Over next few weeks there are a number of exciting conferences for jewelry professionals who want to get ahead of the curve. I plan on attending and/or presenting at all of these events so here is rundown on what you can expect to find.
Beginning today in Schaumburg, Illinois we attend the annual conference, RAPID, where scientists and experts from around the world will present papers and exhibitions on AF (Additive Fabrication) and 3D Scanning technologies.
The buzz this year will be the switch from Rapid Prototyping (RP) to new capabilities in Rapid Manufacturing (RM). If you can get past the acronyms, you will basically learn how jewelers will soon produce 3D objects in precious metal directly from the CAD file, skipping the wax and the caster altogether. I also expect to find even lower cost scanners for 3D capture that will open this technology to any mom and pop jewelry store who wants to provide personalized custom jewelry. Finally, RAPID is the place to find all of the 3D printing technologies including those we favor for loss wax casting like Solidscape, EnvisionTec, 3D Systems, and Objet all in one room.
Next Stop in just six days is the Santa Fe Symposium May 17th – 20th in Albuquerque, NM. This gathering is, by far, the most informative session I attend every year. Unlike trade shows, the event is a non-commercial educational symposium where jewelry industry leaders gather to share innovative technologies and materials for the 21st Century. Celebrating its 23rd year, I am anxious learn about a number of new systems and methods…. for example
Dr. Ulrich Klotz, a Department Head at the Research Institute for Precious Metals & Metals Chemistry (FEM) and Dr. Fischer-Bühner of Legor Group Srl, Italy will both present papers on blue and purple gold alloys coming our way.
Dr. Joseph Strauss, president of HJE Company, and author of more than 40 published works on powder metallurgy, will speak on powdered precious metallurgy as it relates to new the RM technologies for CAD/CAM.
Dr. Marco Actis Grande, a contract researcher involved with precious metal alloys and powder metallurgy will discuss development of innovative transparent coatings applied on precious metals obtained through the Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition
Dr. Hubert Schuster, an independent technical consultant and who formerly served as the Director of the Jewellery Technology Institute in Creazzo, Italy will provide insights into recently developed mold materials, in combination with special mold preparation and cutting systems, which allow us to produce very lightweight items that were not possible using traditional materials and methods.
and many, many, more
If you have never attended the Santa Fe Symposium, I can assure you that you will find it an experience you will repeat every year. I always meet interesting people and learn something new.
Finally the JCK show is less than 3 weeks away and there are numerous opportunities in Las Vegas to improve your knowledge base. For those of you who have not yet invested in CAD/CAM, Gemvision will be offering several classes for Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced for their Matrix software.
There will also be several bench demos and lectures sponsored by MJSA throughout the JCK Las Vegas show. I can think of no better solution to a slow economy than to prepare for the future and now is the right time to begin. I hope to see you at one of these events this month…..