The concept of "Design for AM' is intriguing. Fabricating parts using AM could change many of the traditional design and manufacturaiblity guidelines we used for parts creation. I would imagine that AM can now create many features we couldn't have previously made using traditional manufacturing methods. Conversely, additional design constraints will also need to be considered during the creation of a 3D part design.
Thanks, Nadine--I agree. There's a lot of dollars and effort going into R&D via this institute and its projects. Knowledge about those projects also gives us a window into where some of the most advanced technology is and where it's going.
The first round of projects funded targeted materials understanding and performance; qualification and certification; and process capability and characterization/process control. This second round also targets the first two topics, but adds design issues and knowledge base development. That tells me that materials remain a challenge, which is not surprising. But I think it also indicates that some initial process knowledge already exists and R&D can move forward with some much more in-depth projects. I also thought it significant that aerospace and metals AM dominate the discussion. I think aerospace will be one of the first areas where industrial-strength 3D printing/AM takes off.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.