DEVELOP3D LIVE 2017 // Preview

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Technology for digital design and fabrication has never developed as rapidly as it has in the last five years.

The tools available now enable concept to finished usable part on the desktop. We have seen 3D printing and desktop fabrication go from being an overhyped fad to being an essential and affordable tool for most designers and, similarly, Virtual Reality has gone from science fiction to consumer product.

We have come a long way from drawing boards and slide rules, to becoming a veritable army of Tony Starks.

With this in mind, our plans are almost complete for this year’s DEVELOP3D LIVE on Tuesday 28 March at Warwick Arts Centre at Warwick University.

We have a full day of talks from leading designers and technologists and an exhibition featuring all the latest design tools, with plenty of hands on.

As a reader, we invite you to register for our free conference. Come and spend a day with us celebrating innovation in design.


This year’s DEVELOP3D LIVE line-up is our most ambitious, with more speakers than we have ever had before bringing design and technical knowledge from all aspects of the design world.


We have four simultaneous streams with speakers covering many topics: Aerospace, Automotive, Sports, Motorsport, 3D Printing, Materials. Scanning, Toys, Funding, Modelling, Analysis, Concept Design, Rendering, Training, Workstations and designing in VR/AR plus many more.


Our conference area is now maxed out with the latest and greatest design and fabrication technology, together with the fastest workstation hardware on the planet.

All the major software and hardware players will be represented, showing the latest releases.

We also have a dedicated space for VR hands on in a zoned area in the Mead Gallery, exploring engineering uses of this now highly affordable technology.

Get your questions answered

An additional benefit which DEVELOP3D LIVE provides is the opportunity to get answers to any of your design oriented problems answered.

The conference provides a reason for many in the industry to come and gather, meaning there will be many modelling, process and manufacturing experts on hand to give technical advice, or connect you with the right person to solve any burning issues.

It’s worth contacting firms you wish to see in advance to set up meetings.

Mainstage keynote speaker

We are honoured to have Alister Whelan, the Creative Director of Jaguar Interiors as a keynote speaker.

Originally he studied transport design at Coventry University and got a job designing car exteriors at Audi in Germany after graduating. He then joined Jaguar and has been working with the company for over 16 years.

Whelan was the creative force behind the interior of the new Jaguar I-PACE Concept five seater sports car, a car set to go into production in 2018. One key aspect of the interior is the combination of classic and new materials combined with a new ‘flightdeck’ approach to the cockpit, featuring three screens — two touchscreens in the centre console and a virtual instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

The I-PACE Concept is the first Jaguar to usher in a new interior design language and we look forward to hearing from Alister on Jaguar’s approach to design thinking.

Other mainstage speakers

We have keynotes from the leading CAD vendors: Autodesk, SolidWorks, PTC, Siemens, SolidThinking, Onshape, showing what’s coming next, from Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Optimising products for fabrication to Designing for the Internet of Things.

Tim Burnhope of JCB will be discussing the design process behind the all-new JCB Hydradig

Product design

As usual there will be a full day of product designers showcasing their processes and passing on lessons learnt. It will be a day of extremes – from excavators for digging the earth, to satellites exploring outer space!

We have some big brands to namecheck — JCB, Speedo, West Surrey Racing – which will reveal how it converts a BMW body shell into a race ready touring championship car – and our buddy Chris Cheung, conceptual designer extraordinaire is coming over from Canada to shoot the breeze.

Product design speakers include: Grant Riley of Think Refine, Franck Mouriaux of RUAG Space, Tim Burnhope of JCB, Drew Macdonald of WSR, Chris Johnson of Speedo and Chris Cheung of Mighty Dynamo.

Greg Mark of MarkForged will tell you more about the potential for composites in 3D printing


3D printing is over the hype and we are done making plastic rubbish destined for landfills. It’s all about doing real things, quicker and for that we need new materials for functional Digital Fabrication.

This year we have concentrated on getting speakers who can offer an insight into new materials, new possibilities and strategies to model and optimise topology to achieve all-round 3D printing goodness.

Speakers include: Greg Mark, Markforged; Suzanne Venables-Wood, Renishaw; Bradley Rothenberg, Ntopology; Dr Auday Al-Rawe, Intrynsys; and Zehavit Reisin, Stratasys.


If you have a good product idea and have the skills, our Start-up track will help you navigate the minefield of funding with a talk from Kickstarter, a number of case stories from young product innovators, together with The British Design Fund, an early stage investment fund that specifically invests in, and provides support for, early stage UK product design and manufacturing companies.

3D artist André Matos will be revealing how he creates renders like this one of the Porsche E-Mission Interior

Design visiualisation

This section of last year’s event concentrated on Virtual Reality, which was standing room only but it meant we didn’t cater to all aspects of visualisation.

To make amends, this year we have dedicated an entire day of Rendering, Animation, VR, AR, Conceptual Design and GPUs in a new talk space: the Helen Martin Room.

Another render from André Matos

Rendering experts from LightWorks will also reveal how it creates renders

We will have rendering experts on hand from Chaos Group (V-Ray) and Lightworks (I-Ray), discussing Rendering innovation and optimising render times.

There will be GPU and workstation experts from AMD and HP, together with customers showcasing innovative applications of rendering in product design, apparel, interior design and marketing.

We are also honoured to have Andre Matos, 3D Artist at Porsche talking on fast renders for fast cars.

Back in the 80s, Virtual Reality was still the stuff of science fiction. All R&D systems required a room full of computers to deliver a very blocky and limited experience. In the past two years, games technology, graphics acceleration and portable computing power have driven the development and release of consumer priced headsets.

While these are expensive for gamers, they are very reasonable for commercial applications, such as engineering and architectural design.

You’d be mistaken for thinking that this LightWorks rendering was a photograph

While many are fixated on providing ‘experiences’, we see these technologies impacting the design process and playing a key role in sanity checking designs, as well as providing digital spaces in which to design, either immersively or in Augmented Reality.

We are honoured to have key players in this space giving talks on VR and AR. HTC, creators of the VIVE headset, will be presenting, alongside Microsoft with its Hololens Augmented Reality system.

There will also be talks from VR specialists Hammerhead VR and an exciting VR conceptual development tool from Gravity Sketch, which lets designers model in an immersive world.

DEVELOP3D LIVE is a free event run annually at Warwick Arts Centre, exclusively by the editorial team for the product designers, engineers, fabricators, digital artists and students. With so many talks happening in one day we strongly recommend bringing a team to ensure you get the maximum from the event. To register click here

What to look forward to at this year’s event

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