March 2019 Issue Highlights Executive Perspective on Additive Manufacturing

The executive perspective is vital for evaluating additive manufacturing. The March 2019 issue dives into what the CEO needs to know to make this decision, plus AM’s influence beyond manufacturing and a preview of Rapid.


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Additive manufacturing is often discussed in contrast to “subtractive manufacturing,” but that divisive comparison is not entirely accurate. As Editor-in-Chief Peter Zelinski points out in the introductory column of our March 2019 issue, thinking in terms of additive versus subtractive sets up an unhelpful equivalency between an additive manufacturing machine and a machine tool.

The machine tool has a very specific purpose, whereas the AM machine can represent a range of operations and implications. 3D printing potentially displaces casting, assembly, tooling, injection molding and/or other operations. It may require specific postprocessing, safety or finishing considerations that wouldn’t be necessary for a purely subtractive manufacturing situation. And, AM’s impact on the enterprise extends beyond the manufacturing floor, potentially touching everything from marketing to shipping.

As such, the decision to implement additive manufacturing should come from someone with a broad view of the organization, someone who can see the potential impact across design, production, operations, accounting and company image. As our cover story argues, the best person for this evaluation is likely to be the CEO.

Find an immersive online version of that story here, and read the digital edition of Additive Manufacturing magazine for additional articles including:

  • How the economics of 3D printing enabled a niche smartphone case manufacturer to go to market through Amazon Prime;
  • The story of a shift in mindset from 3D printing prototypes to 3D printing functional tooling and machine parts at Pella, a window and door manufacturer;
  • A report on the qualities that make a good additive manufacturing engineer;
  • The use of a preheated substrate to assist in powder-bed fusion of heat-resistant metals;
  • A metal deposition process that relies on resistive heating to melt wire; and
  • A preview of the 3D printers, materials, software and auxiliary equipment to be displayed at Rapid + TCT in May.

Find these stories and more in the digital edition, and subscribe to receive the next issue in your mailbox or inbox.