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3D Printing: Foundations for Mainstream Adoption

By Mary Page Bailey |

The seemingly boundless versatility of additive manufacturing makes it an area ripe for fast evolution, but critical industrial applications also demand verification and reliability There is no doubt that 3D printing (also known industrially as additive manufacturing; AM) has set off a true manufacturing transformation, and the chemical process industries (CPI) are among numerous industrial sectors that are benefitting from its use. From rapid delivery of spare or replacement parts to design customization, the myriad AM technologies can help streamline maintenance activities, process improvements and research. Concurrently, materials engineers are actively expanding the boundaries of printable materials to include not only plastics and metals, but also nanomaterials, bio-based substances and more. However, as 3D-printed parts make their way into more end-use applications, and more companies begin operating their own in-house 3D-printing operations, it becomes clear that standardization and inspection are crucial for ensuring safety and reliability.   Building the baseline The unprecedented flexibility available to manufacturers with modern 3D-printing/AM technologies also introduces some sensitive issues that the industry…
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