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April is additive month here at Manufacturing Engineering magazine, and providing an in-depth state-of-the-industry overview is none other than Terry Wohlers. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has continued to mature over the nearly 35 years since being introduced commercially, he notes. The aerospace, automotive, defense, energy, transportation, medical, dental and consumer products industries are adopting AM for an impressive wide range of applications. With this vast adoption, it has become clear that AM is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Meanwhile, Contributing Editors Kip Hanson and Ilene Wolff look at additive sustainability and the latest 3D printing material and technology, respectively. Making 3D printing sustainable takes more than recyclable materials and energy-efficient lasers, Hanson notes. From service bureaus to equipment providers to environmentally conscious trade associations, additive manufacturing is slowly but steadily going green.
The April issue of Smart Manufacturing has a particular focus on people: Our first feature looks at the ways recruiters and educators are finding and training the people who will become a new generation of Industry 4.0-savvy workers. In our 'Healthcare 4.0' feature, the ways that the healthcare industry is using the techniques we're familiar with as smart manufacturing to improve outcomes for patients: That industry's methods have parallels and lessons for the manufacturing industry. And the top feature in our Voices AMplified section takes a close look at how additive in particular is revolutionizing healthcare. Speaking of additive, another feature looks at what smart manufacturers should look for when purchasing 3D printers.