Archive for January, 2019
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
In the Manufacturing arena, there’s an increasing demand to produce quality parts faster, and at a competitive cost. This is forcing companies to rethink every manufacturing step and take all actions possible to become more efficient. Manufacturers focused on making good parts on the first run now have to increase their focus to fully optimizing their cutting processes. In this context, “fully optimizing” means not only choosing optimal cutting strategies and methods, but also squeezing every bit of performance from cutting tools and the CNC machines used in the process.
As challenging as that sounds, the dichotomy is that this comes at a time when many of our most experienced machinists are approaching retirement and there’s a shortage of upcoming manufacturing talent. As makers of verification and optimization software, CGTech is aware that shops increasingly rely on this type of software to bridge the burgeoning “skills-versus-optimal manufacturing” gap. Our users tell us that optimizing everything they do is key to surviving on the “mean streets” of manufacturing. In today’s age of IoT and accessibility, the most valuable software will also consider tool, machine, and other IoT accessible data to offer much-needed guidance to end users.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
From a rapid prototyping/3DP viewpoint 2019 will be a year to focus on full colour, sustainable materials, and “genuine” office friendly solutions.
Though rapid manufacturing is becoming a major focus for manufacturers, also reducing hazardous materials and processes from 3D printing, to make prototypes safely in the office and reducing plastic waste is becoming key buying criteria. Also in other markets, new creative users of 3DP are emerging who highly value full colour and sustainable/eco-friendly materials.
Monday, January 28th, 2019
Industry Outlook from IMAGINiT’s Carl Smith
Over the past year, more and more of our clients are asking for a tighter integration between business systems that are used to manage workflows and processes among the varying levels of corporate structure. I expect that this trend will continue into 2019 as companies are pressured into much faster response times to improve time-to-market.
Our clients often utilize Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for managing complex product information, engineering and manufacturing workflows, etc. They also manage the financial side of their business with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Much of the information within each system is overlapping and accuracy is critical to efficient decision making on issues ranging from new BOM items and how procurement will address them – all the way to new product launch initiatives.
Sunday, January 27th, 2019
Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing will continue to have a significant impact on business in 2019. In additive manufacturing, software slices a 3D CAD model into layers to build a functional part layer by layer. AM is not one process or material but a wide variety of ways to build a part bit by bit. AM will not be used for everything. However, there are some applications that will no longer make sense to use conventional methods. New unforeseen applications will also emerge.
What will we see new in 2019?
- The cost to make AM parts will be lower. New and improved processes are lowering production costs.
- Larger quantities of parts will be made with additive as production speed and operating costs are reduced. Companies like GE and GKN are moving to production of large quantities of production parts.
- Additive is not just for small parts. Large plastic parts can be made with BAAM and new machines can make larger and large metal parts.
- New applications for additive will emerge that no one thought would make sense before.
- Additive manufacturing machines will begin to see a higher level of automation.
- The cost of AM machines will reduce while the value of AM machines to businesses and consumers will increase dramatically
- Additive manufacturing experience will be a common skill for graduating college students entering the workforce.
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
Prediction 1 | 3D printers:
The Markforged Metal X printing system will, by far, have the biggest impact on businesses in 2019. This affordable metal 3D printing is now available to any company ready to embrace additive manufacturing as a cost-saving, time-effective solution. It’s an innovative and disruptive product that has created opportunity for small, medium, and large businesses in almost every vertical market. This year I predict we will see the Markforged Metal X giving companies a real competitive advantage.
Prediction 2 | 3D scanners:
At STAX3D, we are awaiting the shipping of Artec’s Leo scanner in 2019. The Leo is a self-contained, portable scanner that offers better accuracy that we’ve seen with past generations of 3D scanners. It will allow the user to operate without a “tether” – that means no more cords or plugging into a power source. The applications are incredible: architecture, archaeology, entertainment, education and more. Scanning technology is evolving rapidly and innovation will surely show up in 2019. Any company with 3D design capability is a candidate for a scanning system.
