SPEAKER INTERVIEW – Dr Brent Stucker, ANSYS Inc

Please share how 3D Printing, in particular DfAM could improve quality of life in the future?

DfAM enables more efficient products, which reduce cost of operation, energy consumptions, and more. It also utilizes less material. As such DfAM creates systems which are more economical and energy efficient to operate. In addition, the geometric flexibility involved with DfAM enables artistic expression to be more fully realized in 3 dimensions. Art and architectural beauty add to quality of life in general. As such DfAM enables designs that are more suited to a high quality of life, including enhanced aesthetics, energy efficiency, cost, and capabilities.

 

Please share what your views are on the evolution and growth of Additive Manufacturing processes and materials to revolutionise manufacturing.

AM is already revolutionizing manufacturing across many industries, most notably in biomedical, dental, aerospace, and other industries where high-performance components are made in low volume. Each evolutionary improvement in AM processes and materials opens new applications where AM becomes more effective than traditional manufacturing. Although I don’t believe AM will ever replace traditional manufacturing processes for many applications, AM will make many traditional manufacturing applications obsolete.

 

How does DfAM helps in productivity and cost reduction with respect to your industry?

My industry is software. Our DfAM software helps every industry more rapidly in design and successfully build parts for AM.

 

What are different challenges startups and MNCs face in adopting Design for AM?

Today skilled operators and designers are needed to enable companies to successfully utilize AM. Startups have trouble competing with MNCs for talent since MNCs can afford to pay more for skilled operators and designers. But MNCs also operate on tight margins and thus have trouble justifying the high cost of skilled employees. As DfAM software (including generative design, topological optimization, build-setup, process simulation, etc.) matures, this software can significantly reduce the time it takes both startups and MNCs to achieve success with AM. It also makes organizations more resilient when skilled talent leaves, since the software can make up for the skills lost due to employee resignations.

 

What does Additive Manufacturing mean to you and to your business journey?

AM has been my professional career for more than 25 years. I’ve devoted my time and efforts to understanding AM and making the technologies more accessible to industry. ANSYS is relatively new to the AM industry. My role in ANSYS is to help it become the world-leader in AM software, enabling designers, machine operators, scientists, and engineers to see increased success with AM.

 

Please quote 1 successful application of DfAM.

I think a great successful application of DfAM is acetabular cups as orthopaedic implants. AM acetabular cups reduce the overall mass of the implant, enabling less invasive procedures and more effective integration with native tissues/bone. The combination of porous and solid regions made within a single part, for various body sizes and types of physical defects, shows how AM enables new solutions that make a difference in a large number of peoples’ lives.