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USM Hosting DigiFab, a Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Digital Fabrication & 3D Technology Conference

The Maine Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers [SME] is bringing DigiFab, a new regional conference on Digital Fabrication and 3D Technology to Portland in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine College of Science, Technology & Health.  Growing out of SME’s national initiative to “Make the Future – Together," DigiFab will be held on Friday, November 1 in the Abromson Center on USM’s Portland Campus.  The daylong program will be an opportunity for manufacturers and educators in the Northeast to learn first hand about the technological power driving the new industrial revolution. 

USM’s Dean Andrew L. Anderson notes, "This is an extremely relevant topic given the nature of the technology and its growing use. While digital fabrication and 3D printing are not new technologies, they have developed to the point of being applicable to a much wider audience and are now more affordable. One can only imagine the new and innovative ways the technology will be applied as its use continues to grow."

Keynotes will be delivered by Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product & Channel Management at 3D Systems Corporation and Sherry Lassiter, who serves as the Program Manager of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms and Director of Fab Foundation. Both internationally recognized leaders will discuss success to date in Digital Fabrication and the implications for the future of education, industries, economies and communities.

In response to the impact of Digital Fabrication and 3D Technology on both industry and education, the DigiFab program will be divided into two tracks.  The industrial track will focus on success stories for incorporating new technologies with traditional manufacturing equipment and processes, examples of applications for which 3D Printing is an appropriate tool, and how manufacturers can prepare for changes in staffing, training, and operations that the new technologies bring to the factory floor.

The education track will focus on project-based learning using Digital Fabrication technologies such as laser cutters and 3D Printers, how to get a FabLab started that reaches beyond STEM to include the liberal arts as well, training options for educators, funding sources for programs and success stories from kindergarten through graduate school.

A representative of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, mentioned in President Obama’s State of the Union Address earlier this year, will give attendees in both tracks an overview of resources that NAMII provides to industry and education.  In addition, the Expo will feature vendor demos of new Digital Fabrication and 3D Technology products and services, and ample networking time is built into the program.

Joe Rizzo, chair of the SME Downeast Chapter, thanks Gregory Cavanaugh of USM in particular for accepting the invitation to co-chair the conference with SME Downeast Chapter Board member Sarah Boisvert of Potomac Photonics in Lanham, MD and 3D MicroFactory in Rockland, Maine. “SME appreciates the expertise Greg brings to the planning and implementation of DigiFab.  This promises to be a Conference of great importance as we face the opportunities and challenges of maintaining our competitive advantage in the world marketplace.”

Student registration is only $10! See DigiFab EXPO for details and online registration.