Early on, this company saw the promise of friction stir welding for building forms in layers. Few understood at the time. They understand now, in part because this process offers benefits such as blended materials and freedom from stress that other metal AM approaches can’t match.
Additive manufacturing promises to affect far more than manufacturing alone. When evaluating AM, the perspective needed is the view that sees the impacts all across the enterprise.
An engineering leader with the window and door maker shows examples of the tooling and machine parts now produced for the company's manufacturing processes using 3D printing.
For the window and door maker, 3D printing for tooling and machine components is “not just another tool, but a whole other toolkit.” However, winning widespread acceptance and understanding was the most important challenge.
The economics of 3D printing allow for cost-effective production of niche products, and Amazon Prime offers a way to distribute them. The Periscope Case is one company’s first venture into an all-new model aimed at bringing products to market that would never have been profitable before.
CEOs, take note! Adopting additive manufacturing is a choice likely to affect far more than just production. The paradigm still missing from the evaluation of AM in many cases is the view that sees the impacts in various parts of the enterprise.
Additive systems are proving capable for cost-effective production even of parts that aren’t all that complex. This will be the next phase of AM.
In additive manufacturing, design and manufacturing blend together. They can’t be separate if AM is to realize its promise.