Laser Focused Episode 6 – From AI to Accelerating Additive: A Look Into the Future of AM

June 17, 2022

Welcome to another week of Laser Focused, presented by Velo3D. Every two weeks, I take listeners on a journey of discovery by highlighting leaders who are changing the world with new designs and innovations.

On episode six of the Laser Focused podcast, I sit down with Dr. Sandra DeVincent Wolf—Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon University Manufacturing Futures Institute and Executive Director of the CMU NextManufacturing Center.

Prior to her executive roles at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Wolf worked in national laboratories, a start-up manufacturing company, and large corporations. She also spent 15 years in various research, development, engineering, and management roles at in advanced materials and manufacturing.

While I’ve been inspired by each and every one of my guests, I couldn’t help but find Dr. Wolf particularly inspirational, and it was fascinating to hear her views on the future of 3D printing and the manufacturing industry as a whole.

During our interview, she spoke about some of the biggest impacts of additive manufacturing (AM), like how printing products when and where they are needed could help companies alleviate the pressure caused by supply chain issues.


We also discussed how she became an expert in AM, specifically her history working with advanced materials and manufacturing, and why this field is so important to addressing the evolving needs of critical industries, such as energy, defense, and space.

She also offered insight into her most recent research projects at Carnegie Mellon University, including a deep dive into metal AM materials and material properties, how additive manufacturing is fueling innovation, and what students can gain from pursuing STEM fields.

Dr. Wolf also discusses some of the interesting projects her students are working on, including the development of an AI-enabled system that would prescribe the optimal manufacturing method, be it three-axis milling, molding, or 3D printing.

And finally, while additive manufacturing was a big part of our conversation, Dr. Wolf also talked about the role of traditional manufacturing and why the technology will remain central to future manufacturing supply chains.

So, sit back and enjoy another interesting and inspiring episode of Laser Focused!

Laser Focused can be found on all the major streaming apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. Learn more about Laser Focused by visiting

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About the Author

Renette Youssef

Chief Marketing Officer

Renette Youssef is the Chief Marketing Officer at Velo3D and joined in October 2020. She is responsible for all aspects of Velo3D's marketing efforts including strategy, customer communication, demand generation, product marketing and corporate communication. Renette has managed marketing organizations in Australia, Europe, and Silicon Valley.