Lately, there has been a lot of chatter surrounding the 3D printer and its capabilities as a manufacturing machine. For people in the metalworking industry, innovative technology continues to push the industry and allow for faster production. Just look at our 4 plate rolling machine. We’ve tried to transform the way companies bend metal, including the elimination of gear transmission, gibs & ways, bushings, clutches and synchronization devices. 3D printing machines are trying to do the same thing. They want to transform and create new innovative ways to increase production and profits.
For some people, they worry about the future and how the 3D printer might change the manufacturing community. For now, 3D printers strictly work in plastics and haven’t moved onto metal or mixed use materials. There are different opinions on the subject. Could the 3D printer put metal fabricators on the backburner, or will it provide new supply options? Metal Miner, a sourcing and trading intelligence for global metal markets had this to say in an article written by Stuart Burns earlier this month. “Any technology that creates new supply options for metal buyers has got to be a good thing in our books.”
For now, the future of 3D printing still seems unclear. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to every new technology. The companies that evolve and push the envelope of creativity and efficiency generally win in the battle for longevity.
C Marshall Fabrication Machinery, Inc. has over 30 years’ experience in the metal fabrication industry. Over that time, we’ve seen many different innovations come and go. The 3D printer certainly is another exciting possibility, but appears to be years away from coming to fruition for the metal fabrication industry. As always, finding you the right machine to remain competitive and profitable is our goal, no matter what type of technology exists.