After decades of hype and predictions surrounding additive manufacturing (AM), AM is poised to be on the brink of becoming the disruptive technology that many have long expected. Disruptive technologies are often deemed too costly, less capable or too niche to replace incumbent technology. But over time, many of these technologies reach a tipping point and rapidly replace these incumbents.
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Additive manufacturing needs to improve its quality and consistency as it assumes a bigger role in manufacturing, advocates of the technology say.
Aerospace is one of the main industries embracing additive technologies, and the large growth in industrial metal 3D printing over the past few years can be largely attributed to the A&D industry.
3D printing has become the medium of the new technological revolution as its applications diversify from printing food to weapons, from clothing to industrial products. It is also finding more uses in the medical space, including Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P).
While water and fire tube boiler power plants may be considered archaic, they now power much of North America and will for some time, even as newer, cleaner, greener tech transitions into the mainstream and becomes practical.
Manufacturers need to create more production setups as batch sizes get smaller. Skilled labor continues to be hard to hire and keep. Higher levels of automation are needed, not just in material handling but also in fabricating, machining, assembly, and inspection.
David Tucker, automotive strategy and production development manager at HP 3D Printing, and Kyle Harvey, business unit manager for additive manufacturing at Extol, talk about HP’s recent announcement of polypropylene as a material for AM, as well as how Extol is involved in HP’s expansion of its 3D printing business.
Bioprinting is in the vanguard of the war against the novel coronavirus and holds promise for greater understanding of the way SAR-CoV-2 works in the human body.
ExOne Company and Xometry announced they will join together to provide metal 3D printing services.
There are plenty of machine shops content to remain a certain size while shying away from change and expansion. However, other shops embrace that challenge with relish.