the entertainment and creative services industries through the completion of unique projects that posed remarkable challenges. He assures the audience that they will be astounded by the extensive use of additive manufacturing in resolving manufacturing difficulties to transform creative ideas into reality for items ranging from movie props to consumer products to fine art.

Lopes’ stories are pulled from the experiences of Gentle Giant Studios, which has long been an innovator that blazed new trails and is a multi-decade-long fixture in the creative services industry. Lopes is Director-Additive Manufacturing for the studio. Throughout his career, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, such as Avatar, Terminator Genisys & Salvation, Thor, and the three Iron Man films.

Lopes has deep expertise in leveraging additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, and digital modeling to create stunning visual effects and products. He is a strong advocate of the technologies, passionate about innovation, and dedicated to educating others. He has served on AMUG committees and is a director and past chair for the Additive Manufacturing Technical Interest Group of SPE.

His experience, successes, and contributions have made Lopes a highly respected player in the 3D printing community and garnered him awards such as the AMUG DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator) and 3D Printing Industry’s Maker of the Year.

Olaf Diegel’s Thursday keynote is titled Design for Additive Manufacturing: Understanding Value. Graham said, “I have followed Olaf for many years on social media. I was very pleased and excited when he agreed to travel from New Zeeland to Chicago so that he can share his creative, wide-ranging use cases of additive manufacturing with our members.”

Olaf Diegel will share DfAM guidance and inspiration in his Thursday keynote at AMUG 2024.

In his talk, Diegel will demonstrate how, with good DfAM practices, the technology can be shifted from a slow, expensive approach to one that can transform products into successes that contain value-added features. Diegel will make his points through real-world examples from aerospace, transportation, healthcare, and artistic applications.

Attendees will walk away with practical guidance from Diegel on how to design products for additive manufacturing and how to leverage the recent advances in computational design software to automate complex product design.

For 25 years, Diegel has been a devoted enthusiast of additive manufacturing, and he believes that it has been a boon for innovation. He is both an educator and practitioner in additive manufacturing and product development with a strong track record of developing innovative solutions to create innovative products.

Diegel, who has long been recognized for his artistic, stylized guitars, now has three roles related to additive manufacturing. He is the Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with research expertise in that technology. He is a consultant who has developed a wide range of products for companies around the world, earning numerous product development awards over the past three decades. He is an entrepreneur with his company ODD, which manufactures a range of 3D-printed guitars.

Rounding out the featured stage presentations are Insights and Highlights on Monday, March 11, and the Innovators Showcase on Wednesday, March 13. The keynotes and featured presentations will kickstart each day of the conference and set the tone for over 150 presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and hands-on training sessions.

Designed for novice and experienced additive manufacturing users, the AMUG Conference agenda topics range from technology basics to advanced applications to business considerations. Conference details and registration are available at


The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG), a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation, is a catalyst for its community of members to drive additive manufacturing forward. We are committed to educating and advancing AM applications for industrial purposes. Our annual gatherings provide a platform for in-depth technical presentations, workshops, and hands-on experiences, focusing on processes, technologies, and real-world applications. Join us at to be part of the innovation shaping the future of manufacturing.