Build up additive manufacturing expertise in your organization to strategically pursue on-demand manufacturing.
Although 3D printing technology has been developing for the past 35 years, manufacturing applications for long-production runs are still in relative infancy. Therefore, sharing additive manufacturing knowledge internally and externally from your organization is beneficial to laying the foundation for on-demand additive manufacturing.
Before on-demand additive manufacturing can become a widely-adopted phenomenon, AM organizations should cultivate a knowledge-sharing culture to resolve their own (and the industries’) on-demand manufacturing challenges more quickly.
Here are three ways to share AM knowledge within your organization:
1. Facilitate Training Opportunities
With a limited pool of additive manufacturing experts, it’s essential to share AM knowledge and gain greater mindshare to extend its capabilities to outside industries to maximize its technology potential. Although it’s critical to educate designers and AM engineers to think beyond the design limitations of conventional manufacturing, AM knowledge shouldn’t be limited to in-the-field experts.
Sharing AM knowledge benefits more than the engineers and operators producing AM parts. It creates technology advocates organization-wide capable of extending additive manufacturing’s reach into new industries, new networks, and new, yet-to-be-discovered applications for on-demand manufacturing.
You can create (and recruit) a more specialized workforce by facilitating training opportunities organization-wide. Whether through AM certification courses for existing employees or partnering with educational institutions to promote additive manufacturing training for the next generation of workers, facilitating training opportunities can pay dividends. A more confident, knowledgeable community of workers can add diverse perspectives into solving AM’s most pressing on-demand manufacturing challenges, including identifying AM use cases, creating new, AM-first designs, and navigating part certification efforts.
2. Adopt a Horizontal vs. Top-Down Approach to Knowledge Sharing
Knowledge sharing doesn’t need to be limited to rigorous coursework; some of the best AM expertise likely exists in your organization. In addition, by promoting a horizontal approach to knowledge sharing, organizations can break down internal information silos by increasing inter-departmental collaboration.
For example, 3YOURMIND’s AM Part Identifier (AMPI) tool can empower non-technical employees to find new AM use cases to alleviate the workloads of AM experts. Employees with or without AM technical knowledge can input part information through a market-validated assessment algorithm to receive a technical and economic feasibility score by submitting existing inventory parts for AM screening.
From there, validated parts are then sent to your organization’s AM experts to evaluate parts short-listed for additive manufacturing further. In addition, AM experts can share information with non-experts to help them identify additional parameters critical to design feasibility, such as material compatibility, structural integrity, and more.
This practice can be beneficial when promoting on-demand manufacturing strategies by leveraging different areas of expertise to pursue the same goal. In addition, with increased accessibility to AM knowledge, organizations can receive greater input into potential AM use cases, accelerating on-demand manufacturing capabilities.
3. Build an AM Ecosystem
As an industry, additive manufacturing benefits significantly from collaboration to develop new technology, supply chain, and manufacturing paradigms. However, It’s not always wise to pursue every avenue available. Instead, nurturing mutually beneficial strategic partnerships can help to leverage existing knowledge capabilities without straining financial or labor resources.
For example, solving large-scale additive manufacturing issues like standardization, sustainability, technical integrations, or even policy directives can not be achieved in isolation. In this case, joining existing organizations or collaborating with partners to form new organizations can help focus expertise toward a specific goal or interest.
Develop Additive Manufacturing Through Collaboration
By contributing to more extensive AM industry pursuits, organizations with additive manufacturing strategies can build up their knowledge, share expertise, and work together to overcome challenges in the quest of widespread adoption of on-demand additive manufacturing.
3YOURMIND is proud to work with industry leaders in additive manufacturing. See how we’re involved in being part of the solution to AM’s most pressing issues.