Not only does marching to one's own tune ensure you stand out, but it also makes terrific magazine copy. Renishaw's Rapid Manufacturing Manager Jeremy 'Jez' Pullin is certainly not a man to run with the crowd if he feels another point of view needs to be made, while his extensive experience in the field of industrial additive manufacturing - not to mention his position at one of the UK's largest engineering giants - gives him licence to do so.
Not only is Pullin a friend of TCT Magazine and a TCT Show + Personalize veteran speaker, but he is well known and respected throughout the industry, which is why inviting him to take to the stage yet again at this September's event was an easy call for organisers.
"I have been a long term supporter and believer in the value of the TCT event, it has a well established track record of bringing more to the visitor than simply a string of sales messages.
"I have always valued truly unbiased views and advice from fellow users of additive manufacturing technologies," he commented.
Pullin told TCT Magazine that his presentation for the Show is called Could the 3D printing bubble be burst by misguided pricks? But it remains uncertain whether this is a working title or not.
"The idea for the presentation came from talking to two founders/owners of a German additive manufacturing sub-contractor. They both spoke of how they had to continually educate and manage the expectations of their clients due to the gap that exists between what their clients thought was possible with additive manufacturing and what could actually be done.
"The main theme of my talk is to look at why this gap exists and what caused it. Reality is progressing along as additive technologies develop but they cannot keep pace with constantly inflated expectations. I don’t expect the gap to close until 3D printing has slid down the hype curve but the real problem I see is the gap continuing to get wider as people hype up 3D printing."
Pullin remarked that it was "perfectly evident that no line has been drawn beyond which claims should not stray" and likened the absurdity of this to if drug companies were allowed to market products as 100 per cent safe and a guaranteed cure.
"Calm down and think long term"
The industry heavyweight said plainly that the most important message that needs to be put across is "calm down and think long term" and admitted the mainstream media is to blame for some of the over-excitement.
"Unfortunately, too much of the media and too many so-called commentators want to be seen as predicting a brave new future or get over excited at the sniff of a plastic gun which is less dangerous than a blunt cheese grater.
"During my talk, some claims (complete with the names of the people/organisations that made them) will be examined. I very much hope that my talk will be unbiased, uncompromising and based on real examples. Failing that I hope to send as few people to sleep as I can manage and if that means sounding an air horn every five minutes - you've been warned."
In addition to using TCT Show + Personalize as a platform for his own well-anchored views on the state of the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry, Pullin is looking forward to browsing the stands and getting a feel for the way the market is changing, both when it comes to the hands-on technologies and software.
He stated: "Of course the major players will be there but visitors get the chance to see the complementary technologies which gives them a vastly greater understanding of the bigger picture. The world of ever-expanding media channels means that companies and individuals have more ways than ever to deliver their messages but you still can't beat talking face to face."
"Legends in the industry"
"The organisers put a great deal of effort into getting the high quality line up of speakers this year even if idiots like me do occasionally slip through the net," Pullin joked, "This year alone there is Todd Grimm and Graham Tromans who are quite rightly legends in the industry and highly respected for their expertise."
Like many of those who have been deeply involved in additive manufacturing before the explosion of media interest in recent years, Pullin is interested in the entire spectrum of how the technology is being applied and who is using it, which is why he will be looking at the Bright Minds classroom at TCT, where local school children will be given the opportunity to 3D print themselves.
Moreover, the expert noted that he is watching the industry's affect on patents and their impact on the future of 3D printing with a beady eye - a subject he admits to find "fascinating".
"The impact of open source FDM initiatives such as RepRap has been enormous and I'm sure we’ll see more fascinating changes and developments as further patents expire in the near future but not necessarily in the same way."
He further prophesised: "But the idea of low cost desktop SLS machines being released in 2014 is too silly for words ... I've already heard a couple of ill-informed 'experts' taking about it."
Jeremy Pullin's presentation at TCT Show + Personalize is likely to pose important questions - while it's a near certainty it will be peppered with humour and colourful language. This is why Jez has made such an impression on the additive manufacturing industry in the UK and further afield, making him the perfect candidate for taking to the stage in September.