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AMUG Reveals Keynote Speakers for 2024 Conference

Jason Lopes and Olaf Diegel to inspire and offer creative applications of additive manufacturing, AMUG reports.

Jason Lopes and Olaf Diegel to inspire and offer creative applications of additive manufacturing, AMUG reports.

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

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced its keynote speakers for the 2024 AMUG Conference, which will be held in Chicago, 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 use the technology.

“Our 2024 keynote speakers embody additive manufacturing as an art form for tackling complex challenges and elevating what is possible,” says Ed Graham, AMUG’s director of Education and Conference. “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 says.

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

On the AMUG stage, 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 projects that posed great challenges. He assures the audience that they will be intrigued 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 is a multi-decade-long fixture in the creative services industry. Throughout his career, Lopes has played a pivotal role in shaping the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, such as Avatar, Terminator Genisys & Salvation, Thor, and the three Iron Man films, according to AMUG.

Lopes has expertise in leveraging additive manufacturing, 3D scanning and digital modeling to create visual effects and products. He is an 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 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.”

“I have followed Olaf for many years on social media,” says Graham. “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.”

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 receive practical guidance from Diegel on how to design products for additive manufacturing and how to leverage advances in computational design software to automate complex product design.

For 25 years, Diegel has been an enthusiast of additive manufacturing. He is an educator and practitioner in additive manufacturing and product development.

Diegel, long recognized for his artistic, stylized guitars, now has three roles related to additive manufacturing. Along with his professor role, he is a consultant who has developed a  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.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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