This July, leading researchers from the world of additive manufacturing will gather at Nottingham's Additive International Summit to share insights into the technologies that are shaping the future of the sector. Summit co-chairs - Professors Richard Hague and Chris Tuck - celebrate the welcome return of an event that is key for a sector which thrives on knowledge sharing.

After a two-year hiatus, for reasons we all know far too much about, starting on the 13th July this year, we will once again be hosting the 2-day Additive International Summit in Nottingham. As ever, Additive International brings together leading researchers and industrialists from across the world to gather in person, to share insights into the technologies and research that are shaping the future of Additive Manufacturing (AM).

The aim of the Additive International Summit has always been to bring to the audience the very latest in AM research and industrial implementation activity from across the globe

This marks a very welcome return for an event that has always been at the very heart of AM, which is a sector that both thrives on, and needs, collaboration and knowledge exchange due to its innate multi-disciplinarity. AM is only ever optimised for industrial implementation if advances in design, processes, materials, software, as well as supply chain implementation, are coupled. This results in a need for collaboration and dissemination of the latest findings in the field, across disciplines and sectors, as a key tool for making the most out of our disruptive technology. To bring the community together in the same physical space for the first time in over two years is long overdue.

And there is still so much to talk about and debate with Additive Manufacturing; though progress and exploitation of AM has continued unabated, with the disruptive potential it offers being well known, AM is far from being a done-deal, with much to discuss and debate on where it may be going in the future.

In many respects, AM can be considered as an “emerged” technology that has wide industry adoption, for example in customised hearing aids, orthopaedic implants and exciting aerospace applications, amongst significant other examples. However, this emergence is largely only true for what we could now term as “conventional AM”; i.e. single material systems with materials that are largely used for structural purposes. In most other respects, and other sectors, it is still very much an evolving technological area where the benefits of AM have not been realised, or indeed even solved yet at the research level. This is especially true when the AM approach is used for multi-material, multifunctional device manufacture, where we seek to exploit the added benefit gained by the combined printing of both structural and functional materials in tandem. This is an area that is still very much in its infancy and predominantly a research activity at institutions like our own at the University Nottingham, but which shows great promises for future applications that include 3D printed electronics, pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine sectors, amongst others.

This is where Additive International fits in.

The aim of the Additive International Summit has always been to bring to the audience the very latest in AM research and industrial implementation activity from across the globe. This ethos will continue again this year, where we are again curating a fantastic set of leading expert speakers to talk about their cutting-edge AM activity. There has been so much development in the additive field in the past couple of years, both in single and multiple materials, from a wide range of sectors that includes the usual suspects of healthcare and aerospace but has broadened into space, electrical machines, biology and many others. We are therefore excited to be welcoming you back to the conference and meeting with both old and new delegates so that we can once again bring to you the very latest in AM research and exploitation and to debate the future of the field.

Importantly, this will be an in-person only event; though it has of course been shown possible to have virtual, on-line events, we believe that it is imperative to be having this summit in-person in order to facilitate those valuable side-conversations, ad-hoc informal meetings and overall networking that bring with them new relationships, friendships and collaborations that simply aren’t possible on-line. We’re also delighted this year to be partnering with our friends at the Mark Allen Group (publishers of Manufacturing Management, the Engineer and Eureka!) who will be helping bring this year’s event to a larger audience than ever before.

We very much look forward to seeing you in July.

With speakers from Deutsche Bahn, the University of Texas and NASA on the 2022 agenda, this is a must-attend event for anyone interested in AM technologies. If you’d like to hear more from – and network with - AM leaders, visionaries and innovators, please join us in Nottingham at this year’s Additive International summit, 13-14th July. Visit https://www.additiveinternational.com/ for more details.