Metal Additive Manufacturing Set to Make a Splash — A Few Questions For: Spencer Wright

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i3dpnyIt’s less than a month away now! Inside 3D Printing is coming again to the Big Apple, with the conference set for New York City running April 10-12 and promising plenty to see! As we’ve seen recently, including just last month in Düsseldorf with Inside 3D Printing/METAV, metal 3D printing is set to impact the industry in a big way, and everyone seems to be talking about this tech. Additive manufacturing using metal materials is, put simply, a Big Deal, and is set to bring some true disruption to an industry already built on disrupting manufacturing as we’ve known it.

One voice in the conversation on metal 3D printing belongs to Spencer Wright, who will be presenting a session next month. In a session called “Product Development for Metal Additive Manufacturing: An Applied Overview,” Wright, an independent researcher in the metal AM field, is set to illustrate some of the possibilities in this arena.spencer

“Using a detailed case study, Spencer Wright will show the state of the art in using lattices to create lightweight parts optimized for manufacturability. By showing the full workflow – from mechanical CAD through generative design, build preparation, and manufacturing – we’ll show both the complexity and opportunity in using lattice structures for AM part production. Attendees will leave with both practical knowledge of how to use lattices, and a broad understanding of how lattice design fits into and compares with other generative techniques,” the session description notes.

I recently had the opportunity to ask A Few Questions For Wright, as I’m looking forward to what there is to see in New York next month, especially regarding metal AM! For a preview of some his thoughts to be presented on that illustrious stage, read on.

sw1Can you fill us in on some of your background in research in the metal AM field?

I started working in metal AM three years ago out of curiosity. I designed some parts to be printed in titanium and went through manufacturing, post processing, and testing – and wrote about the process on my blog (pencerw.com) the whole way. In the process I’ve met a lot of very experienced people and learned a ton about the industry and the technology, and now work in the field full time.

What initially led you to 3D technology as an area for closer examination?sw2

I have a background in conventional manufacturing and fabrication, and was interested to see how AM dealt with traditional design methods and tolerances. The answer, in the end, is that it’s a totally different beast – something that I never would have learned without going through the product development process myself.

What do you hope attendees will gain from their presence at Inside 3D Printing New York? What are you most looking forward to?

I’m interested in hearing about the hard, industrial grade problems that people are working on now, and I hope that others are too.

swi3dpWhat led you to want to discuss Product Development for Metal Additive Manufacturing?

It’s something I’ve spent a lot of time on over the past three years, and something that I think is important to share in order for the industry to mature.

What would you like our readers to know about the latest in metal AM?

Metal AM is in the very early stages of maturity, and needs to be treated as a unique manufacturing process.

 Wright’s talk, “Product Development for Metal Additive Manufacturing: An Applied Overview,” is set for 9:00 AM on day three of the conference, April 12th, as part of the Metal Track. Keep an eye out for a look at more information from additional speakers at Inside 3D Printing New York 2016! Remember 3DPrint.com readers can get a 10% discount by using code “3DPRINT” at registration. Early bird pricing is in effect until March 4th–save by registering early.sw3
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