Additive Manufacturing (AM) is emerging as a preferred term for what most us call 3D printing. Be that as it may, using the deposition of material to build up a part, rather than machining material away — could soon be used to rapidly make large parts for the marine and offshore industry.
LR (Lloyd’s Register) recently held a qualification workshop for Keppel Marine and Offshore and the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University to map out a safe, sustainable and quality-driven approach to additive manufacturing (AM) of metallic parts intended for rugged environments, such as shipping and offshore oil and gas production.
Qualification is a critical step towards certification and adoption of industrial products made by AM. The workshop focused on a broad range of knowledge and skills required to demonstrate competency in AM and to meet industry quality and safety regulations and standards.
Additive manufacturing — popularly known as 3D printing — has been touted as the next big thing in manufacturing, but its impact will soon be seen in supply chain management.
Additive manufacturing — the creation of product parts or components from a digital 3D model — has gotten a lot of attention lately, and rightly so: It’s one of those ideas that’s simultaneously wildly innovative, and yet glaringly obvious.
Indeed, with the benefits of additive manufacturing causing a stir in manufacturing, and, therefore, in supply chain management, 2017 is looking to be a breakout year for the technology.
No longer a clever parlor trick for creating action figures and novelty items, additive manufacturing is poised to take on a serious role as a manufacturing alternative worldwide. In 2015, the additive manufacturing industry grew to $5.165 billion, representing a growth of nearly 30%, according to “Wohlers Report 2016.”
3D printers are penetrating into industries. Previously used for hobbies and to manufacture prototype goods, these printers are now playing a decisive role in boosting productivity.
According to the Science, ICT and Future Planning Ministry, the global 3D printing industry will increase to 15.8 billion dollars by 2019 from 5.1 billion dollars in 2015, a 31 percent rise in annual average. During the same period, the industry will likely grow from 223 billion won (204 million dollars) to 508.2 billion won (457 million dollars), an annual average growth of 22.9 percent, slightly lower than the world average.
This is a guest post in our series looking at the future of 3D Printing. To celebrate 5 years of reporting on the 3D printing industry, we’ve invited industry leaders and 3D printing experts to give us their perspective on the next 5 years of 3D printing.
Simon Fried is the Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Nano Dimension. With their innovative Dragonfly 2020 3D printer, Nano Dimension has introduced rapid prototyping of multi level, and multi-material, printed circuit boards on a desktop machine.
Industrialization of 3D Printing will be Hallmark of Next Half Decade
The next five years will be significant for 3D printing, in my opinion. Certainly, we’ll see growth in the consumer space as 3D printing options become increasingly affordable. But the more interesting trend is the growth in 3D printing for industry.
Industry adoption of additive manufacturing is clearly on the rise, with a broad range of businesses already dipping into the 3D waters. For instance, GE has acquired Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group to help it gain competitiveness in the 3D manufacturing space; and Siemens, Ford and others are focusing on bringing 3D solutions into their factories.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing has the potential to become the biggest single disruptive phenomenon to impact global industry since assembly lines were introduced to America in the early 20th Century. Any challenge to globalisation can be of huge disruption to the global transport industry yet the concept of 3D printing brings with it widespread opportunities for essential development in many fields worldwide.
The compelling logic surrounding 3D printing means products that once would be individually manufactured can be created via mass customization techniques, saving extensive amounts of time, wastage and cost. Products created in such a way will also be lighter but just as strong, if not stronger than being created by traditional methods.
3D printing essentially offers an enormous leap between one of cases of the manufacturing process and large scale manufacturing. Combining 3D printing with efficient manufacturing will revolutionize in response to changing customer demands and the entire nature of manufacturing is set to take on a dramatic change as 3D printing becomes more integrated across global society. As traditional models become overlooked the philosophy of manufacturing is also changing, with products being made specifically to suit precise customer desire.
A great article by Kent Firestone of Stratasys summarising the many areas where 3D printing is affecting supply chains.
3D printing has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the last several years that its potential has been more broadly realized. During that awakening, there were many claims stating the technology would disrupt the supply chain. Although there’s no denying 3D printing is impacting the supply chain, the traditional supply chain remains relatively unchanged.
Before 3D printing can impact operations on a broader scale, there are challenges that must be addressed, such as equipment and material costs. And the conversation must shift from 3D printing’s technical benefits to its business value, thus highlighting its impact on the supply chain. As this becomes common knowledge, more and more companies can realize how 3D printing can give their operations an edge. Beyond the benefits at the macro-level, companies that incorporate 3D printing into their manufacturing processes are seeing tangible benefits across several areas.
The healthcare industry could benefit from the use of 3D printing technology to customise medical devices and drugs, market analyst Frost & Sullivan have said.
Recent research by the group’s TechVision – 3D Printing for Healthcare Applications – has shown how a large number of markets have shown interest in adopting 3D printing in a drive towards more personalised medicine
More so, the research states how 3D printing can be merged with pharma practices such as continuous manufacturing (CM) to develop various dosage forms for a specific demographic. 3D printing can also be used to bring about a change in the structure of medication, making it easier for medication to be swallowed or dissolved.
In an article in CIO Review, Professor Nick Vyas, Executive Director and Co-Founder of USC Marshall’s Center for Global Supply Chain Management, looks at what technologies are disrupting supply chains – naturally including 3D printing!
3D: Cutting Out the Middleman
The key advantage of 3D printing is speed. With on-demand manufacturing supply chains become (sic) less complex, materials and components are supplied, as needed, eliminating the need for excess inventory and significantly reducing related costs. Given myriad fo advantages, various industries ranging from fashion to automotive are using 3D printing to create products on demand.
For example, the use of 3D printing by California-based aerospace company SpaceX led to the construction of the emergency escape rockets on its new manned Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX developed materials, quickly and efficiently, that can withstand the demands of space travel. The lead-time reduction has reduced cost and enabled SpaceX to outstrip NASA in winning contracts for space station supply chain.
Canada Makes has announced its role in the development of a 3D printed satellite bracket that will be sent to space later this year.
To build the part, the Canadian additive manufacturing agency partnered with French metal manufacturers FusiA and Canadian communications company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA). The project was funded by Canada Makes’ Metal Additive Demonstration program which is supported by Canadian research program, NRC-IRAP.
By using 3D printing to create the part, the group will reduce weight, optimize size and shape, and lower costs. According to Canada Makes General Manager, Frank Defalco, their “primary goal is to reinforce Canada’s additive manufacturing supply chain and this project is a big step in that direction.”
3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing practices with wide-ranging uses from medical devices to automobile parts. But the ready availability of 3D printers, combined with the ease with which computer-aided designs (CADs) can be shared, makes 3D printing particularly vulnerable to easy reproduction and distribution without prior permission of designers.
In a recent article, Professor Peter Menell of the University of California, Berkeley and Professor Ryan Vacca of the University of Akron School of Law argue that regulating 3D technology successfully will depend on a combination of the industry’s strategic approach to enforcement and the willingness of courts to amend existing copyright laws to fit the particularities of 3D printing.