The Brokering Additive Manufacturing (BAM) team journeyed to the NEC, Birmingham for TCT 3SXTY. Jennifer Johns was presenting and partaking at the Knowledge Bar while the rest of the team scouted and connected with existing and new partners.

Manufacturers and consumers of 3D printing were very interested on agent-based networks. We even gave a demo at the Prusa stand demonstrating just how quickly one can create one of ou networks!

Some key take aways from the event include:

  • The need to be able to design for Diverse Manufacturing where a design can be produced on a range of manufacturing capability. This would enable businesses to use the right manufacturing tools at the right stage in the product development as one scales production. And providing resilience and responsiveness to a business supply chain as one can increase/decrease production from different suppliers and manufacturing systems.
  • Businesses transforming and for many reasons including responsiveness, resilience, and sustainability. However, are we transforming as fast as we could? And could we create new methods/processes to accelerate our tansformation further.
  • Significant appetite to utilise the downtime of AM machines and provide means to increase their accessibility.
  • The need for partnerships bringing the skillsets required to exploit AMs potential.

Harry Felton attended the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) Panel: The Future of Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing.

His review: “The panel presented an interesting discussion on AM and whether the industry could be considered sustainable. The point was raised that, although there are advantages to the technology in terms of material use and localisation of manufacture, there are inherent challenges in material processing and energy use. Potential improvements were discussed and methods for arriving there were proposed – with it clear that higher level input from government would likely be needed. It was clear that the lab must start to consider the sustainability of the technology and how we can help feed into and progress the future change.”

It was a great event and we can’t wait to follow-up with our project partners and new partners we met today.

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