Discussion on additive manufacturing innovation and IIoT

What about discussing hybrid manufacutring as a combination of traditional manufacturing and additive manufacturing?

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Comments

  • Chuck ByersChuck Byers Associate CTO - Industrial Internet COnsortium

    I certainly agree that additive manufacturing is going to be a key capability in factories going forward. And, I think you are correct that a "hybrid" approach that uses traditional manufacturing alongside additive manufacturing will increasingly be the norm.

    I think about it this way: before the industrial revolution, all manufacturing was done by hand using simple tools. After the introduction of steam and then electric power, and then automation and robotics, most manufacturing processes were hybrids of the older manual techniques and the newer mechanized processes. This advanced over 100+ years to the "lights out" factory model, where automation does basically everything.

    For additive manufacturing I think we will see a similar pattern. 3D printing, etc. will be used in certain specialized processes, where more traditional (mechanized and automated) manufacturing will do most of the work at first, progressing over decades to the point where the additive side of the equation will eventually predominate.

    It is interesting to speculate what the analogy to a "lights out" factory will be when the additive side of this hybrid model fully takes over. I kind of like "Santa's workshop" - a facility where any color, size or form of any product can be made on demand in any volume you want. The replicator from Star Trek may also be pretty close to the ultimate result.

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