Announcing - the #IMTSsummit Social Media Contest!

Students - we can't wait to see you at the Smartforce Student Summit! We want to hear about your experiences at the show. We've got great prizes too! Here's how to play:

  • Follow @IMTS_summit on Twitter to earn 5 points
  • Original tweets and Instagram posts using the #IMTSsummit hashtag are worth 5 points
  • Retweets and reposts are worth 2 points

Every tweet and post must include the #IMTSsummit hashtag to be eligible, and we're keeping this limited to students only. (Sorry, grown-ups!)

The daily cutoff time is 2 pm, so get going early! We will have a winner each day during IMTS (one each for Twitter and Instagram), and an overall winner announced at the show's conclusion. Plus, watch for our daily bonuses - they're always changing! Details will be announced at the morning orientation when students arrive.

Daily prizes include great stuff like a saltwater cell fuel car, a build-your-own V-twin steam engine kit, and even brainwave controlled cat ears. Our grand prizes are a Crazyflie Nano Quad Copter and a Rovera 2WD Arduino Robot Kit!

Get ready to connect with us ... and don't forget to include #IMTSsummit!

Make a Powerful Connection at IMTS 2014

Factories of the future must incorporate more digital manufacturing solutions, including data analytics, intelligent machines and system monitoring, into their operations to be able to effectively compete on a global scale. Such an example is MTConnect, and we will use IMTS 2014 to demonstrate how this powerful open communications protocol can improve your productivity, equipment utilization and efficiency. 

And we will start by offering presentations titled “Getting Started with MTConnect,” hosted by Neil Desrosiers, Mazak applications engineer/developer. According to Neil, if you want to calculate your overall equipment efficiency, monitor all of your equipment from one system, reduce your production losses and identify lean manufacturing strategies, you can’t afford to miss attending one of these presentations in our Discover More With Mazak Booth (S-8300). 
Also in our booth, we’ll show you, through real-time monitoring of the equipment inside our Kentucky manufacturing plant, how MTConnect took the production of our machines to the next level of productivity. In fact, we were the first in the machine tool OEM industry to completely convert our manufacturing plant over to the MTConnect protocol. For our customers, this plant improvement ensures they are provided with the advanced technology they need as quickly as possible to keep pace with today’s increased manufacturing production demands. 

Overall, you’ll find we are an ardent supporter of MTConnect. So much so, we currently build our machines to be MTConnect ready as well as offer moderately priced adapters for older Mazak machines in the field.

If you’re ready to maximize your productivity via digital manufacturing solutions, be sure to come see us at IMTS 2014 in Booth S-8300! You’ll also have the opportunity to see 22 of our latest machine tools performing advanced turning, milling, 5-axis and Multi-Tasking operations.

 Guest post submitted by Mazak Corporation.



Are You Ready to Go on a RoboQuest?

This year at IMTS, we want to challenge visitors to engage with us on social media. So, we created the “RoboQuest” contest. Each day, we’re going to hide Roxie and Ripley, two Robosapiens™ who can talk, dance and do kung fu, in different locations throughout McCormick Place. We’ll be tweeting hints, riddles and even pictures that, if you can crack them, will lead you to Roxie or Ripley’s location. Once you find a robot, post a photo to Twitter and use the hashtags #IMTS and #RoxieRobot or #RipleyRobot. Make sure you leave the robot where you found it so other visitors have a chance to find it, too! We’ll be adding the names to a drawing at the end of the day and one participant will get a prize!



Big Changes Coming Online at McCormick Place

Since 1972, IMTS has been hosted at McCormick Place. And through the years, both IMTS and McCormick Place have grown exponentially! Today, with a total of 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space in the four building, McCormick Place is the ideal venue for large trade shows. As a matter of fact, it is the nation’s largest convention center.

Over the past few years, McCormick has begun the process of transforming its campus to be more flexible and to provide more choices to its customers. Here’s a short video created by McCormick Place last fall outlining all of the exciting changes they are embarking on.


