Monday, June 29, 2015

ASME AM3D Question of the Month: What Innovations Will Propel Additive Manufacturing?

Dave Edstrom, Chief Technology Officer, Memex Automation

"The two most important technologies for the ubiquitous use of additive manufacturing in today's machine tools is the addition of tool changeable laser cladding heads, as demonstrated by Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, as well as MTConnect, the open and royalty-free manufacturing interconnectivity standard.

"Hybrid's technology allows for the perfect marriage of subtractive and additive technologies for existing machine tools. This new capability is a true game changer in manufacturing for a variety of reasons.

"First, the ability to take an existing subtractive machine tool and give it an additive tool opens up the ability to create parts that would have been impossible to create on a subtractive-only machine tool or an additive-only device. The world of refurbishing parts could be the best example—instead of throwing away the $25,000 damaged ship propeller, the damage parts are ground down, new material is added where needed, and finally the surface is finished without ever leaving the hybrid machine tool.

"MTConnect-enabled additive equipment will allow manufacturers to easily monitor their additive systems. MTConnect can be thought of as the "Bluetooth for manufacturing" that connects manufacturing devices to applications, such as shop-monitoring dashboards, which can easily show areas where productivity can be improved."

These speakers and many more additive manufacturing leaders will be sharing their perspectives on the future at the ASME Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Conference and Expo. Registration is open—see the current agenda and visit the registration page to get the best prices now.