Nürnberg, Germany, 29. - 30. November 2016
International Conference on Additive Technologies
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  HOME / iCAT 2014 / INVITED LECTURES 2014

Invited lectures 2014


Olaf Diegel
Faculty of Engineering Lund University, Sweden
3D Printing: Bridging the Creative Gap?

In the near future 3D printing will have a marked effect on how we order, design, and manufacture products. They will have a major Impact not just on products, but on our society, and how we live and do business. 

Besides its obvious technological and manufacturing benefits, 3D printing also has the potential to unleash innovation in an unprecedented manner. Though there is much research on the engineering and technical aspects of 3D printing, some of this research can almost be seen as constraining innovation, rather than encouraging it. Perhaps it is time to start looking beyond the engineering aspects of 3D printing, and look at how we can use it to become more creative?

This presentation examines where 3D Printing technologies are from the point of view of stimulating and exploiting innovation, and how engineers should be encouraged to work more closely with artists and other innovators from outside the sphere of engineering in order to broaden their innovative potential. We also examine how additive manufacturing can be successfully implemented as part as the production chain and how it can be used, today, to successfully bring new products to market.

Olaf Diegel was born in New Zealand, but has spent much of his life in countries such as the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Japan. Olaf is both an educator and a practitioner of engineering product development with an excellent track record of developing innovative solutions to engineering problems.

In his role as professor of product development, in the department of design sciences of the faculty of engineering at Lund University, in Sweden, he is heavily involved in all aspects of product development and is widely published in the areas of additive manufacturing and rapid product development. In his consulting practice he develops a wide range of products for companies around the world. Over the past 10 years he has developed over 60 commercialized new products including innovative new theatre lighting products, security and marine products and several home health monitoring products and, for this work, has received numerous product development awards.

Over the last 20 years, Olaf has become a passionate follower of 3D printing (additive manufacturing). He believes it is one of the technologies that has been a real godsend to innovation as it allows designers and inventors to instantly test out ideas to see if they work, and to get real products to market without the normally high costs that can become a barrier to innovation. In 2012, Olaf started manufacturing a range of 3D printed guitars and basses that has developed into a successful little side-business (and gives Olaf the therapy he needs in allowing him to make things that are a blend of high-technology and traditional hand-crafting).

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