For many organizations, additive manufacturing (AM) remains relatively new to their portfolio of process solutions. And although AM has been around for awhile now, most enterprises are now realizing the potential benefits of additive beyond prototyping. The TCT Show, in Birmingham, UK kicks off September 26, 2017, and this year’s program features the best and brightest minds centered around pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in AM, and moving the industry forward in innovative and unique ways.
We will be there collaborating with some of our partners, like McLaren Honda, whose car will be featured at our exhibition booth. We will have technical consultants ready to help answer your additive manufacturing questions at the Application Challenge, and we will also have a speaker, Amos Breyfogle, on the product stage discussing Tooling Up: The 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Opportunity Beyond the Design Process and into Production. I was able to talk little with Amos about the upcoming show, and some of the tangible impacts of additive manufacturing that will be on display. Here are some insights he shared with me about what to expect from Additive Manufacturing as an industry.
The TCT Show is just around the corner. Why should attendees consider your session this year?
Although its roots lay in design validation/prototyping, advances in additive manufacturing have seen the technology continue to strengthen its foothold across a plethora of applications throughout the manufacturing chain. For those supplying industry sectors like aerospace and automotive – as well as a host of others – the adoption of additive manufacturing over traditional production methods can significantly reduce lead times and cost, with the potential to have a transformational impact on supply chains.
From composite tooling to jigs & fixtures, this year’s presentation will go beyond 3D printing’s design-stage heritage and focus on the business opportunity when implementing additive manufacturing across a variety of production-line tooling applications.
How has additive manufacturing advanced production, beyond design for high performance organizations?
Additive Manufacturing is increasingly finding a home along side traditional manufacturing processes. For instance, composite tooling is an area where many companies are moving to additive solutions for the challenging geometries. They can save time in production, weight on the tool itself, and in the end, cost.
We see a large adoption happening around using other types of tools as well, from jigs and fixtures for assembly, to automation systems to help operators be more effective.
What are some of the biggest trends we should look for in additive manufacturing as we round out 2017?
As we come to the close of 2017 we are seeing more and more customized production happening. This has been going on in very high end automotive and aerospace in the past few years, the difference is we are starting to see this be adapted to larger production volumes and lower cost products. When we combine that with the ever growing number of people using additive tooling, it makes this industry an exciting place to be working.