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22 October 2015

People in 3D [Melbourne]

Last Thursday afternoon The People in 3D met again.

People in 3D is a workshop on Additive Manufacturing, CAD software and digitisation.
Everyone interested can join, network, share the latest news and learn from the others.

The participants of this session were a good mix from companies from different backgrounds:
TASMAN 3D Printers, 3DMedical, Thinglab, WRAYS, VCAMM and X-Product. (see links below)

Dominic Parsonson from Tasman 3D Printers held a very interesting presentation on
different AM technologies and their applications. Two months earlier I met Dominic when
he was speaking at a Melbourne business event. Dominic’s presentations are driven by
his passion for Additive Manufacturing technologies and clearly not by sales- pitch.

Though we learned about new applications and business cases, from the possibility to repair
car headlights with custom tailored 3D-printed clips, injection moulding of small batch
series in AM moulds and that jigs & fixtures are more and more created through AM technologies.

I took the chance to share the news from the ATSE workshop on Implementing Additive Manufacturing.
Though I began with the motivation of Michael Heard from ATSE to organising the workshop.
Michaels aim was to bring people from industry and politic together to demonstrate the opportunities
through applying additive and advanced manufacturing. Further, I shared the highlights of  the presentation
of Eric Klemp from Direct Manufacturing Research Center in Germany. Though DMRCs the concept of companies
conducting collaborate research on Additive Manufacturing technologies. I also highlighted the similarities
of the DMRC and the structure and activities of CSIRO Lab22.
Last but not least I summed up the presentation of Warwick Downing from TiDA and RAM  in New Zealand.
TiDA/RAM is a great example for what equipment it takes to fully access direct metal AM processes.
[See also my blog entry on my visit at TiDA/RAM].

So we started discussing what’s the difference about the businesses in Australia and New Zealand and why the
‘Kiwis’ are so progressive in the AM market. A higher level of collaboration between higher education and
business and more private investment/venture capital. On the other-hand, the property market in Australia
is generating a low risk taking mentality but also the very low-level collaboration between higher education
and industry were some of the issues mentioned.
We agreed that it is to a certain extent an educational question. So what we discussed that afternoon
needs to become more common knowledge in the industry. People need to know about the capabilities of the
technology to be able to identify the potential for optimisation and cost savings in their current manufacturing set-ups.
Investing into additive manufacturing equipment seems to be a hurdle but it is an investment into the future.
However, Ian Bridger from VCAMM shared some good news with us. So it was interesting to hear that there
are three local manufacturers of metal powders in Australia already. Certainly an interesting development.

Are you interested to join the People in 3D?
Just contact us and you will get an invite to the next.