London workshop review


Our latest and penultimate horizon scanning workshop took place in London in March 2018. Many thanks to the UK Intellectual Property Office for providing the central London venue and assisting us in recruiting participants.

This time 3 project team members (Angela Daly, Thierry Rayna and Ludmila Striukova) were present to facilitate the workshop, which included a group of six participants representing different stakeholder groups including practising IP lawyers, patent attorneys, academic research and the manufacturing industry. All project team members had been involved in facilitating 3DPIP Futures workshops in other locations, so we were very interested to see how this ‘home leg’ would proceed, and the extent to which participants gave us responses in line with other locations or demonstrated specific characteristics of 3DPIP’s trajectory in London/UK.

One location-specific phenomena was the late snow which arrived in London the previous day, giving the workshop a chilly setting and preventing some intended participants from being able to attend. However we had a good discussion with those who were able to brave the weather and attend, and we thank them very much for taking time out of their busy schedule to assist us with our research.

We are still transcribing the workshop’s audio recording, but we can offer a few preliminary insights from the discussion:

  • The participants considered that there had been a lot of excitement and hype around 2013/2014 about consumer 3D printing. This hype peaked and then it dropped away quite rapidly.
  • The quality of 3D printed products and the usability of 3D printing are still challenges especially for consumers, who need to take time to uderstand the technology.
  • Future changes were at the forefront of participants’ minds, with Brexit and climate change among the phenomena which might fundamentally change political/economic systems and result in a different role for 3D printing than currently.

Please contact Angela Daly ( for any questions or comments about this work.



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