Whilst news of 3D printing benefits for mould makers is being rapidly spread by word of mouth, the next steps towards taking the technology mainstream could be to build printers able to make much larger moulds at less cost which and seamlessly integrate them into companies’ existing manufacturing environments and processes.
“We need to work on making that [printer] bigger, better, faster and cheaper but at the same time as you start looking at manual processes and production you always need better materials,” Esposito says. “Manufacturers have invested lots of money in their existing infrastructure and automation processes, so the last thing they want to do is bring too much change into their existing facilities.”
Never change a running system
“So they want a printer, materials and software that can be accommodated without them having to change what they already have — that the wax that comes with the printer can be treated in exactly the same way as they have treated traditional waxes, for example – and that is what we need to do. That is of paramount importance and is where a substantial portion of investment is going,” the CEO concludes.