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The World of Design & Manufacturing Under One Roof

Feb. 7, 2017
Highlights of the Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, and other events include 3D printing for microfluidics and a medical sealer with RFID readers and an optical sensor.

If you are unfamiliar with this six-shows-in-one event, not only is it big, but it has great speakers such as Jamie Hyneman, a one-time cast member of TV’s Mythbusters. On the show floor, you can talk to thousands of companies attending the MD&M West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing, WestPack, ATX West, Plastec West, and Electronics West events. And don’t forget the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Summit. Machine Design will be there to keep you updated via daily newsletters through the week.

Some of the many highlights include a 3D printer specifically designed to meet the regulations of the medical community: Dolomite’s Fluidic Factory—the first commercially available 3D printer for sealed microfluidic devices. The Fluidic Factory utilizes cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from TOPAS Advanced Polymers. It will run continuously during the show; stop by TOPAS’s Booth #662 to see the machine produce a variety of microfluidic parts.

Advanced Circuits will also be presenting its printed-circuit-board (PCB) printer with multilayer capabilities (up to 40 layers), oversized boards, via-in-pad, sequential lamination, along with a vast selection of materials. This technology will be on display at booth #2075.

However, 3D printing is a comparatively small part of what’s on tap. One of the more expansive fields represented at this show is packaging. Herrmann Ultrasonics is showing off its new medical sealer. The HiQ series incorporates an optical sensor and RFID readers to ensure safety and a proper seal.

Many companies on the floor will be promoting materials, and if my experience from PACK EXPO East just a few months ago tells me anything, Dow will make a big appearance. I have scheduled a meeting with Dow at Booth #1921, and will report back with new developments. As of now, it looks like Dow will be bringing silicone adhesive solutions, elastomers, and coating for the medical industry.

Every show must address the Internet of Things at some point, and on that front, Qorvo said it will show how it communicates with everything from homes to military. In addition, one of the speakers, Cees Links, will be sitting down to talk with me. Links is CEO of Green Peak, a subsidiary of Qorvo. Wireless LANs, which ae now commonly integrated into PCs and notebooks, were first developed under his leadership. He also pioneered the development of access points and home-networking routers, and is responsible for the development of multiple standards in this industry.

For a complete list of the companies attending, go to the any of the show directories, or click here for the directory. You can also follow Machine Design—technology editors Carlos Gonzalez and I—on Twitter (@MachineDesign, @cmgonzalez85, @JKerns10) and Facebook (Machine Design, Carlos Gonzalez, Jeff Kerns).

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