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Additive Manufacturing: Collaboration Trumps Complexity

By Mike Heard

Subsidies are required to provide industry-wide access to additive manufacturing technologies.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Additive manufacturing is a generic but advanced manufacturing technology that’s essential to any diverse complex manufacturing economy. Successful adoption of additive manufacturing is itself a complex undertaking and, for other than very large businesses, prohibitively expensive and risky if attempted in-house and alone.

Manufacturing in Australia is comprised of a few relatively large organisations and many small-to-medium enterprises (SME). Economy-wide adoption of additive manufacturing requires models of collaboration between governments, industry and research institutions. Such collaboration, initially government-subsidised, can provide access for individual businesses to additive manufacturing knowledge and physical capability at reasonable cost.

Additive manufacturing is applicable to the manufacture of complex tooling, components and finished products in many materials, including various metals and plastics. It may be utilised for modelling, prototyping, short runs, mass customisation and, in specific circumstances, long production runs. It is an essential generic technology for a diverse manufacturing economy and is valuable to small, medium and large manufacturers across virtually all manufacturing sectors.

Strategic thinking about the end-use objective opens new design options that may be uniquely implemented using additive...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.