Additive manufacturing is an ever evolving field. Because so much of additive manufacturing depends on the digital frontier, it can respond very quickly to changes in events and technology.
Latest Trends of Additive Manufacturing
Let’s take a look at a few additive manufacturing trends that are coming in 2022.
Increased incorporation into other fields of manufacturing
Additive found a unique niche within the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to its ability to rapidly produce equipment close to the site where it was needed. Additive manufacturing is capable of rapidly pivoting- a machine used to create seals half a day can be used to create respirator jobs during the next half. While it is still unlikely to fully replace other production methods in the near future, supplemental additive manufacturing and the adaptable, innovative thinking that goes with it are here to stay in 2022.
Increased focus on the sustainability of additive manufacturing
Additive manufacturing is uniquely sustainable. It uses only the material needed to manufacture a product and anything unused- and often anything shaved or sanded away in post-production- can be reused. Recycled products are finding their way into additive manufacturing processes, both as part of material creation and as packaging.
Print techniques and materials will continue to improve. 2021 marked many innovations in additive manufacturing. AMPower’s Schmidt-Lehr has introduced an innovation in metal 3D printing with new technology by Seurat that illuminates an entire print bed layer at once. This is not a huge development, but it is a key stepping stone to increased production capability for metal 3D printing. More and more printers are capable of producing high-quality polymer parts. Polymers have continued to develop as well. Rasch at Materialize has had 3D printed, fire-resistant PA certified for aerospace use, which is likely to lead to increased adoption of additive manufacturing for the aerospace industry. The increased use of additive is leading to more and more innovative polymers with various applications.
The automotive industry is likely to grow its adoption of additive manufacturing
The automotive industry is highly competitive and companies are always looking for new ways to add value. The speed, sustainability, and innovative engineering possible with additive manufacturing are key draws. Other industries likely to see growth include aviation, energy, medical, dental, and even construction.
More use of ceramics and composites in additive manufacturing
Expect additive manufacturing to make more use of ceramics and composites. Ceramics is an interesting material category with many possibilities. Composites are in a similar position, though it has seen far less development- which is likely about to change.
At Jawstec, we strive to keep ahead of the latest trends in additive manufacturing. Our team can help you develop and produce a design that is perfect for your next project. Contact us today to see how we can help you enter the innovative and growing world of additive manufacturing.