The pace of technological growth and change is higher today than perhaps at any other point in human history. Blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality—the list of potentially revolutionary breakthroughs now at our fingertips is long and growing. Of all the promising nascent technologies out there, however, none is closer to bringing real change to the way we live and work than additive manufacturing.
3DEO’s President, Matt Sand, will be speaking at the upcoming MD&M West conference; a must-attend event for any medtech professional. The conference is in Anaheim, CA on February 5-7, and is the largest three-day medtech conference in North America.
Few categories of manufactured goods are as well-suited to 3D printing’s strength as surgical devices. The coming years will prove that clearly.
The swift and continuous improvement of 3D printing systems over the past few years has brought the technology into the mainstream like never before. Technical improvements in printers themselves and growing public awareness have fed off one another to facilitate rising adoption rates across all sectors. As more industries recognize the potential of additive manufacturing to redefine their processes, 3D printing’s share of the total manufacturing market should continue to swell. Still—and this applies particularly to metal AM—the technique is a better fit for some applications than others.
A close look at the variables that determine final part cost reveals that additive manufacturing can be an efficient solution for many medtech applications—but only if approached correctly.
3D printing has left behind its days as an obscure, fledgling technology of dubious real-world value. In nearly all corners of the modern manufacturing environment, additive manufacturing (AM) is now recognized as a powerful manufacturing technology, particularly when it comes to complex designs and streamlining the supply chain. Still, the perception lingers that 3D printing is impractical for most companies, at least from a cost perspective.
"3D printing is a real passion for me".
Marty McGough is an innovative operations executive and process improvement professional with more than 20 years of hands-on experience applying Lean Startup and Continuous Improvement techniques to manufacturing, product design, cost reduction, system enhancement, and customer satisfaction problems for high-tech companies. He has personally introduced more than 31 products that generated over $1.1 billion in sales with gross margins of up to 45%. He has engaged in five successful scaling or turnaround efforts with companies of various sizes.
Predictability of performance is key to 3DEO’s ability to scale our operation. We make sure that our process is in control and our part output stays consistent overtime. When adding new modules or capacity, we ensure that we aren’t changing the distribution of parts. Establishing methodologies for predictability allows us to achieve nominal specs.
At 3DEO, we use process controls to track the quality of the part before it is completed. This allows us to catch and reduce any variability that may occur in real time. By watching these process controls, we can understand the predictability of performance and take corrective action if anything happens.
Material specs are important to 3DEO. We hold ourselves to the highest standard so our customers can trust and rely on our products.
Intelligent Layering for Economical Metal 3D Printing
A related but proprietary and unique process developed by 3DEO, dubbed Intelligent Layering, takes on six distinct steps to deliver high quality parts at a cost that’s competitive with CNC machining and metal injection molding (MIM) at production volumes. The process produces a superior surface finish and tolerances as compared to any other metal AM process.
As our industry continues to expand, and with optimistic forecasts coming from many additive manufacturing experts, competition for talent is also intensifying. Here we report several recent moves in the 3D printing industry.