3D Systems CEO Talks Future Of 3D Printing

ZDNet.com recently interviewed Vyomesh Joshi, CEO of 3D Systems, about how quickly 3D printing is moving from the prototype phase to production, and what is needed to step up the transformation.

Joshi answers questions about what he sees in 3D future, the possibilities and the challenges.

Prototyping vs. manufacturing. For healthcare, 3D printing is about production workflow. Other industries are more in the prototyping phase. “Prototyping is about form and fit. Production is more about functionality,” said Joshi. For production workflows, 3D printing needs to meet functionality needs and improve the cost of operation. Manufacturing will need process work too, he added.

What inning is additive manufacturing in? Joshi said the production point of view, 3D printing is more in first inning.

Materials innovation. Joshi said one holdup for additive manufacturing is materials innovation. “The starting point is materials. I’m putting tremendous R&D resources on materials,” he said. The materials and 3D printing economic model rhymes with the traditional printing business, but vendors will have to innovate. Materials will be a proprietary thing at first with partners and Joshi noted that the “open materials” isn’t going to happen right away. Why? The speed of production means that new materials will be needed. “The chemistry is where the innovation is,” he said. “Materials will be developed by 3D Systems with partners.”

The whole interview is viewable HERE.