Wohlers Associates, in its annual 3D-printing industry reports , keeps close watch on the average selling price of these machines. Yet, says Jonah Myerberg, chief technology officer of Desktop Metal , newer 3D metal-printing technologies are in fact reducing costs, increasing throughput, and maintaining the same high-precision standards for many companies that try them.
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Consider, for instance, a smartphone. Some 4G phones, Myerberg says, are made of aluminum. The acceptable level of interference may be lower than what aluminum can deliver. Phone companies are now considering a shift to stainless steel instead, Myerberg says. And that means less interference and more room for the battery.
Weapons of war
So Desktop Metal has a 3D metal-printing system that, he says, could be competitive with traditional manufacturing in this situation. The Burlington, Mass. The Production System prints stainless steel. While a similar job used to take days, now you can get parts in your hand in five, 10 or 15 minutes.
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It will also unleash work with completely new chemistries, particularly within several variants of urethane. You can make the output rigid, semi-rigid or flexible, and these kinds of variations in chemistry open up a lot of end-use applications, from athletic shoes to vehicle interiors to apparel. Selective laser sintering SLS is the ability to produce parts from a variety of nylon materials.
Take the F fighter jet: Every F in service today has been flying with SLS parts for air ducts, electronics covers and many other components for a couple of decades.
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It will help bring selective laser sintering into the mainstream instead of just confining it to hyper-specific applications like the F With the advent of these faster machines, companies can increase manufacturing speed and manufacturing scale with significantly more affordability. When you combine all these advancements with infinite computing power in the cloud, IoT connectivity, big data and next-generation robotics, you arrive at the realization of Industry 4. And this huge development will largely be catalyzed and fueled by additive manufacturing.
In some industries, 3-D printing has been considered or utilized for several decades. However, the use cases have primarily been in design and prototyping.
They are just beginning to scratch the surface of 3-D printing for outright manufacturing. Many companies will also invest in continuous photopolymer systems. An industry once considered a gimmick is proving itself to be a formidable giant. Make no mistake: 3-D printing will be a force that upends nearly every industry over the coming decade, and its influence is exciting and unstoppable.
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You can get high-performance lightweighting and complexity that is impossible with traditional design and manufacturing processes. High-speed photopolymer systems are ideal for dental applications, while direct-metal and SLS solutions are a better fit for certain implants. Find out if you qualify at forbestech Forbes CommunityVoice Connecting expert communities to the Forbes audience.
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What is This? Post written by Avi Reichental XponentialWorks , Avi Reichental has spent a career foretelling the possibilities of exponential technologies. Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin.
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