3D printing is increasingly being used across an ever wider spectrum of manufacturing processes, including automotive and aerospace, medical engineering, architectural modelling, art and design, and various consumer products including printed food items. 3D printing is an “additive process” - as opposed to the traditional “subtractive” manufacturing of cutting or drilling material away - allowing designers to produce items of virtually any shape from a digital model by adding successive, thin layers until a solid object emerges.
Additive printing of products offers many benefits to manufacturing: 3D is a very “organic” production process and frees designers from practical restrictions - all kinds of shapes can be created, without having to consider how to remove the item from a mould. Also, the necessary printing information can be stored in a digital file which can be sent to any place in the world, enabling immediate on-site production: “Additive manufacture makes possible manufacture close to the point of use and therefore can bypass transportation. One example under development is the 3D printing of car parts at the service garage, therefore reducing the need for warehouses and delivery vans. Manufacture near the point of use is much more environmentally friendly and there may be important applications in third world environments as well as emergency housing after disasters like earthquakes and extreme storms”, explains Neil Hopkinson, Professor of Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Sheffield.
Whilst 3D Print technology is not yet used for mass manufacturing, it is evolving rapidly, and additive manufacturing is being taken up by industry to perform unique roles from aiding design through to specialised component manufacturing. “3D printing will play an increasingly important role for traditional industrial print service providers, even though the applications that can be realised by 3D printers differ from typical industrial print products like smart screen printing or decorative coating. The potential to add a 3D print service or prototype technology into an industrial print business could add a compelling new revenue stream for any industrial print company and it is certainly a sector to watch!” says Marcus Timson, Co-Director InPrint.
One of the global key players and technology drivers in 3D printing is Stratasys, a manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems for direct digital manufacturing, and owner of MakerBot, a distinct brand of 3D desktop printers. Stratasys will exhibit the 3D Print Factory on stand F16 demonstrating the versatility of the technology in several key industries, including architecture, consumer electronics, automotive, personal manufacturing, consumer goods, packaging, industrial manufacturing and aerospace.
Stratasys EMEA Marketing Director, Eric Bredin explains “Stratasys continues to grow and evolve rapidly and introduce new technology as demand increases. InPrint visitors will be able to learn how to integrate our 3D Print technology into their production processes and how to unlock new potential revenue as a result. We also look forward to delivering presentations within the InPrint Conference Programme to further highlight the awesome potential that this technology can provide.”
To learn more about the 3D printing sector, check out our the State of Industry Report – to receive a copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org
InPrint 2014 takes place 8-10 April at Hannover Exhibition Grounds in Germany (Hall 21). The event is co-located with Hannover Messe 2014, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial manufacturing.
Programme Schedule 3D Forum:
3D Print Factory
Stratasys, Stand F16
Daily during exhibition hours. Exhibits and live demonstrations presenting a diverse range of 3D applications and technology from desktop to production grade.
Showcase Theatre, Hall 21
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
- 10:15 Inkjet: The Key to High Volume Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing
Neil Hopkinson, University of Sheffield
- 10:45 3D Print Factory - Prototypendruck in der Hohlglasindustrie
Michael Knaup, Noelle + von Campe Glashütte GmbH
- 10:30 3D Print Factory - Stratasys 3D Printing technologies - from Prototyping to Factory of the Future
Eric Bredin, Stratasys
- 14:00 3D Print Factory - Explore the widest range of material in the 3D printing world
John Jones, Stratasys