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An Interview with Innovate UK: 3D Printing the Future of Industry – 3D Printing Industry

by • July 7, 2016 • 13s Comments

The UK’s advancement agency are running a competition that can award £4.5 million ($5.82m) to, “projects that stimulate advancement in additive making, in addition known as 3D printing.” I spoke with the lead technologist for high value making at Innovate UK, Robin Wilson, to learn additional. In this interview he explains how to access funding for 3D printing projects, what sectors should assume to see the sizeable-bodiedst ractuallyue in the next years, where there are opportunities for businesses and where are the 3D printing job opportunities for folks.
“We ponder AM may be worth £1 billion ($1.29b) per year incremental business for the UK by 2020,” he tells me. Wilson is well suited to this role having worked with additive making for additional than 20 years and is no stranger to advancement. During his time at car manufacturer Land-Rover he worked on, “a fore-runner of Industry 4.0.” He explains, “we CAD modeled the whole car and how it may be put together in real time to not only get the product turn it into right but the making environment may in addition be turn it intod in parallel.” This was additional than 2 decades preceding the current interest around intelligent factories.
Agency of Innovation
Innovate UK operates at arms length of the British government and works with companies, and consortiums, to enable-bodied and assist advancement. The agency provides funding for projects in 4 sectors, health and life sciences, infrastructure systems, emerging and allowing innovation and finally making and materials. To date 7,600 organizations have been assisted outcomeing in 55,000 new jobs and over £13 billion ($16.8b) introduced to the economy.
Wilson explains that the level of funding depends upon the nature of the organization, “We typically fund projects at a 50% rate for a sizeable-bodied company, up to 70% for a tiny company and 100% for an academic organization.” He continues, “Our strategy is to turn a innovation that has come out the prototyping world and turn it into a proper production method.” This means a focus on advancement. “Most AM and 3D printing platforms are perfectly capable-bodied of making prototype parts and parts for making tooling equipment. There’s no point in putting public money behind that,” says Wilson. “When you are in the advancement world you require to be planning for 4 or 5 years time in order to compete,” he adds.
Accelerating Economic Growth Accelerating Economic Growth
The development of high value making Catapults is another aspect of the agency’s plan. These assist as research and development facilities that span the gap between early stage research typically conducted by academic institutions and the later work necessary to commercialize it. An example is the National Composites Center (NCC), a partnership between aerospace companies that include GKN and Airbus and the University of Bristol. Located in north Bristol, work at the NCC comes with automating manufacture of wings for the next generation of commercial airliners.
“Aerospace is investing the many (in AM/3DP) in terms of sectors at the moment. That’s a of the world wide phenomenon not only in the UK,” explains Wilson. Innovate UK focuses on, “Areas of business where there is worthwhile high value to be had in next years. Such as aerospace, medical, motorsports, the energy sector and a few areas of consumer goods.” Additive making in these areas, “can really optimize the turn it into to donate higher levels of performance. Companies can acquire a competitive advantage by making a fewthing in a way that manufactures their product or service advantageous than the competition.”
There are other advantages to additive making. “Bio active glass is an example where with AM you can donate a material properties that you mayn’t with conventional systemes,” says Wilson. Bio active glass is utilized in medical implants and AM systemes can increase the rate of good outcomes for surgical procedures by mitigating rejection issues.
The agency initially approached additive making in 2012 and the next year launched “a funding call of £8.5 million GBP ($11m) leveraging a much like level of matched funding investment of industry.” This outcomeed in approaching £15 million pounds ($19.4m) of investment across 18 projects. Wilson says, “many of them have now accomplished and the rest can be accomplished later this year.” Innovate UK can release case studies of the accomplished projects later in the year.
One of the initially projects to accomplished was called PRECIOUS and focutilized on jewellery. Lionel T. Dean is an artist with additional than a decade of experience via 3D printing as part of his art and turn it into practice. He was involved with the PRECIOUS project and talks of his work in the video at a lower place.