Friday, January 25th, 2019
Visual Configuration will be a mainstream deployment for manufacturers. This already being something sales and customers expect but will quickly become a demand. Enabling sales teams with the right tools will be crucial in survival in the manufacturing industry.
The utilization of 3D configurators will become the norm for website engagement and demand generation. Without a strong digital presence, manufacturers will have a hard time competing in the increasingly digital market. Consumers are already doing mass research online before thinking about speaking with sales, but once they do sales needs to be prepared to meet their needs with requirements, quote and price.
Visual Configuration to CAD will be a competitive differentiator for OEM’s, without it the speed from quote to production will be too slow to keep up with customer demand.
Thursday, January 24th, 2019
High quality 3D prints are the result of an optimized alignment of hardware, software and materials. In recent years, the hardware and software have become more reliable, accessible and established within enterprise settings, and with that, the industry has seen a growing global demand for sophisticated, industrial-grade materials. This demand has grabbed the attention of many large plastics companies that see an opportunity to enter the market and collaborate with 3D printing manufacturers to create materials that can be used throughout the entire product development cycle. In 2019, we will continue to see major innovations in the materials space, which will ultimately make a positive impact on the overall adoption of 3D printing in manufacturing. Some of the best-known companies in the world for polymer materials are starting to take the same materials that have been used in injection molding for years and adopt them for 3D printing.”
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
Today’s engineering teams are driven to innovate faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost. Following the 2018 mega-trends of the high-tech and transportation industries, 2019 will bring more of the spotlight on electrification and autonomy. Within the automotive industry, the rapidly increasing demand for electric cars comes with the expectation that vehicles designed in 2019 are far superior in energy efficiency and overall system design than anything we’ve seen before. Within aerospace industry, manufacturers are tasked with producing hybrid and electric aircraft to drive down operating costs and keep up to pace with today’s influx of environmental policies. To achieve these initiatives, efficient system simulation and increased collaboration between suppliers and system developers is required. Ultimately, system simulation is a necessary ingredient for these industries to stay competitive in this environment.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
It is quite evident that over the past 3-5 years the market momentum has shifted to advancing technologies associated with the Additive Manufacturing (AM) process & application. This third wave has been built on the initial forays into AM in the 1980s and 1990s and the more recent mass awareness of AM during the last decade. The current focus on high technology has been driven by the need to qualify parts. AM has moved from simply prototyping in to the realm of finished parts used for non-critical and critical applications. Now, surface finish, net-shape, fatigue life and durability are the new criteria for acceptance. Accordingly, old players have stepped up their game to meet the technical challenge and new players have come forward with cutting edge solutions such as process simulation, optimization, in-situ monitoring and feed forward control.
This necessary shakeout has given the industry the needed vigor to once again pursue exponential growth. As such it can be unequivocally stated, we are amidst a global evolution, i.e. the re-birth of 3D printing, where the AM fabrication of complex and load bearing parts is becoming a reality. The rapid development of software, hardware, sensor technologies in conjunction with new build practices is allowing product manufacturers to meet specification, secure optimum performance and deliver qualified parts. Based on current studies & assessments, the global AM markets which are led by North America, Europe and followed by APAC will experience an average CAGR of 33% between 2018 and 2025. The remainder of global regions will also experience major growth, though at a smaller CAGR index.
Monday, January 21st, 2019
For decades, simulation has been the exclusive domain of experts, with simulation tools, processes and the experts often isolated within silos in the organization. This has limited the impact of simulation on the product lifecycle process.
Recently however, a wide range of corporate strategic priorities including Digital Thread traceability within the PLM backbone, Digital Twin analysis for predictive maintenance and design improvements, the democratization of simulation, design space exploration, generative design, and the quality assessment of additive manufactured products have necessitated a broader, more automated approach to simulation. At their core, each of these advanced technologies requires mainstreaming simulation automation and data management to work robustly across significant (and unpredictable) design changes and entire product families that share common functional/architectural characteristics. The current, manual, inefficient and silo’ed simulation process must be replaced by “lights-out” automation that ensures predictable, accurate and verifiable simulation results, at all levels of model fidelity from systems models to 3-D models.