Research and development is a fundamental part of the future for the sector and is instrumental in creating new technology, discovering new applications and processes, and developing new materials or software, that enable the advancement of additive manufacturing.

R&D covers such a broad spectrum of activity related to AM. 3D Printer Manufacturers are looking to evolve the existing technology and develop new technology. This requires knowledge of mechanical, electrical, electronic and software engineering, as well as an understanding of material science and process development. Adopters of AM are likewise looking at ways of developing their business model either through new product development enabled by the freedom of design and complexity of build structures that AM allows, or supply chain evolution bought about by bringing manufacturing closer to the point of consumption.

In addition Universities and Research Centres have a large role to play in R&D. They are often the catalyst for new ideas or concepts that are then commercialised by larger organisations.



As an increasing number of organisations move from R&D to production there is a growing need for skilled Engineers to delivery Manufacturing Solutions. A key role that exists now among many businesses is the Additive Manufacturing Engineer who has a broad understanding of design for AM and AM processes across key technologies. Another area of high growth are Machine Operators.



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