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Free Summit Builds Networks With 3D Skills

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

first published in The Coeur d'Alene Press, November 30, 2019 at 5:00 am by CRAIG NORTHRUP, Staff Writer

Courtesy of Quest Integration Garrett Klein of Quest Integration demonstrates to Gonzaga University representatives how a part is reverse-engineered.

One of the few things the 3D printing industry can’t create from scratch is an extra seat.

“We only have about 30 slots left,” Jessica Braniff, campaign coordinator for Quest Integration, told The Press. “It’s our biggest complimentary event of the year, and spots are filling up fast.”

The event Braniff has been helping plan — Quest’s Dec. 5 Skills Summit at The Coeur d’Alene Resort — can best be described as a meeting of the minds for one of the most dynamic frontiers in manufacturing. The 3D manufacturing and design company out of Post Falls, now in its 21st year, has been planning the free event as a mechanism for attendees to build 3D printing skillsets, professional networks and marketing strategies.

“Manufacturing holds a huge presence throughout the country, and has a huge impact on the continuing growth of the industry within our community,” Braniff said. “If we want to be able to continue to see an ever-growing and evolving industry, we need to stay up to date on the latest techniques and processes that are brought to our attention for improvement. This is a huge reason we put on the Skills Summit. We want to help those already in the industry, or new to the industry, to be able to have a leg up and be introduced to the newest processes and technology when it is first released.”

Those introductions will be available in five sessions splitting and exploring 15 programs, including topics of finite element analysis, reverse engineering, continuous fiber reinforcement, and basic overviews — complete with “dos” and don’ts” throughout the process — of 3D printing.

The Quest Integration event hopes to help mainstream 3D printing into a business community looking for fast, reliable, inexpensive ways to predict future manufacturing needs. Industrial 3D printing can construct parts and mechanisms from a range of filaments — from titanium to plastic — without requiring pre-designed molds or bulk purchases.

“[In the] manufacturing [industry] today, you can go from design to part within a day,” said Chantel Wilkes, marketing and systems supervisor for Quest. “With the adding of desktop 3D Printing and the convenience of 3D Design technology on the cloud, manufacturing is getting ever faster. Brain speed is quickly becoming the most inhibiting factor for manufacturing speed.”

The event is free but requires registration. The symposium is intended for professionals in the manufacturing and mechanical engineering fields, as well as sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, electrical engineers and educators. Organizers ask that only people college-age or higher enroll. Most programs during the daylong event will tie back to manufacturing, something Wilkes said has driven American productivity for two centuries.

“Manufacturing is, was and will always be the backbone of America,” Wilkes said. “Small town manufacturers continue to help support and develop the environments that a community flourishes in. Small time manufacturing is what drives the American dream.”

Braniff agreed with the sentiment but added her profession will enable small-town manufacturers to look to the future.

“3D printers are going to change the way we do things from sustainability, up to how we will one day inhabit space past our current planet,” she said.

Interested professionals can register at or by calling 800-370-3750. Registration closes Dec. 4.

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