I walked the floor asking the same questions and here is my take:
What matters now for Additive Manufacturing?
– High Interest Rates are hitting AM investments in the US. The impact of that will be evaluated when the storm is over.
– Proprietary, custom alloys keep proliferating. We at VALIMET, Inc. welcome this trend as toll Atomization is part of our business model.
– The ‘toppings’ that allow processing alloys with no cracks are still the hottest ticket. Copper, Scandium and (yours truly) Alluminum Alloys are hot too.
What will AM do when it grows up?
– For years to come, Automotive Mass market is going to be a chimera, a distraction from what AM can do well. (Automotive boutique manufacturing is a different story – ask the lads at Divergent).
– “They won’t make parts faster, they will make bigger parts” (Eric Bono). True trend for AM and even more for wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM): ask Fortius Metals Inc‘s Jeff Lints (or better: see him the pic below).
– Binder jetting + sintering carries an interesting potential: how far throughput and dimensional control can be pushed? What about bigger and complex shape parts? Nice talks with one key player in this arena, GE Additive.
If you’re a Metallurgist looking for a dynamic environment for alloys development, AM is a place for you. Dig it.
As a materials engineer, I truly enjoyed forward-looking talks with Industry peers, OEMs, parts and machine manufacturers. Special thanks to Dan Haller, Donald G Godfrey, Jeremy Iten, Jonathan Aaron Cohen, Frédéric Marion, Greg Brentrup, Mark W. Quinn, Martina Riccio, Paul Gradl, Sifan Zhu, Zaynab Mahbooba.
Many OEMs have built AM capacity in-house, mostly for research and rapid prototyping purpose. That is a peculiar opportunity for Parts Manufacturers: development time might be shortened by leveraging on the learning-by-mistake that OEMs have capitalized over the years.