One of the benefits of additive manufacturing is the potential to eliminate the need for stored inventory. From end products to replacement parts to tools, 3D printing could make it possible to print what we need, when and where we need it, with the mythical batch size of one and completely custom made with very low lead time.
Heavy-duty Cummins cylinder heads wear out after a million miles on the road. Ordinarily, these cast iron parts would have to be replaced with new castings, a costly process in terms of time, energy, and money. Instead, the team ‘scoops out’ the worn section, and uses additive techniques to deposit a high-performance alloy in its place, like a heavy-duty dental filling.