"The Cool Parts Show" Releases New Episodes on the Advance of AM During Pandemic Crisis
Sister publication Additive Manufacturing’s video series focused on industrial 3D printing releases special episodes showing how and why additive manufacturing is growing during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Cool Parts Show” information can be found here.
“We didn’t plan more episodes during this time; we’re working on our next regular season,” says Stephanie Hendrixson, senior editor of Additive Manufacturing Media and co-host of the show. “But we kept hearing from companies we know from the show about different ways this moment is creating a context for their use of 3D printing to advance.”
The series of special episodes tells these stories of additive manufacturing moving ahead:
- 3D printed implant maker Tangible Solutions is responding to heightened demand as hospitals get ready for surgeries currently being delayed. As a result, the company is using metal additive manufacturing to realize the highest production volumes the company has seen so far.
- Drone engine maker Cobra Aero took advantage of its work interruption to experiment with new designs for engine components. Additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping and design investigation. Thanks to this exploration period, Cobra found a way to make its exhaust system through metal 3D printing instead of assembly to reduce cost and weight, improve performance and simplify manufacturing.
- 3D printed eyeglasses maker Fitz Frames’ expansion has not slowed despite the pandemic, as the company has diversified into personal protective glass for healthcare workers (often provided free of charge). Additive manufacturing is delivering on its promise to allow product designs, even radical ones, to be integrated into production quickly.
- Spectrum Dental is one of a number of 3D printing companies forming a virtual factory that will answer the need for test swabs by together printing millions of them per week. The promise of additive manufacturing has always been scale production, and this response to the pandemic likely will represent the greatest scale production success so far.
“Additive manufacturing is a different form of manufacturing,” says Modern Machine Shop and Additive Manufacturing Media editor-in-chief Peter Zelinski, also a host of the show. “It is manufacturing without tooling, without setup, without delay — so it is manufacturing best able to pivot into taking advantage of the opportunities of this time. We shouldn’t have been surprised that part of what we’re seeing in this moment is additive manufacturing surging ahead.”
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