The Digital Factory is a one-day event focusing on Digital Manufacturing.

Come together with experts at the forefront of the nascent manufacturing revolution to explore how we’re transforming the way we design and create products. Intermingle with business pioneers, investors, innovators, startups, and thought leaders reinventing the factory floor and the manufacturing ecosystem.








75 Amherst St
Cambridge, MA 02139


Book your room at a special conference rate
by Wednesday, May 11.



Jon Bruner

Director, AI & Bots
O'Reilly Media

Carl Bass

Board of Directors

Daron Acemoglu

Professor of Economics

James Heppelmann

President & CEO


Max Lobovsky

Co-Founder & CEO

Neil Gershenfeld

Director of Center for Bits and Atoms


Ric Fulop

CEO & Co-Founder
Desktop Metal


Jon Hirschtick


Edith Harmon

Vice President Manufacturing Innovation
New Balance


Spencer Wright

Research & Integrations


Ilan Moyer


Dwight Morgan

Vice President of Robots & Applications

Natan Linder

Tulip & Formlabs

Brad Feld

Managing Director
Foundry Group


Karen E. Kerr

Executive Director, Advanced & Additive Manufacturing
GE Ventures


David Heiny

Co-Founder and CEO


Nick Pinkston

Founder and CEO

Catherine Clifford

Senior Writer

Eric Paley

Managing Director
Founder Collective

John Dulchinos

Vice President, Global Automation and 3D Printing
Jabil Circuit, Inc.

Scott Crump




Click the events below to show details



Breakfast + Registration

Sponsored by


There’s been a transition in the way we think about hardware, where close ties with the digital world are both the norm and the foundation for innovation. As host for the day, Jon will kick off conference sessions exploring the shift in the very core of manufacturing, including human-machine collaboration, advanced robotics, generative design, software security, and mass customization.


Join Autodesk boardmember and former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass as he shares how new technologies, tools and techniques are changing the future of making things. With computers designing for us and robots making and building for us, what will products and buildings be like? How will designers, engineers and their companies succeed in this new environment?


This session draws a distinction between "enabling technologies", which increase worker productivity in existing tasks or enable them to perform new tasks, and "replacing technologies", which take over tasks previously performed by workers. While the first increases wages and employment, the latter could have the opposite effect. Newer technologies, in particular robotics and AI, are of the replacing kind. Evidence shows that the spread of robotics so far has indeed had a negative impact on employment and wages in the United States. Examine the important policy steps that can be taken to increase the productivity gains from these new technologies and turn their impact on employment and wages from negative to positive.




In an industry where order customization is one of the keys to achieving a competitive advantage, New Balance is changing the game. Find out how the one of the world's major sports footwear manufacturers is overhauling its production process, using new technology and materials to redefine the footwear design and manufacturing, binding the latest innovation in CAD, technology, and materials with customized applications.


3D printing has crossed a threshold. Machines are reliable, materials are advanced, and the technology is widely adopted by CAD users across industries. Formlabs carved a space for powerful, affordable 3D printing in prototyping, but, as we enter a new chapter in 3D printing history, moving rapidly towards a digital, highly-customized manufacturing landscape, what's next?



New technologies in metal 3D printing will mark a fundamental shift in how products will be developed and brought to market. Learn how Desktop Metal’s ambitious mission to reinvent the way engineers design and manufacture with metal 3D printing will profoundly impact customers’ plans to overcome the barriers that have kept this technology from the masses, and push the boundaries of what’s possible with metal.


Track A / Main Stage

This session will examine the emerging technologies that are enabling, for the first time ever, a collaboration of humans working alongside robots. Look at the way smart safety sensors, machine vision, and vision processing technologies are impacting new markets and influencing the proliferation of new applications. See examples of the improved robotic designs that are helping to ensure smooth and safe human-machine interaction and collaboration.

This session highlights use case scenarios that illustrate how Jabil Inc., an $18-billion-dollar electronics manufacturer, is leveraging 3D printing technology as a high-scale, functional part application alternative to traditional manufacturing practices. Examine break even points, such as time-to-market, quality assurance and process rigor, that compare 3D printed parts to injection molding and other established tooling techniques. Look at the internal challenges Jabil faced to bring new technologies to solve manufacturing challenges.


