DEVELOP3D Live 2017 preview

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Every year our editorial team travels the world to see the latest design technology and hear how engineers, product designers and manufacturers continually refine their processes to innovate and improve our world.

Once a year, we have the opportunity to bring together the speakers, companies and technologies which have impressed us the most, at our free-to-attend event, DEVELOP3D LIVE which is taking place on Tuesday 28th March at Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick University.

This year we will be having four speaking rooms, featuring five focused tracks, with 38 speakers, over 70 exhibitors, all in 8 hours!


Click here to get your all day ticket for this unmissable event.
We look forward to welcoming you to DEVELOP3D LIVE at Warwick Arts Centre, CV4 7AL on Tuesday 28 March

DEVELOP3D LIVE has a lot going on simultaneously, so we strongly urge that you bring a team to get the most out of all the many talks and events that happen throughout the day.

When curating the event we always try and reflect the emerging trends that we see in the industry, the focus of development and the articles that are most read by our readers.


This year we see four key trends:

Virtual reality and augmented reality

As the games industry continues to drive graphics performance and lower the cost of GPUs, design software and workstation performance have benefitted greatly.

This has expanded into the emerging Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), as hardware developers create headsets for gamers, at relatively low consumer price points, designers can get the benefit too.

While most VR and AR is still about creating experiences, software firms are making early steps into applying these headsets in design and manufacturing environments to aid product definition, fabrication and servicing.

Visitors to DEVELOP3D LIVE will not only be able to hear many of our speakers explain how they have used these technologies in their product processes but the Mead Gallery will also feature a hands-on area so they can both see and touch the latest VR and AR wearables.

Additive manufacture

It seemed to take years to link 3D product modelling to making physical prototype parts.

The explosion of plastic 3D printing brought fabrication cheaply to the desktop. Again benefitting from the potential consumer market, prices of 3D printers are amazingly affordable and the capabilities of the more professional printers combined with new materials are now crossing the boundary from generating prototype parts on the desktop to functional, durable parts.

Companies like Hewlett Packard (HP) have come into the market and aim to target the replacement of traditional plastic injection moulded parts in cost and speed. And while its machines are decidedly huge today there are plans to shrink them down to something that would be happy in an office.

There are also many powerful desktop milling solutions in small form factors and with products like lower cost CAM on the market, CNC toolpath generation has never been so affordable.


While plastic has its place in the 3D printing world, printing in metals is now where it’s at. If you read the news on DEVELOP3D regularly you will hear of firms already printing spare parts in metal, with the aerospace industry regularly making moves to grab the lead in this area. GE, in particular, has been active in this space.

We do think 2017 is the year that printing in metal will go mainstream and already know of at least two or three desktop focused metal printers in development which are due out this year.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Prior to 2016 we saw glimmers of the application of AI to engineering, but 2017 will be the year that we see widely available functionality, specifically with Autodesk’s Dreamcatcher project.

Here, Autodesk’s cloud-based analysis and iterative optimisation can assist the designer to always meet the expected design environments for parts and assemblies, providing tens, hundreds or thousands of variants which meet the specified criteria.

This will lead to huge leaps in lightweight designs, saving in materials costs and some very funky aesthetics. When combined with new 3D printing technologies in metal, the computer will be for the first time actually aiding the design process, as opposed to just helping document it.

Register now

DEVELOP3D LIVE 2017 registration is now open. Tickets are free, so bring a team to get the best from all the simultaneous sessions. If you stay to the end there’s also a chance you might win some amazing goodies, like a laptop or a high-end graphics card.

Visit for all the latest information on the event including details of new speakers.

DEVELOP3D Live streams


DEVELOP3D LIVE offers the unique chance to see all the major developers at one venue. The mainstage this year will feature keynotes from SolidWorks, PTC, Autodesk, Siemens, Onshape, SolidThinking, looking at the latest developments and what’s coming. We will also have keynote customers and start-up firms.

Product design

Designers and engineers, talking to their peers about what they love the most, the process and technology used in product design. There will be a full day of Product Design talks, running both morning and afternoon. As usual we have asked speakers from a wide range of product design areas, from pet toys and motorbikes to JCB diggers and satellites.


Focusing on the continuing desktop fabrication revolution, we have speakers covering the very latest in high strength materials technology for 3D printers: ready to use composites, resins and metals. We will also explore the optimisation of topology to make better printed lattice parts.


With the nation looking towards innovation and manufacturing to drive exports in these troublesome times, we are going to celebrate those who have innovative new ideas and companies that can assist in providing funding and advice. Hear startup stories and see innovative new products from young designers.

Design viz

Always a popular track at DEVELOP3D LIVE and with the explosion of immersive headsets, this year we have located a new room to host a whole day of talks from design firms and technologists, covering concept sketching, rendering, photorealism, animation, materials, GPUs, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.


This year we have a fantastic line-up of speakers for you, which we’ll be revealing in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, and for those of you who have not attended DEVELOP3D LIVE before, you can get a taste of the event by watching many of the previous years’ presentations including Philip Norman of Ross Robotics (left) who was last year’s keynote speaker and shared the secrets of advanced robotics.

These videos can be viewed here


Each year, DEVELOP3D LIVE grows and this year is no exception. We have expanded the exhibition floor and have allowed dedicated spaces for more ‘hands-on’ technology demonstrations in the public spaces.

There will also be a number of major new exhibitors on the show floor and we welcome back our long-term supporters, sponsors and partners.

We look forward to welcoming you to DEVELOP3D LIVE at Warwick Arts Centre, CV4 7AL on Tuesday 28 March Exhibition opens at 8:00am Conference starts at 9:10am prompt Conference finishes at 5:15pm

A sneak peek at some of the treats we have in store

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