Natalie Simpson July 6, 2017

That’s the advice we will be exploring with visitors attending this year’s International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing (11-13 July, Nottingham, UK). Our view is that Academia and industry alike must focus on the practical tools and solutions available already today, to be in prime position for unlocking the possibilities 3D Printing (3DP) holds and advance AM to real manufacturing environments.

For a university the key might be utilizing an open 3DP control platform which unlocks machine capabilities to facilitate simpler and more efficient collaborative research. For a production line manager, it might be working with a 3DP adoption partner to audit component functionality to see where a 3D printed part might have the most significant impact on speed, performance and cost.

The Materialise Control Platform is a software-driven, embedded hardware solution that allows users to take full control of their laser-based AM machines

The specifics vary – what’s universal is that without exploring and seizing these opportunities now, the route forward will be more difficult later.

It’s actually why forums such as the International Conference and the pre-conference ‘Industrial Realities of Additive Manufacturing’ event are so important, as they raise awareness of the very practical steps and solutions that any organization – at any stage of their 3DP adoption or research path – can take and benefit from, now. The reality is that AM is so flexible and adaptable that there really is opportunity round every corner.

For our part, we will be on hand throughout the show to demonstrate how software tools, such as our own Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite, can be used to help that journey and enhance every aspect of 3DP, from design optimization to production management.

Additionally, as Additive Manufacturing moves forward production of complex high-end functional applications, qualification remains an important challenge.  Our team will also be on hand to talk about how our Materialise Control Platform and the recently launched Materialise Inspector address the challenge to ensure consistent quality throughout the entire process of manufacturing end-parts, especially in highly certified environments such as the aerospace and medical industries.

John Williams, our UK Sales Manager – will be leading an interesting session entitled “Additive Thinking: Successful Adoption of Additive Manufacturing”. His talk at the Industrial Realities pre-conference will look at specific AM applications and opportunities that are universally accessible to the manufacturing community.

The talk seeks to provide practical advice and steps for how businesses can adopt AM as a manufacturing method. The prototyping heritage of 3D Printing - coupled with the fact that early adopters of the technology include major aerospace and automotive companies - means that organizations can often feel that they aren’t the right size, don’t have the right application or don’t have the resources required to benefit from Additive Manufacturing. John will show this isn’t the case and that by starting small and thinking big businesses can benefit from AM today.

John Williams, Materialise UK Sales Manager

John Williams, Materialise UK Sales Manager

At Materialise, we’ve worked with a wide range of businesses, of all shapes and sizes, on everything from co-creating lighter, stronger parts for specific products to printing production line components that support lean manufacturing processes. So to be able to share the practical knowledge we’ve gained along the way means a lot to us. If we can help one business spot features ripe for re-design right now, or learn a practical tip to help them embed 3D Printing more widely as a production tool, then that’s fantastic.

To learn more about the practical steps your organization can take to unlock the potential of 3D Printing, visit us as at the International Conference on Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing, or contact us for a free consultation.