September has arrived, which marks eight months and counting to the silver anniversary of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference. I am pleased to say that I have been receiving calls and emails in regards to training and educational sessions. One of the first to step up to the plate is Materialise, a long-time sponsor.
Materialise has agreed to hold two or three hands-on sessions ranging from two to four hours. Details are still being worked out, but one thing I can tell you is that everyone that registers for these sessions will receive a free 30-day license of Magics. All you have to do is bring a laptop with you. These sessions, which are free to conference attendees, would normally cost you $75/person per hour. That is a savings of $150 to $300.
Next month, I will highlight additional training sessions that will be offered, so stay tuned.
The board is now putting the finishing touches on the RegOnline registration site. I’m sure you will be very happy with the move from Cvent to RegOnline (see our treasurer’s report below for details). Once the site goes live for registration, we will let you all know it’s ready to accept your 2013 conference registrations. But please be patient; we want it 100% ready before going live.
I would like to let you all know that our past treasurer and friend, Guy Bourdeau, is doing quite well. He continues to make a “rapid” recovery, and we wish him all the best. In Hebrew, we say “Refuah Shlema,” which translates to “we wish you a speedy recovery.”
I would also like to wish our friends from TCT Live an awesome show (September 25 -26, Birmingham England). Best of luck also goes to Todd Grimm, our additive manufacturing industry advisor and president of T. A. Grimm & Associates, who will present the opening keynote address titled “Additive Tech — Challenges and Opportunities in the Real World”.
Our Mission: Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) educates and advances the uses and applications of additive manufacturing technologies.
AMUG launches new social media sites! Connect with the Additive Manufacturing community, stay up-to-date, and give us a follow on Twitter (@AdditiveMFGUG), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/additivemanufacturingusersgroup) and on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/groups/Additive-Manufacturing-Users-Group-AMUG-448958)
AM is a Square Peg
In a few days, I will be keynoting TCT Live, our media partner’s annual event. A cornerstone of my presentation will be my view that additive manufacturing is a square peg that doesn’t fit well in the round hole constructed to control, manage, measure and justify conventional processes.
There are round holes for models, prototypes, manufacturing tools and production parts. Each has evolved around the strengths and limitations of methods that have been used for decades. The problem is that these round holes impose artificial constraints and unnecessary demands on additive manufacturing.
For additive manufacturing to realize its full potential, individuals, companies and industries must either enlarge the holes to accept the square peg or make new holes with new constraints, requirements and objectives. I prefer the latter.
Making new holes lets us leverage all of the unique qualities of additive manufacturing. They create opportunities that previously did not exist. To make your opportunities, start with a fresh slate — don’t allow old assumptions, requirements and performance standard to sneak in without first being carefully considered. Go ahead; make your hole square.
Acting on Input
Since the conference, I have been working hard to acquaint myself with the nuances of the treasurer’s position. In between the usual duties of paying bills and collecting invoices, the board and I have been working very hard to implement your feedback. One of the biggest points of contention was the registration process, both online and at the conference. During the June strategy meeting we developed a wish list including feedback from members, as well as back office requests from the board, regarding the functionality you would like.
Below is a brief excerpt of the items we felt would benefit the group the most:
- Ability for users to modify their registration easily
- Ability to auto-generate name tags
- Ability to easily run a variety of reports on a real time basis
- Ability to easily verify payment method and items purchased
- Increased level of engagement with users
- Ability to auto-generate training certificates
- Member logins and intuitive registration process
- Ability to easily check attendees in at the conference
After many, many webinars, conference calls, and demos, we believe that our new service will provide us with all of the functionality that we dreamed about! Admittedly, there will probably still be room for improvement throughout this year, but we feel that RegOnline is a system that will grow with us.
We are currently testing the process and making improvements and hope that once we go live you will continue to help us make the process better through your feedback and involvement.