Confronting the Reality of 3D Printing in 2-Day Intensive Boot Camp

At GIGTANK this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Graham Bredemeyer, a 3D printing expert working with the accelerator’s teams to boost their 3D printing skills. Specifically, he helped 3D printed shoe manufacturer Feetz to develop a 3D printing assembly line.  The man’s skills are in high demand, which has led him to leave his position at Shapeways (all on good terms, with plans of contract work in the future) in order to devote all of his time to his 3D printing consultation business, Reality AM Partners, which Graham started with fellow additive manufacturing expert, Doug Speight.  To bring their knowledge of the industry to others, the consulting firm is now ready to launch its first ever Reality AM Boot Camp, a two-day intensive workshop on the realities of 3D printing and how managers and engineers can effectively integrate the technology into their existing businesses.

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As 3D printing is still quite new to a good number of businesses, there may be issues that present themselves in trying to adequately implement the technology to its fullest advantage.  How to design for 3D printing, which AM processes to use, and when the technology is more effective than traditional manufacturing methods are just some of the many issues that managers and engineers are faced with in approaching 3D printing. As Graham puts it, “Every time Terry [Wohlers] and I have a conversation, we come back to the same underlying problem…and that’s education in this space. Good, accurate, practical education on when and how to use this technology and the processes surrounding it. Information that isn’t skewed by someone’s need to sell machines, that’s what I’m hoping to deliver.” 

Graham’s partner Doug Speight, who served as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at GIGTANK and has five years of experience with the Additive Manufacturing research team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, contributed, “A lot of bad information is perpetuated in the media based on the hopes and dreams of this technology, and people are buying and being sold to on that rather than the realities of using the tech today. Business have to make financial sense of this decision and know when it’s practical or impractical to use this tech. We’re here to do that.”

For that reason, Reality AM Boot Camp will get straight into the nitty-gritty of the technology.  Hosted in beautiful Chattanooga (a town so idyllic that my wife and I briefly considered moving there), Graham describes the Boot Camp as more of a class than a traditional 3D printing expo:

The boot camp will be formatted like a class in many ways, not like an industry event. There will be no display hall, no vendors, this event is about getting up to speed on the realities of when to use this tech, how to use this tech, and what that looks like. The event is also very limited in scale. We are only going to allow 30 people max into the boot camp for this first round. We want this to be very much like a class, where it can still be personable. We do expect some people will travel in from out of town for the event. 

To attend the event – which will last from 9 am to 6 pm, February 16th and 17th – you can visit the Boot Camp’s Eventbrite page. It may be worth attending, as Graham has even impressed industry-leading analyst Terry Wohlers with his skills.  Wohlers says, “The guy is personable and very sharp. And, he has good ideas and knowledge associated with design and modeling for 3D printing, as well as managing and streamlining the process. Good guy to have around!” And of the event, the consultant adds, “The two-day boot camp sounds interesting and the outline looks good. I’m excited to see how it turns out.”

If the event fills up, demand may drive the firm to open up further boot camps.  And, if you will be unable to make it, there’s always the possibility of contacting Reality AM Partners for private consultations or to host private boot camps for your specific team or businesses via [email protected].