3D software solutions: the first step in implementing 3D printing for manufacturing

Recently, many new 3D software startup companies entered the market offering various solutions mainly for industrial users. It goes from decision-support solutions for better utilization of 3D printing, generative design/topology optimization, to workflow management and parts IP protection. Each of them seems to be focused on specific challenges heavy users face, challenges that will only increase in the foreseeable future as 3D printing moves from prototyping to manufacturing.

Why is there a need for such 3D software solutions and what are the gaps they are trying to fill? And where does it position the large software conglomerates that have been the main players in the market for many years? Let’s understand the bigger picture first.

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The State of Online 3D Printing

Online platforms are changing 3D printing just as 3D printing is changing manufacturing. Here are the latest facts and figures.

The state of online 3D printing

Digital manufacturing technologies, with 3D printing as the forerunner, are changing the way products are designed and manufactured. New examples of industrial applications of 3D printing are revealed almost every week. These come mainly from the big names in the automotive, aerospace, and medical sectors.

However, a quieter revolution is happening online. Manufacturing platforms are changing the way engineers work by giving them access to the latest technologies and making outsourcing easier and faster.

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Interview with Vinod Devan of Deloitte on their 3D printing approach

With 3D printing moving towards broader adoption many companies are now entering our market. One of these is Deloitte. The professional services firm that does everything from accounting to tax and M&A also wants to guide firms into the 3D printing world. We interviewed Vinod Devan, Product Strategy and Operations Lead at Deloitte Consulting to see what the firm’s plans are in 3D printing and how it hopes to help customers.

Why is Deloitte entering the 3D printing market? 

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a critical component of the Industry 4.0 digital transformation.AM technology is finally at the point where companies are starting to realize significant, tangible, new value for themselves and their customers. Deloitte is making significant investments in 3D printing knowledge and capabilities so that we can advise and join with our clients as they revolutionize supply chains, product portfolios, and business models.

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Reducing Time to Market with 3D printing farms and smart factories

Pedro Mier of Premo Group, Ignacio Artola Guardiola of Accenture, Ramón Paricio Hernández of SEAT, and Ramón Pastor, HP. Photo by Tia Vialva.As Barcelona Industry Week and IN(3D)USTRY: From Needs to Solutions Additive and Advanced Manufacturing Global Hub concludes, the future of 3D printing the path to industrialization shows promise.

With a focus on digitization and Industry 4.0, 3D Printing Industry sought to learn more on how such technologies work with additive manufacturing, by attending the IN(3D)USTRY talk “Printing Farms & Smart Factories.”

The following includes some of the insights made by Pedro Mier, Adviser and Member of the Board of Directors at Premo Group, Ignacio Artola Guardiola, Managing Director at Accenture, Ramón Paricio Hernández, Production Manager at SEAT, and Ramón Pastor, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Large Format Printing.

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10 questions brokers should ask clients about 3D printing

With the rise of additive manufacturing (AM), a wide range of users now have 3D printersat a keystroke, and can produce physical objects without the use of traditional manufacturing tool and die fixtures or injection molding.

Clients making use of 3D printing may necessitate a fresh risk assessment. (Shutterstock)

Inexpensive parts for everyday goods, for example, are now being produced with affordable 3D printers and then sold to consumers by individuals or small businesses.

On the other end of the 3D printing spectrum, aerospace, automotive and medical device companies are innovating with machines costing upwards of $1 million.

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NextGen Supply Chain: Update on 3D printing, Part 2

Jabil is creating a digital network to manufacture 3D printed parts

Over the years, Jabil, the manufacturing solutions provider and one of HP’s partners in the production of 3D printers, has been recognized as a supply chain innovator by the likes of Gartner.  Today, it is in the process of creating what Jabil and John Dulchinos, the vice president of digital manufacturing, calls a digital supply chain.

As Dulchinos explains, that is one in which networks of digital printers are distributed to locations around the world, such as Singapore, where Jabil manufacturers HP’s 3D printers, while the design and process work is centralized in Silicon Valley. “We’re building production files in San Jose, and sending them to Singapore where we’re manufacturing them on 3D printers and then assembling the final product,” Dulchinos says.

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Lockheed Martin shares its “5 Ps” for industiral 3D printing

From the U.S. Air Force’s production of cost-effective 3D printed cup handles and 3D printed military aircraft toilet seat coversadditive manufacturing continues to provide innovative part solutions for military and naval industries.

Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, has emphasized its 5Ps Additive Manufacturing Model to demonstrate the potential of additive manufacturing in the lifecycle of a typical U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) program.

“We look to insert the right level of additive capabilities at each of our factories to support production and keep our innovation centers focused on development,” said Carolyn Preisendanz, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Lockheed Martin RMS in an article by Robert Ghobrial, Technical Fellow and AM Technology Strategist Lockheed Martin, Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) division.

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Lockheed Martin shares its “5 Ps” for industrial 3D printing

From the U.S. Air Force’s production of cost-effective 3D printed cup handles and 3D printed military aircraft toilet seat coversadditive manufacturing continues to provide innovative part solutions for military and naval industries.

Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, has emphasized its 5Ps Additive Manufacturing Model to demonstrate the potential of additive manufacturing in the lifecycle of a typical U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) program.

“We look to insert the right level of additive capabilities at each of our factories to support production and keep our innovation centers focused on development,” said Carolyn Preisendanz, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Lockheed Martin RMS in an article by Robert Ghobrial, Technical Fellow and AM Technology Strategist Lockheed Martin, Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) division.
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3D printing ‘will fall on its face’ without boardroom support

A 3D printer prints an object (Credit: Shutterstock)In the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg changed the course of history.

His printing press, often called the most important invention of the millennium, helped books spread beyond the religious and scholastic elite to billions of people around the world. With the Gutenberg Bible – the first mass-produced book – as the original ‘killer app’, the technology’s success was assured.

Today, 3D-printing evangelists believe their technology could have a similarly momentous impact. The technique, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), “is poised to transform the $12tn global manufacturing industry,” according to George Brasher, HP’s UK managing director. “It promises to democratise industrial production, dramatically reducing costs and production cycles.”

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How to set up your own in-house 3D printing facility

In-house 3D printing has been proven to reduce lead times, improve product quality, and cut production costs. In one such award winning application, Ultimaker 3D printers saved Volkswagen Autoeuropa an estimated $160,000 in the space of 12 months. The European car manufacturer is now on course to save over a quarter of a million dollars in tooling costs each year.

To help others reap the benefits of in-house 3D printing, Ultimaker has released a white paper: Getting Started with Office 3D Printing.

Cura 3D printing software, integrated with Ultimaker. Photo via Ultimaker

The document serves as a guide to desktop 3D printing, troubleshooting questions of software, materials, staffing, logistics, networking and maintenance. As such, it is also suited to new starters in any sector, from aerospace and automotive, through to medicine, architecture, and industrial design seeking to benefit from 3D printing.

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