The additive manufacturing industry is experiencing another consolidation phase internationally – a cyclical phenomenon that regularly brings both disillusionment and renewal. A stronger focus on the industry’s key players – especially the users – could provide relief and a way out of this cycle. A prime example of this has existed for decades in the form of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG).
In a multi-year rhythm, the additive manufacturing industry fluctuates between euphoric over-expectation and market tightening, often leading to damage and disillusionment. Although the interplay between growth and consolidation is crucial for the industry’s innovative strength, the negative impacts could be mitigated by focusing more on the less visible, but essential actors.
Stakeholders in the communication sector – especially media, market researchers, consultants, and event organizers – are indispensable for generating attention and significantly contribute to making the industry more attractive. However, in consolidation phases, like the current one, there needs to be a more intense consideration of researchers, developers, and users, who form the foundation of the industry but tend to be comparatively quiet despite their high competence.
Similar to a bodybuilder transitioning from the bulking to the cutting phase, the industry requires adequate knowledge and strategies to overcome growth plateaus. There needs to be a balanced mix of expansion-driven marketing and investor-oriented growth on one side, and the grounded insights from experts on the other, to lessen the negative consequences of the current and future consolidation phases. But how can one access such experts?
Additive Manufacturing Users Group – from March 10th to 14th, 2024 in Chicago
The best opportunity is offered by the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG), which meets annually in Chicago and provides an international and interdisciplinary exchange platform. This event stands out from more sales-oriented conferences by offering experts with decades of experience and industry users a platform for uncomplicated knowledge and experience exchange. In keeping with American culture, communication here is without disruptive hierarchies, which fosters open dialogue and is significantly more enjoyable.
For Users – By Users
The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has its origins in the early 1990s and supports users of all additive manufacturing technologies. The group’s original main objective, to promote information exchange and a professional network, has remained the same, but its members are now significantly more diversified and global. AMUG’s activities include, in addition to meetings, the establishment of special task or interest groups and the identification of problems and solutions for the members.
Regardless of the current disillusionment occurring in some places, it should not be overlooked that the global market for additive manufacturing continues to grow steadily, with the quality of products and applications always underpinning success. These, in turn, result from direct exchange and cooperation, aspects that cannot be replaced by marketing strategies or spectacular mergers and acquisitions in the long term.