Companies lack a trained workforce with the ability to justify the utilization of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies in manufacturing activities. The problem is that traditional education in engineering design and manufacturing is heavily constrained by the design rules imposed by conventional manufacturing, which are based on subtractive and formative methods. AM applications have been originally tightened to prototyping applications, generating misconceptions regarding its suitability for companies accustomed to playing by the rules of economies of scale. Thus, the economic aspects of AM implementation in end-production applications are not fully understood. This book chapter presents several interrelated AM technology transfer case studies which were performed in collaboration with Aalto University and companies involved in European and Finnish funded research and innovation initiatives. The objective is to provide a pedagogical and comprehensive approach to the key parameters to consider when a design engineer needs to asses AM for production environments (i.e. cost, time and functionality). The results of this research show that justification of AM technology transfer based on cost will only allow the ‘manufacturing of few’ and production of one-of-a kind component. On the other hand, availability of AM parts, reduction of time-to-market as well as reduced delivery lead times can become fundamental in the service operation of manufacturing companies, thus enabling AM technology transfer. Nevertheless, mass-customization applications and improved product functionality become the key parameters that makes AM truly competitive versus other conventional manufacturing methods. The understanding of these parameters and its interlinks with industrial decision-making will open a window with a huge potential for AM applications in traditional OEMs, especially in manufacturing applications from which complete new products and processes can be innovated.
|Title of host publication||Additive Manufacturing - Developments in Training and Education|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Aug 2018|
|MoE publication type||A3 Part of a book or another research book|