3D Breaks Out of Prototyping and Is Now Being Used for Full-Scale Manufacturing

3D printing is now scalable and being used for large production runs

GREENWICH, Conn., March 20, 2015 -- Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, is changing the manufacturing paradigm, and will continue to do so over the next 3-5 years.

Nearly 35 percent of the global market for 3D is now devoted to making parts for final products as opposed to prototyping, molding and various types of tooling, according to Wohlers Associates. That's up from just 4 percent in 2003, and all reports show that number will continue to climb. Use of 3D to make production parts passed the $1 billion mark globally in 2013 with about 38 percent of that activity being in the United States.

"We are seeing companies push the limits of additive manufacturing to new levels and apply the technology in entirely new ways," Terry Wohlers, president of the Colorado-based consultancy, told Chief Executive.

"This means that the days of making promotional key chains or other one-off items is gone," said J.P. Donlon, editor in chief of Chief Executive magazine. "3D is now cost effective for full production runs. Furthermore, the variety of materials that can be used in a 3D printer is also diversifying and improving."

CEOs who get the formula right can transform their businesses or create entirely new ones. One example of a company succeeding at scaling 3D is aerospace contractor Pratt & Whitney, which is placing dozens of 3D-manufactured titanium and nickel parts on its PurePower Geared Turbofan jet engines. Those additively-manufactured parts, including fuel bypass manifolds, mounts, fittings, brackets, oil nozzles and airfoils, have been flight tested and will power Airbus and Bombardier aircraft entering passenger service in the second half of 2015.

Pratt & Whitney's Lynn Gambill (Chief Engineer, Manufacturing and Engineering) will lead a discussion on "What's Next in Additive Printing: Implications of New Technologies, Materials, Processes and Economics," at Chief Executive's 2015 Smart Manufacturing Summit, April 28-30 in Indianapolis.

About the 2015 Smart Manufacturing Summit

April 28-30, 2015

Indianapolis, IN


* Indiana Governor Mike Pence
* Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith
* Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger
* Stanley Black & Decker Chairman/CEO John Lundgren
* Eli Lilly's President of Manufacturing Operations Maria Crowe
* Cummins VP Manufacturing Dana Vogt
* IBC Advanced Alloys President/CEO Anthony Dutton
* Pratt & Whitney Chief Engineer, Mfg./Engineering, Lynn Gambill
* Cisco Systems' Bryan Tantzen, Senior Director, Discrete
* Manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT)
* Rockwell Automation SVP Frank Kulaszewicz
* Microsoft Dynamics General Manager Christian Pedersen
* PwC Director, Advisory, People & Change, Joe Henderson

More info: SmartManufacturingSummit.com

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