The world is changing rapidly and Industry 4.0 technologies are creating new possibilities in manufacturing as manufacturers now have many options regarding the processes used to make products.

Historically, products were almost always manufactured be removing materials (subtractive manufacturing) such as drilling a hole, cutting or milling the material, or other similar operations.

3D Printing started out as a novelty – a toy for hobbyists interested in making simple products by printing them in three dimensions using plastics. Just a few years ago 3D printing technology was expensive, inaccurate, buggy, and limited in many ways due to the technological limitations of the software and the materials available to utilize in the production process.

But oh how things have changed. Additive manufacturing utilizing 3D printing has come a long way and is poised for explosive technological advancement in the next few years making it a very viable (and often preferrable) strategy with many advantages over traditional subtractive manufacturing strategies.

3D Printing technology is now much more affordable and accurate and can be used with a wide variety of materials including not only plastics but also many metals, concrete, and other raw materials. Printing in 3D can allow manufacturers to produce products that previously could never be manufactured because the components inside the part could not be assembled or installed correctly where 3D printing can create the internal components as part of the overall production o the finished good.

Additive manufacturing promises to reduce and simplify the manufacturing process with fewer assembly operations and reductions in scrap and improved production times.

While most CAD vendors now offer integration to print in 3D from their applications, these integrations do not integrate to the ERP system resulting in a huge disconnect of data related to material planning, production scheduling, and costing – not to mention raw material and finished goods inventory transactions.

CADTALK AM solves these problems integrating all three platforms and their respective data and processes – CAD, ERP, and 3D. Below are just a few of the 3D printing platforms we can integrate seamlessly with your CAD and ERP applications.