Even within heavy industries, people often speak of 3D printing in terms of science fiction. With the allure of creating something from nothing, it has been poised to revolutionize prototyping, manufacturing, and resupplying for decades. However, additive manufacturing — another name for 3D printing — also is a reality here and now.
Numerous 3D printing companies offer ready-made menus of different materials and techniques. Some experts say it’s still the way of the future, while others say no one process (or array of sub-processes) can do all the things 3D printing promises to do. So which is it: practical or over-promised? First, what’s the difference between 3D printing and additive manufacturing? The term 3D printing is used more often in hobbyist spaces. You can find commercial and hobbyist printers using inexpensive plastics in elementary schools and public libraries. It’s in relatively common use in manufacturing facilities and the schools that train the workers who use them. Broadly speaking, the process of laying down material from the top down onto a print bed […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...