Meet Mark Haywood, 3D printing specialist for Scotland and the North of England
One of the most recent additions to the Laser Lines 3D printing team, Mark Haywood joined the business earlier this year, bringing with him 22 years of industry experience.
Having cut his 3D printing teeth at Sunderland University as a model maker, he progressed into a project management role before heading into the realm of sales. Here he talks about his experience.
3D printing as an industry was still in its relative infancy back when I started. The skills I acquired working for orthotics companies chimed with the requirements of early 3D printing, in particular the finishing techniques need to make models more aesthetically pleasing.
I started my industry career working with the SLS method of 3D printing, which was a new technology at the time and the only suitable method for working models. To see how quickly the industry, the technology and the customers have developed over the last couple of decades really has been amazing to watch.
How the industry has evolved
The biggest change in the industry has been just how accessible 3D printing solutions have become. In the early days, many technologies were too expensive for smaller organisations, making the systems the sole preserves of organisations with vast budgets. Happily, that is now very much a thing of the past, with effective solutions to suit businesses and budgets of all sizes, right from classroom level.
In my role as a product specialist, I deal with customers of all sizes and from all industries, some of whom have been involved with 3D printing for a long time, and some for whom it’s a new addition to their business. It is customers who have really driven the 3D printing industry forward, pushing the technology developers to create solutions to meet their specific needs.
A few years back, we were in the situation where customers sometimes had unrealistic expectations of what 3D printing was capable of. Now, the industry has moved on so much, with such a wide choice of applications, materials and solutions, we are in the enviable position of being able to offer customers much more than they previously thought 3D printing to be capable of.
The Laser Lines difference
Customer choice is one of the reasons that ensures Laser Lines stands out from the competition. We offer one of the widest portfolio of solutions available on the market today, as well as our in-house bureau service, all underpinned by years of experience in the industry.
We are able to encourage our customers to look beyond what they perceive to be the boundaries of 3D printing technology, exploring new ways of working and new applications, adding real value to their operations.
With 2018 just around the corner, I see no sign of the industry slowing at all. Everything points to more companies bringing 3D printing technology on board. Material developments will continue, with an increase in more accessible metal materials in particular.
It’s great to see so much momentum in the industry at the moment, with rapid advances in quality as well as speed, not to mention the ever-increasing use of 3D printing technologies for short-run manufacturing, opening up the technology to new customers all the time.
I have always been excited by all that the industry has to offer and the developments that are still to come mean that it will continue to be a dynamic industry for the foreseeable future.