The newest additions planned for McCormick Place include a 10,000 seat Event Center ideal for general sessions, sporting events and concerts and a new 1,200 room Marriott Marquis Headquarter Hotel.

The projected ground breaking for these projects is tentative for early 2015 with completion in early 2017. With these new improvements, the surrounding area is poised to attract new entertainment options with the addition of new restaurants and nightlife expected to become a draw for visitors staying in the area. In addition, construction of an EL line stop at Cermak Road and State Street is currently underway. Located just three blocks from the McCormick Place campus, the new Green Line stop will improve rail connections to downtown and the airports and is expected to come online in 2015. 


McCormick knows visitors rely on technology, so they upgraded their Wi-Fi so that now more users can connect at once.The interior of the Lakeside Center is currently being renovated and will feature upgraded restrooms for IMTS 2014 and will soon be getting new, modern looking carpets and wall colors.

In addition to all the other delicious food options provided by Savor Chicago, McCormick Place added a new food outlet, the 23rd Street Café, which has a self-checkout so that guests can quickly pick what they want and get back to the show floor. The 23rd Street Café (The Grand Concourse sits on top of what was once 23rd Street) is located on Level 3 between the Grand Concourse and Hall B.  A new bridge was constructed to allow access directly from the concourse.


 Attention, coffee lovers! McCormick Place has added a brand new Starbucks on Level 3 near Hall B and renovated the existing location on Level 2.5. They have also added a closed-circuit video monitor that allows guests standing in line to see if there is a shorter line at the other nearby location. 

The impressive rooftop garden provides herbs, fruits and vegetables so the chefs can serve fresh and locally grown foods. And this isn’t the only sustainable change they made; McCormick Place is now powered by 100% wind power. 


To see more about all of their green initiatives, you can check out our blog post on IMTS sustainability. We can’t wait to get to McCormick Place and see all the fantastic new changes! See you there!

  All images courtesy of McCormick Place.




The Making of the Electric 3D-Printed Car

Remember the Local Motors 3D-printed car challenge? Since the winner was announced about a month ago, Local Motors, along with the creator of the winning design (Strati), Michele Anoe’, and Oak Ridge Laboratory have been working hard on adapting the model and prototyping so it will be ready to be printed on the show floor at IMTS 2014.

Car Design Timeline

Here is a timeline of the progress that has been made on the car design:

June 9:

The 3D-printed car prototype started to come together. The steering column and front suspension of the car were installed, and all four pieces of the printed car chassis were bonded together. Read Article

June 10:

Progress was made on getting the back sub-frame welded so the wheels could be fitted. Read Article


June 11:

The main structure of the car was completed! Local Motors also began installing the front wiring harness and brake lines. The next goal is to install the power supply and controller, as well as electric motor. Read Article

June 12:

The motor and battery were officially installed into the 3D-printed car! Next up is the first test drive! Read Article

June 13:

Local Motors drove the 3D-printed car prototype for the first time! They are one step closer to producing the car at IMTS 2014. Read Article

June 18:

The Local Motors team used pool noodles and patio furniture cushions to make the seats more comfortable in the prototype. It’s obvious they’re having fun with this project! Read Article






June 24:

They began adapting the 3D-printed car prototype to reflect the winning design, Strati. Read Article

June 27:

Local Motors faced some challenges and worked on the issue of the front fender blocking the front shock mounts. Read Article

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory created the first, miniature, 3D print of the Strati design. Read Article

July 2:

Local Motors had a video conference with Michele Anoe’ to discuss adapting the design to make sure it can be printed in one piece. Read Article

July 10:

Local Motors put the finishing touches on the Strati design before sending the files off to Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a test print. They are confident it will be fully printable using additive and subtractive technologies. Read Article

July 17:

A z-table, which is a heated build table for large scale 3D printers, was delivered to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to keep the printing surface heated and allow movement to the z-axis to double the printing height. Read Article

Follow the Local Motors Blog for updates on the 3D-printed car’s progress leading up to IMTS. Fingers crossed, we’ll be driving it out of McCormick Place on the last day of the show!

*Content courtesy of the Local Motors Blog.

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