Track B / Future Stage

Just like we all use tools like computers and mobile phones to augment our everyday lives, we need technology that gives power to the people on shop floors. Manufacturing technologies like automation, robotics, injection molding, machining, and 3D printing may produce parts, but it’s people who ensure efficient operations and put those parts together to form cohesive, useful products. This session explores the implications of the Internet of Things for digital manufacturing by introducing an intelligent operating system for the digital shop floor, enabling real-time collaboration, integration, and analytics that bring people and machines together to ensure products move on time and on budget.

Learn about Plethora’s big vision for the future of manufacturing and engineering and examine the tools, interfaces, and flexible production technologies that help them turn ideas into reality. See how this on-demand CNC factory enables reduced cycle time through the design-manufacture-test-production loop. Find out how they build smarter design tools and streamline production and development processes. Understand the Plethora commitment to transform production into an on-demand system of creation, from analysis and pricing to finishing options, with a “full-stack” approach designed to free manufacturers from the tedium of supplier management toward innovation.

It took more than technological advancement to place a computer on home desktops in the 1980s, and in pockets and purses in the 2000s. In each case, a fundamentally new mode of interaction was invented to bend technology to its user. Learn how Shaper is making computer-enhanced fabrication widely accessible by creating new paradigms for how humans interact with robotic systems. Ilan Moyer will discuss how computer vision, augmented reality, and hybrid positioning enable Shaper to build fabrication tools that dramatically enhance the abilities of professional craftspeople and hobbyists alike, while feeling intuitively at home in their hands.

For current or aspiring CAD users, this session illustrates the future of precision design and engineering. See a demo of how OnShape’s browser-based professional 3D CAD system enables you to work almost anywhere or on any device and brings everyone on a design team together using any web browser, phone, or tablet. Examine this production-ready technology and understand how it is changing product design workflows across industry sectors.



Explore the evolution of products toward intelligent, connected devices, and the rethinking of design as product development shifts from largely mechanical engineering to truly interdisciplinary systems engineering. Jim Heppelmann collaborated on a multi-year research project on the Internet of Things (IoT) with Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School on the impact of IoT and the emerging trend of Augmented Reality (AR). Find out how companies continue to push technological boundaries and capitalize on physical-digital convergence to help manufacturers build better products, optimize processes, and outperform their competitors.


Main Stage

Get a bird’s-eye view of the community of researchers, institutions, startups, and entrepreneurs who are paving the way in the new era of manufacturing. The possibilities are endless, and the creation of value is massive. The panel will explore how VCs find needles in haystacks, successfully vet industries that seem to shift daily, and help support emerging technology to enable mainstream success.

Future Stage

Optimization isn’t putting computers in the driver’s seat of engineering and design--instead, innovations in computer-aided design (CAD) are shifting the focus from design driven by the limitations and features of CAD software to generative design driven from the start by human intent. In this session, we’ll compare traditional CAD methods with more innovative ways to think about the design space and see how designers and engineers can use additive manufacturing as a testing ground to produce highly variable structures quickly.

Engineering simulation technology today is reserved for a small number of specialists in large corporations, typically working in silos, and within the confines of their respective disciplines. This session introduces how simulation methodologies, leveraging the cloud, can significantly expand the usage of simulation in the development and operation of technical systems. See how this helps to streamline engineering and manufacturing work, foster exchange of ideas and improve cross-discipline collaboration. Look at different application fields of more accessible simulation technology such as simulation-driven design, training hardware in the virtual world and digital twins of physical products in the field.


In 1965, Gordon Moore extrapolated five data points to make the most famous graph in history, forecasting a decade of exponential growth in digital computing and communications. He was slightly off; the trend actually continued for fifty years, and came to define that era. We now have more data than Gordon originally had to see that the same thing is happening in digital fabrication. This talk will examine the research roadmap for the next fifty years of its scaling, and explore the implications for how we will live, learn, work, and play.


Event Topics



Human-Machine Collaboration



Fabrication as
a Service


Zero Tool

Virtual Factory