MTAdditive logo

Designing the Future: Open Source Tools and Additive Manufacturing

January 19, 2016 | Category: Applications

While additive manufacturing’s impact is undeniable, open source design tools will be even more essential to the future of the manufacturing industry.

Designing the Future: Open Source Tools and Additive Manufacturing

Combining the power of open source design tools with the flexibility of additive manufacturing will lead to the widespread availability of customized final production parts.

In fact, according to industry veteran Mike Siemer, open source design tools will define the future even more than additive manufacturing tools.

As the Director of Design and Engineering at Noble, Siemer is actively involved in the design and production of training devices for the pharmaceutical industry using additive manufacturing. His experience in the additive manufacturing industry spans more than 20 years and includes prototyping, rapid tooling and custom design. Following his presentation at the Additive Manufacturing Conference, Siemer joined IMTSTV to discuss the future of the industry.

Siemer touched on the primary challenges that the additive manufacturing industry faces as it works toward more widespread integration. First, there are major software challenges. Siemer noted that it is widely accepted that additive manufacturing tools have exceeded software tools for design. Second, Seimer highlighted the hardware challenges in the industry, focusing on the ongoing race to create technologies that can address cost, quality and speed concerns.

While the industry faces challenges, it is also ripe with opportunities, particularly in the area of open source product creation, which Seimer describes as the future. From shoes to jewelry, sunglasses to art, open source design tools will allow consumers to be involved in the creation of customized products. He noted that the real power of these open source design tools is that they are able to meet multiple user needs and inputs. For instance, the tools allow customers to select product aesthetics, while certain parameters remain set so that that safety and regulatory needs are also met.

To stay current on the industrial additive manufacturing industry, visit for news and updates. Plan to attend the Additive Manufacturing Conference at IMTS 2016, where exciting developments will be unveiled.

Watch more IMTSTV interviews with industry experts and get a glimpse into what’s coming to IMTS 2016.