Design for Disruption: 3D Printed Spares and MRO
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If we want to make millions of parts or make millions from parts, we will have to disrupt existing production with additive manufacturing (AM). In order to do that, we have to overcome the traditional barriers to adoption of AM in part cost, throughput, repeatability, smoothness, material selection and more. But, what are some sound strategies to actually do this? We can wait until all the machines have a dozen lasers, but, until then, what can we do to move the needle towards broader and more successful adoption?
One strategy is, by looking expressly at what 3D printing can actually do, we can focus on pursuing those business cases that make sense and actually matter. One of these is to perform retrofits and create an industrial aftermarket of parts. For that to occur, we first have to have services for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), as well as services for spare parts. The only really great examples of this right now are…
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