Monday, 14 May 2018

Leading the way in connectivity inside 3D-printed components

Fiona Lambert, SELA Cohort 2016

Last week, SELA received a talk from Mark Cocking. Mark is from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which is owned by the University of Sheffield, and has developed a new method of 3D-printing, called THREAD. 

Mark shared his facinating career in industry leading to his arrival at the AMRC, and how he decided to pursue engineering. From a young age it was apparent that he was a practical problem solver and was destined to become an engineer: at age seven he designed a guinea pig exerciser for his neighbour’s overweight pets!

As a school leaver, Mark got a job as a coach panel beater and then progressed to go to Sheffield Hallam University to study engineering. As a qualified engineer, Mark worked in industry at FRANKE, where he designed the leading style of bathroom, and then at Wolf Sheffield. 

Mark explained that throughout his career, he has always been the type of person to push the boundaries; find out how things work; and how to make them better. This attitude then led him into research. Now Mark works as a Design and Development Engineer at the AMRC and is the inventor of THREAD. 

THREAD is a new patent-pending process, where components can now be manufactured with built-in continuous connectivity passing through the X, Y and Z axes. Mark believes the future of THREAD will be very exciting and has the potential to have a global impact, as it is leading the way in Additive Manufacturing. 

Top Tips from Mark: 
  • Look for opportunities to do things differently, as this is a good way to learn and develop
  • To persuade others, put together a strong business case and be confident
  • Understand the importance of Emotional Quotient in dealing with people.

Overall, the talk Mark gave us was very inspiring and the take away message was to never give up, keep working hard, and always jot down your ideas - you don’t know what idea is a success until you try.

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