Stages of Evolution to Achieve “Additive Manufacturing Thinking”

Güngör Kara of EOS discusses stages of transformation for industrial additive manufacturing.


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When confronted with additive manufacturing capability, the traditional manufacturing mindset can sometimes be: “Let’s take this part and just make it with additive; do not change anything,” says Güngör Kara, director of global application and consulting at EOS GmbH. “But this does not work. It does not approach the full potential of additive.”

To reach that potential requires more than the right technology. It also depends on management support, technical expertise, collaboration across departments and organization-wide understanding.

“It’s about mobilizing the right people and setting up the right platforms so that they can grow additive manufacturing,” Kara says. In a presentation at the most recent Additive Manufacturing Conference, Kara outlined four stages of evolution that need to happen for an organization to achieve this transformation:

  1. Pursue low-hanging applications like cost-effective product development and the creation of lower-cost tooling to begin to demonstrate AM’s value and build knowledge.
  2. Differentiate additive parts through their performance, taking advantage of new structures and geometries, customization, and part integration capabilities. Momentum is built in this stage through experimentation and growth of expertise.
  3. Build a digital manufacturing chain from design and simulation through production and delivery of additive parts, with the buy-in of departments beyond engineering.
  4. Reconfigure the value chain so that additive manufacturing is embedded throughout the organization, aligning its staff in “additive manufacturing thinking.”