3D printing is not replacing traditional manufacturing it is improving it!
Hripko recently spoke at a NorTech event that discussed how additive manufacturing can transform businesses and entire industries. He pointed out several benefits of the technology that make it a revolutionary production method:
- Efficient use of resources: Additive manufacturing requires fewer processing steps, little assembly and less energy. It also minimizes waste.
- Small-lot production: Additive manufacturing eliminates the need to produce parts or products in large quantities. As a result there is no inventory or stock cost.
- Rapid manufacturing: The technology allows makers to go directly from design to manufacturing. It dramatically reduces cycle times since it doesn’t require a tooling process.
- Agile manufacturing: Additive technology can create spare parts on demand and thus simplifies supply chains and logistics.
- Reverse engineering: Parts for legacy systems can be easily replaced with the help of a scanner and a 3D printer or other additive manufacturing technology.
Hripko stressed that additive manufacturing is not replacing traditional manufacturing, but complementing it and creating new markets within the industry. It is capable of making parts that cannot be manufactured by traditional processes and enables new technologies that are lightweight, customizable and complex.
One company that specializes in making these complex parts and products is rapid prototype + manufacturing (rp+m), based in Avon Lake, OH. The company is partnering with America Makes on numerous projects and supplies some of the largest OEMs in the aerospace and defense industries. It makes anything from CT scanner parts to lightweight air ducts and works with a range of materials including tungsten, stainless steel and ultem.
“Additive manufacturing is going to be a future core technology of the engineered products industry,” rp+m Chief Technology Officer Anthony Hughes said at the NorTech event. “As we are shifting our focus from purely rapid prototyping into direct digital production, we are opening up new markets and channels really fast.”