Additive printing, or 3D printing is one of the industrial revolution in progress. Silently, processes are improving, machines are increasing in size and speed, software is more and more complete and linked to other production systems. And last but not least the use cases of multiplying ad infinitum.
It is the very example of a technology whose uses of tomorrow are hardly touched upon and which will emerge as the technology is deployed. To democratize one would be tempted to write.
FABLAB, THE NICKNAME FOR EASY 3D PRINTING
In Europe, many fablabs exist which own or use one or more additive printers to increase their rapid prototyping capacities tenfold.
But they are not the only ones. Thus NAVAL GROUP, French flagship of the military naval industry, recently produced a boat propeller in additive printing. That is, if confidence in the strength and reliability of production is high: one would not imagine such a group producing such a vital organ on a ship without complete confidence in its reliability.
Further, in the United States, an entire speedboat was produced with an additive printer.
Dimensions no longer seem to be a problem and giant printers are proliferating. In fact, you scale the 3D printer to the product you want to create.
Entire houses were created in additive printing. Of course, we are still at the stage of the demonstrator, the prototype, the POC “Proof of concept”. But progress is there and is slowly revolutionizing industrial production.
In Europe, it’s easy to find an additive printing company near you. Thus, for example, in Lille and the surrounding area, there are nearly ten additive printing companies, such as AF DEVELOPPEMENT which even offers an online store.
All industrial sectors will be impacted by this revolution in additive printing, both aeronautics and the medical sector and the energy sector.
The two initial obstacles, which were the dimensions of the parts and the choice of usable materials, have in part been lifted. In the two main families of materials, plastics on the one hand, and materials on the other, new patents and innovations bring new possibilities every month.
Additive printing, 3D printing has not finished to surprising us.