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Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Additive manufacturing is the procedure of creating a 3D model of object; this technology is used in building rapid prototypes of products. The 3D printing technology uses a computer-based system to make a 3D model of the object and manufacture it by adding a layer at a time. The technology is proliferating in the past few years, and corporations use it in industries such as military, aerospace, automobile and medical. The 3D printing technology is revolutionising the procedure of manufacturing in various industries. This report will evaluate the importance of 3D printing technology in manufacturing object. Further, the report will analyse the additive manufacturing future and its influence on traditional production.

The industrial revolution in manufacturing industry has changed the world in previous decades; modern production technology uses the latest technology to improve the efficiency of the process. Various advancement such as injection molding assisted corporation into manufacturing process such as forming and molding by performing complex production functions. These technologies are a part of the subtractive method in which products are manufactured by subtracting material from the object. In 3D printing technology, the products are formed by adding alter at a time, hence it is also known as additive manufacturing (Campbell, Williams, Ivanova, and Garrett, 2011).

In additive manufacturing, one cross-sectional layer of material is added by the machine to form the product, the process of cutting, molding, and forming is not required in 3D printing technology. As per Mishra (2014), the technology uses complex computer technology into constructing a 3D model of the object; then computer sends such data to the AM machine which added a layer to manufacture such product. One cross-sectional layer of material is attached to the device to give structure to the product which helps in the production of complex objects.

Instead of high volume production of the products, 3D printing technology is beneficial in case of small volume production. The 3D printing technology was used in creating repaid prototypes of the product, but the advancement of technology has assisted in use of this technology in the manufacturing procedure. The technology allows engineers to customise, assemble and design their complex products; 3D printing can manufacture low volume of objects at a cheaper cost. Traditionally, the manufacturing procedure reduces the price only after the production is high (Weller, Kleer and Piller 2015).

Injection molding process is better in producing a large number of plastic products which is cheaper to produce in high volume. The 3D printing technology reduces the wastage because it uses more than 90 percent of the materials. It is also beneficial in reducing environmental damage; the energy consumption of technology is even lower than compared to other methods of production. As per Frazier (2014), various industries are already benefiting from the advantages of 3D printing technology, such as medical, military and automobile. Many corporations manufacture medical components using 3Dprinting technology such as hearing aid devices, custom braces, and prosthetic arms. The 3D printing technology assisted making these parts in low quantity at a lower cost which is beneficial for the companies (Macdonald et al. 2014).

More Suitable in Low Volume Production

The popularity of 3D printing technology is multiplying in various industries; corporations are using this technology to build multiple products. The useful situation to additive manufacturing is in medical, military, aerospace and automobile sector. In case of pharmaceutical industry, 3D printing technology assists in the construction of various complex medical components. Additive manufacturing is dominating in hearing aid devices market in which more than 90 percent of the devices are made using 3D printing technology. These hearing aid devices benefit more than ten million people and improve their life (Deloitte 2015). Medical companies also assist in creating complicated prosthetic arm/leg for peoples. These devices are complicated to be made by human hands or machines; therefore, the 3D printing is significantly beneficial in the medical sector.

Various industries such as military, automobile, and aerospace take advantage of 3D printing technology into manufacturing small intricate parts. For example, the engine of formula F1 cars is built using 3D printing technology because it requires significant precision. Airline companies use additive manufacturing to produce small parts of aircrafts which are difficult to manufacture using other machinery. As per Wong and Hernandez (2012), the components in high tech devices require a high level of precision which can only be achieved using the computer system. Additive manufacturing made various 3D model of the object which helps it maintain a high degree of accuracy. Other than industries mentioned above, there are multiple other sectors in which entrepreneurs are using 3D printing technology to build advanced gadgets. In the consumer sector, the role of additive manufacturing is overgrowing. Companies are introducing latest 3D printed devices in the market such as concussion sensing helmet, jewelry, and electronic items.

The additive manufacturing is growing at a rapidly fast pace in different industries, most of the market experts believe that 3D printing technology will change the method of production. The Economist conducted a study over the additive manufacturing growth and provided that this industry will grow similar to computer sector (The Economist 2017). The popularity of 3D printing will increase as the price of the machine will reduce in the market. As per the research of ‘DHL,' the additive manufacturing technology will change the procedure of supply chains in production industries (DHL 2017). The 3D printing will assist in the production of small intricate parts of machinery which cannot otherwise be manufactured.

The global research firm ‘Gartner’ provided that 3D printing technology will be accessible in next 5 to 10 years making it more available to consumers (Shanler and Basiliere 2017). As per the research conducted by Ventola (2014), the role of 3D printing will grow in medical sector making it more accessible to the consumers. The technology will revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry by making prosthetic organ for patients using human tissues. According to Ernst & Young research, the 3D printing technology will be an active link in the value chain production of companies (EY 2016). The popularity of additive manufacturing will make it a household product which customers use to manufacture requires parts.

