ArtSystems/Westcoast present 3D print and Industry 4.0: the future is now

Press Release: November 1, 2017

ArtSystems/Westcoast present 3D print and Industry 4.0: The Future is Now

Hosted at the Westcoast headquarters in Milton Keynes, ArtSystems presented a packed itinerary outlining the advances in 3D print, the advent of Industry 4.0 and the implications for companies that fail to embrace them. A specially invited audience of 3D print technology resellers from across the UK were asked the question, ‘What does 3D printing and Industry 4.0 mean to you?

Ted Freer, ArtSystems’ Divisional Sales Manager, spoke first. Ted explained that Industry 4.0 is nothing less than the fourth industrial revolution. It’s the latest in a long line of technological leaps that began in the 1780s with the advent of steam power, and continued in the 1920s thanks to the flourishing of electricity and mass production.

The 1970s saw the emergence of IT and the internet, allowing the globalisation of high speed communications and mankind’s first steps into online life. In the present day, more people have access to online merchandise through tablets and their smartphones than have flush toilets. In short, Industry 4.0 and cyber-physical, batch one manufacturing has arrived.

Batch one production is here

‘Batch one’? The growing consumer drive towards ever-greater personalisation of products has created a batch one culture. This is moving away from mass production to a bespoke manufacturing model which creates a single, on-demand item - in other words, unique output in batches of one.

This only became commercially feasible when cyber-physical manufacturing matured. This required a number of factors to fall into place: Cloud-based communication, advanced digitisation, and an integrated digital workflow, plus artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and highly developed automation.

These all funnelled down to form an accessible, localised, additive manufacturing process. The customer orders their unique product online and within 24 hours it has been 3D printed and delivered. 3D printing is the only production process that can achieve this.

Speakers from leading 3D printer manufacturers, Simon Brandon from Stratasys and MakerBot’s Victor Golescu, predicted a bright future for 3D printing. The market is set to grow by 42% over the next five years, of which 80% will be desktop units, with short-run, mass customisation of products becoming the norm.

An explosion in 3D print growth

By 2025, the 3D print market is forecast to be worth between $230 and $550 billion every year, and will provide up to 10% of all consumer products, up to 50% of all direct manufacturing and half of all industrial tooling. Every aspect of production from food through to aerospace, automotive and healthcare will be using additive manufacturing. Simon Brandon reasoned that 3D print is currently at the point the worldwide web had reached 20 years ago.

It is already beginning to revolutionise design technology, a fact highlighted by Phil Hall from Windsor Boys’ School. His design technology classes use 3D printing to create prototypes from student designs which can then be tested, analysed, refined then reprinted until perfect. He sees 3D printing as ideal for the classroom because his 13 to 18 year-old students can see their designs made solid - without the lengthy and expensive tooling process traditional prototyping demands.

Because of this, 3D printing could see the demise of compromised commercial product development and design, moving the focus away from the prohibitive costs of prototyping towards perfecting design and development at the start of the process. 3D print now more affordable than ever Thanks to Westcoast finance packages, 3D printers can be bought on a subscription basis that makes them even more affordable, saving customers over 8% during a five-year subscription period. Better still, they can refresh the technology as it innovates and develops, much as mobile phone providers and technological giants Adobe, Apple and Microsoft do now.

Ted Freer concluded that, “The need for people who can manipulate materials and design bespoke products will continue to grow, and new materials are being developed all the time. Not getting left behind by competitors who have embraced Industry 4.0 requires a shift in mindset, and an acceptance of new, turnkey technologies.

He went on to say that, “3D printing delivers better products faster and at a lower cost, and because you only print what you want, when you want it, there is no waste. Stratasys and MakerBot systems are already Industry 4.0 enabled, and ArtSystems is here to help with its comprehensive technical support and staff development programme, plus information sharing. It’s an exciting time to put the foundations in place for your future growth, and the future is now.

Press Kit: November 1, 2017

Editorial Enquiries:
Call Johb Draycott on 0115 9380 333 or email john.draycott@artsystems.co.uk


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