AM has moved from a technology limited to prototyping to a full-fledged game changer in manufacturing. This change didn’t happen overnight and we can trace its recent success on a few key advances that enabled it to become more approachable and employable. First, metal AM machines are coming down in price drastically, making the technology more affordable to businesses at a sub $500K price tag. Hybrid manufacturing equipment is incorporating AM to leverage its potential while compensating its shortcoming with traditional tools to finish the job, making the jump into AM less restrictive. Ultimately, but not less important, companies are finally coming out of their pilot projects with positive results and are keen to delve deeper into their investments and scale their operations.
HP’s Metal Jet 3D printer may build your next car’s innards
A number of companies offer metal 3D printing, which creates products and components layer by layer with a computer-controlled system tracing its lineage to ordinary inkjet printers. But on Monday, printing giant HP announced it’s entered the market with the ambition to dramatically lower prices, courtesy of a $400,000 product called the Metal Jet.
“We’re really going to enable mass production for mainstream metals, in particular steels,” said Tim Weber, head of 3D metal printing for HP.
Read more at CNET.
Hybrid Manufacturing & The Future of 3D Printing for Production
[…] much like 3D printing, the potential benefits of hybrid manufacturing have made some early adopters very optimistic about the technology’s future prospects. Michael Sealy, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is one of them.
“Additive really opens up the doors in terms of being able to print your own mechanical properties layer-by-layer or zone-by-zone,” he said. “That’s one of the big advantages, so I see hybrid AM exploding in the next few years just because of all that potential.”
Read more here.
According to reports in UK rail industry authority the Railway Gazette GE is looking to apply additive manufacturing to components for its locomotives. If all goes according to plan, this could mean that in the next seven years GE Transportation will have an inventory of up to 250 3D printed train components.
A pilot initiative for 3D printing at GE Transport is underway as part of its Brilliant Factory model, combined with analytics and lean manufacturing in a Digital Thread.
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