We’ve all heard about the transformational impact that 3D printing will have on product design and development. Previously impossible designs are now possible with 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing or AM). For example, the technology extremely complex internal channels that are impossible to create with traditional manufacturing possible by literally “growing” a part layer by layer.
Additive manufacturing is also transforming product development. Timelines once measured in years are routinely being condensed down to months and even weeks. Parts that would have taken six months (or more) to produce via traditional manufacturing techniques like metal injection molding (MIM) are now taking six days or less with additive manufacturing. In today’s fast-paced, hyper competitive world, fast innovation and product development are key sustainable competitive advantages.
The force multiplier behind all of this is the maturation of metal 3D Printing processes to the point that production volumes are now possible.