Additive Manufacturing

Remember when…

Remember when Alexander Graham Bell made that first phone call saying “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” and changed international communication forever?

And now today, the smartphone is the epicenter of personal and business communication.

Remember when the fax machine ruled business communications? When did you last use a fax machine? How often do you use a wired landline?

Mobile phones and Internet telephony have all but destroyed traditional landlines and faxes. Not to mention correct spelling.

Remember vinyl records?

Music company execs printing $$$’s. Then the iPod and iTunes arrived. Where are those music companies today?

Remember photo albums? The big photofinishing industry (film processing and prints) giants like Eastman Kodak – they’ve declared bankruptcy.

We can go on remembering once-huge industries – Classified Ads, Video Rentals, Travel Agencies, Printing Services? The list goes on. All lying in a graveyard alongside other has-been companies that once ruled the world.

Manufacturing is the next industry to be disrupted by technology. Are you ready?

3D Printing technology has been around since 1986.

At first it was the domain of tinkers and ‘makers’. Then it gained acceptance as a rapid prototyping tool.

Now 3D printing is moving into the mainstream. The place where the numbers start to work. Where the gains, savings and new possibilities have converged to the point where 3D printing cannot be ignored any longer.

Here are six key areas where 3D printing will totally disrupt the manufacturing space over the next few years:

True Rapid Prototyping

This capability is well established. Outdated and slower means of prototyping will leave the laggards in the dust, as other companies bring products to market, for a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time.

Rapid Design Iteration

Testing out designs on your market, BEFORE you commit to setting up the production line, will completely change traditional product development cycles over the next few years.

Mass Customization

Starbucks proved that with customization comes premium pricing. 3D printing is making this option viable for many manufactured products.

Low volume production

The cost to commit to creating tooling or moulds before a single end use part can be produced renders many a product impractical or unprofitable.

Today, for production runs of less than 1,000 items, companies will consider 3D production as a cost effective alternative.

Product Innovation

3D printing enables pre-assembled designs that were previously impractical or too costly to be realised. Also, too many structural components are designed with more weight and material than what’s required.

Technologies like solidThinking’s INSPIRE and EVOLVE are used in design for Additive Manufacturing. Enabling design engineers to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily. Options that all meet your specified high-level goals.

Virtual Inventory

Holding inventory is expensive. Costs include the capital to produce the inventory, shrinkage, obsolescence, warehousing, insurance, tracking and distribution.

Simply printing spare parts on-demand, will disrupt traditional supply chain business models for years to come.

Fuel nozzle for the CFM International Leap Engine - Previously the fuel nozzle would have been assembled from 18 individual components. The fuel nozzle will now be 3D printed as a single item.
19 3D printed fuel nozzles will go into each Leap Engine Graphics by KGG1951 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

“It is the ability to design something in the morning and have a physical representation of the concept in your hand in the afternoon that is a priceless step forward in product design.”
— Steve Swaddle, Black & Decker

Can you afford to ignore this disruptive technological wave?
Get on-board today and future-proof your tomorrow.

“You better go Uber before you go Kodak” – Marcus Shingles

Transform your manufacturing process now, Contact Us

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