• Additive Manufacturing Blog, December 2020

    How to start your additive manufacturing journey

Getting started in additive manufacturing can seem like an overwhelming transition for your business, but it can prove an effective tool in more ways than you might have previously imagined. In this episode of Additive Snack, we were joined by Wilderich Heising, Partner & Associate Director of BCG, to discuss the current state of the additive manufacturing industry and how it can bring value to your business.

Fabian Alefeld
Additive Minds Consulting Manager
EOS of North America Inc.

Why should I use additive manufacturing in my business, and how can it help?

Additive manufacturing can revolutionise all facets of businesses. Here are just a few ways that you can apply it across your business model:

  • Sales: Innovative solutions to help boost sales, refit the shop floor, and diversify stock management.
  • Engineering: Create bespoke parts at the click of a button.
  • Bio-medical: Cutting-edge options to revolutionize medical practices. 
  • Research and Development: Speed up R&D with the ability to tweak and retrial instantly.

With COVID19 having such an impact on the market, it can be unnerving to think about the future of additive manufacturing and whether it can be an effective tool for your business. You could be forgiven for thinking that entering into the additive manufacturing industry right now is a risky move. With target audiences struggling due to a severe drop in demand, the automotive and aeronautic industries were grinding to a halt, and companies having to scale back to survive the pandemic: businesses have been hit hard. The truth is, however, it won’t risky for long. 

While, of course, there will be a drop-off in revenue due to the global pandemic, Wilderich estimates that we’ll be seeing yearly growth of 20% before too long. That’s why now is the perfect time to start creating partnerships and broadening your business horizons into an industry that’s going to accelerate rapidly over the coming years.

How can I start using additive manufacturing in my business?

You’ve decided to give additive manufacturing a go, but how do you put together a short-term strategy that will give you a long-term value? Wilderich shared this fantastic and concise roadmap to success for anyone looking to break into the additive manufacturing field.

  1. Start with your pilot. Screen your customer valueship. Validate that the customer values the product, work out the costs, and consider product obsolescence. Return to the products you currently offer that could be made with additive manufacturing, and see where you can use it to bring an edge to the design. You can use a tech screening tool to ensure you have the suitable additive manufacturing tools and technology for this or use our consulting service.

  2. Run a cost-benefit analysis.

  3. Evaluate your workforce. Is the infrastructure in place for your workforce to work with this new venture, or are you going to need to upscale? What are your internal capabilities looking like?

  4. Run the pilot. When it’s successful, do it again. Start scaling it up at a maintainable rate of growth.

  5. Maintain contact with your customer base. Track and maintain the relevance of your products with them, and see what roadblocks or pain points they’re still coming across. Use these to continue innovation.

The future of additive manufacturing is looking very promising. With hybridized factories bringing us into a new era of industrialization, additive manufacturing enables production to become more efficient and cost-effective without pushing more traditional production methods out of the market. Additive manufacturing will flip the switch on industrial production standards. 

In summary…

  • Projections for the future of additive manufacturing mean that now’s the time to jump on board.
  • Additive manufacturing isn’t as complicated as you might think; use our roadmap to get started.
  • Assess your business for compatibility, test, and learn using our steps to success.
  • Tune in to Additive Snack for more insights, tips, and tricks of the additive manufacturing trade.

Do not hesitate to reach out to me personally, I’d be happy to assist with any questions you might have.

Fabian Alefeld
Additive Minds Consulting Manager
EOS of North America Inc.