From concept to reality – The rise of additive manufacturing
Product development technology, and particularly additive manufacturing, has grown rapidly in recent years. What was once only available in sci-fi movies are now being installed in factories around the world.
With a little help from advanced laser scanning, materials science and progression in technology, additive manufacturing is on the brink of completely redefining traditional industrial processes and shaking off it’s “gimmick” status.
Naturally there are continued challenges for the additive manufacturing market regarding accessibility of applications for SME’s, skills shortages, maintenance, purchasing costs and economic factors.
It’s been a roller-coaster journey so far and there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic. Will 2019 signify another landmark year or will progress be halted once again?
There have been moments of manufacturing brilliance which have solidified themselves in engineering history.
From revolutions in healthcare to advancements in aerospace parts, additive manufacturing offers endless opportunities. Here are the most memorable breakthrough moments so far:
1986 – 3D Systems becomes the world’s first 3D printing company
1993 – CAD systems are integrated into 3D printing
1999 – Bioprinting is realized when scientists successfully 3D print and transplant a human bladder to a patient.
2011 – The first 3D printed car and aircraft prototypes signify a global appreciation for the scalability and potential of 3D printing
2018 – 3D printing in construction takes a giant leap forward by producing first habitable 3D printed house.
Predictions in 2019
There is much more to look forward to! Here are FMC’s top 5 predictions for additive manufacturing in 2019:
- Mass production is quickly becoming a reality in specific industries. Automotive will permanently adopt 3D printing into its manufacturing process thanks to faster production, creative design, quality of parts and the reinvention of supply chains.
- Metal 3d printing will become dramatically more accessible. Thanks to advancements in materials science, part quality and production speeds, metal additive manufacturing is a major growth area.
- Standardization and certifications are barriers to growth, but this could change in 2019.. The establishment and enforcement of standards will encourage OEM’s to trust the technology and “enable the industrialization of AM for serial production”.
- The relationship between CAD and 3D printers will improve. CAD vendors, including the likes of Dassault Systèmes (SOLIDWORKS), are striving to become the “design platform of choice” and have announced strategic partnership with additive manufacturing companies to achieve seamless integration and enhance user experience.
- Material science will produce a wider selection of advanced and quality assured materials that withstand higher temperatures and behave closer to thermoplastics.
Develop 3D Live
We’re in attendance at Develop 3D Live! Sabrina Anthoney and I will be attending this years Develop 3D Live to discuss the latest Digital Manufacturing trends, it’s impact on the talent landscape, new career opportunities and much more!
Whether you’re interested in the types of services FMC provides, the insight we offer or the career opportunities we’re currently working on then we’d love to meet with you! Please contact me at email@example.com or call me on +44 (0) 1522 812 461.