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Sherry Handel: “Additive Manufacturing’s Sustainability Benefits Are Often Less Well-Understood”

Sherry Handel: “Additive Manufacturing’s Sustainability Benefits Are Often Less Well-Understood”
Sherry Handel [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

Sherry Handel is the Executive Director at the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), and our Women in 3D Printing Guest #266!

Nora Touré: Sherry, could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?

Sherry Handel: Prior to joining the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) as the organization’s first Executive Director, I had a good understanding of how rapid prototyping was being used extensively in the start-up space, and I had some knowledge about low-volume 3D printing. I also knew that the AM industry was scaling at double-digit growth annually. I felt that this would be an excellent opportunity to use my combined startup expertise, nonprofit experience, and business development skills to build this new industry trade group.

Several aspects about the AMGTA Executive Director role itself were attractive to me.

Building a nonprofit organization from scratch that provides benefits to its members in a fast-growing and disruptive industry was incredibly appealing to me.

Coupled with my keen interest and background in sustainability and corporate social responsibility – this opportunity really stood out. The icing on the cake was when I viewed the TEDx Talk on Green Manufacturing by Brian Neff, the CEO of Sintavia, and founder of the AMGTA. During his presentation, Brian shared a case study example of a redesigned and optimized turbine bracket for a commercial jet. He then extrapolated the weight savings of this additively manufactured bracket compared to a traditionally manufactured bracket, across an averaged sized jet fleet and analyzed the impact that the lightweighted bracket would have on the environment. Both the fuel savings and the reduction of CO2 emissions were significant.

This 10-minute video really had an impact on me. I knew that building an organization whose mission was to promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing would be important and inspirational work. During my initial interview for the position, I was well prepared and excited to discuss why I was the right person to lead the AMGTA.

Nora Touré: Could you actually tell us a bit more about the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) and the story behind it?

Sherry Handel: While the economic and technical superiority of additive manufacturing is well-known within key industries, its sustainability benefits are often less well-understood. For this reason, the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) was launched at Formnext 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany, with a mission to promote the environmental benefits of AM over traditional manufacturing.

The AMGTA is a global and unaffiliated nonprofit organization open to any additive manufacturer or industry stakeholder that meets certain criteria relating to sustainability of production or process.

As the Executive Director of the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), I am responsible for promoting the environmental benefits of AM over traditional manufacturing in the context of promoting the technology to our members and the public in general.

My role is to build and grow this new industry trade group worldwide and work with our member companies to take on the sustainability challenge in AM. It is exciting to see sustainability in AM gaining momentum as more companies strive to improve their eco-footprint. To help the AM industry advance sustainability we need solid, reliable sustainability data and metrics. I’m working with our Board of Directors to provide the AM industry with this much-needed research. Companies in the AM industry can support independent, rigorous, and ongoing research by joining the AMGTA in our mission to improve sustainability in additive manufacturing.

Our goal is to publish AMGTA’s research findings and share them with our members, industry, and the public as soon as each research project is completed. This published research will help spread the word about the positive environmental benefits of additive manufacturing, while also revealing areas that we as an industry need to improve upon.

Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing

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