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3D Printing is Growing at IMTS 2018

Sept. 8, 2018
This year’s show features an Additive Manufacturing Pavilion, along with a 3D-printed shuttle to get you there.

IMTS 2018 will be the 32nd edition of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. IMTS 2016 hosted the highest number of exhibiting companies ever (2,407) and was the third largest in number of registrations (115,612) and in net square feet of exhibit space (1,370,256) at the McCormick Place complex. IMTS is held every even-numbered year in Chicago and attracts buyers and sellers from 117 countries.

Perhaps one of the big growth areas of this show is 3D printing. From 2014, when Local Motors printed a car live at the show, to this show, where there will be autonomous 3D printed shuttles and an Additive Manufacturing Pavilion, 3D printing offers companies a competitive edge.

In 2016 visitors demonstrated an interest in additive manufacturing. For example, Joe Elliot, a model Maker at Master Lock Company, discussed how 3D printing changes how he approaches design work. To meet visitors’ growing interest, as well as the demand for increased exhibition space among exhibitors at IMTS 2018, the Additive Manufacturing Pavilion has been relocated to the front of the West Building.

Local Motors 3D printed a car, Strati at last year’s IMTS. This year it was back with more models: the rally car (Rally Righter), a Beach Cruiser (Swim), and the self-driving shuttle (Olli).

Additive manufacturing is a reality for the industrial marketplace. Although it is still maturing, the technology has progressed so far that if visitors ignore 3D printing at IMTS 2018, they do so at the peril of reducing their competitiveness. Andrea Wosel, a project manager at C&R Manufacturing, noted that the 3D printed vehicles on display demonstrated that between IMTS shows, “It’s amazing how fast the technology moves.”

Designing for 3D printing requires a completely different approach, as does integrating the power of 3D printing into an industrial operation. Fortunately, within the IMTS Additive Manufacturing Pavilion, visitors will find companies that offer full suites of 3D products, and they are good at explaining the benefits.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory presented multiple 3D-printed replicas at this year’s IMTS. 3D printing composites in large platforms is showing up more at shows like these.

Look for more stories to come on all the ways IMTS 2018 showcase 3D printing, but for now, just remember two words: West Building. Here’s a link to the exhibitors in the IMTS 2018 Additive Manufacturing Pavilion.

Also, check out the full 3D printing Agenda here. In an article from the IMTS Insider, 3D printing represent two of the Six Must-See Attractions at IMTS 2018.

  1. AMT Additive Manufacturing ETC, West Building, Level 3, Booth #431609
    Visitors will experience demonstrations of the newest breakthroughs in materials, speeds, and technologies. Highlights include:
    • Die-in-a-Day Scavenger Hunt, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), takes participants through the process of creating an additively manufactured tool, from design and prototype production to final inspection. 
    • AM Research from ORNL showcases its work on qualification and certification of additively manufactured parts leveraging capabilities in data analytics. 

America Makes members will be on hand at the America Makes Knowledge Bar to present a variety of topics relative to anyone working in Additive Manufacturing and related technologies

  1. IMTS Ride Experience
    Take a ride in Olli, a self-driving, digitally manufactured, 3D-printed electric vehicle by Local Motors that will shuttle visitors between level three of the East and North buildings.

There will be a host of 3D printing companies to check out. Below are ten of the featured exhibitors, but there are more than 55 companies at this year’s show that will be available with experts to help your company get a competitive edge with this technology.


Booth Number

3D Systems



338900 , 432317 , 215114

EOS North America




HP Inc.


Markforged, Incorporated


Mazak Corporation


Renishaw Inc.


SLM Solutions NA, Inc.




Another 3D printing exhibitor is Roboze, which is set to unveil its line of 3D printers including: Roboze One, One +400 and Argo 500. The company’s goal is to help companies take advantage of 3D printing in an economic and environmental way with lightweight materials.

Moog Aircraft Group made this coordinate measurement machine fixture using a Stratasys Fortus 380 3D printer supplied by SYS Systems. Fixtures and jigs are saving time and money in the aerospace and automotive markets.

If you are going to IMTS this year, make sure to check out what’s happening in the Additive Manufacturing Pavilion. And why not try taking the 3D-printed autonomous shuttle to get there?

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