Society of Manufacturing Engineers Reveals How Leveraging 3D Imaging Technologies Accelerates Product Design and Production at RAPID 2012

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3D imaging technology briefing, workshops, presentations and interactive displays, among RAPID 2012 Conference & Exposition highlights.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will present a 3D imaging technologies lineup of briefings, workshops, presentations and displays at RAPID 2012 Conference & Exposition May 23-24 in Atlanta in response to the growing number of manufacturing engineers looking for solutions that accelerate product design and production.

3D imaging equipment and software are used for a full range of manufacturing applications including; inspection, quality control, verification, metrology and measurement. When combined with additive manufacturing, 3D imaging technologies can streamline the product design and inspection process, dramatically reducing the time it takes to bring new products to market.

“3D imaging is often the first step of the 3D printing process, especially when it comes to physical objects that need to be virtualized,” says Michael Raphael of Direct Dimensions. “3D imaging provides the solutions for capturing reality.”

3D imaging tools have evolved and provide automatic functions for analysis of complex geometric inspection of manufactured parts. The latest solutions automate the analysis of CAD-encoded geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and are expected to drive the growth of production inspection and part manufacturability with 3D imaging technology.

The 3D Imaging Event kicks off on Tuesday, May 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with an in-depth reverse engineering and 3D data capture workshop where experts from SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) Community Tech Group will provide a comprehensive introduction to 3D scanning technologies, software and processes, highlighting the differences between data capture technologies with a hands-on demonstration of popular scanning devices. A free one-hour 3D imaging technology overview is offered free to all registered attendees from noon to 1 p.m., May 23 and 24.

“This is the most comprehensive event for conversations on applications for all types of 3D imaging,” says Raphael.

3D Imaging Conference Sessions

Wednesday, May 23 will include one full day of 3D imaging presentations in several industry-specific sessions during the two-day RAPID 2012 conference, including:

  • "Shape Engineering and Design Parameterization in Reverse Engineering" presented by Kuang-Jua Chang, University of Oklahoma
  • "3D Scan-T0-CAD, Does +1 Really Equal 2?" presented by Michael Mock, INUS Technology
  • "Reverse Engineering: Technology of Reinvention" presented by Wego Wang, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • "Automated 3D Scanning and Analysis of Automotive Parts: A Systems Integration Case Study" presented by Mike Formica and Damion Shelton, threeRivers 3D, Inc.
  • "The Search for the Golden Part" presented by Stephen Spanoudis, Motorola Solutions Inc
  • "Heritage, Arts and 3D Technologies" presented by Roy Charles-Oliver, Artisans du Passage
  • "How Useful is That! What You Can Do With CT Scanning" presented by Giles Gaskell, Wenzel America Ltd and Rus Emerick, Schneider-Electric
  • "Project ‘OREO’ – A Custom Polycarbonate Canine Implant Made with FDM Technology" presented by Trina Bailey, Atlantic Veterinary College and Martin Petrak, Orthopaedic Innovation Centre
  • "Useful Simulation for Design, Engineering, Maintenance and Verification Activities" presented by Mike Mazen, Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology
  • "3D Imaging: The Reality of Digital Reality Capture" presented by Michael Raphael, Direct Dimensions, Inc.
  • "From Worn-out Pump Impeller to Castings – The All-digital Process without Tooling or Patterns" presented by Daniel J. Maas, ProMetal RCT / The ExOne Company

“This is the must-attend event for anyone interested in engineering services, inspection systems, 3D imaging equipment and reverse engineering, and we’re anticipating to draw a larger crowd of professionals from the Atlanta area this year,” said SME business development manager Gary Mikola.

3D Imaging Exhibits

RAPID 2012 also includes a two-day trade show dedicated to the most advanced 3D imaging software, scanners and service providers in the industry. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 23 and 24. Some of the exhibiting companies include:

  •     3dMD
  •     Capture 3D
  •     CGI
  •     Creaform
  •     Delcam
  •     Direct Dimensions
  •     FARO
  •     Geomagic / Sensable
  •     Hexagon Metrology
  •     Innovmetric
  •     Materialise
  •     NeoMetrix Technologies, Inc.
  •     Nikon Metrology, Inc.
  •     North Star Imaging
  •     Rapidform
  •     ShapeGrabber
  •     Shining 3D USA
  •     Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT)
  •     Steinbichler Vision Systems
  •     Tebis CAD/CAM Tebis
  •     Tebis Version
  •     Wenzel America Ltd
  •     View Complete RAPID 2012 & 3D IMAGING Exhibitor List Online

Engineers from around the world will be gathering in Atlanta to discover how 3D imaging and additive manufacturing can speed products to market with greater cost and time efficiencies. “I attend every year to learn about the newest solutions for the wide range of 3D problems that our company solves across virtually all industries. From analyzing manufacturing inspections to documenting museum artifacts, RAPID has it all,” Raphael added.

The world of manufacturing is rapidly changing and RAPID attracts an international audience of engineers who want to improve their manufacturing processes. 3D imaging is becoming a bigger part of the solution, allowing companies to meet the growing demand for their products and at the same time have better quality control meeting the new international ISO:9001 certifications standards.

“We’ve put together a powerful 3D imaging and additive manufacturing experience at RAPID 2012 to show attendees how to accelerate the product development process while providing the most cutting edge systems and services available,” Mikola added.

To receive the latest up-to-the-minute SME news, subscribe to the SME News Feed at Follow @RAPID_Event on Twitter, Circle Rapid Conference & Exposition on Google+ and Like on Facebook to receive conference updates.

Note to Media: Journalists can register for media credentials online.

About RAPID:
RAPID is North America's definitive additive manufacturing conference and exposition. The event brings buyers, sellers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct manufacturing technologies together in an environment that facilitates networking and business interaction. Attendees can evaluate the latest materials and machinery, compare processes, talk to industry experts and make valuable contacts. Exhibitors can meet new customers, discuss projects face-to-face and generate sales. For more information, visit:

About SME:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, activities and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.

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Nadra Angerman
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