Additive Manufacturing is an emerging technology that has the potential to be significantly disruptive when applied correctly. Though it is often hyped as a technology that will displace traditional manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing will seldom provide the value-enabled business case for direct part-for-part replacements of non-optimized parts. This is an arena where traditional manufacturing will always lead. Conversely and importantly, Additive Manufacturing will displace traditional manufacturing when Additive Manufacturing is utilized to create differentiating products with improved performance and durability, in shorter timeframes and at lower cost by incorporating engineering designs that are not possible to fabricate with traditional methods. The disruption to the aerospace industry will occur when the Additive Manufacturing industry has demonstrated that risk associated with AM can be mitigated. The industry is currently on the steady path forward accumulating and archiving data derived from captured opportunities that increase our understanding, experience and maturity, thereby allowing Additive-only solutions to their product designs. As the esteemed Nobel laureate William Faulkner intoned “you cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” The great opportunities afforded by Additive Manufacturing cannot be achieved with designs that can be manufactured traditionally.
- In which circumstances Additive Manufacturing will provide value
- Challenges associated with AM disrupting manufacturing in aerospace
- What is required to scale AM