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The 3D printing hobbyist: Additive manufacturing expert of the future

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​The meaning of ‘Industry 4.0’ can vary from business to business and from one industry to another. For the budding engineer, the term is synonymous with the exciting future of manufacturing and engineering.

In this blog, Jeff Lane, Recruitment Consultant at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, discusses how the 3D hobbyist could become an engineer of the future, a position supported by Ian Joesbury, CEO of Advanced Laser Technology.

The prospect to boost productivity, increase customisation and flexibility, achieve shortened lead times and localised manufacturing is driving significant advances in additive technology manufacturing. 

One such business, Advanced Laser Technology who are specialists in developing industrial laser applications for cleaning and blown powder additive, have developed innovative additive technology to produce metal printed parts up to 1m3. 

Ian Joesbury, CEO of Advanced Laser Technology explains: “The evolution of manufacturing technology is already having an impact on manufacturers. Metal 3D printing is allowing manufacturers to create designs that cannot be manufactured using traditional techniques and in the future will provide the opportunity to make certain complex parts more cost effectively than today.”

For many of our clients, such as Advanced Laser Technology it poses both opportunity and the unknown. Finding the right skills to support the development of innovative additive technology is becoming a challenge as new technologies require a new generation of skills, as Ian Joesbury continues to discuss:

“There are a limited number of qualified engineers to fill these positions, however, as 3D printing technology has become more widespread, it has allowed the 3D printing hobbyist accessibility. In fact, those candidates who can demonstrate their passion for engineering are often the most successful because they are enthusiastic about the technology and hungry to find out more.”

There is an opportunity for engineers of the future to gain a head start from their hobbies outside of the professional arena. Access to 3D printing technology has dramatically increased by virtue of basic 3D extrusion type printers lowering in price. For under £500 an enthusiast can purchase a kit form 3D printer or an off the shelf system and essentially begin their training from home.

The increasing access to 3D printing, is not only positive news for ambitious engineering or technology enthusiasts, but also a reminder the fast pace of change and the closing gap between concept and reality. It is also a reminder to candidates of the importance of their interests outside of their jobs.

For more information, contact Jeff Lane via email, telephone 101384 446108. 

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