AMUG highlights keynotes for 2023 conference

January 27, 2023

Left to right: Robert Ducey, Nicholas Jacobson, and Max Haot to share insights on collaboration and innovation for medical & space applications at AMUG 2023 (Courtesy AMUG)
Left to right: Robert Ducey, Nicholas Jacobson, and Max Haot to share insights on collaboration and innovation for medical & space applications at AMUG 2023 (Courtesy AMUG)

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced its keynote speakers for the 2023 AMUG Conference, scheduled to take place in Chicago, Illinois, USA, from March 19-23. Robert Ducey of LAIKA Studios and Nicholas Jacobson of the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus will present their keynote on March 21, while Max Haot of Launcher will present his on March 23.

Keynote: Collaborations between an animator, an architect, and a surgeon: The keys to impactful innovation in medicine

Ducey and Jacobson’s work has resulted in designs for pediatric epilepsy, cardiology and cleft palates. During their keynote presentation, the pair will discuss their collaboration, providing a history of individual methods and sharing thoughts on the future.

“This keynote presentation illustrates what the AMUG Conference is all about,” stated Jordan Weston, AMUG director, education & conference. “On the one hand, we will hear about innovation fuelled by Additive Manufacturing. On the other hand, we will hear how a connection made during the 2019 AMUG Conference prompted an unlikely collaboration.”

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In a joint statement, Ducey and Jacobson said, “We connected over a little-known 3D modelling and printing technique called bitmap printing. We have leveraged our unique workflows and toolsets from that connection to develop new and exciting applications for 3D bitmap printing in medicine.”

They continued, “Throughout our talk, we hope to inspire people to think outside the silos of their fields and search for new ideas through untraditional collaborations. The key to a great innovation might be sitting right next to you.”

Robert Ducey, Technical Supervisor for the Rapid Prototyping department at LAIKA, has over twenty-five years of experience in visual effects and animation. His work with Additive Manufacturing began with LAIKA’s first feature film, Coraline. On every subsequent film, Ducey has been involved in the further development and expansion of the process, which received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2016.

Nicholas Jacobson, a member of the translational research faculty at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is trained as both an architect and computational designer. His work involves the development of solutions for complex surgeries, leveraging disparate computational methods from fields including architecture, animation, fashion, regenerative medicine, and structural engineering.

Jacobson’s work focuses on patient-specific needs in diagnostics, prosthetics, and implants. He has worked with over fifty surgeons in operating rooms to understand the opportunities for new and creative designs first-hand. As an architect, Jacobson has designed buildings for aerospace, residential, music, and medical uses.

Keynote: High-performance, low-cost liquid propulsion enabled by AM

Regarding the Thursday keynote, Weston added, “In early 2022, Launcher was big news with its successful E-2 liquid rocket engine test. A lot has transpired over the past 12 months. We are honored to have Max Haot take the stage to share updates on the company’s progress and innovations.”

Max Haot, founder and CEO of Launcher, will share an overview of how Additive Manufacturing plays a part in Launcher’s E-2 liquid rocket engine and the Orbiter space tug programmes. The E-2 is a closed-cycle, high-performance rocket engine that contains multiple AM-produced, copper-alloy components. The engine can boost a 150 kg payload into low Earth orbit (LEO) using the company’s Launcher Light vehicle, which is scheduled for launch in 2024.

Haot has over twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and a lifelong passion for space. He founded Launcher, a Hawthorne, California, aerospace company, in 2017 to develop the world’s most efficient rockets and transfer vehicles for the delivery of small satellites to orbit. Before Launcher, Haot was the founder and CEO of Mevo, a live-streaming camera maker that Logitech acquired in 2021. Before that, he was the founder and CEO of Livestream, which offered enterprise-level, live-streaming video software as a service (SaaS) and was acquired by IAC/Vimeo in 2017.

Rounding out the featured stage presentations are Insights and Highlights on Monday, March 20, and the Innovators Showcase on Wednesday, March 22. The keynotes and featured presentations will kickstart each day of the conference and are hoped to set the tone for nearly 200 presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and hands-on training sessions.

Those interested in attending 2023 AMUG Conference.

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