As the Additive Manufacturing industry continues to grow, more and more people are joining the market to be part of the digital manufacturing revolution. Among them, a few talented veterans have dedicated more than two decades of their lives to help shape the future of the industry, contributing their knowledge and experience in developing and selling innovative solutions.
One of them is Avi Cohen, who has worked for three well-known Israeli 3D printing companies before joining Massivit as VP Global Sales. I met Avi to hear his story, and get his perspective on the future of this exciting industry.
Could you share your previous experience in AM?
My career started in various management positions in bio-medical companies, with a 23-year association with the additive manufacturing sector beginning in 1999 when I joined Stratasys (formally Objet). I was at Stratasys for 16 years, and my most recent position was Director of Healthcare Sales and Marketing, focusing expertise on evangelizing about 3D printing technology, with a special focus on the medical and dental sectors.
I joined Nanofabrica after a 5-year stint as Vice President for Healthcare & Education at XJet Ltd - a position I took up after moving on from Stratasys in 2015. Working at the forefront of the digital manufacturing revolution, it has been inspiring to witness developments in the international 3D printing community and to be able to contribute in a valuable way.
What is your current work in the AM industry?
It has been my honor to work at the heart of the 3D printing sector for so long. At Massivit I will be leading the global sales and marketing efforts, using my knowledge of the entire business environment, and my understanding of the wants and needs of customers. As an industry veteran with over 23 years’ experience, I have spearheaded product innovation and driven customer adoption of 3D printing, and I feel that my experience and skills are perfectly synergistic with Massivit - one of the most innovative and forward-thinking players in the space.
The technology and people at Massivit immediately resonated with me. The team I am joining is characterized by a drive and passion to solve difficult challenges, a desire to listen to and learn from customers, and an absolute focus on enabling digital manufacturing of large-scale parts.
In my position at Massivit, I will be responsible for the leadership of the Massivit international sales team and for identifying new industries and customer applications in which the GDP and CIM technologies will bring additional value. For us, the customer always comes first, and the constant focus will be therefore on optimized and enhanced customer experience.
With the Massivit team at Formnext 2022. Image source – Massivit Ltd.
How do you see the evolution of the industry over the years?
3D printing is one of the most innovative developments in the manufacturing and engineering arenas in recent years. It has helped reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve on existing designs across many different industries, including the aerospace, automotive, and even the medical fields.
I would say that initially, 3D printing changed the speed, materials and functionality with which prototypes could be efficiently produced, leading to faster overall production, fewer prototyping iterations and lower overall costs. Looking into the future, 3D printing will be bigger and faster. 3D printing technologies are developing quickly. Rising demand for specialized materials to fulfil the required properties of end parts will continue to drive developments in the range and types of options available.
What are the ongoing challenges to global adoption of AM?
I believe that there are a few major challenges to global adoption of AM: Size limitations, quality and consistency, scalability limitations, a narrow range of materials, high material costs, and of course limited multi-material capabilities.
Lastly, an additional challenge is likely post-processing which is a major obstacle for AM.
The good news, however, is that the lack of expertise, awareness, and training in the workforce is almost behind us. We can see today extensive adoption of AM for prototyping, designing, and tooling - which is contributing to the growing demand from the industrial sector. So basically, AM has become popular quickly because it makes manufacturing accessible to more people than ever before.
At Massivit’s lab, examining parts for potential customers. Image source – 3D Alliances
What should the main focus be for manufacturers of 3D printers?
I'm a big believer in materials. Materials facilitate applications, new customers, innovation, new markets, increased sales, and respond to customer demands. We listen very closely to our customers and their needs, and we are committed to developing a greater range of materials for manufacturing and engineering needs, particularly materials that up until now could not be 3D-printed.