Canadian Manufacturing

Manufacturing Automation: Additive manufacturing moves into production

The rapid evolution of 3D printing technology for both plastics and metals is creating new opportunities, however finding solid business cases remains a challenge

February 17, 2021  by Jacob Stoller

3D printer machine printing plastic workpiece look like metal at futuristic technology exhibition – close up shot. 3D printing, 4.0 industrial revolution and manufacturing concept
Photo: Zyabich/Getty Images

The phrase “my kid could make that” is now literally applicable to millions of plastic shapes, thanks to the wide proliferation of consumer-grade 3D printers.

The apparent ease of printing a finished product directly from a digital model with no moulds or tooling, however, has caused many to underestimate the challenges and the costs of applying the technology in production environments.

This is particularly problematic in AM (additive metal) manufacturing, where the barrier to entry is much higher than it is for plastics.

Read the full story on Manufacturing Automation, one of Canadian Manufacturing‘s sister publications.

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