The first edition of IN(3D)USTRY From Needs to Solutions, which took place from June 21st to June 23rd 2016 at Fira de Barcelona, successfully introduced an entirely new concept for exploring the possibilities offered by additive manufacturing and 3D printing across four key industrial sectors.
The event showcased both the present of additive manufacturing, as well as its promising future, by focusing on the challenges 3D printing presents, and offering innovative, pioneering, and state-of-the-art solutions to manufacturers’ specific needs.
Over the three-day event, prominent international speakers took to the stage to describe their experiences with additive manufacturing in the four most important vertical sectors: Aerospace & Automotive, Healthcare, Architecture & Habitat, and Consumer & Retail Goods.
This unique approach stimulated participants to explore the many different solutions already offered by additive manufacturing technologies today, and enabled representatives from both the academic and the industrial spheres to meet, exchange ideas, and debate the future of digital fabrication and advanced manufacturing.
To get to the heart this manufacturing revolution, leading representatives from global enterprises including SEAT, Airbus, IKEA, HP and many more were invited to the Main Stage to demonstrate their successful applications of 3D printing, and discuss what they expect to accomplish in the years to come.
IN(3D)USTRY was also unique in its ability to combine professional-level AM adopters with some of the most innovative projects from the maker community. Adjacent to the showroom floor, the Maker Pro area offered participants the opportunity to participate in workshops and lectures, and to see first-hand how end-users are already combining advanced manufacturing technologies with collaborative processes, an open-source philosophy, and unrestricted creativity to fundamentally change how we design, make, and use new goods.
Each of these synergies came together with the city of Barcelona’s own innovative vision for a democratic, connected, global hub, generating an energetic space for debates, discussion, and partnerships.
From city infrastructures to the design of our own homes, advanced and additive manufacturing is already playing a more in-depth role in shaping our surroundings than most of us realize. Thanks to digital technologies, rather than one-size-fits-all boxes, our environments are once again being filled with individually crafted products, tailored to specific lifestyles, and made from locally sourced, cost- and energy-efficient materials and practices.
Moving beyond the skepticism relating to scalability challenges, speakers from architecture studios, infrastructure groups, and the world leading IAAC (the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) discussed how to change the way large structures are built, and how these new approaches will open paradigm-changing scenarios full of opportunities and freedom of design, thus making our living environments more unique, sustainable and energy efficient.
The topics of the Architecture & Habitat panel were far-reaching: from 3D printing houses on the moon, to finalizing the construction of the 134-yearold Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, to transforming every city into a thoroughly connected Smart City.
As Areti Markopolou, renowned architect and Director of the IAAC identified, despite these very different topics, an over-arching need ran throughout: to find and develop new and more sustainable practices to optimize outdated construction methods.
“It was very important to have the opportunity to collect ideas from different professionals coming from different fields, from professional architects to academics and industry professionals. It is interesting to bring people together from different fields and understand how they deal with the possibilities but also with the limitations of advanced and additive manufacturing.”
Areti Markopolou – Director, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
The freedom of design enabled by digital technologies means we can build ‘smarter’ buildings that use or even produce clean energy, eliminate waste, and allow workers, citizens, and families to become more interconnected with themselves and their environments. Yet before this can become an everyday reality, advances in more sturdy and varied 3D printing construction materials is a firm need:
“The building and construction industry is perhaps one of the best places for additive manufacturing, because every building site is bespoke, it requires a unique solution, and often has a unique shape and constraints. […] One of the biggest challenges is material, which materials are able to be a substantial replacement to existing building materials, in all kinds of situations. Particularly things like floor slabs, which appear simple, are one of the hardest things to 3D print right now. But we are slowly getting there with material science.”
Robert Stuart-Smith – Founding Director, Robert Stuart-Smith Design
Like in automotive and healthcare, some of the most interesting talks related to how additive manufacturing can move futuristic concepts from labs into real-world applications. These can be new ways to manufacture traditional objects, like Cricursa’s curved glass windows, or new materials and processes for entirely new approaches to construction and architecture.
“This panel demonstrates what is required to get these things out of the research labs, off the computer screens, and into the world […] Normally people don’t talk about environment and sustainability and ornament at the same time, but with advanced manufacturing technologies, all these things can actually enrich each other.”
Dave Pigram – Director, supermanouvre
“At Cricursa we use 3D printing in a very simple way: all of our projects are different, which means that all of our glasses are different, and what we do is find a way of making 3D printed tools that we use in our manufacturing process. […] We 3D print these tools for quality control and for manufacturing gaining in quality and cutting time to market.”
Ferran Figuerola – CEO, Cricursa
These talks were particularly useful in once again bridging the gap between additive manufacturing needs and solutions, as explained by Nils Fischer, hailing from the world-famous Zaha Hadid architecture studio:
“We have developed very powerful computational models these that allow designers to work with a lot of data in the background while still intuitively interacting with the models. Digital fabrication helps us understand how things are built in order to things feasible or relevant as a designer. So that whenever we create a problem, we also start to think about the solution.”
Nils Fischer – Senior Associate/CODE Computational Design Research Group, Zaha Hadid Architects
The variety of speakers, exhibitioners and industry leaders also created a unique space for debate and discussion about the dual ecosystems—that of additive manufacturing, and the actual cities, habitats and structures in which we live:
“The IN(3D)USTRY show brought together people from architectural design, construction, manufacturers and material developers…I think having the whole ecosystem with different professionals in one place is really unique.”
José Daniel García Espinel – Technology Transfer Director, Acciona
Enrico Dini, creator of the D-Shape large-scale 3D printer and one of the foremost innovators in 3D printed construction, wrapped up by acknowledging a major shift in how architects, engineers, and manufacturers are approaching new technologies:
“I believe that there is a new generation of architects, mechanical engineers, robotics engineers, who are grabbing knowledge from a port that is not the port from which I grabbed my knowledge. This is a new platform that is based on a completely different scenario of access to knowledge, so this is absolutely good. This is the present of the next 40 or 50 years. This is the beginning of a new age, it is clearly visible.”
Enrico Dini – Founder, D-Shape
A new bigger and better 2017 edition is already in the making. If you wish to keep in the loop or you wish to attend, participate or you wish to present your work or project as speaker do not hesitate to contact via website www.in3dustry.com, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram profiles.
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