The 2021MIM Conference and PIM Tutorial went virtual because of COVID. Traditional format was still followed, with speakers and attendance from around the world. Interesting new studies of MIM process aspects were presented, as well as further details of investigations on a wide range of both MIM and 3-D printed materials.

The 2021 International Conference on Injection Molding of Metals, Ceramics and Carbides, that had been planned by MPIF to take place in Florida, became another casualty of the COVID pandemic. MIM2021 was held as a virtual conference on February 23–25, with presentations and attendance from ten countries around the world. The virtual conference was preceded, on February 22, with what has become the traditional one-day PIM tutorial, which this year was given by Matthew (Matt) Bulger, an independent consultant, who has taken over from Prof. Rand German who has retired from this annual tutorial after 30 years. Matt Bulger has an outstanding background in the field of MIM, having served in a number of key roles in the industry, notably with Netshape Technologies as General Manager and Vice-President, and more recently was president of MIMA (2006–2011) and then president of MPIF (2011–2013), as well as being past chairman of the MIMA Standards committee.

Conference registration gave access to online files with a number of valuable complimentary hand-outs. These included the tutorial slides, the e-books “Injection Molding of Metals and Ceramics” by Randall German and Animesh Bose, “Metal Injection Molding: A Comprehensive MIM Design Guide” by Randall German, and the MPIF Standard 35 for MIM Parts, as well as the Winter 2021 issue of the International Journal of Powder Metallurgy. This last item contains the annual MIM trends report by Peter K. Johnson [1], in which he indicated that the MIM market in the U.S. held up better (in 2020) than for conventional PM products. The annual PM Pulse Survey conducted by the MPIF indicated sales of MIM parts in the U.S. were “estimated to range from $475 to $495 million”. The breakdown of MIM parts shipments in terms of materials and markets are shown in Figure 1a and 1b. Johnson concluded “While 2020 was a challenging year for the U.S. MIM industry, ….(t)he outlook for 2021 remains positive”.

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