Tag Archives: Future

The value of additive manufacturing: future opportunities

Published in September 2017, in conjunction with Imperial College London’s Additive Manufacturing Network, this paper presents an overview of the potential economic, technical and environmental benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) – 3D printing – as well as the current hurdles across the AM process chain that need to be overcome to realise a more-effective and more-profitable industry. For example, improved design software, faster printing technology, increased automation and better industry standards are required.

Imperial College London is equipped to play a leading role in the UK’s ever-growing AM landscape. The current portfolio of AM-based research is varied and encompasses problems across the entire design-to-end-use-product chain. Research projects include, for instance, the development of new design methodologies for optimised multimaterial AM parts, novel metal-based AM printing techniques, investigations of fundamental AM material properties and 3D printing of next-generation biomaterials for medical applications.

AM research at Imperial can be further extended by capitalising on the College’s world-class scientific and engineering expertise and factilities, its culture of collaboration and history of effective research translation. There are several ways for external partners interested in the AM field to engage with Imperial academics: focused workshops, bespoke consultancy services, funding for specific research projects and facilities, or student placements

Download the paper


Additive is the answer

3D printing has moved from the margins to the mainstream and it is design and manufacturing companies that are really starting to benefit from the unique characteristics of additive technologies, enabling them to reduce the time it takes to bring products to market, says Matthew Aldridge, igus’ managing director.

For many years, 3D printing was viewed as something of a technological curiosity. The nature of additive manufacturing was so different to traditional subtractive technologies that it quickly caught the public’s imagination. 3D printing was everywhere: on TV, at exhibitions, in the national press. But after the initial fascination fell away, one primary question was being asked: 3D printing might represent a new way of making products, but when would it ever be used?

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Future-Proof On-Demand Supply Chain with 3D Printing

Design-rich experience and immediate product delivery are the new normal in consumer demand, which is forcing radical shifts in the global supply chain. 3D printing is a critical component to a successful transition to on-demand manufacturing.

On-demand products are customer-specific items produced at (or near) the point of need.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But for supply chain managers, nothing could be less simple. They will spend restless nights and long, bleary-eyed days in front of spreadsheets, trying to align their piece of operational model to the needs of on-demand manufacturing.

Why bother?

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Made Smarter Review report finds AI, robotics and 3D printing could contribute £445 billion to the UK economy

A demonstration of the Digital Innovation Hubs and satellite facilities to be launched throughout the UK. Image via The Made Smarter Review Report.An independent review of the UK’s manufacturing sector led by Jürgen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, has reached completion. The Made Smarter Review Report calls for government and businesses to come together and embrace the nation’s potential as a leader of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

The study follows earlier recommendations from AM UK and the UK Additive Manufacturing National Strategy 2018-2025, which also found that 3D printing will make a significant contribution to high-value manufacturing.

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Can 3D printing live up to the hype?

3dprinter for schoolsAs 3D printing continues to get more traction across industries, the hype increases – but can the additive manufacturing live up to it?

Some may call it disruptive, others may love the idea, but the rise of technologies such as 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, could herald a vast change to the future of a range of industries.

Even across industries such as automotive and healthcare, there has been increasing adoption across different areas which is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

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The future of 3D printing by Dr Conor MacCormack, Co-Founder and CEO of MCOR

Predicting the future is not an easy thing to do because in Yoda’s words, “Always in Motion the Future is”. However, it might help to look back before looking forward. Following on from a period of hype in the 3D printing industry around consumer desktop printers the current market for 3D printers is largely divergent—at the low end are limited-function offerings of interest to hobbyists and makers. At the high end, there are expensive printers that are inaccessible in the main.

But looking to the future there are huge opportunities in this industry. Let’s have a look, Wohlers reports that the manufacturing market is currently worth a whopping $10.5 trillion and the 3D printing market is worth a fraction of this at $5 billion. Even if 3D printing grows to just 2% of the manufacturing market it could will be worth a substantial $210 billion! Wohlers predicts the 3D printing market will grow to $20 billion by 2020 but what part of the 3D market will dominate? Production will grow to $7.4 billion and the consumer market to $0.4 billion. But growing at a CAGR of 29% and to the value of $12 billion prototyping will continue to present opportunities for those companies that continue to improve their offerings.

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IN(3D)USTRY 2017 Report: Major 3D printing figures recognize achievements and look ahead

This year’s IN(3D)USTRY expo in Barcelona, one of the world’s largest 3D printing conferences, had a schedule that was even more packed than that of the inaugural event in 2016. IN(3D)USTRY had invited speakers and exhibitors from every tier of the 3D printing eco-system, and the big hitters from the likes of Sony and Airbus rubbed shoulders with 3D printing start-ups, pioneering designers, and representatives of local technology initiatives.

To make this mouth-watering additive manufacturing smorgasbord a little easier to digest, the event was organized roughly into three parts, with each day focused on a particular industrial sector.

Day one of the conference was dedicated to two of the most high-profile and successful recent adopters of 3D printing technology, the Automotive and Aerospace industries. Along with the talks from SEAT, Renault, FCA, the European Space Agency, and other major players, there were also ample opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the 3D printing companies responsible for the recent additive manufacturing revolution in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

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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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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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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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