IMTS 2016 3D printing is taking its rightful place as an industrial solution

Editor: Barbara Schulz

United States –Visitors to the 2016 IMTS – the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago – will first pass through the new additive manufacturing pavilion.

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IMTS 2014 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
IMTS 2014 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
(Picture: The Association For Manufacturing Technology)

According to organiser AMT, the American Association for Manufacturing Technology, additive manufacturing is no longer an emerging technology but has earned a stand-alone spotlight at the show which runs from 12 to 17 September 2016.

“Additive manufacturing is a reality for the industrial marketplace,” says David Burns, founder and principal of Global Business Advisory Services. “It’s not fully mature, but if you’re ignoring 3D printing you’re making a big mistake.” Also, he says that technology advancements occur so rapidly that staying on top of new developments requires constant work. “Designing for 3D printing requires a completely different approach, as does integrating the power of 3D printing into your industrial manufacturing operation.”

“If you’re just trying to emulate an existing design, you need to expand your thinking to fully harness the power of 3D printing,” says Burns. “Savings and productivity improvements are going to come from ways you have yet to imagine.” 3D printing can allow multiple parts to be combined into a single component that is much lighter and, more importantly, eliminates maintenance issues.