This is a key ingredient in the secret sauce of additive manufacturing, and it was one Todd Grimm, president of T.A. Grimm & Associates, a leading analyst, consultant, and industry advisor in the technology, hammered home recently. "Do not look at 3D printing as a substitute for what you’re doing well,” he said. “Look at things you’re not doing well.”
That, he meant, is solving strength, structural or use-performance issues with a complex part through 3D printing. And that requires designers to flip their thinking on its head – or, at least, its side – when conceptualizing a part and planning for the production of it. The manufacturing sector holds closely the doctrines of lower cost and greater efficiency. 3D printing may never match the speed of injection molding, but why should it, really? To apply conventional values to an unconventional technology is to miss out on true innovation.
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