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International Manufacturing Technology Show Field Trip

By Communications
On September 11, eight students from the Upper School design and innovation course embarked to Chicago to attend the International Manufacturing Technology Show—one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and over 115,000 attendees.

Students spent two days exploring and researching new technologies, assessing exhibitors and gathering information for future design and innovation projects. From 3D printers (including a 3D printed car!) to 3D scanners to robotics automation, the event exposed students to both emerging technologies—that may soon become mainstream technology—and the career opportunities that exist.

“The technology at the show was really mind-blowing, and it gave me real insight into what actually goes on in top-line manufacturing today,” said Rostam Reifschneider ’17. What Reifschneider and his classmates were most excited about was being served ice cream by a dual-arm five axis robot machine. (See video below)
Assistant Head of School for Design and Innovation Matt Abbondanzio shared that the biggest takeaway for the students was the exposure to the volume of innovative manufacturing technologies and the capacity to innovate. “Students had the opportunity to interview vendors and ask the right questions. They learned about the decreasing price of certain machines, the integration of one technology to another, and the design process. We learned that a two-arm robot now only costs $30K—that’s going to accelerate the human-robot interaction really quickly.”


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