Additive manufacturing: radical change, risks and rewards

The future is here with industrial-scale additive manufacturing. The product industry is being transformed at multiple levels with the implementation of advanced technologies like industrial-scale additive manufacturing, also known as ISAM. Technology is providing new manufacturing developments, and ISAM is changing the way companies design products, as well as the materials to make them.

Moreover, manufacturing is being impacted at an industrial level with the acceleration to fully merge new mechanical properties and metal production.

In the second podcast of our series on ISAM, “Industrial Additive Manufacturing: The Risks and Opportunities,” Dean Haehnel, director of marketing, and Robert Meshel, director of the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network initiative, discuss what’s possible with industrial additive manufacturing.

They chat about the multiple levels of manufacturing that are being affected, as well as customization’s role as the market responds to demands for individualized parts and how we’ll see more of this with additive manufacturing.

Moreover, efficiency is the operative word with industrial additive manufacturing: iterations are fast with little to no effect on cost, which wasn’t the case with traditional methods. The product was designed, and then the manufacturing infrastructure was built to produce it. Any problems with the design wouldn’t be known until after production, causing a chain of events leading back to design and manufacturing ― a lengthy process.

Even with these benefits, manufacturers still hesitate to embrace additive manufacturing due to a few key questions they aren’t sure how to answer:

• Will engineers have the necessary skills to design for additive manufacturing?
• Are we willing to establish the infrastructure that must be in place to support it with changes in both process and materials?
• Will we be able to manage security concerns, given that additive manufacturing is fully digital with the risk of copying?
• Will we be able to monitor the entire production process? And,
• Will we be able to keep up with the pace of change continuing in the industry?

Haehnel and Meshel touch on all of these points throughout their conversation about the value of ISAM, as well as key industry changes that concern companies.

Missed the first podcast? Catch up here. The full podcast series is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, and Stitcher.

About the author
Blake Snodgrass is a writer for the Thought Leadership team in Siemens PLM Software, which supports several venues, including the Thought Leadership blog for the company. He speaks with experts in their field who provide compelling insight into innovative technologies affecting industries and how this can impact the future. Blake has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and more than 25 years of experience working for IT companies, with roles in technical writing, marketing communications, user-experience design and content development.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at