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).
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It’s not often you get the opportunity to witness rapid, life-impacting change, but for those of us who have been in the 3D printing industry over the last few decades, we have witnessed just that. In the last 20-plus years, 3D printing has changed the definition of manufacturing from merely “one-size-fits-all” to “customized” production and from “high-volume” to “high-complexity/low-volume”—a startling paradigm shift that has enabled many new applications for the manufacturing industry.
With all of its accomplishments – including world’s largest defense contractor, and a presence in all 50 states and 70 countries – you might think Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD) would already have mastered additive manufacturing.
GKN Powder Metallurgy, the world leader in powder metallurgy, has joined forces with EOS, the global technology and quality leader in high-end additive manufacturing (AM), to lead the way in business-to-business industrial 3D printing.
“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.
Taking stock of a surprising and challenging 2016, a number of trends may point to a future where manufacturing output increases while continuing to decentralize.
Fabrisonic, Now 6 Years Old, Moves to Develop New Processes, Materials
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.
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.