The Eighth Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) Symposium, held at The University of Texas
in Austin on August 11-13, 1997, was attended by 200 national and international researchers.
Papers addressed SFF issues in computer software, machine design, materials synthesis and
processing, and integrated manufacturing. The continued growth in the research, application and
development of SFF approaches was readily apparent from the increased participation over
previous years and the diverse domestic and foreign attendees from industrial users, SFF machine
manufacturers, universities, and government. The excitement generated at the Symposium reflects
the participants' total involvement in SFF and the future technical health of this growing
technology. The Symposium organizers look forward to its being a continuing forum for technical
exchange among the expanding body of researchers involved in SFF.
The Symposium was again organized in a manner to allow the multi-disciplinary nature of
the SFF research to be presented coherently, with various sessions emphasizing computer issues,
machine topics, and the variety of materials aspects of SFF. We believe that documenting the
constantly changing state of SFF art as represented by these Proceedings will serve both the people
presently involved in this fruitful technical area as well as the large flux of new researchers and
users entering the field.
The editors would like to extend a warm "Thank You" to Glorya Gutchess for her detailed
handling of the logistics of the meeting and the Proceedings, as well as her excellent performance
as registrar and problem solver during the meeting. We also acknowledge the support efforts of
Cindy Pflughoft throughout. We would like to thank the organizing committee, the session
chairmen, the attendees for their enthusiastic contributions, and the speakers both for their
significant contribution to the meeting and for the relatively prompt delivery of the manuscripts
comprising this volume. We look forward to the continued close cooperation of the SFF
community in organizing the Symposium. We also want to thank ONR through Grant No.
NOOOI4-97-1-0453, DARPA, and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and the University
of Connecticut at Storrs for co-sponsoring the Symposium with the Mechanical Engineering
Department, Laboratory for Freeform Fabrication and the Center for Materials Science and
Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
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