3D printing: a new industrial revolution?

Saturday 19 October, 12.15pm until 1.15pm, Frobisher Auditorium 1 Battle for technological progress

Over the past two or three years, the idea of 3D printing has gripped the imagination of everyone from creatives in design and IT through to wider industry and governments up to and including President Obama. At a time when many business innovations are based around how the product is packaged and sold to the customer, it is indeed refreshing to see a technology-led boost to how material things are made in the first place, potentially transforming the production of everything from children’s toys to cars and even guns. Some go so far as to proclaim that with ‘additive manufacturing’, we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, one that will restructure society, make the means of production more democratic and give the economy a much needed boost.

Others are more sceptical – seeing additive manufacturing as just another (albeit still exciting) technique that adds to the multitude of existing manufacturing processes. So where we are with this technology, and does 3D printing really amount to an industrial revolution or is it just overblown hype?

James Buchanan
prototype technology specialist, Jaguar Land Rover

Andrew Keen
entrepreneur; founder, Audiocafe.com; author, Digital Vertigo: how today's online social revolution is dividing, diminishing, and disorienting us

Dr Paul Reeves
engineering software designer, SolidWorks R&D (part of Dassault Systèmes); convener, manufacturing work group for Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation

Ann Marie Shillito
founder and CEO, Anarkik3D; designer maker/contemporary jeweller; author, Digital Crafts: Industrial Technologies for Applied Artists and Designer Makers

Martyn Perks
digital business consultant and writer; co-author, Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation

Produced by
Dr Paul Reeves engineering software designer, SolidWorks R&D (part of Dassault Systèmes); convener, manufacturing work group for Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation
Recommended readings
3D Printing

Imagine a future in which a device connected to a computer can print a solid object. A future in which we can have tangible goods as well as intangible services delivered to our desktops or highstreet shops over the Internet.

Christopher Barnatt, Explaining The Future, 2013

An Insider’s View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’

A CEO of a 3D printing provider gives his look on both sides of the debate

Carl Bass, , 28 May 2013

3D Printing – The next ‘revolution in manufacturing’?

From hobbyists to heavy industries – how additive manufacturing may be indispensable in building our future.

Danny Wang, Economics Student Society of Australia, 24 May 2013

Has 3D printing in the home been over-hyped?

We will be surprised by where 3D printing will end up, although the possibilities may be exaggerated

Jane Wakefield, bbc, 22 April 2013

Stop talking rubbish about 3D printing

The potential of 3D printing have been exaggerated, mostly by journalists.

Willard Foxton, Telegrapgh, 23 November 2012

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