At RAPID + TCT 2021 in Chicago, there was a lot of talk from companies about being production-ready. The question is whether their claims, centered around 3D printing, are enough to advance additive manufacturing into an era of high-volume production. Manufacturing has been on a long journey toward optimization, and dynamic digital manufacturing is simply part of this progress. Process control is at the center of this advancement. New approaches and strategies have to “de-risk” manufacturing to work. Faster and bigger are great, but process control is needed to achieve the goal of high-volume additive manufacturing.
- RAPID+TCT 2021 is a Chicago-based showcase for products and materials particularly germane to the additive manufacturing industry.
- One blogger noted that the atmosphere of the attendees, perhaps due to coming out of the pandemic, was especially electric, nearly frenetic with energy and ambition.
- It was Dr. Taiichi Ohno who best described the optimization goal of manufacturing, noting the process was about making what’s wanted, when it’s wanted, without waste.
“All of them are certainly elements that bear on the question of preparing 3D printing to enter the world of volume manufacturing.”