Production with additive manufacturing has entered a new era of capability. While prototyping will continue to be a staple of the process new technologies are now able to produce at high volumes that can compete with traditional methods. So, what will/is driving adoption of production parts in AM? Is it the applications or the technology? Use cases are a great way to showcase success of specific applications. Most of the use cases focus on uniquely AM values; such as part consolidation, lattice structures, mass customization, etc. Do these applications really drive adoption of production parts in AM? The technology has made significant improvements in terms of speed, quality, material characteristics, and consistency. The balance of the right technology platform with these components can drive production AM. Understanding these technology improvements will likely enable the applications. While the easy answer is that it is likely both applications and technology a deeper look into this comparison can accelerate market adoption.
- Be challenged to reconsider how they are approaching AM in terms of production
- Conduct a better initial review of whether or not AM should be considered for production for their application
- Have another viewpoint on what to measure when valuing AM technologies for production