Keynote speakers revealed for the 2024 AMUG Conference

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced its keynote speakers for the 2024 AMUG Conference, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois, from March 10 -14.

On Tuesday, March 12, Jason Lopes, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Gentle Giant Studios, will take the stage, while on Thursday, March 14, Olaf Diegel, Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will engage the audience. Both Lopes and Diegel will combine creativity and practicality in their presentations. Lopes, from the creative services industry, will focus on 3D scanning, design, and additive manufacturing. Diegel will explore the creative potential of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) as a transformative tool for 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.”

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

When passion and technology cross paths

On the AMUG stage, Jason Lopes, “a returning favorite,” will explore how additive manufacturing and 3D scanning have advanced in the entertainment and creative services industries. He will share notable tales of overcoming challenges using these technologies, bringing creative ideas to life, from movie props to consumer products and fine art. Lopes, the Director of Additive Manufacturing at Gentle Giant Studios, a creative services provider, possesses a career with “influential roles” in Hollywood movies like Avatar, Terminator Genisys, Thor, and Iron Man. AMUG says Lopes is a passionate advocate and educator in the field, with deep expertise in leveraging additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, and digital modeling to create exceptional visual effects and products. Lopes’ contributions have made him a highly respected figure in the 3D printing community, earning him awards like the AMUG DINO and 3D Printing Industry’s Maker of the Year, says AMUG.

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Additionally, Olaf Diegel’s Thursday keynote, titled “Design for Additive Manufacturing: Understanding Value,” is a significant highlight. Diegel will showcase how effective DfAM practices can transform the traditionally slow and costly approach of additive manufacturing into a pathway to product success with value-added features. Drawing from real-world examples in aerospace, transportation, healthcare, and artistic applications, Diegel will provide practical insights on designing products for additive manufacturing and capitalizing on recent advancements in computational design software for complex product automation.

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 Zealand to Chicago so that he can share his creative, wide-ranging use cases of additive manufacturing with our members.”

With a 25-year devotion to additive manufacturing, Diegel combines his roles as an educator, practitioner, and artist. As a Professor of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, he contributes valuable research expertise. He also serves as a consultant, receiving numerous product development awards for his innovative solutions. As an entrepreneur with his company ODD, he manufactures a range of 3D printed guitars, expanding his impact in the additive manufacturing field.

Completing the stage lineup are Insights and Highlights on March 11, and the Innovators Showcase on March 13. These keynotes and featured presentations will set the tone for over 150 additional sessions and activities.

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

Revisiting previous AMUG Conferences

AMUG Conference 2023 saw a keynote presentation given by Nick Jacobson from CU Anschutz Medical Campus and Rob Ducey from LAIKA Studios. They showcased a collaborative project merging additive manufacturing in medical and special effects fields. Jacobson highlighted the conference’s unique community of proficient users with diverse expertise, facilitating meaningful cross-profession connections and idea sharing despite the contrasting applications.

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At the AMUG Conference 2022, companies like Tiger Coatings, SPEE3D, AMFG, Visitech, Azul 3D, and Tech Met Inc. presented solutions and innovative technology at the event. Product launches included titanium and aluminum metal powders, the NXE200 resin 3D printing system, and advancements in metal printing. Companies like Meltio, AON3D, DyeMansion, and Nano Dimension also showcased their offerings.

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Featured image shows Jason Lopes, pictured with his friend Sulley, will return to the AMUG stage for his Tuesday keynote presentation. Photo via AMUG.

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