March 02, 2015      

New-age manufacturing

Please join us for an up-close look at a revolution thirty years in the making, yet all but invisible until the last decade.

But oh, what a last decade it?s been!

Chuck Hull?s 3D printing invention (1984) had its patent expire in 2009. A veritable explosion in the 3D printing of nearly everything has ensued ever since.

With fifty more critical patents due to expire over the next five years, the explosion will intensify by orders of magnitude.

cad for 3d

For some that explosion will be beyond deafening, especially for subtractive manufacturing in aerospace, medical, automotive, consumer products, architecture, and electronics, which covers just about everything that we touch, taste and use on a daily basis.

For others, the explosion will be intensely liberating and exhilarating, as if at long last the true order of manufacturing has rolled into position.

That long last is here with us today, and reverberating ever more loudly, more than most anyone realizes.

For example, a McKinsey survey of leading manufacturers earlier this year showed that 40 percent of the respondents were unfamiliar with additive-manufacturing technology ?beyond press coverage.?

It?s the beginning of the end for some multi-billion-dollar industries and the dawn of the remaking of the industrial economy.

Forecast within ten years to be $550 million by 2025?$12 billion if you heap together materials, printers, and parts, according to Lux Research?it will represent a modest start that soon thereafter will command trillions of dollars of nearly every industry.

Whoa to the auto parts business, which is a $2 trillion industry growing at 7 percent per year. It’s headed for oblivion.

“We’re seeing the highest growth rates in the manufacturing side,” said Anthony Vicari, a Lux Research associate and the lead author of a report on 3D printing’s future. “We’re seeing manufacturing growing from a small share of the market ? 12 percent today?to 46 percent of the market in 2025.”

A new age for plastics

Leading the charge into this vast new economy will be plastics. Some plastics will be old friends to the 3D printers that they supply. Thermoplastic polymers like ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PLA (poly lactic acid) are the tried-and-true old guard

Then there are novel and newer plastics? categories, like polycarbonate, polystyrene, alternative bio-based plastics, transparent materials, flexible materials, nano-enhanced plastics, ?liquid? plastics, conductive plastics, even graphene-coated plastics.

It?s like traveling from a single solar system into a galaxy.

So please come along.

Join us March 12th at 2PM EST for a journey into the world of 3D printing and plastics. Strap on your earphones, sit back and take a look with us into tomorrow?s emerging materials, production, applications, and new business models for 3D printing in a world of plastics.

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