Industry News and Resources

3D printing set to take over mass production

27 Apr 2019

3D printing has already established a niche in the industrial production of prototypes and small series. It is now expected to get a new boost by connecting to automated production in digital factories.

Kai Tubbesing

Numerous industries such as the automotive and aerospace industries as well as the mechanical engineering and medical technology sectors have already been using additive manufacturing processes to produce spare parts or special components for years. Bosch subsidiary Bosch Rexroth and printer manufacturer BigRep now also aim to make 3D printing fit for mass production . Their declared goal is to create a completely digitized printing process and embed it into automated production. Leveraging the additive processes in mass production currently still requires too much manual work.

The two companies want to collect and evaluate large volumes of data for this purpose, from customer orders to CAD and simulation programs to concrete machine movements and quality assurance. Doing so nevertheless requires users and machine manufacturers to be willing to use uniform and open communication standards such as OPC UA or OpenAPI. This would create the basis for targeted on-demand production, making warehousing superfluous in the medium term.