For me, the highlight of IMTS was the Ex One exhibit. This company, led by former head of Extreme Hone, Lawrence Rhoades, and former CEO of Gleason Works Theaters John Burns, is revolutionizing the world of machining. Perhaps not revolutionizing, but replacing much of machining as we know it, using a three dimensional process, which incorporates a layering of metal powder by a version of inkjet printing.
Ex One is already using this process to make sand models for casting. It is also beta testing a similar mode of making dental crowns using gold powder added layer by layer to make a perfect crown in a fraction of the time as in the conventional process.
Rhoades envisions this approach replacing many of the dental laboratories making gold crowns. Dentists are already bringing the technology into their offices making the turnaround time a fraction of that with conventional methods.
Ex One’s vision of the world diminishes the role of Fed Ex and UPS because production would be on the site with virtually no waste.