This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING NOW Chuck Alexander


T


More Manufacturers Adopting 3D, Addressing Challenges Companies facing gaps in expertise, training and equip-


a


he pace of change in the 3D printing industry is so rapid and exciting that it’s diffi cult to keep up. To get a more complete sense of 3D printing’s current and continued impact on manufacturing, we looked to the wider professional attitude that prevailed toward 3D printing in 2015 by authoring an industry report based on a blind survey that was distributed to 700 professional 3D printing users. The full report (which can be downloaded at http://tinyurl. com/3dfuturesme) covers 36 questions. Here, we’re answer- ing what we’ve deemed as the three most relevant—ques- tions that told us the most about the future of 3D printing in manufacturing, including:


t Are more manufacturers bringing 3D printing in-house?


t What is the current learning curve for a 3D printing system?


t Is there a barrier to entry due to a lack of 3D printing design know-how?


Are More Manufacturers Bringing 3D Printing In-House? The short answer is yes. A majority of respondents (73%) said they expect their in-house capabilities will increase over the next three years. But many (36%) also expect their outsourcing to grow. This is a clear indicator that in-house and outsourced 3D printing is not an either/or predicament. In many cases, companies do both.


What is the Current Learning Curve for a 3D Printing System? As much as we like to imagine the 3D printing process is as easy as simply pushing a button, it actually requires a bit more training and experience than that.


Given that each 3D printing technology comes with its


own learning curve, fi nishing requirements, materials and design constraints, it isn’t surprising that 39% of respondents said post-processing requirements are a top challenge in us- ing AM now and in the future.


10 AdvancedManufacturing.org | May 2016


ment turn to service providers. In fact, 73% of participants said they outsource 3D printing to a service provider to gain access to advanced equipment while another 40% partner with additive manufacturing service providers to bridge the


More manufacturers (73%) are increasing in-house AM capabilities, but post-processing and specialized knowledge remain challenges.


equipment and expertise gap and to increase their 3D print- ing output. While many rely on outsourcing 3D printing today, these professionals recognize the need to train personnel on designing for the technology if they’re to bring 3D printing in-house down the road.


Is Lack of 3D Printing Design Know-How Still a Barrier to Entry? As a service provider with more than two decades in the 3D printing trenches, we’ve observed that designing for 3D printing is not intuitive for engineers trained in conventional manufacturing and still presents a hurdle for younger engi- neers who have yet to participate in physical production. But we see the design-knowledge gap decrease every year, and our report points to one reason why: 40% of respondents are investing in training for designers and engineers specifi cally in AM processes and 19% are recruiting employees who can attest to experience or familiarity with additive manufacturing.


The Future State of AM Where do these statistics leave us with regards to the 3D printing industry moving forward? If you’re already investing in 3D printing or partnering with an outside service provider, it should give you peace of mind to know your peers are doing the same.


But for any manufacturers who haven’t yet started using 3D printing, they better start looking at it now, or they’ll fall behind and fi nd it diffi cult to catch up.


Director of Product Management Stratasys Direct Manufacturing www.stratasysdirect.com


MODERN MANUFACTURING PROCESSES, SOLUTIONS & STRATEGIES


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150