Two upcoming shows bring laser technology to the Chicago area

These two great venues in the Chicago area should provide a great opportunity to explore laser manufacturing.

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The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is held every second year at the McCormick Place Convention Center near downtown Chicago. It is one of the largest manufacturing technology shows in the world and typically draws over 100,000 attendees. This is the 30th of these events, which will be held this year from September 8-13. As with other venues, 3D printing will be taking center stage and is being billed as one of the "wow" factors of the show. AMT's Emerging Technology Center (ETC) will construct a complete version of a 3D-printed electric car in partnership with IMTS partner Local Motors, which will build and deliver the first direct digital manufactured vehicle at IMTS 2014. Designed and built using the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques available at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), an electric vehicle purpose-built for the urban transportation needs of Chicago will be produced.

I am giving a talk entitled "What's so Cool about Lasers?" in the SME booth, N7470, on Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 pm. A complete list of the laser vendors can be found at

The Lasers for Manufacturing Event (LME) will be hosted by the Laser Institute of America in Schaumburg on September 23-24. This event is 'free' or, at most, there is a nominal charge for attending. Unlike IMTS, this is a strictly LASER show totally devoted to the use of lasers in manufacturing environments. On the Monday before the show opens, there will be a "Lasers for Manufacturing Summit," where key executive decision makers will listen to and engage in discussions regarding the current and future state of laser processing. Featured prominently are the areas of 3D laser printing (LAM) and ultrafast-pulse lasers. During the show itself, there are several ways of getting the information you need to consider lasers in your manufacturing environment:

  • Laser Technology Showcase: Learn the advantages of using laser technology from LME Exhibitors.
  • Ask the Expert: Ask the experts about anything to do with industrial lasers, laser processing systems, and industrial laser applications. Let them help you find solutions to your manufacturing needs!
  • Keynotes: A variety of trending topics will be presented by industry experts.
  • Educational Courses: Educational courses are 30-45 minutes long. They are designed to teach the basics of laser applications and how you can profit from using lasers!
  • Tutorials: Tutorials are one-and-a-half hours long. Tutorials provide a more in depth overview of the topic.

A keynote address on Tuesday will be presented by Industrial Laser Solutions editor-in-chief David Belforte, entitled "The 2014 Market for Industrial Lasers and Applications." Another keynote address will be given by Yours Truly, and is entitled "Ultrafast Lasers for Manufacturing."

These two great venues in the Chicago area should provide a great opportunity to explore laser manufacturing. There are lots of great conferences coming up this fall and I will be reporting on them in this blog. Stay tuned!

I am always interested in hearing your thoughts concerning laser micromachining, the laser industry, comments on entrepreneurial endeavors, etc. AND … we are always looking for fresh, publishable material. Please feel free to contact me at

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