Alex Kingsbury: "It Took A Lot Of Courage To Leave A Great Job And Venture Into The Unknown"
Alex Kingsbury is an engineer who consults to businesses on metal additive manufacturing, providing expert technical advice, business analysis, and commercialization strategy for businesses both locally and overseas.
Formerly the Director of ‘Lab22’ at CSIRO – a metal additive manufacturing center for industry access and research and development, Alex has experience in electron beam, laser, binder jetting and kinetic deposition additive technologies. She has worked more broadly in metal technologies including additive manufacturing since 2011, and understands what it means to meaningfully connect industry to research and development activity.
Together with AMTIL, a manufacturing association, Alex established a national industry network called the Additive Manufacturing Hub, a body representing the interests and concerns of additive manufacturing businesses in Australia. Alex graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) in 2007 with 1st Class Honours.
Nora Toure: Alex, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Alex Kingsbury: My 3D printing journey started in metal powders. I was working at CSIRO with a team commercializing a novel metal powder process, and John Barnes who was at CSIRO at the time had the foresight and vision to bring an Arcam machine into the country – the first in the Southern hemisphere! (this claim is made a lot in Australia). Making metal powders from ore and then processing them with electron-beam technology was a story really made sense, John called it “ore to more”.
Nora Toure: What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Alex Kingsbury: The first time I got to see a metal printer and see the parts it made was when the Arcam machine arrived in 2011. Before that, it was anything on National Geographic or the usual science shows, but nothing in person that I can recall.
Nora Toure: Could you explain furthermore what Additive Economics is and the services that you are providing?
Alex Kingsbury: Additive Economics is my business, I provide consulting services in metal AM around business strategy, commercialization, intellectual property, and market analysis. I have worked with many different sizes of companies at differing stages so there is no ‘typical’ client, but generally speaking, I work with executive teams and as a technical advisor to a company board.
Nora Toure: You worked on the Lab 22 project. Can you tell us more about it?
Alex Kingsbury: Lab22 is an AM center hosted by CSIRO, which is a research institute in Australia. The center had a dual purpose – to conduct world-leading research and provide training and support to local businesses looking to adopt AM technologies. It grew very quickly into a multi-function space as we started to take over more of the building!
We provided co-working space, co-locating space for companies with equipment, testing facilities, post-processing capability, and a networking and seminar space. We then branched out and set up a satellite in Sydney, so it just grew and grew!
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