AMGTA Member Spotlight #17: Aleksander Ciszek, 3YOURMIND

October 19, 2023

Aleksander Ciszek, 3YOURMIND

Aleksander Ciszek is fascinated by the future of Production and Supply Chain. He is the CEO and co-founder of 3YOURMIND, which enables On-Demand Manufacturing. As the industrial world is profoundly changing, Aleksander is working with forward-looking manufacturing leaders and innovation-driven energy, transportation, and defense companies committed to adapting their operating models for more flexibility and sustainability. Aleksander is one of the Global Innovators at the World Economic Forum.

Aleksander Ciszek 

Sustainability and manufacturing are not two words that often go hand in hand, but members of AMGTA are committed to integrating more sustainable practices into the manufacturing sector via additive technology. The shifting paradigm from conventional manufacturing methods like CNC machining and injection molding allows additive to enhance the next era of the industry by knitting sustainability frameworks into its early operations.

But why is this shift happening?

Decades of globalization expanded supply chains to every corner of the world in pursuit of low costs and high margins. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the frailty of this system as the global economy ground to a halt, impacting already fragile supply chains. As industries and national economies look to fortify their supply chains by reshoring manufacturing, additive manufacturing (AM) offers two critical selling points: faster uptime and parts produced closer to their end-use. It’s at this juncture that sustainability enters the conversation.

There are several ways to approach sustainability frameworks for AM, but it’s critical to consider additive’s business case opportunities before exploring its sustainability potential. Without a strong business case to increase AM adoption, sustainability efforts will flounder.

Aleksander Ciszek, CEO and co-founder of 3YOURMIND, a software platform that empowers enterprise organizations to quickly assess thousands of 2D and 3D files for AM printability, says that spare parts are essential to the business case equation.

“Additive manufacturing is much more flexible in terms of production setup time, so spare parts can be produced very quickly compared to conventionally manufactured parts,” says Ciszek.

Spare parts also make a strong use case for additive because they’re typically suitable for low-volume production parts, which is the sweet spot for AM’s unit economics. AM’s material flexibility allows parts to be produced with more, and sometimes stronger, material options.

“Using additive manufacturing to produce spare parts equips organizations with the capability to transform their approach to warehousing and overstock parts,” says Ciszek. “Additive manufacturing enables a whole new system of managing parts because instead of keeping those parts in stock, companies can create digital inventories to produce on-demand using AM.”

For the industry, this creates a win-win scenario.

“Not only does this reduce warehousing and shipping costs considerably, it immediately lessens the negative impact on the environment,” says Ciszek.

Producing parts on-demand via AM has sustainability implications deserving of more research. For example, some areas worth investigating are whether the energy savings from producing fewer parts and maintaining lower stock parts are quantifiable, and if so, are the savings justifiable through a sustainability lens?

This level of research, however, often requires collaboration from multiple experts across various locations of the AM value chain.

In addition to 3YOURMIND’s participation in AMGTA, the software company is currently involved in a research project commissioned by the German government to explore sustainable product development for high-temperature applications, focusing on gas turbines.

The research project, which recently launched phase two of its five-year timeline, examines how sustainability frameworks can be implemented across the entire product development lifecycle. The research project considers several factors, including energy utilized in procuring materials, the component build, post-processing, and human and robotic labor. 3YOURMIND, in its role among partners like Siemens Energy, Fraunhofer-Gesselschaft, and the Technical University of

Berlin, is investigating software’s role in supporting and accelerating sustainable product lifecycles. As part of the research project, 3YOURMIND provides part identification for metal end-part production, focusing on powder bed fusion and wire-arc 3D printing advantages. As a result, 3YOURMIND will be central to creating industry standards for sustainable part-assessment and qualification.

Although the sustainability implications in AM may seem clear, Ciszek admits they’re not always easily proven.

“We do not know yet under what circumstances that AM is more sustainable than other production technologies,” cautions Ciszek.

However, the commitment of dozens of additive organizations in AMGTA to advocate for more sustainable manufacturing practices is certainly a starting point.

To avoid ‘greenwashing’ the industry before sustainability methods have been proven, Ciszek says AMGTA can have a powerful influence by setting an early precedent in additive manufacturing in around the world.

“AMGTA can lead the industry in two critical ways,” says Ciszek. “First, it can create a framework for measuring the impact of sustainability. And second, AMGTA can accelerate the work to create sustainable AM solutions by ensuring knowledge is shared in the community.”

The claims and views expressed in this Member Spotlight Interview are not necessarily those of the AMGTA, its staff, its Board of Directors, or member organizations. The AMGTA is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any information or claims provided as part of this Member Spotlight Interview and shall not be responsible for any decisions made based on such information.

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