When Is 3D Printing Cost Effective?

When Is 3D Printing Cost Effective?

Oct 30, 2018

By Christina M. Fuges, Contributing Editor, Additive Manufacturing Hype continues to surround additive manufacturing. These three factors can help determine whether a part is worth 3D printing. Digging into metal additive manufacturing quickly reveals how expensive it can be, as some parts produced using incumbent technologies, such as laser sintering and binder jetting, can cost thousands of dollars. If there’s one lesson Matt Sand, President of 3DEO, a Los Angeles, California-based metal AM parts supplier, has learned over the last few years, it’s that cost is everything when it comes to serial production. “If you’re not in the ballpark on cost, you might as well not even play the game because there’s no way to get into production without being cost competitive with conventional manufacturing techniques,” Sand says. “If you are not cost competitive, you’re not at the table,” So, to get the total cost structure down, 3DEO developed an end-to-end manufacturing process around Intelligent Layering, a very low-cost metal additive manufacturing technology the company’s founders invented. Based on binder jetting technology, Intelligent Layering uses a proprietary spray system to bind the entire layer, and then uses a CNC end mill to cut the perimeter of the part and any internal features. (Read more about 3DEO’s technology and company strategy.) Although 3DEO’s Intelligent Layering process offers a new take on additive, the company’s differentiator is that “we are not trying to sell machines, we’re only selling parts,” Sand says. The competition for its additive process is not metal 3D printing; it’s traditional manufacturing. 3DEO is competing against CNC machining and metal injection molding and is already cost competitive with both of these technologies when it comes to small and complex metal parts, according to Sand. There are three key factors he considers in determining whether it will be cost-effective to 3D print a given part:  1. Part Size Is it bigger/smaller than a golf ball? One thing Sand has learned over the last few years is that as part size increases, the cost increases on an exponential curve. Smaller (golf ball-sized) parts manufactured traditionally are price competitive. However, as the part size starts to reach softball size and greater, the cost skyrockets. It’s not uncommon in laser sintering for very...

MFG Day Motivates Youth to Pursue a Career in…

MFG Day Motivates Youth to Pursue a Career in…

Oct 24, 2018

“MFG Day Motivates Youth to Pursue a Career in Manufacturing” By Michele Nash-Hoff, Saving U.S. Manufacturing Since 2012, thousands of manufacturers around the country open their doors to inspire and recruit the next generation of manufacturers on Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), which was held this year on Friday, October 5th.    MFG Day is produced by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute. MFG DAY had ambitious goals: “to change public perception of manufacturing, inspire students to pursue manufacturing careers, and strengthen the future of manufacturing by avoiding the talent shortage on the horizon.” According to the MFG Day website, “We wanted to correct the idea that manufacturing involved repetitive, unskilled tasks that happened in dark, dirty factories — a ridiculous idea to anyone who has actually worked in manufacturing — and show people what manufacturing really looks like.”   Those of us in the industry know that today’s manufacturing jobs are high skilled, and take place in clean, well-lit, technologically advanced facilities. The problem was that there was no way to know whether perceptions were changing until Deloitte became a sponsor of MFG DAY in 2015 and conducted surveys of attendees.    The results of the survey of 2015 showed: 81% of students emerged “more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding.” 62% of students were “more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing”  The 2016 survey results showed that the percentages rose to 84% and 64% respectively.   The 2016 Deloitte report said, “Projections indicate that roughly 600,000 people attended MFG DAY events in 2016 and that 267,000 of them were students. That means that nearly 225,000 students walked away from their MFG DAY 2016 event with a more positive perception of manufacturing, according to Deloitte’s findings…. Based on the 267,000-student attendance figure, that’s potentially 171,000 new members of a next-generation manufacturing workforce.”   The Deloitte surveys showed that “71 percent of student attendees both years said that they “were more likely to tell friends, family, parents, or colleagues about manufacturing after attending an event,” meaning that they weren’t just convinced — they were inspired.”   This year, the MFG Day website listed 2,739 events planned across the...

Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie &…

Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie &…

Oct 18, 2018

“Design-2-Part Magazine Wins Two Awards at Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards Gala”   Two other articles were finalists and received Honorable Mentions NEW YORK – Design-2-Part magazine took home two first-place awards for editorial excellence at the recent Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards in New York City. The winning articles are Why Technology Might Change the Way You Manufacture Metal Parts (May 2018), which won in B2B Single Article or Series of Articles, Manufacturing; and Software Engineer Aims to Bring Custom Prosthetic Hands within Reach (November 2017), the winner in B2B Single Article, Supply Chain/Product Development. Two other articles were finalists and received Honorable Mentions. Those articles are On the Ground: Aerospace Manufacturers Driving Growth in High-Flying Industry (March 2018), in the Aerospace, Aviation, & Defense category and the Supply Chain/Product Development category; and Innovation 101 for Manufacturers: Harnessing the Power of New Business Models, Technologies, and Ecosystems to Bring Value to the Marketplace (September 2017), in the Manufacturing category. This is the second year in a row that D2P had two first-place winners in the competition. “We are extremely honored to be recognized for our work,” said Rob Eichner, senior vice president of Design-2-Part. “Our company was founded 41 years ago with a mission of promoting U.S. manufacturing. Our editorial team tries to carry that passion in every story we share on the achievements of American manufacturers.” Over 350 industry professionals gathered at the New York Hilton Midtown on October 9th to celebrate the Eddie & Ozzie Awards for excellence in magazine editorial and design. Brands from all across the publishing space submitted over 2,000 entries, competing to take home the gold across 200 categories. Design-2-Part magazine helps OEMs find solutions to tough manufacturing problems with cutting-edge information, making it easy for OEMs and product manufacturers to find the resources they need to build higher-quality products. The magazine provides in-depth reporting and analysis of significant developments, trends, and technologies that are shaping American manufacturing, impacting the roles of design and manufacturing engineers, and enabling them to develop and manufacture innovative, high-quality products more quickly and cost-effectively.  ...

