3 Experts Show How 3D Printing is Changing the Face of Manufacturing

Keynote Speakers at RAPID + TCT 2019 will present exciting information about the future of additive.

The annual RAPID + TCT is the must-attend event in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry. The show grows larger each year, with more exhibitors showcasing advanced 3D printing equipment, materials and applications.

In addition to the show floor, trade shows and conferences like RAPID + TCT are a great place to network and learn about the ideas and innovation happening in the industry. RAPID + TCT 2019 will feature three keynote presentations unveiling new ideas about additive manufacturing innovation in a variety of industries.

The keynote speakers are Bill Taylor, author and co-founder of Fast Company; Dr. Naomi Murray, director of advanced operations and additive technology solutions at Stryker, and Dominik Rietzel, head of additive manufacturing (non-metals) at BMW Group.

Below, we’ll take a look at the planned presentations and find out what’s going on at the leading edge of this exciting industry.

Disruptive Technology and Innovation

As co-founder of Fast Company magazine, author of several books on creativity and change management and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Bill Taylor is an expert in change itself, which is ultimately a large part of what additive manufacturing represents.

“I’m not an expert in 3D technology and additive manufacturing,” said Taylor. “But I know a lot about discovery, innovation and networking, the core themes of this event. At RAPID + TCT, I hope to offer attendees some context for their work, to help them apply their excitement (and worries) about all this fast-moving technology to the hard work of big change. I am eager to share my ideas about strategy, leadership and learning with a group of people who are busy inventing the future of their companies and the field of manufacturing.”

Taylor has seen the way the digital revolution is reshaping the logic of competition, work and manufacturing. According to Taylor, while manufacturing business leaders are primarily responsible for deploying new technologies and finding competitive advantages, they have a much more important role as innovators and change agents.

“We are in a world where ordinary is not an option. You can’t do big things if you are content with doing things a little better than everyone else or a little differently from how you’ve done them in the past,” said Taylor. “So, for people running companies, whatever their size, the first challenge is convincing your colleagues—and maybe even yourselves—that ‘playing it safe’ has become the most dangerous choice of all. Disruption begins when people and organizations conclude that the risk of trying something new is actually much lower than the cost of desperately clinging to what’s worked in the past.”

Catch Bill Taylor’s exciting keynote presentation on Tuesday, May 21 at 8:30AM at RAPID + TCT 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

Additive Manufacturing: Leveraging Design Capabilities for Production of Devices that Make Healthcare Better

With a built-in need for customization, specific materials and complex organic shapes, medical devices and implants have long been an important market for additive manufacturing. Stryker, a leading medical technology company, began research into additive manufacturing in 2001. 

Focusing on innovation, design freedom and improving healthcare, Stryker’s Tritanium technology has been used in several FDA-cleared orthopedic implants. The Tritanium technology allows for effective and consistent creation of porous structures. The design freedom empowered by AM allows porous structures to be applied to new areas of an implant—a feat that was previously impossible.

Naomi Murray is director of advanced operations for additive technology solutions at Stryker. Dr. Murray began her career with Stryker developing new technology for use in orthopaedic applications including characterizing, developing and validating new technology including Stryker’s additive manufacturing technology, Tritanium, and other advanced manufacturing technologies. She has more than 15 years of experience working in the medical technology industry with expertise in additive manufacturing, porous metal and titanium technology, spanning developing technology from early phase R&D, global regulatory approval and final component manufacture.

In this keynote presentation, Murray will share her experiences highlighting how AMagine, Stryker’s proprietary approach to implant creation using additive manufacturing, has made possible revolutionary design freedom. She will also share her experiences with how additive manufacturing can be used in many situations from prototyping to product manufacturing. For companies with an interest in medical device manufacturing, this will be an essential part of this year’s RAPID + TCT event. It will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 8:30 AM at the show.

Shaping New Ways for Smart Automotive Production Using AM

Some critics of additive manufacturing’s viability in mass production have pointed to the automotive industry: the massive scale of automotive production, with high volume and a preference toward high throughput methods such as stamping, seems to be antithetical to the strengths of the 3D printer. But according to Dominik Rietzel, head of additive manufacturing for non-metals at BMW Group, additive processes are already in use in the automotive industry, with the potential for much, much more.

At BMW, additive manufacturing has many applications, including end-use parts. In fact, over the past decade, BMW group has produced over a million components including series production and prototypes. But according to Rietzel, for most manufacturers the most accessible entry point to finding effective uses for additive manufacturing lies in prototyping and jigs and fixtures. “We have been prototyping with additive manufacturing for approximately thirty years now, and making jigs and fixtures for more than ten years. For us internally, it is the standard.”

According to Rietzel, there are still some questions that must be addressed before AM will fully enter high volume markets like automotive production, such as how new business models can be realized or how automation and AI will help increase the implementation of AM in or near assembly lines.

While jigs, fixtures, prototypes and end-use parts are the most commonly thought-of targets for additive manufacturing in automotive, BMW has also found more creative ways to apply the technology in production. The best example of this is the plastic thumb guard created for workers, who were experiencing strain and difficulty installing stiff rubber plugs into vehicle chassis. To fix this, the company used a portable 3D camera to create digital models of each worker’s thumb, then printed semi-flexible polyurethane thumb guards using an SLS process. 

(Photo courtesy of BMW.)

(Photo courtesy of BMW.)

“The thumb guards are a terrific example of how 3D printing was used to create personalized aids for our coworkers in production,” said Rietzel. “This project is still very, very interesting as it relates to the improvement of the whole process of designing and thinking about jigs and fixtures. But I would say that even beyond this, there are so many improvements we can do.”

To find out more about BMW Group’s extensive use of additive manufacturing technologies in automotive production, be sure to attend Dr. Dominik Rietzel’s presentation on the final day of the RAPID + TCT 2019 show, at 8:30 AM on Thursday, May 23.

Together, RAPID + TCT Keynotes Illustrate the Future of Additive Manufacturing

These three keynote topics paint a clear picture of the future of additive manufacturing in 2019. First, Bill Taylor will tell us that change is coming, and the right leadership and response to that change will determine success in the manufacturing industry. According to a recent report from Deloitte Insights, the additive manufacturing market is projected to grow by 12.5% per year, climbing from global revenues of $2.2B in 2017 to over $3B in 2020.

Next, Naomi Murray’s presentation illustrates how additive manufacturing is continuing to unlock new innovations in those industries considered to be in the 3D printing niche, such as medical device manufacturing. And finally, Dominik Rietzel’s presentation on BMW’s successes with the technology will showcase how additive is also developing in those markets that, years ago, may not have seemed like the ideal candidates for the technology.

Engineering.com will be on the show floor at RAPID + TCT, checking out all the latest news from printers to materials to new technologies in metal and polymer additive. For more information about the show, including how to register, visit Rapid3Devent.com.

SME has sponsored this post.  All opinions are mine.  –Isaac Maw