What are you going to see in Seattle?


submitted by Bruce willey, conference vp

Model makers work on products, structures, scientific breakthroughs, and even entire fictional worlds before almost anyone else even hears about them. Those of us working on a model of an “old” thing are still likely to be using super-modern techniques to (re)create it. Seeing the future is one of the reasons why visiting the places where this kind of work is done is so informative and exciting!

We realize you need to justify the expense of attending a conference to yourself and possibly your boss. Visiting places where relevant work is being done is the only way to do that. Seattle has a great mix of leading-edge industry... 

Microsoft Advanced Prototyping Center

... and vital preservation that we'll get to see in March.

Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum

If your work involves consumer product development, (especially wearables and user-interface) or architecture, kinetic installations, or re-creation and restoration, then we have some outstanding options for you. If you need more education opportunities to justify attending, we are also taking advantage of some local technical expertise to offer two all-day, hands-on classes for the first time ever. The complete tour schedule is on the APMM Conference 2020 – Seattle Tours page 

Microsoft Hololens and Oculus Rift

There are few, if any, companies that have more experience with user-interface than Microsoft. They’ve been producing computer mice since 1983, ergonomic keyboards since 1994, Xbox gaming controllers since 2001 and, more recently, the Surface Pro and Hololens products. We’ll be able to learn about how they fabricate and test this diverse range of products at their Advanced Prototyping Center. Coincidentally, one of Microsoft’s chief competitors in the AR/VR head-mounted device market is the Oculus Rift. Our tour will give us an in-depth look at their Seattle facility, too.

Maybe your work involves bigger products, like buildings, environments and exhibits. We’ll be touring some places focused on those areas as well. NBBJ Architects was selected Most Innovative Architectural Firm in 2018, so you know their model makers have had some exciting challenges to overcome. 

The Seattle Spheres at Amazon HQ by NBBJ Architects

Another location that innovates on a large scale is Turner Exhibits. Despite their name, they specialize in functional architectural elements and kinetic sculpture. 

Turner Exhibits Work Samples

One of their exhibits was featured at another of our tour stops – The Museum of Pop Culture. A feature of this tour will be an exploration of Frank Gehry’s architecture of the Museum itself.

Frank Gehry's Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

The visit to MoPOP will also include the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame where models, props and costumes from decades of entertainment are on display. Another of our tours will give you the opportunity to see the preservation and restoration activities at the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum. On our behind-the-scenes tour we’ll find out about their painstaking research and work to restore their artifacts to the highest level of authenticity.

Some of you may need to tell the boss there is a strong educational component to an APMM Conference. That has never been more true than at this Conference. Besides a great tour line-up, we’re offering a full day of training in either advanced Rhino techniques or introductory Arduino programmable electronics. 


The Rhino class will cover Grasshopper and creating meshes in the morning, and then in the afternoon, participants will have a chance to work with the Rhino development team on any issues they’ve been having.  


Long-time college instructor Chris Stanley will teach the Arduino class, which will allow the participants to purchase kits, learn how to program some basic functions, and take the kits back with them to try other configurations.




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