Scott Crump is arguably one of the most exciting additions to the TCT Show + Personalize speaker role call. Not only is Crump Chairman and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, but he is the inventor of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). The expert is therefore going to discuss how 3D printing is expanding from prototyping into manufacturing when he takes to the stage, looking at how the technology is being used in the here and now, and how it could be applied to manufacturing in the longer term.
“There are two simultaneous trends in manufacturing with 3D printers,” Crump explained, “Personal manufacturing with the maker movement and commercial manufacturing. I’ll focus more on the commercial market. We’ll look at how it is being used in manufacturing today, what we’re likely to see in the near future and then what we may see a little farther down the road. As more companies start producing end products with additive technologies, we’ll see a fundamental shift in how things get made.”
Stratasys made arguably the biggest 3D printing story of the year when it announced it was the mystery buyer acquiring MakerBot, a business deal that is naturally close to Crump’s heart due to the instrumental role he played in the development of desktop 3D printing.
He said: “The desktop 3D printer movement has helped our industry enormously by driving awareness. A few years ago, even some engineers hadn’t heard of 3D printing. Consumer 3D printers and the media buzz surrounding them have made 3D printing almost a household name. Of course the importance of this growing market was behind the MakerBot merger. The weight is still behind the industrial market in terms of revenue and will be for some time, but if the desktop market continues to grow as it is, it will eventually overtake the industrial market in revenue. In terms of sales, the consumer/prosumer market is only a couple of years away from overtaking the industrial market.”
Crump explained that when it comes to business, Stratasys is no stranger to striking while the iron is hot and this is especially true in terms of patents, particularly as Crump’s own is still yielding plenty of business for Stratasys – and its competitors.
He revealed: “Because of the patent time limit, Stratasys has always moved quickly to grow its market share and expand its technology with new innovation. With the expiration of our fundamental extrusion patent a few years ago, it opened the door to other companies to employ the extrusion process. I’ve heard there are over 100 machines now using a basic extrusion process like Fused Deposition Modelling. They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I think that having so many companies want to imitate our process does show there’s something inherently valuable businesswise about this type of process.”
Scott Crump will be keynoting at TCT Show + Personalize on Thursday September 26th.
TCT Show + Personalize will take place 25-26 September 2013, Hall 3/3a, NEC, Birmingham, UK.