By Cyndy Moniz | Office Manager
Changes in the Global Supply Chain
The additive manufacturing industry marches onward. Did you know that the global supply chain is expected to change dramatically in the years ahead? Many products and parts will be custom printed in 3D printing centers around the world, eliminating the need for large warehouses and elaborate transportation schedules. Current supply chain operations will become outdated. Opportunities will emerge but only for those entities and corporations that keep up with the pace of innovation. Are you ready?
Cross Pollination of Ideas
3D printing has unleashed a powerful, new burst of creativity. New product designs are being developed with the cross pollination of ideas from various disciplines. Researchers are studying seahorses to figure out how to design robots for use in the medical industry. Michael Porter of UC San Diego was inspired by the structure of the seahorse’s tail while trying to build a steerable catheter. This led to an intriguing study resulting in ideas for possible medical, military and manufacturing applications. Does this pique your interest? In light of the advances being made in 3D printing, it’s well worth re-evaluating how you are doing business or conducting research.
4D Printing on the Horizon
Now that I have your attention – have you heard of 4D printing? 4D printing is being researched and developed by architect, Skylar Tibbits at his Self-Assembly Lab at MIT. He explains that 4D printing is taking an object that was 3D printed in programmable material and adding time. Some of his research uses a new material created by Stratasys that changes shape in water. He envisions using 4D Printing in many industrial applications. Future research may even result in developing products that can transform with other triggers such as heat, gravity, light or sound.
Imagine what may come next. This is an exciting time for entrepreneurs, engineers, designers or those who are re-inventing themselves. Pay attention and keep an open mind; there’s bound to be more innovation and breakthroughs as the 3D Printing industry evolves.