U.S., Canada reach deal to save NAFTA as trilateral trade pact

U.S., Canada reach deal to save NAFTA as trilateral trade pact

Oct 1, 2018

President Trump had threatened to splinter the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement into a bilateral pact with Mexico. By Reuters, NBC News WASHINGTON — The United States and Canada reached a deal on Sunday to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact with Mexico, beating a midnight deadline with agreements to substantially boost American access to Canada’s dairy market and protect Canada from possible U.S. auto tariffs, sources with direct knowledge of the talks said. President Donald Trump had threatened to splinter the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement into a bilateral pact with Mexico and tax Canadian vehicle exports to the United States if Ottawa had failed to sign on before a midnight Sunday deadline. But Trump has approved the “framework” deal with Canada, a source familiar with the decision said, just days after he sharply criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his NAFTA negotiating team. Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of American manufacturing jobs and wants major changes to the pact, which underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade. Markets fear its demise would cause major economic disruption. Negotiators from both sides spent two days talking by phone as they tried to settle a range of difficult issues, such as access to Canada’s closed dairy market and U.S. tariffs. The deal will preserve a trade dispute settlement mechanism that Canada fought hard to maintain to protect its lumber industry and other sectors from U.S. anti-dumping tariffs, Canadian sources said. Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many…… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2018 ….deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world. The USMCA is a historic transaction! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2018 Congratulations to Mexico and Canada! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2018 But this came...

Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set…

Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set…

Sep 19, 2018

“Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set for ‘The Next American Industrial Revolution’ “ By Quality Magazine OYSTER BAY, NY — The manufacturing landscape is about to change and change in a big way, announced ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm. The debate over if digitization will impact this market has passed, according to ABI Research. The key questions that should be asked by all involved in this market now are: When will these changes happen? What do I need to do to prepare for this? And finally, which horse do I bet on in terms of technological investment? ABI Research had seven analysts from its Industrial research group on-site at the IMTS 2018 (International Manufacturing Trade Show) conference in Chicago, and their observations have been compiled into four brief reads: “The Next American Industrial Revolution: Key Takeaways from IMTS 2018 and Hannover Messe USA.” There are several emerging technologies that look set to enable manufacturers in developing markets to remain competitive. Some noteworthy findings from the whitepaper include: Additive manufacturing is on the cusp of being able to demonstrate its applicability for scale deployment.  Generative design promises to reduce wastage, speed design processes, and revolutionize material usage. Virtualization, visualization, and digital twins are set to reduce machine downtime and machine commissioning time as well as improve the efficiency of all aspects of part and product manufacturing, from start to end. Cobots and autonomous material handling robots are set to enable a more efficient and zero touch environment that not only optimizes the shop floor but also extends beyond the line to both ends of the process in the warehouse and eventually into the logistics supply chain. AI (Artificial Intelligence), sensorization, connectivity, and IoT (Internet of Things) will be key to optimizing productivity. However, they are currently being held back by conservative attitudes toward data management and connecting machines. This will change as the market pressure mounts. “These technological advancements hold the promise of enabling a cleaner, more efficient, and relevant manufacturing sector for developed markets. The innovation outlined in the ‘The Next American Industrial Revolution’ paper will spill over into the supply chain, and the two market segments will be characterized by...

US manufacturing at highest level in more than 14 years

US manufacturing at highest level in more than 14 years

Sep 4, 2018

By Leia Klingel, Fox Business Trump: We’ve added over 400,000 new manufacturing jobs President Donald Trump touts U.S. job growth during a Make America Great Again Rally in Charleston, West Virginia.       Watch the latest video at foxbusiness.com The latest reading on America’s manufacturing activity has provided yet another piece of evidence that the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders. In August, economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector hit its highest level since May 2004, according to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The ISM’s August manufacturing index was 61.3, above the 57.7 economists were expecting, and also above July’s 58.1 reading. According to ISM, sales of factory-made products, output and employment all increased in August, while inflation slowed. Recent tax cuts and strong consumer sentiment are positives for the U.S. economy, but manufacturers have expressed concerns about cost pressures due rising employee wages and supply chain inefficiencies. Additionally, survey participants voiced anxieties about how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in...