Interview with Terry Wohlers on Design for AM
From 31 May to 2 June, Materialise and Wohlers Associates will conduct a Design for Additive Manufacturing course. This exclusive training is limited to 25 participants and provides hands-on learning and expert instruction on the best methods of design for AM. It includes the consolidation of many parts into fewer parts, topology optimization, lattice, mesh, cellular structures, design rules, and other methods of design for AM.
We asked Terry Wohlers some questions about his drive to organize this training together with Materialise.
Mr Wohlers, why is organizing training sessions on design for Additive Manufacturing essential?
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) is one of the major obstacles to greater adoption of AM for production applications. We could see a need and opportunity for high quality instruction and hands-on learning.
What is the importance of software in design for Additive Manufacturing?
Software tools are critical. Without them, it is impossible to accomplish DfAM. Software, and how to put it to work, plays a key role in the three days of training.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Materialise?
I recall when Fried Vancraen formed the company 27 years ago. I watched him and others build Materialise into one of the largest and most respected companies in the business. It is difficult to name a company that has contributed so much to the 3D printing industry, year after year.
“We are very happy to collaborate with Materialise, a company with an outstanding reputation and extraordinary track record,” Wohlers added. “Designers, engineers, and managers wanting to learn how to design products for AM will benefit from more than 55 years of combined company experience at Materialise and Wohlers Associates. We could not have partnered with a better company."
What can attendees expect from the training event?
The participants will leave with a broad and deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in DfAM. They will experience, first hand, what it takes to produce designs that are attractive for AM production. They will not necessarily become design experts in three days, but the training will build a solid foundation that will give them the tools and know-how to succeed.
How do you see design for Additive Manufacturing evolving in the next few years? Will there be an increasing demand for proper training?
As organizations increasingly adopt AM for series production, the need will increase for people with strong knowledge and skills in DfAM. Without them, designers and companies will be at a distinct disadvantage. DfAM is vital to the future success of Additive Manufacturing.
In which industries and applications do you believe 3D Printing will develop in the future?
In the near future, the industries best suited to use AM for production applications are medical, dental, aerospace, motor sports, and some niche consumer and industrial products. Within 2 to 3 years, we can expect the automobile industry to also adopt it for series production. Currently, parts made from industrial AM systems are expensive, but this is changing quickly as patents expire, new products and services emerge, and competition increases.
Read Terry Wohler's evaluation of the event.