Materialise launches Mindware – a specialist 3D printing advisory service for businesses

AM software provider Materialise has just launched its new 3D printing advisory service – Mindware. The premium service is designed to offer businesses tailored, technology-neutral advice and insight regarding the implementation of 3D printing. By addressing the many business challenges associated with this, clients will be able to more intelligently formulate a manufacturing strategy and move forward with AM as the latest addition to their toolkit. Mindware was introduced on the 20th of May in a live webinar by Bart Van der Schueren, CTO at Materialise.

Bart Van der Schueren, CTO, Materialise. Photo via Materialise.
Bart Van der Schueren, CTO, Materialise. Photo via Materialise.

The benefits of 3D printing

The implementation of additive manufacturing offers organizations a more sustainable route to production, reducing some of the costs that may arise from operational inefficiencies. Manufacturing can be carried out on-demand, and numerous iterations of a product can be made by giving an engineer access to some basic CAD software. AM is also known to bring innovative products to market in a short space of time, allowing bespoke parts to be fabricated without the need for a whole production line.

A survey conducted by Materialise last year brought to light an interesting figure. Nearly 50% of manufacturers surveyed expect the use of industrial AM to double in the next five years but a more-than-significant 41% perceive the lack of technical expertise as a major barrier. It is therefore a common opinion that this need for a reliable source of ‘know-how’ is one of the major factors inhibiting the widespread adoption of AM.

Van der Schueren states: “3D printing offers unique opportunities for businesses looking to gain or maintain a competitive edge, while keeping investment risk low. It is critical however, to tap into a source that is both knowledgeable and unbiased. 3D printing covers a range of technologies which are each ideally suited to varying applications, and neutrality is key in ensuring that the right technologies are chosen in each context.”

Materialise 3D printing lab. Photo via Materialise.
Materialise 3D printing lab. Photo via Materialise.

Passing on expertise

As a long time provider of services and software related to 3D printing, Materialise houses a great number of experienced AM experts among its 2000 employees. Clients will have access to the insights of specialists in a range of departments including R&D, design & engineering, and process engineering. On top of this, specialists from dedicated verticals such as aerospace and medical will be available for consultation.

Van der Schueren concludes: “We have spent the past three decades working out how to make 3D printing efficient, reliable, meaningful, and scalable. Now, we’re sharing our know-how and capabilities to assist businesses. Hardware and software are critical ingredients, but nothing substitutes the right know-how. Unbiased advisory is in the Materialise DNA, and I believe where we can really make a difference for our customers is with Mindware.”

There are a great number of educational and advisory resources available for those that would like to learn about 3D printing and as Materialise is demonstrating, this does not need to be limited to a formal university lecture. In the Netherlands, 3D printing e-learning company Addmio has launched its first educational course – 3D Printing for Entrepreneurs. The course is entirely web-based and aims to condense five years of industrial experience into three intensive days. Elsewhere, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published a series of posters regarding 3D printing material safety for the workplace and at home. The posters cover metal powder handling and safe FDM operation in enclosed spaces.

The nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. Who do you think should make the shortlists for this year’s show? Have your say now. 

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Featured image shows Materialise 3D printing lab. Photo via Materialise.