Deakin pioneer in 3D printing wins prestigious international award

Deakin University Professor of Additive Manufacturing Ian Gibson Image credit:

Deakin University Professor of Additive Manufacturing Ian Gibson has won the International Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Excellence (FAME) Award which is given annually to recognise an outstanding researcher in the 3D printing field.

In doing so, Mr Gibson became the first Australian to have ever won this prestigious international accolade which was presented to him last week at the Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium in Austin, Texas.

Head of Deakin’s School of Engineering, Professor Karen Hapgood, said Mr Gibson was a worthy winner of the FAME award which recognised the international significance of his extensive contributions to the field of additive manufacturing over many years.

“Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are commonly thought of as new technologies, but in fact are the result of decades of work by excellent engineers like Ian,” Professor Hapgood said.

“The FAME Award is a huge testament to Ian’s expertise and achievements over his career. And we hope to continue this exciting work well into the future, with an even greater focus on developing innovative and practical applications for 3D printing technology right here at Deakin.”

The FAME Award recognises three of Professor Gibson’s major career achievements, including his contribution as a co-author of the seminal 3D printing textbook Additive Manufacturing Technologies; his role in establishing the Rapid Prototyping Journal; and his professional community engagement through the establishment of the Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations.

Professor Gibson said he was honoured to have won the prestigious FAME award.

“It’s nice to feel like you were part of paving the way. I sometimes refer to myself as someone who was looking into 3D printing before it was considered cool,” he said.

“I got involved in this area around 25 years ago, at a time when the cheapest machine was a quarter of a million dollars. We were really developing our own knowledge and expertise in that space as we went along, there were no textbooks to guide us. Now there are hundreds of thousands of these machines worldwide.”

Professor Gibson, who has been at Deakin University’s School of Engineering at Waurn Ponds since 2013, said that Deakin had since went on to become ‘one of the premier universities in Australia’, and worldwide, in the field of 3D printing.

“Not many others have the facilities and experience to match us,” he continued.

“And our approach is different from most others, we have a strong design focus and look closely at how this technology can be applied in a number of other sectors. We have a better understanding of how it interacts with industry.”

Professor Gibson said that additive manufacturing was experiencing an unprecedented boom which had seen the sector become ‘a lot more diverse’ over time.

“We’re seeing improvements in quality, materials and speed of build, as well as reduction in price, that’s all making 3D printing a much more competitive option against other technologies,” he concluded.

Deakin University Professor of Additive Manufacturing Ian Gibson
Image credit: