"If we can get 3D printing to a level whereby it is combined with and utilized as any other scaled manufacturing technology on the factory floor, then we’ve really done our job"
We sat down with Joseph Crabtree of Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) to talk about the partnership between AMT and HILOS, the problems this collaboration is aiming to solve, and how environmental sustainability is the lens through which everything is viewed.
To read our previous interview with Francois Minec of BASF Forward AM, click here.
What is AMT’s vision for the future of how we make things? What problems are you most focused on solving?
JOSEPH CRABTREE: I really think that for the next three years, the focus in 3D printing must be on manufacturing. We have gone through various hype cycles. And I think if we can get to the point where 3D printing is not a novelty anymore, then we have succeeded. If we can get 3D printing to a level whereby it is combined with and utilized as any other scaled manufacturing technology on the factory floor, then we’ve really done our job
One of the biggest challenges still is education. Five years ago, when we started, no one knew about post processing, it was an afterthought. But now, it has become a topic of debate and it is in people’s consciousness which is great. TThere are still people coming into 3D printing assuming it is as simple as just adding material to a printer, which is obviously not true. There is definitely an element of education which is required in terms of helping the market and the general populace understand.
How does environmental sustainability shape this work?
JC: Environmental sustainability is at the core of the work done by HILOS. This company is based upon the premise of developing alternatives to traditional, and far more wasteful methods of production. This case study examines in-depth statics comparing the production method of HILOS versus other luxury footwear brands. The findings of this study are remarkable in terms of the reduction in waste and thus demonstrate the ability for brands to factor 3D printing and post processing into their production process with the goal of sustainability.
Why does a partnership with HILOS make sense for AMT?
JC: AMT and HILOS share a goal which is to evolve the way we mass-produce products. This partnership is working to propel the manufacturing industry forward by discovering sustainable ways to create end-use products. AMT appreciates the partnership with HILOS as it has introduced us to how our systems can be implemented in the production of sustainable products. AMT admires HILOS's dedication to conducting research that validates their production process, which is an ideal that our companies share. Partnering with companies that back their mission with research is a constant goal of AMT, and this commonality between our companies is precisely what makes this partnership successful.
What does this kind of collaboration help accelerate?
JC: Collaborating with a company like HILOS has accelerated AMT’s part in the efforts toward creating a more sustainable future. We have now demonstrated our ability to aid in the movement toward sustainability, which is a mark missed by many industries including manufacturing. Here at AMT, our partnership with HILOS using our post processing solutions has opened our eyes to the work that can be done by the additive community to incorporate more initiatives that promote sustainability.
What’s next for the partnership?
JC: The next stage of AMT and HILOS partnership is the acceleration of production. AMT’s PostPro 3D and PostPro DP PRO contributed to their rapid growth plan, and since then HILOS has scaled throughput to adopt AMT’s suite of industrial systems, the PostPro DP MAX and PostPro SF 100.
The opportunities for this partnership are endless seeing the progress we’ve made together thus far. AMT is grateful HILOS entrusted us to partner with them on the production of their sustainable footwear and look forward to creating a more sustainable future together.