“We expect to see the world machinery market grow in the next five years,” said Arun Kumar a director at AlixPartners in a discussion he and I had recently.
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The past 12–18 months have been more exciting than any similar period in the history of additive manufacturing (AM), more commonly known as 3D printing.
General Electric Co. (Boston) intends to sell 10,000 3D printing machines in 10 years, building upon acquisitions it announced last year.
One of the early applications for 3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM) was in the medical industry. As the machines and materials have improved, the use of these technologies expanded into almost every application. In medical, there are unique challenges as patient safety is paramount and government regulation and insurance issues structure what can and will be done.
The partnership is intended to lay the foundation for the two companies to fulfill their shared vision of incorporating additive manufacturing into the traditional manufacturing workflow, helping it to become a universally recognized production practice which can benefit multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, transportation, energy and industrial tooling.
If a study by Deloitte from early this year was on target, 2017 will record a 2% increase in global aerospace and defense revenues and commercial aircraft production is likely to keep rising in the near future.
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.