International Women’s Day: we discuss with four experts 3D printing predictions & trends
Today is International Women’s Day! In order to celebrate such a day we wanted to talk about some of the influential women currently working in the field of 3D printing. The field of additive manufacturing is expanding every day and its applications are increasingly having an impact on our society. Therefore, we decided to talk with four women immersed in this field to get their expert opinion on the 3D printing market. We interviewed Jessica Snelling, Co-founder of Aurora Labs, Alessandra Sacchelli, Marketing Director of 3DZ France, Cin-Yee Syria Ho, Director of Sales and Marketing of XYZPrinting division Europe and last but not least Lynette Kucsma, Co-founder of Natural Machines. All agree that the market is still growing and further progress and applications are to come! The trends mentioned include the tremendous rise of metal 3D printing and the versatility & compatibility of 3D printing materials, amongst others.
Jessica Snelling, Co-founder of the industrial technology and innovation company, Aurora Labs
The company specialises in the development of 3D metal printers, powders, digital parts and their associated intellectual property.
“About 5 years ago, David Budge, a friend and myself were discussing our plan to manufacture and test liquid fuelled rocket motors when David floated the idea of creating a 3D metal printer to print the rocket motor instead of machining it. We then founded Aurora Labs with the aim to make 3D metal printing more accessible to the world and in order to do so, we developed the S-Titanium Pro 3D metal printer that is still the cheapest 3D metal printer available on the market.”
“I believe this year the biggest trend will be towards automation, so 3D metal printing and the production process requires less human interaction. The printers will be getting more and more integrated into a production workflow and the requirement of automatic powder and build plate handling will increase this year.”
“My hopes for the 3D printing market over the next 10 years is that 3D metal printers will be able to print bigger parts and faster so that 3D metal printing is cost effective compared to traditional metal manufacturing. Coupling this with a certification process that aims to allow parts to be certified on the fly during the printing process so they are fit-for-purpose, 3D metal printers can become a production tool for companies so that the lead time for spares and replacements is drastically reduced.”
Alessandra Sacchelli, Marketing Director of 3DZ France
3DZ is one of the largest resellers of the some of the most prestigious 3D printers. The range they distribute printers from manufacturers such as 3D Systems, Markforged and JCR.
“I am marketing manager for 3DZ France, a company that focuses on industrial printing and additive manufacturing. I promote the 3DZ brand and the products we offer, such as 3D printers, 3D software and 3D scanners. I was able to make a link between 3D printing and my work simply because I am passionate about marketing and technology! It’s a very interesting field, very advanced, with new products coming out every month! 3DZ is also based on customer service, and for me this detail is fundamental: working for a company that puts its customers at the heart of its development.”
“Personally, I believe that metal additive manufacturing will be a trend in 2019, which we have already seen evolve in the last two years. Processes are relatively more accessible and users are beginning to understand the full potential of such a process. At 3DZ, we can see it thanks to Markforged’s ADAM process, which is becoming more and more efficient for all manufacturers.”
“In the future, I hope that the 3D market will become “mature” and increasingly oriented towards industrial production through the use of advanced and stable solutions, allowing continuous large-scale manufacturing. I also hope that 3D printing can be applied in all possible sectors and create everything that traditional manufacturing cannot do (such as medical, aerospace, industrial and automotive applications).”
Cin-Yee Syria Ho, Director of Sales and Marketing of the European division of XYZPrinting
“I am Cin-Yee, Director of Sales & Marketing of XYZprinting division Europe. I rolled in this business 5 years ago, joining XYZprinting as Marketing & Communication Manager. I literally had zero experience or knowledge about 3D printing. XYZprinting needed someone to bring up a long-term branding strategy to translate something, which was a technology only known by engineers, designers and maybe geeks, to the common domestic user. The brand was new in Europe and products needed to be launched in the retail. My background as European marketer, who knew nothing about technology was forgiven, because I knew quite a lot about the consumer behaviour and the retail business. In a short time I had to absorb and learn a lot from XYZprinting engineers about 3D printing, and then translate it into a language and strategy that retailers and consumers could understand.”
“I see a lot of schools that are teaching digital skills using 3D printers. I believe this generation has more advanced 3D printing knowledge and higher expectations. Their choice of buying a 3D printer has changed. Instead of easy-plug-and-play, they are looking for 3D printers with more material compatibility and versatility of use. For example, printing different materials and challenging the performance of the printer by tweaking the speed or temperatures. That’s why we are foreseeing the trend of the DIY kits and open-source 3D printers.”
“A timeline of 10 years is quite a far horizon… As an industry insider, technology innovation changes fast. XYZprinting developed a full colour FDM printer in three years. Given that, I think in 10 years, your office printer is a combination of full colour paper and 3D printer. It will become a fix asset in every office, schools and of course at homes. But more importantly, I hope that, besides the hardware innovations, all companies will focus on the material. After all, we are printing plastic. I think material suppliers are already developing a kind of plastic that can be applied to our daily use, but is more environment friendly and faster biodegradable. That’s what I hope.”
Lynette Kucsma, Co-founder of Natural Machines, the company behind the Foodini 3D food printer
“My name is Lynette Kucsma, co-Founder of Natural Machines. We are the makers of Foodini – a 3D food printer + IoT (Internet of Things) new generation kitchen appliance promoting cooking with fresh, real ingredients. One key thing to note is that we didn’t take a 3D printer and try and do something new and cool with it, like print food. Rather, we saw an issue in the food industry and 3D printing was one of the best ways to solve it. That makes a big difference in a number of things, including how we built Foodini: it’s made with food grade/safe materials, originating as a kitchen appliance, and the design of our 3D printer is very different – it blends into a kitchen environment.”
“I have my eye on the 3D printing market in general, but as we align more with the kitchen appliance market, I wouldn’t say I can predict the future with regards to non-food 3D printers. Personally, I’m interested in the developments of 3D printing with metal and how that moves forward with regards to industrial solutions. Aside from food, I find 3D printing with glass interesting from an artistic point of view. And with regards to 3D food printing, there is a lot more interest and curiosity around 3D food printing as it becomes more well-known to the general population, and I see that getting stronger this year.”
“Speaking from the 3D food printing market point of view… We believe that in 10 to 15 years, 3D food printers will become a common kitchen appliance in both home and professional kitchens, similar to how an oven or a microwave are common appliances in kitchens today. With 3D food printers, we are making food preparation – using fresh, real ingredients – healthier, easier, and fun!”
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