3D Printing Industry caught up with Rich Stump, FATHOM Co-Founder and Principal for an insight into the company’s experience at CES 2017 and where the market is heading this year.
Since 2008, FATHOM have offered 3D printing services and with the receipt of their first Nano Dimension DragonFly 2020 machine will be able to offer expanded prototyping services to customers who require printed circuit boards (PCBs).
What were your impressions of CES 2017, and did you see anything particularly interesting?
The buzz at CES each year is exhilarating and motivating. As an advanced manufacturer, FATHOM works with companies large and small to bring innovative products to life, so it’s inspiring to see all these engaging ideas, companies, products, and people in one space.
There are so many awesome products being showcased at the conference this year. Collectively, we are in a very exciting time in product development—access to new technologies has never been easier. This lowered barrier of entry drives faster innovation cycles, and enhances the ability for companies to bring better functioning products to the end consumer, faster. That’s where Nano Dimension, FATHOM, and PCB 3D printing come in.
What are your predictions for 3D printing in 2017?
The industry will keep gaining momentum as we see more and more manufacturers adopt 3D printing technology. According to Gartner, 3D printer shipments more than doubled in 2016 compared to 2015, and are projected to continue that rate of growth. With increased investments, new technology platforms, and newly developed materials, we foresee 2017 to be a very strong year for industrial 3D printing.
I think we will also see more and more manufacturers and companies adopting direct digital manufacturing strategies. With DDM, companies can be more agile in their development and drive customer-centric products much faster. Without the need to invest in tooling, costs are lowered and development timelines decreased. DDM opens up new use cases and applications for 3D printing that reach consumers and industry alike.
How is the collaboration with Nano Dimension progressing?
As the first recipient of the Nano Dimension DragonFly 2020 3D Printer in North America, FATHOM is proud to lead the way in adopting and using this paradigm-shifting technology.
Our partnership will continue to develop, with FATHOM helping Nano Dimension to introduce the technology into the US market. FATHOM is excited to extend our unique capabilities and expertise to another aspect of product development. We typically see delays in development cycles due to the traditional rigidity of electronics design. This PCB 3D printing technology will allow mechanical, electrical and software engineers the ability to iterate and test a wider range of concepts very quickly, earlier in the development cycle.
The ability to match mechanical designs with electrical designs and new materials in the prototyping stage will be highly impactful to the market. We see PCB 3D printing following the same trend as conventional 3D printing did, maturing from strictly prototyping eventually into production. FATHOM is thrilled to play a big part in this journey.
Featured image shows Nano Dimension and FATHOM at CES 2017. Photo via @studiofathom on Twitter.