• Additive Manufacturing Blog, June 2021

    Additive Manufacturing Strategies

    A Chat with a Panel of Industry Experts

This week’s episode of Additive snack is very exciting as we’ve got not one but three special guests joining us. Our panel of experts this week have all utilized additive manufacturing in their industries and are here to talk about how additive manufacturing has helped innovate production for their company. Joining Fabian are Stefanie Brickwede, Head of Additive Manufacturing at Deutsche Bahn; John Wilczynski, Executive Director of America Makes; and Florian Lassan, Senior Business Development Manager of 3YOURMIND

Fabian Alefeld
Additive Minds Consulting Manager
EOS of North America Inc.

How can I identify a part that will be suitable for additive manufacturing, and how can I approach making the transition?

Our panelists were full of great learnings from their own experience in delving into the world of additive manufacturing. When asked how to identify a suitable part when considering, they shared these best tips…

  • Start simple. Pick a small but integral part for production to help show those who are yet to get on board that additive manufacturing is a worthwhile venture.
  • Identify which parts of your company will benefit from additive manufacturing and evaluate the details. What’s the current infrastructure? What can you implement? What technologies do you need to invest in?
  • Work together with others in the additive manufacturing industry and start collaborating and sharing learnings.

One roadblock that can limit the transition of your production over to additive manufacturing can be getting the buy-in of colleagues, management, and top-level execs that can’t quite see the potential that 3D printing can bring to your business. We asked our panel how they dealt with the difficulties of getting staff buy-in and what you can do if you’re ooking at approaching a company that doesn’t traditionally use additive manufacturing. Here are just a few of the suggestions that our panel shared.

Forget hierarchy - include all your staff:

When bringing additive manufacturing into their work at Deutsche Bahn, Stefanie quickly realized that it could be best utilized by all levels of staff. In talking to colleagues on a roadshow, she discovered that many employees already had experience with 3D printing - whether in previous roles or with personal printers at home. To capitalize on this knowledge, a competition was set up to encourage staff from all company levels to get involved and share their innovative solutions to problems that they faced in their working roles every day.

Create a team that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries:

When working towards increasing the adoption of additive manufacturing within your company, bring people together as a community to identify where it would be best utilized within your business model. Think about developer tech and education, infrastructure, and the community that additive manufacturing can bring to your company. Develop roadmaps to enable more employees to get on board with your vision quickly. Find pioneers who are ready to push that vision forward.

In summary…

  • Think about the everyday challenges your colleagues and staff face and approach them for their solutions. Never underestimate the power of overcoming internal obstacles.
  • Find the people that believe in additive manufacturing and work with them. It’s easy to listen to the people who will give you reasons why it won’t work. Instead - listen to the ones who can prove that it will.
  • Collaborate. Share your learnings with others, create networks and memberships and keep on top of the new cutting-edge additive manufacturing applications.

Want more information? Tune in to Additive Snack and listen to this week's episode: our panelists shared a wealth of experience, information, and inspiration, so don’t miss it! 

Don’t forget to subscribe and tune in next week for more Additive Snack. 

Do not hesitate to reach out to me personally,  I’d be happy to assist with any questions you might have.

Fabian Alefeld
Additive Minds Consulting Manager
EOS of North America Inc.