NW Electronics Design
& Manufacturing Expo

Industry Chat with FATHOM’s Dylan Oliver

dylan oliver

The NEDME team is thrilled to have Dylan Oliver, the General Manager at FATHOM, as our keynote speaker for this year’s show. Mr. Oliver’s keynote, Factory of the Future: Merging Additive Manufacturing with Legacy Technologies, will focus on FATHOM’s core competency: 3D printing in manufacturing.

We had a chance to chat with Mr. Oliver in advance of the show, and he was kind enough to share some of his perspectives with us and the NEDME community.

Tell us about a change you see coming in the industry, and a way in which companies should be positioned to meet it.

Something I find very evident about additive technologies is that it isn’t going away and 3D printing will only get better. Enterprise level customers are seeing the value in a big way, many of which have been using the technology for decades. New software tools, ever improving computing power, and continually advancing technologies and materials will bring about rise in design that leverages the innate advantages of additive manufacturing because the main benefit will be the freedom of complexity. This is a unique feature of additive platforms in advanced manufacturing today. Typically, if a design is complicated, it will be much more expensive to make. When production is approached with additive manufacturing in mind, a whole new attitude about what is possible comes to be.

3D printing will only get better.

I feel the most disruptive changes will come from Generative Design, Biomimicry, and Microstructures; all of which exploit and optimize complexity to solve a problem through improved performance, reduced weight, minimized costs, and accelerated manufacturing lead-times. In order to take advantage of these new possibilities, companies need to learn when additive is appropriate and why, as well as how to identify where the biggest benefits can be gained by changing their own processes for one that is additive driven. These technologies truly complement the legacy manufacturing techniques of the past and should be recognized as another tool in the shed, a powerful one, at that.

What is one thing that you hope people will take away from your keynote?

I hope people will come away from the keynote feeling inspired. It is my aim that everyone will learn something new about the state of the industry and how today’s technologies are changing the way things are made. More than anything, I want to encourage all attendees to approach the future of additive manufacturing with an open and optimistic mindset. The future is very bright, but we need to stay grounded in reality when setting expectations. What “will be” is going to be exciting without a doubt, however, what we do have today is also very exciting because of the many ways the technologies are being are being adapted now.

As 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies increasingly influence designers and engineers across all industries, the way in which industry-leading companies approach product development changes significantly. 

We’d like to thank Dylan for speaking with us and invite you to hear more from him at NEDME 2015.