Additive Manufacturing Users Group Names Technical Competition Winners

The awards recognize excellence in additive manufacturing applications and finishing techniques.

2021 AMUG Technical Competition winners Bill Braune (left) and Vito Gervasi.
2021 AMUG Technical Competition winners Bill Braune (left) and Vito Gervasi.

Milwaukee -- The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) today announced the winners of its annual Technical Competition, which recognizes excellence in additive manufacturing applications and finishing techniques. A panel of industry veterans selected Bill Braune of Dinsmore, Inc. and Vito Gervasi of Cadens LLC as winners of the competition, which was held at the group's 32nd annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

Bill Braune's winning entry in the Advanced Finishing category was a highly detailed and intricate scene titled "Death: A Horseman's Journey," inspired by the Darksiders video game series. To reflect the character's journey in the macabre scene, Braune turned to Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ to print the fine details and subtle features in his creation. To bring 'Death' to life, he then applied various painting and finishing techniques to capture the essence of the dark, foreboding scene and add textures for fabric, flesh, bone, feather, stone, and steel.

Braune noted that his palette included 30 colors applied with dry brushing, airbrushing, and washes to create gradients, shades, and highlights. To add gritty textures to the scene, he applied 3D printing polymer powders to the model's surface.

Bonnie Meyer, chairperson of AMUG's Technical Competition committee, noted that a competition judge stated, "The paint scheme and blending techniques are second to none." Other comments were: "Excellent design layout," "Amazing post processing and assembly to prepare for paint," and "Complex, dramatic use of color and shading."

Considering both the Advance Finishing and Advanced Concept categories, Meyer said, "Every year, the Technical Competition showcases companies and individuals that are pushing the envelope in additive manufacturing. The 2021 competition was no exception. "Vito Gervasi received first place in the Advanced Concepts category for his "BAAM Dam," a one-tenth scale replica of a 3D-printed turbine system that has been in operational testing since July 2020. According to Gervasi, additive manufacturing is the key to enabling a radical cost reduction, creating more opportunities for these power generation systems to be put into service. He said, "What we propose to do in the next five years will reduce the US carbon footprint, create jobs, and help small towns to power their municipal facilities, small businesses, or add power to the grid. AM [additive manufacturing] has the potential to empower tens of thousands of communities with limited budgets to reduce utility power costs by activating dormant hydropower facilities."

For the full-size micro-hydro system, Cadens turned to ORNL's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility for support. BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) was used to construct 2,000 pounds of large conveyance components and composite layup tools. Cadens made the smaller, higher resolution components with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). Leveraging additive manufacturing's capabilities, several new approaches were incorporated to provide compression along non-linear paths.

Meyer said, "What grabbed the attention of the judges was the creative use of additive manufacturing to address the need for more renewable energy." She continued, "Scale was also a factor. The replica Vito displayed spanned an entire tabletop. When the judges imagined a unit 10 times larger, 'BAAM Dam' took on a whole new dimension."

For Advanced Finishing, Edward Graham of ProtoCAM took second place with his work titled "Under the Sea with 3D." Third place was awarded to Vince Anewenter of Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) for his nickel-plated commemoration of a victory over cancer.

Melanie Lang of FormAlloy Technologies received the second-place award for her entry that embedded sensing technology within a metal additive manufacturing component in the Advanced Concepts category. Third place went to Rick Pressley of Renaissance Services for his 3D-printed ceramic molds for metal casting.

As winners of the Technical Competition, Braune and Gervasi each received complimentary admission to the 2022 AMUG Conference and a commemorative award. Those attending the 2022 conference will hear presentations from these winners that describe their projects and the processes that they used. Meyer commented, "For 2022, we will grow the size of the competition and extend the reach of the expertise on display to the broader additive manufacturing community."

Judges for the Advanced Finishing category were Rey Chu, Dave Flynn, Tim Gornet, Jason Lopes, and Derek Ellis. Advanced Concepts judges included Mark Abshire, Bob Diaz, Mike Hascher, Stewart Davis, and Dana McCallum. All judges are AMUG DINOs (Distinguished INnovator Operator).

About Additive Manufacturing Users Group
AMUG is an organization that educates and advances the uses and applications of additive manufacturing technologies. AMUG members include those with industrial additive manufacturing/3D printing technologies and materials used for professional purposes from companies such as BASF 3D Printing Solutions, DMG MORI, Dyndrite Corporation, Essentium, ExOne, and LuxCreo. AMUG meets annually to provide education and training through technical presentations on processes and new technologies. This information addresses operation of additive manufacturing equipment and the applications that use the parts they make. Online at

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