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3D Printing

The 3rd Industrial Revolution? It has been dubbed as the 'third industrial revolution' by the likes of ‘The Economist’, a technological breakthrough that could have the same lasting impact on manufacturing as the mechanisation of the textile industry did in the latter years of the 18th century, writes Ian Adcock. It's being billed as having the game-changing potential of Henry Ford's first modern production line for the Model T just over a century ago in 1913. ‘It’ is direct digital manufacturing (DDM) or 3D printing. That’s certainly the view held by Stratasys CEO, David Reis, when he unveiled the company’s biggest 3D printer, the Objet 1000 in Frankfurt at the end of 2012. Of course, as boss of one of the world’s leading manufacturers of 3D printing machines you would expect him to say that, but there’s increasing evidence that manufacturers and governments alike, are similarly convinced. “3D or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is seen by the US

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Government as a means of repatriating jobs back to the USA from the Far East and Asia,” says Reis. “It’s a parallel situation here in Europe with comparable investment funding 3D printing and research. Three million jobs from Europe were lost to Asia with similar numbers in USA, and governments think that 3D printing is one of the pillars to bring manufacturing back home. There’s a lot of excitement about it.” As part of his Administration’s ‘We Can’t Wait’ initiative, President Obama announced steps to launch a pilot institute to serve as proof-of concept for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (rebranded as 'America Makes' in October 2013) based in Youngstown, Ohio. Five federal agencies: the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce, the National Science Foundation, and NASA, jointly committed to invest USD 45 million in a pilot institute on additive manufacturing.  The announcement of an initial USD 30 million award under existing authorities is matched by USD 40 million from the winning

Lotus proActive Magazine - Spring 2014  

Lotus Engineering's quarterly automotive industry magazine

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