The term “additive manufacturing” has a delightfully logical origin: it describes the process by which materials are “added” to a product layer by layer. First developed at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) the technology has both changed the world of manufacturing and captured the imaginations of countless people. Often referred to by the colloquial name of “3-D Printing,” additive manufacturing promises and exciting future for manufacturers and the world.
Additive Manufacturing: A Convergence of Technologies
What has made additive manufacturing possible? In short, rapid technological advancement. Additive manufacturing relies on sophisticated computers, advanced 3-D modeling programs, complex machine equipment, and carefully selected layering material. In a process that would have been unthinkable even a short time ago, additive manufacturing equipment is able to read a digital sketch (usually a “Computer Aided Design,” or CAD), and reproduce it in real life. This is the origin of the term “3-D printing.”
The Future of 3-D Printing
3-D printing promises to radically change the manufacturing of a number of products, including (but certainly not limited to)
- The production of aircraft and auto parts.
- Reproduction of dental replacements and even medical prosthetics.
- Customized replacement of hard-to-find parts and components.
- Clothing and Fashion
A High-Tech Paradox
Here at SMe Software, we’ve noticed a bit of a paradox present in many companies who utilize 3-D printing. Despite relying on some of the most advanced, cutting edge manufacturing technology in the world, many of these companies use outdated, inadequate systems to manage many of the practical functions of their businesses. Why should a company that is part of a new technological revolution that has been described by some as the “next industrial revolution” use spreadsheets and accounting software to keep track of stock, production, shipping, and even shop-floor control? Give your business the tools it needs to succeed. Contact SMe Software for more information on our manufacturing management software, including ERP, MRP, and more.