DEVELOP3D Live 2016 preview

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These are exciting times for designers. There has never been so much innovation in both software and hardware to help bring high-quality designs rapidly to life.

Every year, DEVELOP3D’s editorial team travels the world, in order to bring you news of what’s cutting edge in product design technology, together with stories of how designers and manufacturers are reaping the benefits of improving their processes.

Based on this research, we organise our free, one-day conference and exhibition, DEVELOP3D LIVE, which brings together key industry speakers and new technology demonstrations, together with the best designers we have seen throughout the year.

This year, we invite you to join us at DEVELOP3D LIVE on Thursday 31 March at Warwick Arts Centre, based on the Warwick University campus.

CONFERENCE: Now in its fifth year, DEVELOP3D LIVE has become a globally recognised event where VPs and CEOs from the major CAD developers share a single stage to present current and future developments.

We’ll have thought leaders from Dassault Systèmes / SolidWorks, Autodesk, PTC, Siemens, Onshape and others updating us on what’s possible today, as well as sharing insights as to what’s coming tomorrow.


In one day, attendees get a clear picture of the current state of the art in product development software, as well as the chance to assess each product’s progress.

After a combined session in the morning, the conference splits into three streams, covering the following areas: Product Design; Future Fabrication (including 3D printing); and Design & engineering in the Cloud.

There will also our main stage keynotes and videos of additional talks available on the exhibition show floor and online.

For those who attended last year and hit the roadworks, the good news is that the Warwick University campus is no longer a building site and, based on exceptional attendance in 2015, we’ve instigated more regimented onsite parking along with a regular shuttle bus.

SPEAKERS: We’ve begun to announce this year’s speakers online at and will add more names over the coming weeks.

From the design tools industry we already have a top-drawer line-up: Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of Solidworks; Jon Hirschtick, founder of Onshape; Scott Reece, VP of cloud platform at Autodesk; Kevin Schneider, director of product management for Fusion 360 at Autodesk; Dan Staples, VP of mainstream engineering and R&D at Siemens; Brian Thompson, head of PTC’s CAD business; Mike Payne, CEO of Kenesto; and Simon Floyd, director of business development and strategy for PLM at Microsoft.

To give an industry perspective, we have industrial designer Duncan Fitzsimons of 7th Design & Invention. Duncan, the inventor of the Morph Wheel – the world’s first foldable wheelchair and bicycle wheel – studied at the RCA, was James Dyson Innovation Fellow in 2010, is a fellow of the RSA and was a finalist in the Saatchi & Saatchi World Changing Ideas Awards.

Melding man and machine, we have Sebastian Andraos, VP of human/machine interactions at HAL Robotics in London.

The company specialises in robot control, focusing on novel applications of robotics in the creative and construction industries.

With HP developing a long-awaited industrial-scale 3D printer, we’re very pleased to welcome Louis Baldez, software strategy programme manager at HP, who will be flying in from Barcelona to give us an overview the 3D print industry and hopefully more details of what the company’s got up its sleeve in this area.

Laurence Marks of SSA will be looking at how analysis and simulation can help direct manufacturing strategies.

With cloud an ever-popular topic at our event, David Heiny of SimScale, a web-based simulation platform, will be talking about how the cloud offers new possibilities, while Adam Jull of IMSCAD Global will be discussing how to set up and manage virtualised design environments.

Visit to get more information and check for updates, or simply register and we’ll keep you automatically updated when new speakers are announced.


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 is also a dedicated demonstration area for start-up firms with bold new product design technologies and services that are making a debut.

We have streamlined our conference breakout tracks to allow attendees a little more breathing space and brought the main stage presentations to dedicated areas around the Arts Centre building.

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.

A taste of D3D Live

At DEVELOP3D LIVE 2015, Reaction Engines presented Skylon, an unpiloted, reusable spaceplane

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 at

Here, you will learn everything from how to design an America’s Cup yacht to why the UK needs to re-shore manufacturing.

We’ve had designers give their views on the patent system, 3D printing for jewellery, persuading VCs to part with funding, concept sketching, rapid manufacturing and even how ‘Game of Thrones’ uses special effects.

With frequent breaks and plenty of time for meetings and fascinating corridor conversations with your peers, we can confidently promise you a varied and rewarding day out.

Industry trends

Looking over the innovations we have seen in the past year, together with some knowledge of what’s coming, DEVELOP3D LIVE 2016 will feature a range of talks and exhibitors covering the following areas:

3D printers & desktop machining

Now that the hype has died down and few still believe that 3D printing will revolutionise the home-repair of everything, the real revolution is becoming more clear to designers, both small and large, working in both plastic and metal.

In fact, there’s been an explosion of high-quality desktop-size machining equipment enabling a whole workshop of tools to occupy a couple of benches.


With Onshape, Autodesk Fusion and a whole host of virtualisation technologies, software has been liberated from workstations and now thrives on smart phones, mobile tablets and dumb terminals.

Prices and barriers to entry have dropped, although the maturity of traditional desktop applications means that many still offer wider breadth and deeper capabilities.

Industry 4.0

If you believe the papers, the robots are coming to take all our jobs! The reality is that robots are getting cheaper, smarter and will be vital tools to re-shore engineering, increase productivity and level global competitiveness.

VR and AR

In 2016, Virtual Reality finally moves out of the science fiction world and into broader adoption.

The Oculus Rift is now shipping and many other headsets are about to hit the market. Augmented Reality will also see increased deployment in 2016: Microsoft’s Holoviz glasses are on their way and start-up Magic Leap is promising to combine the computergenerated world with our own.

Computer aided design (CAD) 4.0

Old CAD was mere digital notepaper. Future CAD, by contrast, will allow us harness server-level power in order to simulate and test thousands of possible solutions to the most complex engineering problems.

In many cases, final designs will probably be prescribed by analysis iterations. Autodesk, for example, has already demonstrated its Dreamcatcher technology at work on a live Airbus project.

DEVELOP3D LIVE 2016 looks set to be our most exciting event yet

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