Industry trends

Additive manufacturing: The way ahead

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

The two core markets for additive manufacturing are the automobile and aerospace industries as there is a growing need for developing lightweight components.
The two core markets for additive manufacturing are the automobile and aerospace industries as there is a growing need for developing lightweight components. (Source: Deposit Photos)

The automobile and aerospace sectors are widely adopting the additive manufacturing technology to ensure cost efficiency, greater productivity and lesser turn-around times. The additive manufacturing event Formnext will showcase some of the most recent innovations in this space.

The global additive manufacturing & materials market was valued at 8.42 billion dollars in 2017, and is expected to reach a value of 35.10 billion dollars by 2023, at a CAGR of 26.86 %, according to a report by Research and Markets. Two of the core markets for this contemporary innovation are the automobile and aerospace industries as there is a growing need for developing lightweight components. It has also become the primary technology for developing various prototypes as it is cost effective and also saves productive time. Some of the leading automobile companies such as Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota and many more have all experimented with this technology.

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For instance, Volkswagen claims it is ready for mass production of components by making use of the 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology. With the assistance of the ‘HP Metal Jet’ process, the German company has been able to improve productivity by 50 times as compared to other 3D printing methods. A Volkswagen vehicle requires 6,000 – 8,000 different parts and with the implementation of this technique the firm has been able to manufacture a large number of parts in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, Ford is already making use of the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D Printer to produce prototypes of large-scale one piece auto parts such as spoilers.

In the aerospace sector, additive manufacturing has enabled industry players to develop complex and intricate components which were earlier not possible with traditional methods. Today, this industry can print specific parts for applications in large numbers without it being a costly affair. As the produced components are lightweight in nature it further leads to fuel savings which is crucial for this sector.

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Additive manufacturing @Formnext

With the dynamics and requirements of the industry constantly changing, there is a need to evolve additive manufacturing technologies and also stay updated on the latest innovations in this space. It is in this scenario that events such as Formnext come into the picture. The international exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies specifically focuses on the additive manufacturing sector and is the ideal venue for 3D printing companies to exhibit their new and existing innovations to the global industry. Scheduled to be held from November 13–16, 2018 in Frankfurt, the trade fair is expected to attract 550 exhibitors out of which 165 are new exhibitors from 26 nations.

This article was first published on MM International.

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