I just came from our first DFW 3D Printers Users Group meeting in Irving Texas, and I have to say, this was an outstanding event.  Attendees raved about the topics, visuals and getting to meet experts on applications, machine support and software, scanning and how to choose the right technology.  With tornadoes, large hail with wind guests above 75 mph plus flooding due to heavy rainfall, Mother Nature didn’t make it easy to present the event and materials, but our St. Patrick’s Day morning was a winner.

With thanks to Kris Matson, the Technical Application Engineer from Stratasys who flew in just to present to our group on materials and applications, to Steve Kersen, the Vice President from locally based NVision who spoke on scanning and converting scan data to CAD and STL files, to Justin McNamara from Engatech’s Houston showroom who outlined the differences between software that comes with FDM machines, and Janice Callahan the North Texas account manager who welcomed our group, it was a wonderful meeting.  I was privileged to speak about the differences between FDM and PolyJet processing as well as share some online sites with communities and tools that we found useful and free for 3D printing people.  What a group of distinguished pros to share the podium with!

It was a lively group, with plenty of questions about machines and materials.  And, the applications and parts were great conversation starters, including contributions from the audience with samples and specifics.  Well done everyone.

Let me share a couple of key phrases from our presenters. 

From Kris Matson the Stratasys Technical Application Engineer – 3D printing doesn’t replace traditional manufacturing, 3D printing gets your parts into high volume and more traditional manufacturing area faster with more economy.

From Steve Kersen at NVision – Scanning is more than just a scan, it is also the manipulation of the data and meshes that result from the scan so the information can be used.

From Justin McNamar from Engatech – Using all the features of Insight gives you the ability to make your 3D printed parts even better by managing how the material is laid down in each layer and in different build styles.

From Barbara Arnold-Feret from Engatech – FDM make great durable parts and PolyJet makes high precision and high finish parts. Whether one is better than the other is going to “depend” on what you use the part for.  Plus there lots of free tools on the web that can be helpful for 3D printing pros.

From Janice Callahan from Engatech – commercial 3D printing machines are reliable and made to produce parts every time.  Each machine has a different price point. 

These are quick highlights from each speaker on just a quick snippet of what was covered.  Imagine the value of this conference to your firm.  We will be setting up more of the Users Forums in other cities across the region so stay tuned for updates and information on events, seminars, webinars and more on our event page and emails.

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