What Does Additive Mean to You?
I'm discovering that this term means different things to different people.
An interesting definition of “additive” from one shop was “anything that is outside the core product we manufacture or service we provide; ancillary services and technologies.” The response emphasized that, to this shop, additive equals value-adding. Although this is not an accurate definition of additive manufacturing (AM), you could look at the use of additive technologies as a value-added service to your customers.
A recent survey of some moldmakers and molders reveals the level of familiarity and understanding of 3D printing and its applications, benefits and limitations. Here is a sampling of the responses:
• We have only made limited use so far.
• We have not needed it yet due to our large part sizes.
• I would be interested to learn current pricing.
• We have outsourced 3D printing for trial parts prior to final design.
• I don’t know much about 3D printing.
• We use it to demonstrate certain features of geometry changes for customers.
• Would like to read an end-user case study.
• It makes more sense to outsource this service when needed.
• Early-phase demonstration of part design during the stages of development equals time savings.
• Unacceptable part features might be identified earlier in the process.
• It has potential value for development activities and engineering samples.
• For new product introductions or dramatic product revisions.
• The possibilities are almost endless.
• It has more value for the final product rather than the mold.