Laurence Berthoud-Lafarge – “Manufacturing will have to adapt to technical changes, pollution problems related to transport, waste caused by overproduction”

Laurence is the founder of a fablab and “La Fab”, a 3D Printing service company. She is also the chief delegate of the incubator Les Premières. All these activities are based around Dijon, in the Bourgogne Franche Comté, in the east of France. In 2012, she was the first to talk about 3D printing in the area. Laurence also does a lot to support and encourage women to work in the 3D printing field.

Laurence, you are involved in several activities about 3D printing. Let’s start with your first experience: Kelle Fabrik. Could you explain what is it and why you created this fab lab?

The role of a fablab is to put people in touch, to create, learn and manufacture. it seemed to me that it was a good way to participate in the democratization of digital manufacturing and in particular 3D printing.

Then came “La FAB”. How did you come to build the company? Could you explain furthermore the services that “La FAB” provide?

Soon, companies came to the fablab to ask for training, help to understand the technology and test it. An association is not made to meet the technical needs of companies. This is why we decided to create the “La FAB”. its role is to help little company integrate 3D printing in their process. help businesses to develop differently to produce differently.

For a few months now, you have been involved in Incubateur Les Premières, what is the goal of this organization and what is your role in it?

Les Premières Bourgogne-franche-comté is an incubator, a structure that helps business creators create their business and succeed. My role was to create the incubator and manage the launch and development, but also to support some project carriers.

You founded a fablab, create a 3D Printing service company and you are strongly involved in a business incubator.

  • What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you, as a business developer?

3D printing is for me, one of the elements of the industry of the future. Manufacturing will have to adapt to technical changes, pollution problems related to transport, waste caused by overproduction.

Today, every company manages it at its own level. Tomorrow, it will be managed at the level of the global supply chain and 3D printing (produce what we need, when we need, where we need it = saving money) is one of the keys.

Startups have no industrial habits, it is easier to make them aware of the full costs in the long term. But I do not give up the existing industrial and local environment. The correct adoption of 3D printing by companies in my territory is a guarantee, in my opinion, for the development of it.

You do a lot to encourage women to work in 3D printing: you are president of K’Elles Energies Bourgogne. Could you explain what K’Elles Energies Bourgogne is?

“K’elles Energies” is a network of women built to support women’s empowerment. it is a network that works with the sharing and exchange of competences, experience, the organization of collaborative and participative days and which uses collective intelligence to solve problems.

What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?

I regret that the 3d printing industry is only focusing on the number of machines sold.

Before selling machines, we must ensure that the design for 3d printing is really mastered by companies, and this is not the case everywhere. It is also necessary that the company is ready to review its design and manufacturing process, sometimes the materials used, the way of managing the staff, it’s a whole.

The new technologies are very promising, the machines capable of mass production already existing, it’s very exciting. I would like sometimes for it to go faster … but I believe that users are not yet all ready.

What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?

More transparency about the real capabilities of machines, more transparency on the materials used and especially a real development of biosourced and ecosourced materials so that 3D printing can be in the foreground when talking about ecodesign and recyclability.


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