How 3D printing is changing the manufacturing landscape

Could your company benefit from desktop 3D printing?

In a few weeks, Ultimaker North America President John Kawola and Jabil Additive Director of Product Management Tim DeRosett co-present “Jabil Realizing Production Agility Through 'Desktop" 3D Printing" at the fourth-annual Smart Industry Conference.  Today they preview their presentation and share their thoughts on the endless possibilities afforded by this evolving technology. Take a look…

Smart Industry: Define “desktop” 3D printing? What advantages does this present? What challenges persist?

John: Desktop 3D printing allows for freedom to design and experiment. The smaller desktop models versus large centralized printers offer a unique advantage in that they allow for specialized groups of engineers to print prototypes, for example, near where their design process is occurring. With the accessibility to create a quicker and cheaper prototype using 3D printing, manufacturers can quickly identify design flaws and re-design, shortening time-to-market. The same efficiencies apply to creating jigs, fixtures, and tools—all of which are vital in the production process.

Smart Industry: What fields/industries are the early adopters of this technology?

John: 3D printers have been around for a long time, but the pace of improvement and change with desktop printers has been much faster than historical technical growth in this industry. Just in the past few years, we started seeing sub-$5,000 machines displacing systems that cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Early-adopting industries include manufacturing, automotive, healthcare and aerospace, but use cases span across nearly every industry.

To learn more, read "A new way to print, a new way to manufacture" from Smart Industry.

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