Yes! The rush has started. The rush is; not to evaluate the possibilities of Additive Manufacturing (AM), not to evaluate if AM has the potential; not to evaluate if AM is an opportunity or threat; but rather to unlock the potential that early experiments have revealed, to put the entire AM ecosystem from design to hardware to materials to post-processing into the strategic framework of the organization’s long-term road-map, and to identify practical applications immediately.
During the decade I have spent working in this industry, I have met thousands of people, some of whom are passionate about inventing and pushing the boundaries, while some are waiting on the fence or peering through binoculars, waiting for the moment. This insight piece is specially direct towards those in the industry who are still not convinced with the potential of Additive Manufacturing. You may not sense the momentum or the frenzy of activity until it directly impacts you. The drawback is, you may not realise the scale at which people/organizations/cases have joined the force before your notice it and this then leads to missed opportunities or the the fear of missing out.
This short article series aim to summarize the potential which has already been unlocked, and to pique your interest in exploring this revolution that has made significant strides in just under 35 years of invention. Some examples of its areas of impact:
- GE has printed over 30,000 fuel nozzles for its Jet Engine for a commercial aircraft which. People have already or will be very soon flying in airplanes which have these components. (Civil aviation is one of the most regulated industries)
- Approximately more than a million metal medical devices are being implanted in human/animal bodies; first implant being implanted more than 15 years ago
- Militaries around the world are deploying and have strategically defined use of 3D printers and 3D printed parts closer to the battlefield for better preparedness and short turn-around times in case of any eventuality
- Space has been one of the largest beneficiaries of adopting Additive Manufacturing. Not just in unlocking complexities but reducing timelines, pushing the boundaries and unlocking the potential
- There is a very high chance, as high as 80-90% that a jewelry piece you buy today uses AM
- There is an even higher chance that a dental treatment you opt for uses AM
- More colleges are offering AM as a specialization, more schools are incorporating AM as part of their education than ever before
- Presidents, prime ministers of many countries have identified AM as a strategic future technology and started to implement road maps and research initiatives to potentially grab pole position over the coming decades
Just as the car companies you buy cars from do not publicize how they are being manufactured, there is no specific disclosure for using AM. Hence, its impact may not always be visible, but its no more a “HYPE”. From being known as ‘Rapid Prototyping’ to ‘3D Printing’ to now ‘Additive Manufacturing’; AM has come a long way but has now crossed an inflection point where the question is not ‘why AM’; the question more likely is ‘what more can we do with AM’, ‘how can AM be the strategic differentiator’, and how can the organization make AM a part of their strategic roadmap’;
This was an effort to try and join the dots and present a more comprehensive picture that Additive Manufacturing is more prominent than most people think. While I am excited for the next decade, I encourage everyone to delve into the what’s, the why’s, and the how’s rather than the not’s. I Look forward to hearing about new innovations, inventions, and use cases in the future. Time to apply some force, leave behind the inertia since the rush has already begun! Its time to be a part of the momentum
Subscribe to AM Chronicle Newsletter to stay connected: https://bit.ly/3fBZ1mP
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/3IjhrFq
Visit for more interesting content on additive manufacturing: https://www.amchronicle.com/