How 3D printing might fit your business

A good short video on how 3D printing can help businesses from the folks at MHI.


In this video, we provide some real-world examples for the application of 3D printing in both commercial and industrial supply chain operations.

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3D printing could wipe out a quarter of world trade by allowing us to make things at home

IFA 2015 Consumer Electronics And Appliances Trade FairSquabbling between Whitehall and Brussels over how post-Brexit trading will play out may actually be pointless after all. What will negate all that, apparently, is 3D printing.

A report by Dutch bank ING has concluded that almost a quarter of world trade will be wiped out by 2060 as firms use 3D printers to manufacture goods at home rather than import from abroad.

And such a scenario is a conservative conclusion. In a report entitled “3D printing: a threat to global trade”, an alternative scenario suggested as much as 40 per cent of global trade could be erased by 2040.

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People don’t understand 3-D printing well enough to use it, tech CEO says

An Apis Cor 3D Printer prints a house at the Stupino Aerated Concrete Plant in Moscow, Russia on 9 Dec. 2016.The manufacturing industry could be transformed by 3-D printing, but business owners don’t understand the technology, slowing its adoption, according to Adrian Keppler, CEO of industrial technology services player EOS.

“People don’t understand it, and they have a hard time understanding what it means for their business,” he told CNBC’s “The Rundown” on Thursday.

The 3-D technology allows the construction of lightweight parts — a feature that Keppler said could benefit vehicle makers in particular as the auto industry shifts toward electrification, and as more regulators impose emission limits.

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3D Printing offers a clear vision for time, cost savings

Worker with a 3D printer.The ability to reduce time-to-market is one of the key selling points driving 3D printing technology and applications. In the world of manufacturing, it’s rare that this can be realized by one individual part. However, it appears that eyeglass frames are an exception to that rule, and one of 3D printing’s core companies is looking to leverage that dynamic.

Using traditional methods, it can take frame designers up to 18 months to get their newest designs to the retail space. To this end, Stratasys has created a rapid prototyping solution that is unique to the eyeglass market. Dubbed the VeroFlex Rapid Prototyping Eyewear Solution, Stratasys is hoping to trim as much as 12 months off this design-to-retail timespan.

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Engineering Fit: Optimizing design for functional 3D printed assemblies

Adapting the approach to design to take into account the realities of 3D printing is one of the wider issues that needs seeing to when adopting that technology in the supply chain.  FormLabs have prepared an insightful paper on this topic


Tolerance and fit are essential concepts that engineers use to optimize the functionality of mechanical assemblies and the cost of production. For 3D printed assemblies specifically, designing for proper tolerance and fit lowers post-processing time and ease of assembly, and reduces the material cost of iteration.

Use this white paper as a resource when designing functional 3D printed assemblies, or as a starting point when designing the fit between parts printed in Formlabs Tough or Durable resins. Download the white paper now if you want more information on:

  • The value of tolerances in 3D printing
  • The categories and types of engineering fit
  • Specific recommended design tolerances for Formlabs Tough v4 and Durable v3 resins

The coefficient of friction for Tough and Durable are also measured, which can be helpful for designing sliding or kinematic solutions.

What you will learn

Design functional 3D printed assemblies that work as intended, with the least amount of post-processing or trial-and-error. Download the white paper now to learn:

  • How to choose the appropriate fit (clearance, transition, or interference) for different types of functional 3D printed assemblies
  • When to use Tough or Durable resins for different fits and assembly applications
  • Recommendations for lubricants, bonded components, and machining

This white paper also included downloadable test models that allow you to repeat our tests and determine design tolerances for other 3D printed materials.

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7 Examples of how 3D printing is used in manufacturing today

(Image courtesy of GE.)There’s a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing technology, but in spite—or perhaps because—of that, one might wonder whether additive manufacturing is all it’s cracked up to be. Are we really in the midst of a new age of additive manufacturing?

Kirk Rogers, technology lead at the GE Center for Additive Technology in Pittsburgh, seems to think so. In a keynote presentation at the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS), he discussed several examples of how GE is using additive manufacturing today.

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The future of 3D Printing by Braydon Moreno, Co-Founder of Robo

As the co-founder of Robo, a desktop 3D printer company in San Diego, CA, I have been on a mission to bring 3D printing to the world since I fell in love with the technology back in 2012. Through this short amount of time, I have already witnessed a steady growth in the use of 3D printing in both professional and personal cases.

We are starting to see that 3D printing is becoming more accessible to everyday consumers and students, in addition to those using it in a professional capacity. Companies like Robo hope to make people’s lives easier — not only for entrepreneurs that already use 3D printing to accelerate their time-to-market, but also anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset who wishes to build something with their own hands that they never thought was possible.

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NASA 3D prints first rocket part composed of two metals

The ability to print multiple materials at the same time is a step change in the capability of 3D printing that will propel it faster into mainstream manufacture.


3d nasaAdvances in 3D printing have been slow to replace traditional manufacturing, but NASA is looking toward the technology as a way to fabricate parts for rockets. It’s already experimented with rocket components that were 3D printed from a single metal, but now it’s testing a process for printing in two different alloys. Using an advanced laser printing method, the agency has produced a bi-metallic rocket igniter that really works.

As the name implies, a rocket igniter is used to initiate a rocket engine’s start sequence. It’s a surprisingly complex part that’s difficult to make, so it’s an ideal candidate for 3D printing. However, you can’t make a rocket igniter out of a single metal. In traditional manufacturing, these components are produced using a process called brazing. The two different metal components are melded together using a filler material that locks them into place when the component is heated.

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Video: The Future of Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing

We all know 3D printing is a powerful tool with great potential. However, the best use for 3D printing in manufacturing is still contested. Some herald it as a total replacement for mass production: you want something, you print it. Others see it as a useful prototyping tool with little viability on the production floor. But what is 3D printing’s place, really?

To answer that, we asked Rush LaSelle, director of digital manufacturing at JABIL inc. With 175,000 employees worldwide, JABIL is a massive multi-sector company that specializes in design engineering, supply chain management and logistics and manufacturing.

According to LaSelle, identifying the value in emerging technologies is essential to gaining an advantage in the marketplace. Correctly applying leading technology can make your products better and help them get to market faster.

So, where does additive manufacturing fit in?

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Recycling PLA for 3D Printing

Is the minimal waste process creating too much waste? If we can recycle prints and other materials this way, it might lead to a revolution of decentralized recyclers

Recycling PLA for 3D Printing

Growth in 3D printing marches on at an annual 26% clip. While new printers keep increasing the print speeds and range of materials that can be used, data on recycling these materials has been sparse. In July 2017, CNBC reported the world has produced over 9 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s, and only about 9% was recycled. If 3D printing is going to further increase plastic consumption, will there be a pile of plastic prototypes lining the landfills?

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