Angus Fitzpatrick

Angus Fitzpatrick, Program Manager

Additive manufacturing is something that I have worked with since I finished my undergrad, and since then I haven’t turned back. Why did I do this? Because I believe it is something that is going to be a big part of manufacturing in the future. It has been around in sci-fi movies for a long time, and who doesn’t want to be able to make anything with the press of a button? It isn’t there yet, but hopefully in my time it will be.

Before coming to FPC I was working in Australia in a mix of industries, from wine making to medical technology, and the one thing that was a common thread, was additive manufacturing. From developing medical products and taking them to market in weeks instead of months, to building replacement parts for production lines. It enables a speed of progress in a way that no other production method presents. It doesn’t have a huge infrastructure, where you lose all flexibility.

A big part of my research back home was building a system to replace current methods of support systems, regarding subjects like casts and splints. This was based around three core concepts: 3D scanning, automated design, and 3D printing (additive manufacturing). I said yes to dropping everything and moving to the other side of the world because I felt that the rate of industrial uptake in Europe, and in particular the Netherlands, seems to be a lot faster than in Australia. Here I get to work closely with the machine manufacturers in getting the best out of their machines and implement optimal models into industries to make sure they get the best results for their applications.

FPC, and the larger Fraunhofer group is focused on applied research. The kind of research that has deliverable, industrial output. Because of this, my focus has shifted from just medical and product development applications to additive manufacturing in general.  I really look forward to growing with FPC, with the uptake of industrial additive manufacturing, and seeing it become what it has the potential to be.