TIPE Convention 2021: New 3D Printing Applied sciences, Purposes and Startups – 3DPrint.com

From engineers to CEOs to women in academia, female professionals in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry are developing, promoting and identifying innovative solutions to advance 3D printing technology. The global organization Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) hosted the first TIPE 3D Printing conference to share experiences and empower other women in the workforce. The two-day virtual event was built by and for a community of over 10,000 women and provided an inspiring agenda for all female speakers.

From January 27-28, 2021, the TIPE conference became a disruptive platform that set a landmark precedent for future events by focusing on a diverse workforce and how to accelerate the growth and maturation of the 3D printing industry. Over 1,600 attendees heard from 147 attendees discussing new devices, software, materials, processes, and advances in shaping the industry. From women in large companies and start-ups, executives in industry giants like GE Additive, Boeing and EOS to entrepreneurs behind successful AM brands like The Digital Patisserie and Thinking Huts. More than 80 presentations in five expert-controlled tracks: Technology, Industry, People, Business and Youth proved enlightening.

Follow executives at the TIPE 3D Printing conference. Image courtesy of TIPE.

Xerox, Fabrisonic and VELO3D company representatives described how their technologies can improve manufacturing processes. Tali Rosman, head of 3D printing at Xerox, said the company’s novel liquid metal 3D printing solution uses inexpensive aluminum wire instead of powder, which translates into great material properties, faster cycle times and no special facility modifications. However, one of the company’s biggest challenges is to compete with powder-based technologies, which dominate over 80% of the market, Rosman said.

Sarah Jordan from the innovative metal 3D printing company Fabrisonic also discussed the development of new technologies such as Ultrasonic AM (UAM) to embed electronics and sensors, connect different metals and create a highly tolerant inner geometry. The Ohio-based company’s innovative process is referred to by Jordan as the “dark horse” – a racing term used to refer to a pony that is unknown to players but wins a race when no one expects it. Like a dark horse in a race, Fabrisonic’s 3D printers compete with several established, “competing” technologies. However, Jordan said she sees great potential in this process, especially after working extensively with heat exchangers and waveguides, embedding sensors and digital twins, and working with technology protection applications.

Xerox’s liquid metal printing technology. Image courtesy of Xerox.

The event showed innovative possibilities for the use of 3D printing for cement construction, architecture, industrial design and panels for technical materials and circular economy. An insightful presentation by U.S. Army Engineer Megan Kreiger showed how her team is using 3D printing and locally available materials to test the capabilities of various custom expedition structures used by soldiers on the ground. Kreiger’s large-scale 3D printing technology has produced various types of infrastructure such as buildings and bridges, which has resulted in cost reductions, better energy efficiency and less labor.

“We want to simplify the construction on site, combine less logistics with this construction and reduce the costs and the risk for our soldiers. We have evolved from developing in-house printers to full-scale structures, “said Kreiger, who stressed that the industry should be wary of excessive expectations of 3D printing in construction and that the overhype could kill a technology that” superior “is” to other construction methods. “It’s not just about printers less than $ 10,000. It’s about improving building across the board – where building is usually seen as the area that is reluctant to change – and modernizing the construction field. “

Marines from the 7th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) and engineers from the US Army Research Laboratory pose during a 3D concrete printing exercise with a concrete bunker. Image courtesy U.S. Marines / Staff Sgt. Michael Smith, 7th ESB.

In several panels and presentations, a unique group of women entrepreneurs spoke about the creation and growth of start-ups in the 3D printing industry. They answered important questions, exchanged personal experiences and gave insights into the background to creating a 3D printing startup and optimizing innovations. Trendsetters such as Lisa Federici, CEO of the 3D service provider Scansite, discussed the company’s growth in the course of the further development of 3D scanning and printing technology. From the beginnings of the SLA, to making the first largest 3D printing projects for cultural heritage institutions, to working with clients such as Tesla, NASA and Boeing, their journey has been superb.

Federici said one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is access to capital. Educating banks and investors is very difficult, especially when introducing a new way of thinking about an old problem. Scaling is also a big problem. Startups have to decide if they want to stay very small or very big because too much time in the middle will wear the company down, she thought. “It’s hard to do this for long,” said Federici, who oversaw the decision to scale Scansite internationally and is enthusiastic about the innovative strength of her international teams.

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Scansite creates replicas of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit for the Smithsonian Institution’s Air & Space Museum using 3D printing and scanning technology. Images courtesy of Scansite.

Similarly, two of the startup’s founders, Jillian Northrup of 3D-printed furniture company Model No. and Christina Perla from Makelab in Brooklyn, took part in an educational fireside chat dedicated to starting new businesses. Both women have a design background that has proven to be a benefit in their business growth. Perla said that understanding exactly what customers want is very important for an early startup: “Being able to share your passion with your end user is an incredible touchpoint as a brand.” Same goes for building a team. Small businesses need to select employees who are suitable for the everyday small group dynamics.

Monetizing your passion without losing the spark is critical, Northrup revealed. However, this requires a lot of work, especially for founders who anchor themselves in all areas of the company. Running a business is not for everyone, they pointed out. There is a lot of risk and a lot of undefined aspects. More importantly, Northrup said, entrepreneurs must agree to push many “unproven concepts with the possibility of failure.”

3D printed furniture. Image courtesy of Model No.

A panel discussion led by experts from MakerGirl, SpaceX, Airbus and Lego explained how you can be creative with 3D printing. While Morris couldn’t reveal much of their AM team’s work at the space giant, we learned that SpaceX engineers are developing powder bed platforms for the design and construction of rocket engines. Innovative uses of 3D printing have resulted in some incredible rocket engine designs, of which we saw a fair share in 2020.

For Anna Chase, Design Engineer at Lego, it means keeping things creative, doing experiments to better understand the company’s AM capabilities. This includes, for example, the work on the entire life cycle of an AM Lego element from concept to the last part as well as the entire troubleshooting that goes through this process. Both Chase and Morris looked forward to advances in multi-material 3D printing that could mean flexible building blocks for Lego and new hybrid crosses for SpaceX.

SuperDraco engine from SpaceX. Image courtesy of SpaceX.

Though dozens of AM technology applications were featured and celebrated at the TIPE event, technical consultant Haleyanne Freedman spoke about the barriers holding the industry back. “Misinformation harms wider adoption and prevents companies from looking for additive applications, making it difficult to trust the technology as a real manufacturing method,” Freedman said. She encouraged companies working in additive technology to report data so that companies interested in investing in the technology can evaluate applications and find a real match.

Freedman also spoke of more and better testing standards and training for realistic expectations rather than forcing applications to work for 3D printing when they shouldn’t. Their clear view is that additive companies are very protective of their intellectual property for good reason, but that they should work together and communicate better. She hopes companies will start sharing information.

Overall, the main goals of the event were to empower aspiring female executives and to discuss the future direction of the 3D printing industry. By sharing knowledge of success stories, case studies and panel discussions, the speakers shared the experience of countless areas that have already benefited from the adoption of AM, such as aerospace, defense, construction, automotive and jewelry. We look forward to the second TIPE 3D printing event in 2022.