More manufacturing is coming back to the United States – and that’s good news for the Empire State. The percentage of New Yorkers working in factories has declined over the years, but manufacturing jobs pay higher average wages than non-manufacturing work, especially upstate. Greater incomes aren’t the only benefits to New York communities, however. Manufacturing also encourages innovation, promotes workforce development, and uses natural resources wisely.
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This week, we get down to “brass-like” tacks, as the Additive Manufacturing Industry is fond of characterizing. (As more and more materials are created and modified to adopt to AM, you find descriptions like “ABS-like” and “Polycarbonate-like”, as their properties are designed to emulate the real material, yet chemically and physically adaptable to AM processes.)
This week we’re going to have some fun! Sorry for the weeks prior where I went through history and process of this exploding technology. I have taken you behind the scenes, away from all the hype that the media is giving to Additive Manufacturing, and given you some facts. Now, let’s get to the fun part- the “Gee Whiz” of Additive.
This week we will explore 3-D Printing! Really! Yes, all of the techniques we have discussed so far have been variously tagged as 3-D Printing, and they are correct. It is just that now we are going to look at printers who perform much like the Inkjet printer we introduced in the first article, where we traced origins of this exciting technology.
As Promised, this week we will take a look at Additive Manufacturing of metal parts. Last week I suggested I would cover Selective Laser Sintering, but there have been so many methods of 3-D printing metal parts, I thought I would cover them all.
This will be the first in a series of blogs on the topic of Additive Manufacturing (AM) – to give small to mid-size manufacturers an overview of the entire industry, at least as I have uncovered thus far. The intent is to give manufacturers enough information to begin making decisions about incorporating AM into their manufacturing processes.
By way of introduction, I have been working on a grant from NIST MEP, in New York, working on a service for small to mid-sized manufacturers, to be offered through our ten Regional Technology Development Centers,( part of NYSTAR/ESD), which provides “Virtual” Design and Prototype resources. As I have paid much attention to Prototype resources, I have become very familiar with the Rapid Prototype technologies that have recently morphed to become viable production tools. I share my findings in the spirit of advancing your knowledge of this exciting technology.