3D Printing/ Additive Manufacturing

INTEGR8 2024 PLAYBOOK - Shaping Tomorrow: Mastering Additive Manufacturing Foreword

Automation Alley
March 18, 2024
Download PDF


Leaders of industry in academia, manufacturing and government took on the topic of additive manufacturing in the latest Integr8 Playbook. This foreword, created in collaboration by Automation Alley CEO Tom Kelly and MSU Professor of Mechanical Engineering Patrick Kwon, sets the stage for the discussion around how 3D printing will change manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing (AM) will be the vanguard of change in Industry 4.0, a lynchpin of technological advancement, a force in sustainability and a herald of change in manufacturing philosophy. Furthermore, 3D printing’s ability to be more precise and rapidly customizable than traditional machining will ensure its status as more than a trend, but an enduring force in the production landscape of tomorrow. 

To call additive manufacturing disruptive is an understatement. Building the additive manufacturing future marks the end in dominance of rigid and inflexible traditional assembly lines, a paradigm that still exists today more than 100 years since its popularization. Paired with generative design AI, additive manufacturing has already demonstrated its prowess compared to traditional means in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries. 

After all, NASA isn’t investing in outfitting bricklayers in space suits to build its moon base, it's investing in giant roving 3D printers that can gather moon dust and turn it into a concrete-like substance. If otherworldly AM applications will not peak industry, perhaps market factors will — SME projected the additive manufacturing market to double by 2028, approaching $40 billion. Additionally, federal initiatives like AM Forward show a willingness by the government and large companies like General Electric Aviation, Honeywell, Siemens Energy, Raytheon Technologies, and Lockheed Martin to collaborate on advancing AM technology in U.S. supply chains.

In this vein, Automation Alley believes integrating 3D printer applications is imperative for all manufacturers to stay competitive in the Industry 4.0 future. That’s why we are honored to be a pioneer in additive manufacturing with our Project DIAMOnD initiative, in partnership with Oakland County, Michigan, creating the largest additive manufacturing network in the U.S.

We are also honored to bring together leading voices in the additive manufacturing industry, small to medium-sized manufacturers, academic stakeholders and policymakers to advance the conversation and encourage collaboration on additive manufacturing. This combination of public and private forces can affect real change in the industry and beyond. 

Though additive manufacturing faces challenges, and requires careful consideration before adopting, we believe this technology is not just a new way of creating parts. It is a collective endeavor; a nexus where brilliant minds and savvy adopters converge to redefine the boundaries of what's achievable in our industry for the betterment of all. Let’s discover what is possible together in additive manufacturing. 

Read the playbook in full here.

Sign up today for a free Essential Membership to Automation Alley to keep your finger on the pulse of digital transformation in Michigan and beyond.

Automation Alley
Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology business association and Digital Transformation Insight Center focused on driving the growth and success of businesses in Michigan and beyond through innovation and automation. With a global outlook and a regional focus, we foster a vibrant community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders through opportunities for collaboration and learning. Our programs and services help businesses develop the skills and expertise needed to effectively jumpstart or accelerate digital transformation. By bringing together industry, academia, and government, we aim to create a dynamic ecosystem that drives innovation and growth across Michigan.

Become a Member