For years, metal additive manufacturing (AM) has been sitting on the bench, prepping to get into the production game.
Most coaches just haven’t seen the technology as quite ready for the playoffs. There are exceptions, of course. Companies like GE have worked extensively to developed specific machines to produce specific parts, but it hasn’t been easy. Forgetting the basketball analogy, what’s needed is consistency and quality assurance to make AM ready to manufacture end parts. As it stands, most metal 3D printers are not turn-key machines but require tons of trial and error to 3D print parts that don’t crack or become distorted and can do so repeatably. This results in a waste of material and machine time necessary to make up for the investment of a machine that may well cost over $1 million. Tackling this problem has come from two directions: predictive software and quality control hardware. […]
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