Additive manufacturing is poised to lead the future of Industrial

Additive manufacturing is poised to lead the future of industrial production . . ..

The technical evolution of most industries depends on innovative and cutting-edge research activities associated with the manufacturing processes, materials in use, product design, production capabilities and prompt availability etc… of their required parts. In effect, manufacturing processes in particular play the critical role in the equation and can be broadly categorized into five major sub-categories namely, subtractive, additive, joining, dividing, and transformative, techniques.

1. Subtractive technology can be defined as a method in which layers/part of materials are removed from the bulk of raw material to produce a desired geometry.

2. Additive technology is based on the addition of raw material in specified layers (either in powder, wire, or liquid resin form) to create a desired final workpiece shape.

3. Joining technology such as welding/fitting consists of physically joining two or more workpieces together to produce the required shape.

4. Dividing technology like cutting/sawing/milling is just the opposite method of the joining process.

5. Transformative technology, like forming, molding, heat treatment, and cryogenic cooling, uses a single workpiece to fabricate another workpiece, keeping the mass unchanged

In addition to the customary demands for lower price and higher quality, the market competition in our current production industries is also linked to the requirements of quality products of intricate design, involving the possibility of client customization with quicker delivery times.The issue of environmental impact and sustainability is also another demanding factor while considering manufacturing technologies. While considering the above scenarios, most of the manufacturing processes fall short of fulfilling even their stringent regulations associated with them let alone such global requirements. That leaves the widely accepted transformative process, i.e. injection molding vs additive technology as the final contestants for the ultimate solution trophy. 

So far, the traditional way of manufacturing a product is to first go through a very long design and development process just to figure out if a product is something that people want.  Then to pursue having it made, you generally call some company overseas in order to produce the mold for such part, effectively setting your product into stone and then have them produce hundreds of thousands of that product in order to amortize the cost of the mold. So effectively, if the mold cost is $5000 and you have 5000 parts while there is a dollar of mold cost in each one of those parts on top of the tooling cost of material in the actual molding itself. So this makes it expensive and very high risk to create a new product, which effectively makes it something that only large organizations or wealthy individuals are able to actually pursue because building the mold is such a high barrier to entry activity. The room for experimentation for relevant design is effectively minimized.

Conversely, We have 3D printing AKA Additive manufacturing. Now, 3D printing is very flexible, very quick, and quite affordable. Here's the fundamental reason that we think 3D printing will replace injection molding. 3D printing effectively digitizes design of physical products rather than having to carve your design in stone about 10s of thousands of them at once. In fact, we're able to quickly iterate on a model and try out new designs and test products, rather than having 10,000 of one product that you're swinging for the fences and hoping you sell well. the engineering reasons that most people point to prefer additive manufacturing is topped up with economic reasons that 3D printing will eventually replace molding for effectively every single product made in the future.

The phenomenon is pretty much similar like web design. E.g., When Google was getting started up, they used to try 10 to 15 different variations of the blue for their buttons to find out which color people would click on the most. We're now able to do that with physical products which is only possible and affordable with 3D printing. 3D designs allow us to use software methodologies for developing physical products that were never possible before. So right at the start, we have a much higher opportunity for success because we’re able to have more design iterations than you would traditionally do with injection molding.  We’re able to take that same molding budget for testing and verification to try new variations and focusing in on what the customers actually want and then tweaking the design over time with mass customization techniques. Our firm additive Abyssinia can help you achieve just that due to its sole experience on additive technology. Additive manufacturing offers a great potential for both product and process innovation across a wide range of industry sectors. To date most applications have been reported the successful use of additive manufacturing to produce either customized parts or standard parts at small scale while the volume production of large heavy-duty parts remains a conjecture.

Now, the argument that many people have is the fact that 3D printing can't hit a scaled-up production. This is just a misguided information since additive technology is now matured enough to produce as many, if not more parts than injection molding at the same rate over a time. The fact is that products never sell more than 100,000 units in their lifetime. Even if you see a product in Walmart, many of those products don't sell 10s of thousands or hundreds of thousands of units per day. People have this idea that anything that's molded sells, millions of pieces but they simply don't. They sell thousands if they're lucky. Many sell less. So, if scale is a requirement that exists in the real world, it’s a construct created from a public misunderstanding of how most products are created to reach the final consumer. 

With additive manufacturing We’re able to get the scale; to change and evolve and iterate on your product very quickly. If you have the capability to rapidly change your product, you will get customer feedback faster than 100,000 units and update the same way a website evolves overtime as you find out what people are sticking to. We’d be able to observe customer behavior and say ‘Oh everybody's going for that particular fit, Okay. . .’ Such is the ideal future of 3D printing that we're working hard towards and something that will push the boundaries of the entire industry forward. So, if we’re to sum this up, really the main thing, it's just the fact that since 3D printing allows us to change your product over time without any upfront cost, people will still be producing lots of parts, but they'll be able to do them in smaller and smaller batch sizes to a point where the validity of the mold becomes ridiculous for mass customization. 

The costs of the mold would make these thousand parts too expensive, but since We’re printing them already, we’re able to do 1000 here and1000 there. And since printing can produce at the same scale with better quality products, there'd be no reason at all to use the moles for such a small batch production. 3D printing gives us the opportunity to try, scale, iterate and evolve far more quickly so that we can create a product that customers really love and appreciate censored to their specific demands, that shall in turn make you more competitive in the marketplace. So, it seems obvious that 3D printing, and additive manufacturing technologies shall be the future favorites of most manufacturing processes in the coming few years.