A new trend in manufacturing: 3D printing

Posted by TGarland on 10/07/2013

Following our introductory tour of Towson University's Object Lab earlier today, here's a little more analysis of the American uptick in additive manufacturing.

What are 3D printing’s advantages? A renowned expert in strategic road mapping, ReMaking America author Irene Petrick explains 3D printing’s possibilities:

The principal value of additive manufacturing lies in its potential to lower costs through reduced material usage and machining. Furthermore, the technology enables the design and creation of features that are extremely difficult to construct through traditional processes. From a customization and volume standpoint, additive manufacturing offers extreme flexibility for product differentiation, making it feasible to create highly complex one-off components and products.

And global companies are quickly embracing it. General Electric (GE) recently announced that in 20 years nearly half of all their manufacturing will be ‘touched” by 3D printing. Right now that number stands at 10 percent. As Gillian Rich of Investor’s Business Daily reports: "The company's push into 3D printing could pave the way for other large-scale manufacturers to embrace the technology. But GE doesn’t plan on making their own printers."

That should be good news for 3D printer manufacturers. The manufacturing of 3D printers and the use of 3D printers can create thousands of jobs for U.S. workers as long as we make it in America

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