CECIMO, the association representing the interests of machine tool and manufacturing technologies, has released a new statement concerning additive manufacturing’s position in upcoming discussions by the European Commission.
Having given a formal statement in March 2019, CECIMO has reiterated its commitment to keeping additive manufacturing at the center of decisions relating to product liability, intellectual property (IP) rights, and the U.S.-EU trade deal.
“Before the end of the year,” the association states, “additive manufacturing will be at the centerstage at the European level.”
The Commission is due to publish a new study and guidelines that will rekindle debates surrounding quality standards and the difference between Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) relations. In such debates, the association reiterates, “CECIMO will address policymakers to avoid burdening the sector with unnecessary regulation.”
The fifth Innovation Food Conference — iFood 2019 — will be held at Anuga in Cologne, Germany, in October. Suitable for food retailers, technologists and manufacturers, the conference aims to jointly work out approaches for the development of efficient value chains for sustainable and attractive products.
Speakers at the iFood conference will discuss the ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability, addressing issues such as ethics, animal welfare, resource efficiency, consumer health and food authenticity.
Presentations about digitalisation will encompass many topics pertaining to the food industry. The conference will question what digitalisation offers to the food industry in terms of transparency and traceability, and the role of artificial intelligence within the food industry. Experts will provide insights into the economic impacts and opportunities of digitalisation, alongside discussing topics such as blockchain.
3D printing is hitting the runway at New York Fashion Week as textiles are using the technology for designs.
Stratasys, threeASFOUR and Travis Fitch collaborated on the Chro-Morpho collection, which is inspired by microscopic colors and light filtering of butterfly wings.
Using a Stratasys J750 PolyJet printer, designers were able to add polymers to textiles. For Stratasys, the aim is to develop the fashion market and enable more than 500,000 combinations of colors, textures, and transparencies.
Amid the general euphoria about the opportunities presented by additive manufacturing, there are those who take a more level-headed view of the disruptiveness of the technology. According to Nigel Flowers, United Kingdom managing director of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, for example, injection molding and additive manufacturing are more complementary to one another than competitors.
“While we cannot knock the level of innovation happening in the 3D printing space, in reality, additive manufacturing is not the universal panacea it’s made out to be. Right now, it continues to perform strongest for prototyping rather than mass manufacturing,” Flowers said.
The idea that 3D printers are about to overthrow traditional manufacturing techniques — including molding, forging, casting and even subtractive CNC manufacturing — is simply scaremongering, he said.
Award-winning OEM GE Additive has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New South Wales (NSW) Government in Australia to develop a 3D printing aerospace centre at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
Following a visit to the GE Additive Customer Experience Centre in Munich, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “3D printing is on the cutting edge of manufacturing globally and this deal will help make Western Sydney the nation’s leader.”
“Our partnership with GE Additive will create many hi-tech jobs across the aerospace, medical and automotive sectors.”
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are scaling their adoption of 3D printing technology, especially in the construction sector
Few industries are witnessing widespread adoption of 3D printing technology, which represents only 0.1 percent of the total $13.1 trillion value added through the global manufacturing industry.
Advisory firm Moody’s Investors Service says that 3D printing technology is used in niche applications and will help boost companies’ profitability and market shares in a limited number of industries.
Manufacturers of consumer goods such as eyewear and footwear are among the industries with the strongest near-term growth prospects for the adoption of 3D printing. Other industries that will benefit include aerospace, medical devices, automotive and capital equipment, but to varying degrees, according to Moody’s report.
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.
You’ve probably heard of the technology hype cycle, which goes like this: Something new is developed and everybody thinks it’s going to change the world, but it falls short so everybody gives up on it. Finally, when nobody’s looking, the real potential slowly develops.
Over the years I’ve followed 3D printing through the first two stages: “It changes everything!” and then “It’s a complete dud!”
Now, judging from a conference going on at Dartmouth College right now, 3D printing is moving into the third stage: “Sometimes it’s very useful in ways we didn’t expect.”
Additive manufacturing is no longer just for prototypes. Its increasing popularity and technical capabilities have pushed it into position to change the way manufacturers manage their spare parts inventory.
No matter how technologies change, or what new innovations break into the mainstream, the basic goals of manufacturing remain the same: Reduce unplanned downtime, reduce costs, eliminate unnecessary waste, etc. How fortunate it is that 3D printing (a.k.a. additive manufacturing) is one of those cool, innovative technologies that is finding itself a very nice spot in the realm of day-to-day cost and time savings. Not only can it be used to produce interesting and previously impossible designs, it has also become a useful way to change spare parts management.
When a system goes down, making the repairs needed to get it back up and running can be time-consuming. Even more so if the part that needs replacing is no longer readily available. With the right program in place, additive manufacturing can build that part on demand—whether through reverse engineering, digital files from the component supplier, or perhaps through the supplier itself.
In recent years, advances in the printing technology, in the materials that can be used, and the software control of the end-to-end workflow have fundamentally changed the way parts can be made with additive manufacturing, says John Nanry, co-founder and chief product officer at Fast Radius, which provides 3D printing services.
3D printing continues to displace traditional manufacturing methods
Computer 3D printing (3DP) is being widely adopted in high-volume industrial sectors such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare and defense. Universities and other educational institutions also have incorporated 3DP into their technical training programs.
“3DP addresses the issues of cost, weight and reliability,” says Debbie Naguy, chief of the Product Support Engineering Division at the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in Dayton, Ohio. “It is prevalent everywhere, from aviation to automotive.”
3D printing is also called additive manufacturing (AM). Traditional manufacturing starts with a slab of material and eliminates whatever is unnecessary to form an object, creating waste that carries financial and environmental consequences. Additive manufacturing, by contrast, layers powdered alloys to build a three-dimensional object. The improved accuracy, enhanced product design and shorter time to market demonstrably lower costs. Leftover material can be reused. AM requires design to be done on computers, so it can be uploaded to the 3D printers.