October 3, 2023
The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announces that Greg Morris, CTO of Zeda, Inc., as the recipient of its Innovators Award. AMUG bestows this award on those who have cultivated innovative practices that have advanced the additive manufacturing industry.
The Innovators Award will be presented at the 2024 AMUG Conference. Previous recipients include industry luminaries Chuck Hull, Scott Crump, Carl Deckard, Fried Vancraen, Gideon Levy, Hans Langer, Andy Christensen, and Diana Kalisz.
While Morris has been involved in many aspects of additive manufacturing over the past three decades, his role in additive metals was central to his selection for the award. As an early adopter, Morris led research, development, and refinement of the technology while also sharing his knowledge with the additive manufacturing community.
“Greg is a visionary who saw the potential for additive metals and took the calculated risk of introducing metal powder bed fusion [PBF] to North America,” says Tim Bell, AMUG’s director of Sponsors & Exhibitors and a former colleague of Morris. “His early adopter role paved the way for those who followed and now use metal PBF to create innovative products. ”
“As a leader, Greg gave his team the freedom to experiment and push the boundaries,” says Bell. “This, in turn, led to suppliers being eager to work with Morris Technologies to make the additive manufacturing systems better, more reliable, and more capable of achieving serial production.”
Fitting with the AMUG community’s penchant for sharing insights, Shannon VanDeren, AMUG’s president, notes that Morris’ style added to the unanimous support for him to receive the Innovators Award. She says, “Greg is continually in a mode of coaching. He genuinely wants to see not only the industry grow but also the individuals working within it. He is willing to share within our industry to create more thought-provoking processes and successful results.”
“I am honored and humbled to accept the AMUG Innovators Award,” Morris says. “As most everyone would agree, there are usually many people that team together in any endeavor to create success. I am certainly in that category and gratefully accept this award on behalf of all the talented and creative colleagues I have had the fortune to work with who have been equal contributors in advancing these technologies.”
After working in his family’s sixth-generation steel distributorship, which was divested, Morris, his brother Wendell, and mutual friend Bill Noack founded Morris Technologies Inc. (MTI) in 1994. As was typical in this timeframe, MTI offered polymer additive manufacturing services focusing on prototypes and related low-volume applications.
In 2003, MTI expanded into additive metals, bringing the first metal machine to North America. In the years that followed, MTI became well-known for its groundbreaking work and developments with metals. To further expand its offerings, MTI spun up a sister company, Rapid Quality Manufacturing (RQM), that focused on production applications with additive metals and invested in a joint venture that created MicroTek Finishing for post-processing of metal components.
Through this work, Greg became well-recognized worldwide for his additive metals applications.
The next chapter in Morris’ career unfolded at GE. In 2012, MTI and RQM were acquired by GE Aviation, and he assumed the role of additive technologies leader. In 2016, GE formed GE Additive, for which Morris served in an advisory role focused on additive strategies and special projects.
In 2018, Morris retired to spend more time with family and to work on personal projects. However, his additive legacy did not end there.
During his retirement downtime, Morris and former colleagues from MTI discussed starting an advanced manufacturing business, which led to the founding of Vertex Manufacturing for advanced manufacturing services. Morris was involved as an investor and served as CEO. Eighteen months later, PrinterPrezz, a start-up focused on medical devices, acquired Vertex as its manufacturing arm. The combined companies now operate under the name Zeda, Inc., and Morris serves as CTO, although in a part-time capacity to preserve family time, serve on advisory boards and volunteer with charitable organizations.
On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, Morris will take the stage for a casual, conversational interview during the AMUG Conference. In this Innovators Showcase, he will respond to questions asked by the host and conference attendees with the intent of getting to know the person behind the innovations and gaining guidance from his experiences. The Innovators Showcase is structured to be an intimate conversation between two acquaintances witnessed by AMUG Conference attendees.
Designed for both novice and experienced additive manufacturing users, the AMUG Conference agenda topics range from technology basics to advanced applications to business considerations. The conference will have nearly 150 presentations, hands-on workshops and training sessions. A preliminary agenda will be available mid-December at www.amug.com/conference-agenda-planner/. The AMUG Conference will be held March 10–14, 2024, at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, IL.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.