3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is one of the most exciting manufacturing technologies talked about today. We are now seeing a second modern wave of interest and enthusiasm for 3D printing with advances appearing in news feeds everyday across markets including consumer, industrial, automotive, aerospace, medical, and many more.
As the research from Dimension clearly demonstrates, most prospective 3D printing customers are waiting for big success stories prior to adopting the technology. The burden is on us, 3D printing companies, to showcase fantastic new applications of the technology.
As technology improves and processes are refined, metal 3D printing has grown increasingly popular and accessible. But even as price points for 3D printers come down and new applications for additive manufacturing are discovered, challenges remain that prevent many companies from utilizing this innovative technology to its full potential.
3D printing is being utilized in a variety of industries due to its high-quality customization capabilities and on-demand manufacturing, among other key benefits. Out in front among the sectors taking full advantage of additive manufacturing technology is the healthcare industry.
The U.S. medical device industry is considered by many to be one of the country’s most innovative business sectors. Not surprisingly, due to the nature of medical devices and the critical issues they address, it is also one of the most highly regulated.
While laser sintering has received most of the attention in metal 3D printing to date, there are many new bulk sintering metal additive manufacturing processes entering the market. In most cases, these new technologies have the potential to dramatically lower costs in metal AM. As a result, we wrote up a short summary of the differences between laser sintering and bulk sintering, and highlighted the pros and cons of each.
We'd like to send a big thanks to Pam Waterman for the great article in RapidReady, a Digital Engineering publication. Here are some highlights from the article:
Future-Proof On-Demand Supply Chain with 3D Printing
Manufacturers are making headway in mass customization thanks to lean manufacturing, just-in-time inventory, and digital technologies like additive manufacturing.
Customizable consumer products can create production choke points in traditional manufacturing models. Additive manufacturing is one way to “unchoke” production for mass customization.
Additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) has a singular, strategic advantage in the medical device market: personalization.