How additive manufacturing is changing the r&d industry?


How additive manufacturing is changing the r&d industry?

With contributions from the Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance, IPC & nScrypt

Contrary to what people conventionally think, Research & Development (R&D) is a very manageable driver of corporate success. If you think for a second, the biggest innovations that are shaking the world of today started with R&D. This stage has been fundamental in any industrial revolution, including additive manufacturing (AM), and today, we want to discover how this technology is driving this sector.

The manufacturer’s ability to innovate and adapt to its customers’ requirements has never been important as it is today. To respond to these industry needs, many manufacturers find themselves investing in their research, design and test capabilities. Manufacturing therefore has to be flexible and with the advancements in additive manufacturing and other technologies, we observe a shift in the paradigm of the R&D industry.

Indeed, the advancements in additive manufacturing and its increasing use in R&D might raise confusion since it is now difficult to perceive if AM drives the R&D industry or if the R&D drives the AM technology advancements.

For Kenneth Church, CEO of nScrypt, the answer is both. “AM is maturing but there is still so much more to learn, to improve and to transition. R&D is the beginning of all great technology but the difference here is that AM provides so many new beginnings. AM is and will make such a broad impact, it is hard to put it into one single category.

Church reminds that AM is not a new technology. The technology has been introduced in the 1980s. Many have proposed reasons why AM has grown so rapidly a number of years ago, but the main one would be tied to patents expiring and enhanced 3D software. The more people can use a software, the more they leverage 3D printing. Speaking of their experience, Church said they were using AM in 1999 on electronics. They printed capacitors using multi-materials and a layer by layer approach…. Read the rest of the dossier