Interview with Andrew Allshorn: #STEAMEDUCATION

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Andrew Allshorn Graduated from Wolverhampton School of Art and Design with a Degree in Product Design. In 1994 he started his career in AM/3D Printing running an SLA250 and Vacuum system at Liverpool University, before being offered the position of Applications Engineer at 3D Systems introducing 3DPrinting all over the world. After nearly 30 years in the industry, Andrew is still running his own company and is extremely passionate about promoting AM via STEAM Education and getting children involved at schools and colleges. Education is the way forward for this industry and it is also the AMUG philosophy for its members. He is a problem solver and loves nothing more than helping develop new applications for all industries For the past three years Andrew has served in the Vice President position for AMUG and he also sits on the TCT Expert Advisory Board and is involved in their Bright Minds Initiative at the TCT3Sixty event, as well as being a Create Education Ambassador where he visits schools to educate children about our amazing industry. Andrew will be speaking at our upcoming virtual event: 3D Printing for Veterinary Medicine 

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

Andrew: I was first told about Rapid Prototyping (now 3D Printing over thirty years ago. I was working as a designer in a Modelmakers and when I saw it working at Liverpool University I was hooked and took a pay cut to have the opportunity to run the SLA250. It was only the 13th machine in the UK. Two year later I was working for 3D Systems as the senior applications engineer.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing? 

Andrew: I was fascinated by how the technology worked and get a real kick out of doing things with this technology that has never been done before. I love the challenge of solving problems and developing new applications that will make the world a better place for everyone. My Degree is in Art so I am passionate about promoting #STEAMEDUCATION 

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?

Andrew: Several people including Prof Phill Dickens (Nottingham University), Graham Tromans (Jaguar Landrover), Steve Deak (Hasbro & GE) , and The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG). We were the people that saw this tech and ran with it and were willing to try anything

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work? 

Andrew: #STEAMEDUCATION, solving problems, when someone says “that can’t be done” helping people, companies and the world utilize 3D Printing for the good of everyone.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions? 

Andrew: The biggest issue is getting people to change their mindset and think outside the box. Also using the process correctly as it is a tool like any other process and these processes and be used together. The solutions can take a while, one took me two years, but you should never give up.

If you give up, then you have failed. All the things I have done wrong I don’t see as failing see as part of the learning process.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Andrew: MATERIALS, materials, materials and people that are willing to try things and are not scared of learning along the way #thinkoutside the box 

Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?

Andrew:

  • That everyone all over the world would start to work together for the good of the planet and every human being 
  • Cures for illnesses that are taking to long to find (Cancer, Alzheimer’s etc.)
  • Stop all wars, hatred and greed in the world so we can save the planet

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore? 

Andrew: Follow your passion, never give up, always stand by your morals and never let anyone force you to compromise them. There is no bad advice just take out the good parts, turn it on its head and move forward

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