Automation Alley Integr8 Playbook focuses on the power and benefits of additive manufacturing

"Shaping Tomorrow: Additive Manufacturing" is the third in a series of playbooks from the Integr8 roundtable series

Automation Alley's third playbook of its 2024 Integr8 Roundtable Series is focused on how additive manufacturing continues to revolutionize the traditional design process and how manufacturers can overcome barriers to adopting and successfully using the technology.


The insights for the playbook were gathered at a Feb. 14 roundtable discussion hosted by Automation Alley, which featured leaders from technology, manufacturing, government and academic sectors.

It is imperative for manufacturers to integrate 3D printer applications into their manufacturing process to stay competitive in the Industry 4.0 future. This playbook offers powerful insights for companies looking for a starting point into a distributed and additive manufacturing future.

"Shaping Tomorrow: Additive Manufacturing" is available to view and download here.

"The additive process continues to redefine the way factories approach and think about how products are made. 3D printing provides manufacturers with the ability to be more precise and rapidly customizable than traditional machining and assembly lines," said Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley. "Pair that with generative design AI and distributed manufacturing and the possibilities for efficiency and flexibility are endless."

The first additive manufacturing systems and 3D printers emerged in the 1980s - but the technology did not begin to reach its full potential until the late 2000s. Today, additive manufacturing is capable of producing more than just small metal parts. Today's 3D printers can produce entire houses, jet engines and even rockets. Despite that capability, manufacturers are often reluctant to adopt the technology because it is so different from their traditional process and it can be difficult to justify the cost.

"At Automation Alley, we believe it is imperative for manufacturers to integrate 3D printer applications into their manufacturing process to stay competitive in the Industry 4.0 future," Kelly said. "This playbook offers powerful insights for companies looking for a starting point into a distributed and additive manufacturing future."

The playbook explores what is possible with additive manufacturing and offers strategies and considerations for adopting an additive mindset. Topics discussed include:

The importance of design for additive manufacturing (DFAM)
Generative artificial intelligence design and additive manufacturing
Project DIAMOnD, a distributed manufacturing and additive manufacturing use case
Additive manufacturing and sustainability
Government support with Additive Manufacturing Forward (AM Forward)
Integrating additive manufacturing programs in education
Building a scalable framework
"Shaping Tomorrow: Additive Manufacturing" is sponsored by Stratasys, and was produced in partnership with Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and Michigan State University.

The 2024 Integr8 Roundtable Series offers invite-only roundtable sessions where leaders from industry, academia and government meet to discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding various Industry 4.0 topics.

Building upon the momentum of the Roundtable Series of insightful discussions held earlier in the year, the Integr8 Roundtable Summit, to be held Oct. 3 in Detroit, is the apex of this collaborative exploration into the realms of Industry 4.0. For sponsorship opportunities, contact sales@automationalley.com.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology business association and Digital Transformation Insight Center focused on driving the growth and success of businesses in Michigan and beyond through innovation and automation. With a global outlook and a regional focus, we foster a vibrant community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders through opportunities for collaboration and learning. Our programs and services help businesses develop the skills and expertise needed to effectively jumpstart or accelerate digital transformation. By bringing together industry, academia, and government, we aim to create a dynamic ecosystem that drives innovation and growth across Michigan.

At Automation Alley, our mission is to help businesses thrive in the rapidly changing digital economy by equipping them with the knowledge, insights, and tools to develop a software-first mindset that leverages the power of automation, AI, and other cognitive technologies. We believe that by working together, we can build a stronger, more innovative, and more competitive economy for the future. Visit automationalley.com.

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