When National Manufacturing
Week begins this week, it will feature, for the first time, an additive manufacturing product zone.
At NMW and elsewhere, there is
huge curiosity around 3D printing/additive manufacturing. According to the
just-released global trends bible for the industry, the annual Wohlers Report, the market grew an incredible 34.9 per cent in 2013.
The excitement isn’t coming solely from manufacturers.
“Much to our surprise,
advertising agencies have also shown a real interest,” explained Mel Fuller,
co-founder of Three Farm. Her relatively new company approaches the technology
from “a shared
vision of sustainable and ethical futures.”
Three Farm’s efforts to educate this year have included seminars for organisations
including the Australian Museum, Macquarie University and Asciano.
Fuller also presented at the 3D Printing Expo at Townsville at the beginning of this
month. On Tuesday she will be presenting
at NMW’s Digital Hub on the topic of “Design Led Revolution”, and will be a
keynote speaker that evening at the “3D printing – what’s in it for me” event
“We have done substantial
research into 3D printing’s enhancement of consumer engagement and co creation
strategies,” she told Manufacturers’ Monthly when asked about where
demand had come from with those wanting the technology demystified.
“But to be honest the gigs we
have done and the professionals we have met are from many different sectors. I
would say this is due to 3D printing’s broad reach on industry.”
The event at the Chatswood Club on Tuesday, hosted by
Print21, is targeted at the conventional
printing industry, which has recently been showing a lot of interest in the
idea of printing in a third dimension.
“It’s a sort of Damascus
revelation that there is more to life than printing ink on paper!” Andrew
McCourt, a print and packaging industry consultant and journalist at Print21
told Manufacturers’ Monthly.
“Printing is classified as a
manufacturing industry by the ABS since raw materials are ‘elaborately
transformed.’ Why shouldn’t they do this with 3D objects? Architectural models
to go with plans is a natural for example.”
Shortly after her presentation
efforts this week, Fuller will head to the US for a three-month study tour.
Education will continue to be
hugely important for those who are well-versed in 3D printing, as it is for
those who are attend conferences to try and find out what it’s all about.
“Like so many great new
technologies, we have to learn all of the applications after we have invented
the means,” offered McCourt.
“It was a French philosopher
who said ‘Just because man invents new machines, does not mean he knows what to
do with them.’ That’s 3D! So we are all learning.”
Fuller and her Three Farm co-founders Grace Turtle and Yasmin Smith will
be presenting at NMW’s Digital Hub on
Tuesday May 2014 at 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM.
“3D Printing –
What’s in it for me?”, featuring Fuller’s keynote address, will
run from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Chatswood Club on Tuesday. For more information,