What makes a great road trip? Fun friends, good snacks, excellent destinations, and brief run-ins with cults. What? That last one might not be on everyone’s checklist, but Stephen LaMarca, AMT’s technology analyst, and his crew did it anyway while filming Season Two of original IMTS Network series “Road Trippin’ with Steve,” sponsored by EOS. They recommend you focus on the snacks and additive manufacturing.
A Not-So-New Technology
In the long-awaited second season of “Road Trippin’,” Steve and his team explored the history of additive manufacturing with stops throughout Texas.
“When you talk to veterans in the industry, they will tell you they were invested in additive manufacturing as far back as the ‘80s, but so many people didn’t hear about it until 2010 or later. That is a 30-year gap,” Steve explained. “This season was incredible because it was like watching the Wikipedia page for additive manufacturing come to life! We explored the rich history of the technology and saw firsthand how things got started.”
Steve loves to take viewers behind the scenes and delve into history. In Season One of “Road Trippin’,” he embarked on an East Coast manufacturing history tour that began in Windsor, Vermont, at the American Precision Museum. The second season takes that same focus on history and turns it toward additive manufacturing. It will be released in spring 2022 on the new IMTS+ – a digital channel dedicated to all things manufacturing technology.
A Custom History Tour
There was no better place to start a tour of additive manufacturing history than at the University of Texas at Austin. The “Road Trippin’” crew had the pleasure of learning from Jared Allison, Ph.D., the operations manager at the Center for Additive Manufacturing and Design Innovation. They also got to peek at some vintage videos of folks doing some 3D printing at the Center – in the ‘80s! From there, the crew headed to Essentium, a small startup that quickly became a heavy hitter in the industry by using a painstaking manufacturing process to create the highest-quality pellets and filaments for 3D printing.
At EOS, Steve explored the future of metal 3D printing, including projects requiring a fine surface finish and using extreme specialty alloys. Next the team stopped in at Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, a company making additive tool heads that can print parts using conventional milling machines.
A Slight Detour
Of course, it wouldn’t be “Road Trippin’” if there weren’t some outtakes that had to hit the cutting room floor– including a brief jaunt to Waco. After stopping in at Texas’ most epic gas station, Buc-ee’s– a Sheetz-meets-Walmart-meets-Cracker-Barrel temple of American ingenuity and beef jerky– Steve spotted a sign for Waco and decided a side trip was in order.
The crew found a simple memorial to the tragic 1993 FBI siege, but they were surprised that members of the Branch Davidians still live at the infamous location. “People started coming out of their houses and pointing at us,” Steve said. “We hightailed it back to the highway. To be fair, we probably shouldn’t have driven past the 'No Trespassing' sign. Lesson learned.”
Thursday, May 12, 10 a.m. CT and 2 p.m. CT, on IMTS.com
Tune in to the live IMTS Network Premiere Event of Season Two of “Road Trippin’with Steve” to see what else Steve and the crew learned in Texas. You can’t make this stuff up. But with additive manufacturing you can, indeed, make anything! Buckle up, folks. We’re headed to Texas!