Nicole Clement – “Rapid Prototyping Is Clearly Still The Core Application Of 3D Printing”
Nicole Clement is Vice President of Global Marketing and Demand Generation for 3D Systems.
Nicole began her role at 3D Systems in May of 2017 and has been working in the 3D printing industry since 2015. She has a wealth of experience, based on over 20 years operating in international marketing communications, product marketing, product and service development, sales and business development roles.
Nora Toure: Nicole, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Nicole Clement: I am the daughter of a mold and toolmaker and I grew up understanding CAD and the limitations of subtractive manufacturing. These challenges were further magnified having worked for many years in manufacturing industries like automotive, electronics and medical devices.
My father always dreamt of the next generation of tool-less manufacturing and he inspired me to work in 3D printing. So when I was asked by a former colleague to join a 3D printing company after seven years in a rather mature industry such as access control, I did not hesitate.
My first experience with 3D printing was at Euromold 2014 even before I joined the industry and I was very impressed by what was already possible back then. In particular, I was drawn to 3D printed prosthetics as we were looking for a suitable 3D printed prosthesis for one of my family members at that time.
Nora Toure: You are the Vice President of Global Marketing and Demand Generation for 3D Systems. How does a company as large as 3D Systems see the current changes in our industry, in terms of applications, users and newer technologies?
Nicole Clement: Change is constant in this industry and you have to be flexible to be part of it. Providing new technologies is only part of the success formula. To be successful, companies must possess a deep understanding of manufacturing processes and related data management as well as employ experienced material scientists to develop the right materials for additive applications.
It is good to see that many companies now understand that market growth requires more than just great technology. It also takes time to listen to customers, understanding the industries and their applications that are likely to be good candidates for additive manufacturing.
Beyond what I mentioned before it also requires investment in engineering education, starting from design for additive, to material properties to workflow processes, application development, and outcome inspection & quality control. Over the past four years, the industry has certainly grown up and users have become more aware of additive manufacturing, its possibilities, and its limitations.
CEOs and CTOs seem to be more educated, putting additive departments in place and developing a more realistic view of how their businesses can benefit from additive manufacturing. While rapid prototyping is clearly still the core application of 3D printing, more and more companies are willing and looking to integrate additive into their manufacturing lines. The constantly growing metal 3D printing technology sector is reflecting this.
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