Andy Simpson: Scottish firms need to adopt 3D vision

Why do we need 3D printing? is unfortunately not an ­uncommon response from Scottish companies when I ask if they’re interested in using additive manufacturing in their business.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it’s fondly known, is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D-printed object is achieved using additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material.

Companies wrongly presume they have to be involved in one of the ‘sexy’ manufacturing industries like ­aerospace, F1, automotive or ­medical to benefit or use this technology, which is far from reality. Additive manufacturing was used significantly in the creation of ­concept and ­prototype models for new designs and products.

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