VIDEO: Don’t Fear the Learning Curve in Additive Manufacturing

EOS North America expert explains why providers need commitment to customers beyond technical support.

With the prospect of additive manufacturing (AM) becoming a volume production technology on the rise, manufacturers need to realize that AM doesn’t begin and end at the 3D printer. Fortunately, there are experts ready and waiting to help with the learning curve.

“This is really the center of the project,” said Glynn Fletcher, president of EOS North America. “If we compare additive manufacturing to subtractive manufacturing, there is an ecosystem in place for subtractive with programming support and supplementary equipment like robotics, tooling and so on. With additive, that ecosystem is evolving and is still being created.”

As additive manufacturing is still a growing technology, Fletcher believes companies like EOS need to be there to give customers more than just technical support to help minimize investment risks.

EOS’s Additive Minds Group consists of application engineers who can provide training programs, identify parts suitable for additive manufacturing and provide recommendations for getting the most out of a 3D printer.

Past the point of training and installation, the Life Cycle Solutions Group provides technical support and other services.

When asked what common mistakes manufacturers can avoid with careful planning, Fletcher insisted that the learning curve to additive manufacturing is often under-estimated.

“That’s one of the reasons why we built this infrastructure,” Fletcher explained, “as we believe that for additive manufacturing to make the move from rapid prototyping and early adopters to the mainstream, then we need to make sure our customers are as successful as possible, as quickly as possible. We want to participate in their learning curve and provide them with the support structure, expertise and ecosystem necessary to go from installation to making money.”

For more information, watch the video above and visit the EOS North America website.

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.