Additive Manufacturing 2.0 Is Right here
7 mins read

Additive Manufacturing 2.0 Is Right here


We’re at an inflection level, welcoming the subsequent technology of producing expertise. The applied sciences of Business 4.0 are actually feeding into a particular new idea: Additive Manufacturing 2.0.

Additive Manufacturing 1.0

Any ‘2.0′ is preceded by a primary model, just like the ‘1.0’ period. And the start, as they are saying, is an excellent place to start out. Additive Manufacturing 1.0 as an period may extra aptly be known as Speedy Prototyping, as that was extra typical terminology used from the early Eighties and into the early a part of the twenty first century. As 3D printing applied sciences matured, so did the terminology used to seek advice from them.

The primary decade or two of 3D printing was primarily led by stereolithography (SLA) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) processes–earlier than the non-trademarked FDM equal of fused filament fabrication (FFF) grew to become extra widespread. Speedy prototyping (RP) was discovered to be extraordinarily helpful  in rushing up product growth, with some customers evencreating jigs, fixtures, and different useful tooling.

Within the early 2010s, RepRap and different desktop 3D printers emerged, bringing extra mainstream visibility to FFF 3D printing. This grew to become the period of the Yoda head, as this design rose to reputation on many a 3D printer. Individuals began to assume 3D printers would change into as ubiquitous as microwaves in households, permitting them to ‘make something.’

3D printing isn’t fairly really easy, although–nor was it particularly user-friendly a decade in the past. The frustration and disillusionment led to the dying of 3D printing so far as a lot mainstream media was involved. On the similar time although, technological developments continued throughout the business. 3D printing processes expanded, and the total additive manufacturing workflow grew to become outlined throughout seven ASTM-defined processes.

Bigger corporations, like GE and HP, invested closely in additive manufacturing. Pure-play 3D printing corporations rose to prominence with new applied sciences, with some, like Carbon, Desktop Steel, and Formlabs, hitting unicorn standing with billion-dollar valuations.

Efforts throughout software program and supplies continued as nicely. Extra sturdy software program, from the likes of Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, and Siemens, powered advanced geometries and AI-enabled characteristic technology. Phrases like ‘topology optimization’ and ‘generative design’ grew to become a part of the lexicon as biomimetic designs with nature-inspired lattice constructions allowed for all-new designs that would solely be made on a 3D printer. 

On the supplies aspect, world chemical giants threw their hats into the additive manufacturing ring as nicely. Arkema, BASF, Covestro, DSM, Evonik, Henkel, Owens Corning, SABIC, and Solvay, devoted assets to creating superior and acquainted formulations of supplies appropriate for 3D printing.

With new capabilities in {hardware}, software program, and supplies, the business started to show from prototyping to manufacturing, coming into a brand new technology of additive manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing 2.0

The primary firm to publicly and particularly label this new stage in 3D printing was Desktop Steel. Of their announcement in the summertime of 2020 about their intent to go public, the corporate defined the idea of Additive Manufacturing 2.0:

“The additive manufacturing business grew at a 20 p.c annual compound charge between 2006 and 2016 earlier than accelerating to 25 p.c compound annual development over the past 3 years, a charge that’s anticipated to proceed over the subsequent decade because the market surges from $12 billion in 2019 to an estimated $146 billion in 2030. This market inflection is being pushed by a shift in functions from design prototyping and tooling to mass manufacturing of end-use elements, enabled by the emergence of what Desktop Steel refers to as ‘Additive Manufacturing 2.0,’ a wave of next-generation additive manufacturing applied sciences that unlock throughput, repeatability, and aggressive half prices. These options characteristic key improvements throughout printers, supplies, and software program and pull additive manufacturing into direct competitors with typical processes used to fabricate $12 trillion in items yearly.”

The assertion that we’re at an inflection level tipping towards mass adoption of additive manufacturing is being confirmed over and over. Border closures and plant shutterings throughout the top of the pandemic in 2020 first confirmed how rapidly and totally provide chains may break down. This introduced an enormous alternative for additive manufacturing to step up as an answer, serving as a essential proof level of the worth of digital manufacturing.

Additional alternatives introduced within the type of further provide chain crises, from the Ever Given stopping up all the Suez Canal–by means of which a full 12% of world commerce is routed–to the catastrophic impacts of Texas’ wild winter climate. These and different breaking factors to conventional provide chains demanded flexibility and a quick response: precisely the decision to motion to ship on the guarantees of additive manufacturing.

As 3D printing delivered on its guarantees, providing need-it-now PPE and testing provides for pandemic response, in addition to spare and substitute elements and different stop-gap provide wants, it grew to become clear that what we have been coping with was a brand new kind of 3D printing–and never the sort restricted to Yoda heads!

The Subsequent Technology of Additive Manufacturing is Manufacturing

Desktop Steel might have been the primary to make use of ‘Additive Manufacturing 2.0,’ however the time period has unfold rapidly and totally. Particularly as we get additional into 2021, we will see that the general 3D printing business is altering. Market consolidation by means of mergers and acquisitions, in addition to an rising variety of corporations coming into the general public area, is reshaping the market itself.

We’ve already been delivering; up to now, Shapeways has already scaled as much as ship greater than 20 million elements to over 1 million clients in additional than 160 international locations, and over 40 Normal Industrial Classification (SIC) industries served. We provide 11 completely different additive manufacturing processes, working with greater than 90 supplies and finishes. With purpose-built, proprietary software program powering the whole lot we do, we’re assured in our skill to proceed to fulfill the brand new expectations of Additive Manufacturing 2.0.

Our technology- and material-agnostic method has enabled us to at all times work with our clients to seek out the precise proper mixture for his or her particular wants. High quality is on the coronary heart of what we do, as we will assure the work we do utilizing applied sciences and supplies we belief. We’re additionally increasing these choices, as we’re set to work with provide chain companions to broaden availability to injection molding and sheet metallic as nicely. The important thing right here is at all times discovering the very best answer, not only one which may work.

With Additive Manufacturing 2.0 becoming neatly alongside conventional manufacturing applied sciences, complementary processes can now actually work collectively for options to suit each want.

Freelance creator Sarah Goehrke is the founding father of Additive Integrity, and sits on the Board of Administrators for Ladies in 3D Printing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *