Last week’s poll sought to loosely quantify the uptake of additive manufacturing technology within the workplace, and it found 49 per cent of respondents using AM for prototyping.
Over a third of respondents (34 per cent) don’t use AM at all, but it has gained traction with the 10 per cent that say it is an established part of their manufacturing operations.
Of the remaining vote, four per cent said they’re struggling to integrate AM, and three per cent said it has replaced the use of traditional techniques.
The technology has come a long way since Stratasys co-founder Scott Crump first patented the fused deposition modelling (FDM) form of 3D printing in 1989. In April 2018, the Stratasys’ Scott Secvik provided an update on the ways in which AM has moved into mainstream manufacturing, with tooling and low-volume production being two areas where AM can provide an advantage.
More recently, HP unveiled its new Metal Jet additive manufacturing technology, which has been designed for the mass production of metal parts. According to Dr Tim Weber, HP’s global head of Metal 3D Printing, the breakeven point for bulk runs of some parts will be as low as 55-65,000. The company added that finished parts will meet or exceed ASTM and MPIF Standards.
Is your company using AM/3D printing for prototyping, tooling, or low-volume production? Let us know about the advantages – or limitations – you’ve encountered in Comments below.