"It is imperative to make sustainability a non-negotiable aspect in the development and implementation of technologies"

Melanie-DespeisseHello, Mélanie Despeisse, Associate Professor in Sustainable Digitalized Production at Chalmers University of Technology, and speaker at the Additive Intelligence 4.0 conference in March.

You are part of a panel discussion on the topic: “Additive manufacturing contributes to sustainability – myth or reality?” How will you tackle the subject?

“I will talk about how additive manufacturing could be a powerful driver for circular and eco-efficient manufacturing. Right now, we cannot afford to have any technologies that do not contribute to sustainable development, and I strongly believe that additive manufacturing is especially well positioned to propel us in a sustainable direction. But it’s not going to happen by default.”

What do you hope to convey to the audience?

“The fact that we need to be very intentional, very purposeful, in how we design, develop, and implement technologies. And systematically check that these processes align with sustainability principles. Failure to do so is likely to result in undesirable or unintended consequences that are often unsustainable. For me, it is imperative to make sustainability a non-negotiable aspect in the development and implementation of technologies. If a technology does not contribute to sustainability, we need to revisit the drawing board, as there is a design flaw somewhere that needs addressing.”

In your opinion, what are the potential long-term benefits of additive manufacturing?

“I believe there’s potential for additive manufacturing to become a mainstream business practice for very eco-efficient and circular manufacturing, precisely where and when it’s needed. This shift could significantly contribute to more sustainable consumption patterns. While our focus is on production, it’s important to recognize that how we produce things also influences how we consume them.”

You are of course also a conference attendee, is there any session that you are particularly excited about?

“I am really curious about the session focusing on simulation and artificial intelligence, particularly as I’m not directly involved in AI-related work. I’m intrigued by the potential impact these elements can have on advancing the sustainability of additive manufacturing. While I have colleagues who specialize in machine learning for applications such as smart maintenance or predictive modelling, I haven’t seen it as much applied in the context of eco-efficient additive manufacturing. Consequently, I’m eager to understand how these innovative technologies can enhance and complement the existing capabilities of additive manufacturing for environmental sustainability.”

Don’t miss “Additive manufacturing contributes to sustainability – myth or reality?” at 14:00 and “Simulation and AI supporting design and processing in additive manufacturing” at 11:20 on March 13.

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