Digital transformation is disrupting the manufacturing process. 3D printing can enhance and augment traditional manufacturing method into a coherent and even more productive system. The concept of Hybrid manufacturing is on the rise. It is a two-part concept and 3D printing also known as additive manufacturing is a part of it. So, let’s discuss the concept of Hybrid manufacturing and the future of 3D printing.
What is Hybrid Manufacturing?
As we said before, Hybrid manufacturing is a two-part concept. It comprises additive manufacturing or 3D printing and subtractive manufacturing like milling, fabricating, and polishing. The interesting fact about hybrid manufacturing is that both the processes are done on the same machine. The fusion of both the processes facilitates greater design freedom, intricacy and flexibility in creating complicated parts with radical geometries that traditional manufacturing was not able to produce.
Hybrid Manufacturing Applications
The two biggest industries that are using metal additive manufacturing are aerospace and medical. Both these industries require a strict adherence to industry regulations. This process has the ability to layer metals and develop new alloys but one should not forget the burdensome industry regulations. Doctors are working on an intriguing application for medical implant industry. For example, a broken bone requires plates, screws and rods. Having these inside the body for long-term can cause complications. Instead, doctors are working on degradable implants which can be tailored according to the age of the patient.
Additive Manufacturing: A Radical Change
Over the past half century, Traditional manufacturing processes like machining and injection molding have set the industry standards because of their high quality and low cost, while 3D printing has been used for rapid prototyping and low-volume production runs. Right now, only 29 percent of manufacturers use 3D printing but as it becomes more efficient and material offering, the figures are expected to climb. Siemens predicts that 3D printing will be 50 percent cheaper and 400 percent faster in the next five years.
Three Ways Additive Process Will Transfigure Manufacturing Industry
Reshaping of Supply Chains:
Integrating additive manufacturing is a time consuming and big-budgeted process but corporations are adopting it. As of now, 90 percent of companies are in the middle of a digital transformation but only 23 percent have a company-wide strategy.
Threats to Intellectual Property:
Additive manufacturing may cause threats to intellectual property and increase cases like infringement on patents, trademarks and copyrights. The end result will be time-consuming and expensive litigations.
Changed Customer-Centric Strategies:
Customer relationships change as companies evolve through digital transformation. As 3D printers become omnipresent in the future and shoppers have the power to purchase products, companies may have to re-think their customer relationship strategies.