At a time when the world is being hit by rising costs and strained supply chains, working smarter in business has never been more important.
One way that manufacturing and engineering companies can do this, in this era of digitization, robotics and more, is to consider whether additive manufacturing – AM, for short – could work as a production method.
It is an opportunity that the US government promoted in May 2022 with its AM Forward initiative, which set out AM’s capability to reduce lead times and build more domestic inventory into supply chains.
AM’s advantage is that it increases the speed and flexibility of production, which has the potential to allow firms to respond more quickly to supply disruptions. The vision here is that 3D printed parts can be made in the US and delivered quickly – typically within hours or days. Parts made through AM also have the potential to be more complex and to work harder, reducing the number of parts needed overall on a given device or project.
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