Valuable Situations for Additive Manufacturing

The popularity of 3D printing technology will obsolete various traditional methods of production; the technology will transform the process of manufacturing for corporations. The consumers will be able to take advantage of the additive manufacturing technology because its popularity will make it more accessible to them. The consumer will be able to manufacture products are per their requirement which will change the process of production companies because they will be replaced by software provider industries. The companies will provide software of 3D modeling to the consumers to manufacture household products (Rayna and Striukova 2014).

The outsourcing manufacturing process will be obsolete with the popularity of 3D printing technology because companies will be able to produce complex products in domestic countries. The companies will not require outsourcing their production work, such as mobile phone and processors, to countries such as India or China. The requirement of raw material it will also reduce in the production procedure because 3D printing technology can manufacture with 90 percent of the material used in the method, it will also aid in environmental protection. The machinery tools will be obsolete as well because 3D printing technology did not require any device for production. The technology will revolutionise the entire industry and its process in next few years.

Conclusion

From the above report, it can be concluded that 3D printing technology manufacture products by adding one cross-sectional layer at a time, therefore, it is also known as additive manufacturing. The technology is more suitable for low quantity production because it reduces the products cost in low volume manufacturing. The valuable situation for the 3D printing technology is manufacturing complex small parts with low cost. It is used by companies in medical, military, aerospace and consumer product industry. Many traditional manufacturing procedures will be obsolete with the popularity of 3D printing technology such as injection molding and handmade production. The customers will be benefited with the popularity of 3D printing technology because it will make them closer to the manufacturing procedure without the requirement of heavy machinery.

As per my recommendations, corporations should adopt 3D printing technology for their manufacturing process. The advancement of technology is making 3D printers faster each day but they are still slower than comparing to traditional methods, so they are more beneficial for small manufacturing corporations. The enterprises can reduce their production cost by implementing this technology. The companies should also create more consumer product using 3D printer because it creates hype between public regarding the technology. The hype benefit marketing department because it makes it easier to sell 3D printers to the public in future. The government should promote the implementation of 3D printing technology in manufacturing procedure because it reduces wastage of material and improves detailing of the products.

References

Campbell, T. A., Williams, C., Ivanova, O., & Garrett, B., 2011. Could 3D Printing Change the World? Technologies, Potential and Implications of Additive Manufacturing, Strategic Foresight. Atlantic Council (www. acus. org).

Deloitte., 2015. 3D printing is a revolution: just not the revolution you think. Deloitte. Retrieved from < https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Technology-Media-Telecommunications/gx-tmt-pred15-3d-printing-revolution.pdf >

DHL., 2017. 3D Printing and the Future of Supply Chains. [PDF file]. DHL. Retrieved from < https://www.dhl.com/content/dam/downloads/g0/about_us/logistics_insights/dhl_trendreport_3dprinting.pdf >

EY., 2016. How will 3D printing makes your company the strongest link in the value chain?. [PDF file]. EY. Retrieved from < https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-global-3d-printing-report-2016-full-report/$FILE/ey-global-3d-printing-report-2016-full-report.pdf >

Frazier, W.E., 2014. Metal additive manufacturing: a review. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, 23(6), pp.1917-1928.

Macdonald, E., Salas, R., Espalin, D., Perez, M., Aguilera, E., Muse, D. and Wicker, R.B., 2014. 3D printing for the rapid prototyping of structural electronics. IEEE Access, 2, pp.234-242.

Mishra, M., 2014. 3D Printing Technology. Science Horizon, 43.

Rayna, T. and Striukova, L., 2014. The impact of 3D printing technologies on business model innovation. In Digital enterprise design & management (pp. 119-132). Springer, Cham.

Shanler, M. and Basiliere, P., 2017. Hyper Cycle for 3D Printing, 2017. Gartner. Retrieved from < https://www.gartner.com/doc/3759564/hype-cycle-d-printing >

The Economist., 2017. 3D printing transforms the economics of manufacturing. The Economist. Retrieved from < https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21724369-additive-manufacturing-abandons-economies-scale-3d-printing-transforms-economics >

Ventola, C. L., 2014. Medical Applications for 3D Printing: Current and  Projected Uses. NCBI. Retrieved from < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189697/ >

Weller, C., Kleer, R., & Piller, F. T., 2015. Economic implications of 3D printing: Market structure models in light of additive manufacturing revisited. International Journal of Production Economics, 164, 43-56.

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