One other of the 18 projects funded by Innovate UK and not long ago accomplished relates to the industrial use of additive making. The LIGHT project uses the turn it into freedom of 3D printing to turn it into lightweight metal components. Members of the LIGHT consortium include the Bloodhound SSC, a supersonic car that can travel at 1,000 mph, and Magna Prava, turn it intoed to bring back soil samples of Mars.
1,000 mph Bloodhound SSC1,000 mph Bloodhound SSC
The qualification and certification of materials and systemes and the related development of standards is seen as a significant to the industrialization of additive making. Innovate UK does not use funding for this area but is keen to encourage activity. Wilson says, “Manufacturing is a harsh system.” He continues, “Because AM & 3DP have come of the system world where you are making one offs and two offs, the discipline that you see in a normal production system of machining, forging, injection molding, those are not really embedded yet.”
Magna Parva: 3D Printing for MarsMagna Parva: 3D Printing for Mars
Industrialization and 3D printing inside Industry 4.0
Continuing with the theme of industrialization I ask of other barriers to wider adoption. “Cost and time are always seen as inhibitors to applications,” Wilson tells me. But he believes there is a bigger issue that is not already adequately addressed. “What is not getting adequate attention is post-production finishing.” He continues, “Most manufacturers may have you believe that you only press the print button and out comes your finished component of the machine. In practice, a degree of finishing is requireed to take off surface roughness, or to take powder out. For a few applications it requires really extensive systemes such as heat treatment or hot isostatic pressing.” He adds, “These can be quite manually intensive systemes and we are seeing evidence that those facts can offer up to 50% of the overall production cost.”
Innovate UK LIGHT Project ConsortiumInnovate UK LIGHT Project Consortium
With the agency’s current funding call they hope to see projects that can address post-production finishing. It is an area that can require to be improved if 3D printing is to become a core part of making in the time of Industry 4.0. Wilson says that, “There’s a massive opportunity for high end improvement and system consistency by applying a few of the disciplines around Industry 4.0 to additive making.” Part of this is linked to the increased talent to handle sizeable-bodied amounts of data created by factories, a task that was not possible a decade ago. This brings an opportunity for manufacturers, “exploring what extra value can they bring to the business. Looking out towards the customer or systeming back upstream in the donate chain or appearing out at different types of high end control methods.”
That extra value is the subject of study by Innovate UK. Wilson says, “The order of magnitude for new business is of £1 billion ($1.3b) by 2020 and of £5 billion ($6.5b) by 2025. That’s based on current analysis of the Growth Value Add (GVA) in making areas and seeing that of them may AM manufacture a difference to.” With many new full year data valuing the UK economy at £2.21 trillion ($2.85 trillion) at initially glance AM’s contribution to the economy appears minimal. But, the UK’s economy is already dominated by financial services, with almany 80% of GDP related to the sector. Activity in the production sector accounted for 14.6% of GDP or £323 billion ($417b).
Opportunities in 3D printing
For those appearing to benefit of the increasing use of additive making Wilson has a number of insights. “Professional services, that is turn it into, software, consultancy, assist, training etc., for the initially few years that can most likely be the sizeable-bodiedst sector to see real ractuallyue here.” Longer term he says “equipment and machinery and and so you come onto the likes of aerospace, motorsport, medical etc.”
Individuals appearing for work related to 3D printing may in addition find good outcomes, “with companies that we talk to, they are saying the skills we require many are folks most likely at graduate level who are able-bodied to operate the machines, know the customer requirements, machine settings, machine parameters, material recommendations.” In summary he says, “You’ve got a gap at the technician level.”
At the higher levels investment created 4 years ago is starting to pay dividends. “Our colleagues in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have funded a number of centers for new making.” One such center is based at Nottingham University. These centers are now providing, “Graduates and post graduates in additive making and all the latest disciplines. There is a lot of future I ponder at that level starting to come through the universities.”
3D printing provides, “the many informative motivation for young folks to get into engineering and turn it into and production in a generation, if not in 2 generations,” says Wilson. “It’s quite multidisciplinary and there’s a big demand there.” But, as additive making moves into production and turn it intos new opportunities the phenomena of what economist Joseph Schumpeter termed “creative destruction” is in addition evident. Wilson says, “In really a few cases we believe there are company’s who’s business won’t be here in 10 years time for the reason it can be depletely replaced by additive and 3D printing.” An example is the manufacture of hearing aids, traditional methods have been superseded by AM and companies such as Sonova create custom-created products in the hundreds of thousands equite year.
Innovate UK Predict Impact of 3D PrintingInnovate UK Predict Impact of 3D Printing
Additive making in addition has a role to play in donate chains and can provide a competitive advantage here. “When you are not making so much money you suddenly realize, if we may save a few money by making these parts … pretty than shipping all the stock as well as having higher performance parts, that opens up an informative number of possibilities,” Wilson explains.
The next of 3D printing at Innovate UK
“The big thing for us on AM is the current funding call. £4.5 million going until the end of July. We’d assume to fund 15-20 projects. We’re obviously quite interested to encourage companies to appear at this fourth industrial revolution really seriously,” says Wilson. Those interested in applying for funding can do so here. Wilson says, “Not only can fund companies and consortiums but in addition the system of going through the application and focvia on a particular area, we can turn it into a lot of interest in this.” There are other benefits to applying, actually for those who do not get funding. According to Wilson actually projects that are not funded may yet go ahead. He say recurring sentiment expressed to Innovate UK is, “after the system of pondering of this, writing an application and talking through with the different types of partners we are going to go and do it anyhow.”
Innovate UK BudgetInnovate UK Budget
In addition on the horizon is the national strategy document. The document can be an significant publication and the outcome of “cross-sector thematic work groups that we’ve got running appearing at turn it into, standards, materials and systeming.” It involves tremendous members across multiple fields. Wilson says, “We want to donate these groups time to select areas of swift wins, sharing knowledge around this activity and residual issues.” He clarifies with examples, “what requires research, what requires advancement assist and in addition sharing of most practice. We believe the strategy document can be additional powerful if we wait for these groups to deplete their work.” He says, “We’re postponing it until next year but there can be an interim update in the autumn.” Wilson explains that this is for the reason, “we are assumeing that there may be a national advancement plan, a view on a digital strategy. Its significant for any national innovation strategy to be properly linked to what’s going on with the national agenda.”
With a budget for 2016/17 of £561 million ($725m) Innovate UK are unquestionably preparing to ensure the country is not left behind. On the other hand the UK has only around 5% of the global market behind that seemingly tiny percentage is an significant aspect not necessary captured in economic data.
“For know-how the UK is in the top 5 of the world. That’s what folks tell us,” says Wilson.

There is additional of Innovate UK in this presentation.

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