3D printing and additive manufacturing are becoming a crucial part of every industry and have advanced rapidly over the past few years. This year started a new wave of advances that have redefined the manufacturing sector by offering digital capabilities. Additive manufacturing (AM) allows the manufacturing of intricate, precise parts that are also sustainable, setting new standards for major industries worldwide.
The customization abilities have broken down the barriers that design engineers and manufacturers once faced. With the help of AM, they are developing new and emerging technologies and applications. For example, in the healthcare industry, professionals are now able to deliver customized and personalized care for each ailment. They use a blend of 3D printing and innovative software to capture each patient’s issue and create a specific, effective solution in just a few minutes.
Similarly, other industries are enabled to produce complex, high-quality end products. That’s why the market size for global AM is expected to exceed $70 billion by 2030.
At Connekt LLC, we offer 3D printing and additive manufacturing services to businesses in Green Valley, CA. Our experts have shared some trends and changes that we will get to see in the coming years.
One of the biggest trends for 2022 was digital manufacturing, and the upcoming trends will bring more advancements in this area. The barriers between software, production hardware, and printing have started to blur, which allows workflows to become more seamless. The simplicity in the workflow isn’t limited to production and design phases but the whole supply chain.
Advanced technologies allow digital manufacturing while protecting intellectual property, mitigating cyber securing risks, and offering high-quality products. Adopting these trends will help industries reduce operational costs and waste because of digital warehousing and on-demand production.
Big Data and Analytics
Additive manufacturing has already embraced digital technologies in every step of its workflow, but the coming years will focus on better data utilization. Big data and analytics (BDA) have changed the way the world collects and uses data, and it will also be a significant part of 3D printing.
When combined with technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, BDA allows machines to recognize patterns and relationships and come up with quick solutions. What used to take weeks or months for humans is now done in a few minutes and hours with the help of these technologies. As a result, additive manufacturing will become even more efficient and productive.
Designers and manufacturers take every step with sustainability in their minds these days, and additive manufacturing makes it possible. Due to its digital workflows and warehousing, material efficiency, and low waste, additive manufacturing helps industries meet zero-emission goals. In the coming years, this technology will create new opportunities and innovations for organizations to replace conventional techniques.
Increased Educational Opportunities
3D printing has increasingly become a crucial part of the education sector worldwide, from schools to universities. Schools introduce students to CAD and polymer and metal additive technologies from the secondary level. In the coming years, more and more educational institutes will guide their students about the whole design process, including conception, prototype, design iterations, and final manufacturing.
Students will also understand the impact of manufacturing, mass production, and consumerism on the environment and how 3D printing technologies are helping to reduce it. Learning about these technologies before choosing a career path will help students make informed decisions.
Moreover, the high-level degree courses will also benefit by incorporating advanced technologies. The next generation of graduates will have more skills and a desire for innovations in additive manufacturing, which will bring about a revolution in this sector.
Automated Manufacturing Ecosystems
Conventional mass-manufacturing methods are inefficient, unreliable, and cause harm to the environment and businesses in general. Additive manufacturing, on the other hand, offers efficient mass manufacturing with digital workflow and complete automation solutions. It eliminates labor-intensive tasks and resource waste and allows industries to produce what they need and when.
Automated manufacturing ecosystems require less human interaction, lower the cost per unit, and ensure precision, consistency, and high repeatability. This offers opportunities like on-demand part production, rapidly securing a project to produce it, minimum tooling costs, and more.
Market Integration and Interoperability
With so many applications and advantages, 3D printing is a busy marketplace these days. In the coming years, the AM industry will focus on market consolidation so manufacturers can explore many options instead of limited vendors. This will help them mix and match competitive technologies according to their specific industry and product demands. As a result, the end product will be much more innovative and benefits customers.
New Technologies Replacing the Old
3D printing has already offered a lot of new technologies to achieve high efficiency in manufacturing and production, and it will continue to do so. Some processes, like injection molding, use multiple tools to achieve the desired results, but the new technologies will offer tool-free injection molding. Similarly, many advanced processes and techniques will replace the existing ones to achieve better performance and sustainability.
With an increasing focus on sustainability, manufacturers look for eco-friendly materials with high performance, strength, and production consistency. Every now and then, new materials arrive that fulfill the industry demands, support a wide range of applications, and offer sustainability. These materials reduce the amount of material required and production steps that consume energy. As a result, industries can achieve high production efficiencies.
Moreover, new materials also focus on end-product recycling to minimize waste and environmental threats.
Most of these trends have already revolutionized the AM industry, while many are yet to pick up. However, each trend is focused on offering innovative business opportunities, high levels of efficiency, reduced costs, and of course, sustainable development.
Partnering with Connekt LLC will help you incorporate all the latest trends, tools, and materials in your products to get ahead in today’s competitive marketplace. Our team of engineers and specialists work with you to perfect your design and develop accurate prototypes and offer customized solutions.
Besides 3D printing and additive manufacturing, we offer FEA consulting and analysis, rapid prototyping, plastic injection molding, and electro-mechanical packaging services to businesses. We are based in Grass Valley, CA, but our advanced digital capabilities help us serve clients worldwide. Contact us for details.