Digital manufacturing could eliminate warehouses, create on-demand production
ORLANDO, Fla. — As manufacturing industries go digital, products that were once generated via a set of build plans are now created in digital files that can be exported anywhere in the world.
When 3D printing is added to that equation, products are no longer produced in anticipation of orders, but on demand, as needed.
There are, however, existing cultural industry biases — engineers and designers who are entrenched in conventional manufacturing methods — that limit the adoption of 3D printing, stifling its full potential.
“What we need in our design organizations is someone who doesn’t have those cultural biases [and who says] when we go to design a new part for our spacecraft or rocket engine…, how do we build this with new technology?” said John Vickers, principal technologist for NASA’s space technology mission directorate.