3D-printing primer

A Nov. 19 summit sheds light on additive manufacturing — and offers a tour of red-hot Stratasys

Some small businesses in Minnesota already take advantage of additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing. Consider Minneapolis-based Pad and Quill. Its cases for smartphones and tablets are leather-bound, wood-framed, and made by hand, but 3D printing enables the company to quickly and cheaply make prototypes to mull over and play around with.

But that's just prototyping — the basics. The inaugural Taking Shape: Additive Manufacturing Summit reveals how 3D printing can do much more. The one-day program showcases the latest advances and demonstrates how the application of additive manufacturing beyond rapid prototyping can advance the efficiency and profitability of Minnesota's manufacturing businesses.

To be held at the Sheraton Minneapolis West on Nov. 19, it's hosted by Bemidji State University's 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center for Excellence.

Tip: To get the most out of this event, join the evening tour of Stratasys, a manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems that's based in Edina but increasingly known around the world.