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It has been determined that there is nearly no limit to what 3-D printing and additive manufacturing can produce, and this is great news for the manufacturing industry, which was mainly seeing negative news just a few years ago. To celebrate all that 3-D printing, scanning and additive manufacturing has to offer, SME is hosting the 2015 RAPID Conference & Exposition in Long Beach, Calif., from May 19 to 21.

Expected to be the largest in the event’s 25-year history, RAPID will provide attendees with the opportunity to engage with more than 195 exhibitors and explore the future of the industry through interactive experiences and keynote addresses. 

“RAPID 2015 gives established businesses and startups alike the opportunity to collaborate and further the growth of 3-D printing and additive manufacturing technology,” says Debbie Holton, director of events and industry strategy at SME. “Manufacturers attend RAPID because they know they’ll find the latest innovative solutions they need to compete successfully. Those that don’t attend will miss out on witnessing the newest 3-D technologies and finding their next competitive advantage.”

The RAPID show floor was designed to optimize interaction among exhibitors and attendees. This year, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with 3-D manufacturing leaders like Materialise, Stratasys and 3D Systems, as well as innovative newcomers to the industry. RAPID 2015 will feature several interactive experiences to showcase the latest advancements in the industry, such as: 

    > Hovercraft races – Attendees will have a chance to race 3-D-printed hovercrafts and win a remote-controlled hovercraft of their own.
    > Innovation auditions – Qualified innovators will have five minutes to capture the attention of a panel of investors and experts, and share why their idea could make a difference. The panel will provide feedback after the auditions and select one innovation that will be announced at the May 20 keynote presentation. 
    > 3-D playground – Attendees will have an opportunity to witness 3-D technologies in a hands-on lab designed by SME and industry partners. Attendees will see state-of-the-art bioprinting capabilities, learn about software solutions to simplify design challenges, engage with 3-D printing-enabled STEM educational tools and more. 
    > Contemporary art gallery – Creative approaches to art creation and production will be on showcase, all made possible with additive manufacturing, 3-D printing, 3-D imaging and digital sculpture technologies. 

“In its 25th year, RAPID has been at the forefront of the manufacturing industry from the start,” Holton explains. “As the industry continues to grow and change, the RAPID conference and exposition continues to showcase the business advantages of additive manufacturing.”

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