For 30 years, the RAPID + TCT conference has been known worldwide as North America’s most influential additive manufacturing conference. To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we asked our frequent attendees why they join us year after year. This article will focus on Carl Dekker, who serves as the president of Met-L-Flo Inc. and has attended 17 iterations of RAPID + TCT.
Dekker has been actively involved in research and product development using current technologies and innovative methods. He has provided training and installations at Abbott Laboratories, Delphi, Motorola and numerous other locations. His work has been published in industry journals, including Prototyping Technology, Rapid Prototyping Report, Time Compression Technologies and the Wohlers Report (2003-8,13-14). A past chair of SME’s Additive Manufacturing Community, Dekker is the current chair of ASTM’s Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies and of SME’s Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group. He teaches Tooling U-SME’s Rapid Technologies and Additive Manufacturing Certificate Programs and is active in SME’s Bright Minds Program as a member and former co-chair. Dekker has a master certificate in rapid prototyping and is a proud recipient of the SLA Dinosaur Award.
Why did you get started in rapid prototyping?
I saw this as a way to make better products, faster, and improve the overall quality of life for people.
What is your unique story?
I started doing casting technologies when stereolithography (SLA) began. It was a perfect match and soon I learned all of the users of SLA. My employer closed and I was with a demand and no employment.
How has attending RAPID + TCT impacted your business and/or career?
I have met so many great people, all interested in helping each other. Key people like Tom Sorovetz, Tom Mueller, Tim Gornet and many others have helped me to continue to improve the technology, advance the applications and find more ways to help make better products.
Why do you come to RAPID + TCT?
To stay on top of the latest in the industry, and meet with colleagues, clients and friends. It is in these close networks that real learning can be accomplished.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Carl! We appreciate your loyalty to RAPID + TCT.