The Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium - An Additive Manufacturing Conference is a topical meeting that is a research exchange in the area of Additive Manufacturing, also known as Three Dimensional Printing and Rapid Prototyping. Over 25 percent of meeting attendees historically are students. The objective of this grant is to make the 2013 meeting more accessible to students by cost sharing the majority of the student registration fee. The 2013 meeting is expected to be similar in demographic but slightly larger in size compared to last year's 2012 meeting. The 2012 meeting drew 170 researchers from all over the world, representing 12 countries. There were 114 talks and posters presented. Thirty five universities were represented, 19 of which were domestic. For the 2013 meeting, this funding will enable the student registration fee to be set at $225, compared to the anticipated actual meeting cost per participant of $530.
The benefit of this grant is facilitating access of students to the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. Providing student access to other students working in their area as well as world-class research and researchers will contribute to the development of future researchers in the field. Students are encouraged to present their work personally. The strong international participation gives domestic participants an excellent opportunity to gain valuable information firsthand on research in the field. The meeting is an excellent model for advancing discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning. The networking of world-class researchers with students is strong. The meeting is a pinion for research infrastructure by the networking of research personnel and information.
This project supported student participation in the Twenty-Fourth International Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) Symposium. The symposium took place on August 12-14, 2013 in Austin, Texas at The University of Texas at Austin. Funds offset student registrations which enabled students to come and participate. There were 95 students at the meeting which represented approximately 44% of the entire meeting participation. The meeting had 102 oral presentations and 16 poster presentations. Eighty three papers were included in the proceedings. Authors had an option to have their papers peer reviewed prior to publication. Intellectual Merit The Twenty-Fourth International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, held at The University of Texas at Austin on August 12-14, 2013, was attended by 218 national and international researchers. The Symposium was organized in a manner to allow the multidisciplinary nature of the SFF research to be presented coherently, with various sessions emphasizing computer interfacing and modeling, machine and process development and materials and materials processing for SFF. The three-day event was completely composed of individual oral presentations to accommodate the demand for this dissemination format. The parallel sessions were split into three sessions to meet demand, and a poster session allowed researchers to present in this format. We believe that documenting the changing state of SFF art as represented by the meeting proceedings serves both the people presently involved in this fruitful technical area as well as the flux of new researchers and users entering the field. In 2014, special plenary sessions were organized on Cyber-enabled Additive Manufacturing; Qualification, Validation and Certification; and Micro- and Nano-Additive Manufacturing. Speakers were leading experts in the field. Information on the SFF Symposium was made available through the worldwide web at http://utwired.engr.utexas.edu.lff/. On-line registration forms, hotel information, general information brochure, proceedings order form, maps and the previous yearâ€™s talk titles were all available. The SFF Symposium mailing address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Broader Impacts In addition to the benefits of direct meeting participation, students were able to network with the international additive manufacturing research community. Wider dissemination was accomplished through the proceedings. A total of 83 papers were included in the proceedings volume. Authors contributed manuscripts both unreviewed and reviewed to allow authors the option of presenting their work in a refereed format. The SFF Symposium serves as a primary forum for networking and dissemination of information dealing with research issues in freeform fabrication. According to Ian Campbell, senior editor of the Rapid Prototyping Journal, "The SFF Symposium is to be regarded as the foremost international conference for rapid prototyping research." RPJ, 9#1, 2003. In a recent tally by AM experts on the most significant milestones in the history of AM, excepting the invention of specific AM processes, the inauguration of the SFF Symposium ranks highest . When asked which publications had greatest influence on the AM field, the Proceedings of the SFF Symposium tied with the only refereed archival journal dedicated solely to the AM field, the British-based Rapid Prototyping Journal . This same group ranked the SFF Symposium highest by over 50% to the next conference when asked what meeting contributed most to the development of the AM field . The SFF Symposium Conference Proceedings are heavily cited in the archival literature, and it is anticipated that the 2012 Proceedings will be as well.  Christopher L. Weber, et al., "The Role of the National Science Foundation in the Origin and Evolution of Additive Manufacturing in the United States", IDA Paper P-5091, IDA Science & Technology Policy Institute, Washington, DC, 2013. Additive Manufacturing is an extremely broad and interdisciplinary field, encompassing mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, computer science and engineering, biology, design, materials science and engineering, manufacturing science. The topics covered at the SFF symposium impact the automotive, aerospace, orthopedics, dentistry, gaming, surgical planning, implants, marine, architecture, furniture, art, etc. The 2013 conference served as a forum for this diverse interdisciplinary group of researchers to gather for the purpose of synergistic interaction and sharing of ideas and progress. The SFF Symposium brings together students, faculty and research scientists to interact in areas related to freeform fabrication. Details of student involvement are described elsewhere in the NSF project final report. The Proceedings of the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium is a significant contribution to the research literature in the field. = The Proceedings volume for the 2013 meeting is 1088 pages. The proceedings are heavily cited in archival literature including the Rapid Prototyping Journal. This year, the SFF Proceedings were uploaded in their entirety onto the conference website, providing citation-based access to all manuscripts from 1990-2013 (http://utwired.engr.utexas.edu/lff/symposium/proceedingsArchive/toc.cfm). This conference serves as a meeting opportunity for researchers, a number of which are involved to varying degrees in entrepreneurial activities. The networking aspect of the conference is strong and includes students who are able to meet and discuss research with world-class leading experts.