3D printing makes it possible to revolutionise the manufacturing industry – Interview with Stefan Rink, Shapeways

Interview Stefan Rink

3D printing makes it possible to revolutionise the manufacturing industry – Interview Stefan Rink, Shapeways

Turning today’s content into tomorrow’s products

Shapeways factories focus on scalability of the 3D printing ecosystem that enables people to create the final products they want. “With 10 million orders under our belt, Shapeways is at the forefront of leveraging the new ways consumers want to use 3D printing, moving away from individual parts and towards complete, finished products,” tells Stefan Rink, vice president of Shapeways. “We enable the hobbyists of today to become the business of tomorrow.”

As vice president at Shapeways and partner at Past2 QRM Consultancy, Stefan Rink has 25 years of executive experience in building construction, IT, solar and 3D-printing. Being an expert in Quick Response Manufacturing, Stefan globally accelerated Shapeways high mix, high volume production, resulting in the shortest lead times in the industry.

Shapeways is a creative community of makers, designers, and entrepreneurs using digital manufacturing (3D printing) to bring their ideas to the physical world. Designers can use Shapeways to manufacture products with complex designs in over 60 different high-quality materials and finishes—enabling people to expand their possibilities as makers. The Shapeways marketplace allows the creative community to explore entrepreneurship and inspire others to do the same. It’s also a treasure trove for discerning shoppers that value supporting independent designers.

3D print your complete mobile phone to your requirements

“3D printing makes it possible to revolutionise the manufacturing industry. In about 20 years you will not buy a new mobile phone, but you will have one 3D printed exactly to your personal requirements. You can personalise how they are made and by whom they are made, so you will have an unique product,” says Rink about the the future of manufacturing. The mobile phone is a product composed of many parts and different materials, something which can now be printed and produced at a low rate. But some ten years ago it was only possible to 3D print in one material, and the possibilities continue to grow. Also in ten years time, scale various developments took place as the dimensions of the products grew a billionfold, from one cubic mm to a cubic meter. But also the public can buy themselves desktop 3D printers, but they are very limited in possibilities. “Our added value over the home 3D printing is that we are cheaper and faster, offer lots of details, not limited to small dimensions and we can print in many materials, which is very difficult for a home printer,” tells Rink. Shapeways has many different printers in their factories from various manufacturers like HP and EOSso as to be able to serve the customers. The 3D printing industry is continuously improving and expanding the technology to enable the creation of new materials.

Sending bits and bytes around the world

“3D printing is now preparing to make the logistics of manufacturing far easier. By sending the necessary bits and bytes for a part to a customer with a broken part, it can be replaced in the shortest possible time. You do not need to send the parts around the world anymore, which has many advantages,” according to Rink. “Our future aim is to bring the people of the communities together, give the public a choice out of all the possibilities of Shapeways and take care of the shortest possible logistics to satisfy the customer. Sending the bits and bytes around the world is going to play a big role.”

The interview was made by Jakajima, the organiser of the conference. For more interviews with speakers at Jakajima conferences, we invite you to visit Jakajima’s website.

Stefan Rink, Shapeways, will speak at the 3D Printing Content Conference [https://www.3dcontentconference.com/], on October 4, 2017, at B.Amsterdam. It is a half-day conference (13.00 to 18.00) about the creation of 3D Printing content – design and 3D modelling software, distribution of content, 3D printing content as part of merchandising (gaming industry), 3D printing & Industry 4.0. Speakers from Shapeways, 3D Hubs, FabZat, MyMiniFactory, White Lioness technologies, New State Of Matter / Endless Objects will be there to talk about these topics.