Trends in Additive Manufacturing for end-use production with Rize

3D Printing Industry is taking an in depth look at how additive manufacturing is moving to production. Over the coming weeks the results of interviews with industry leading practitioners will be published

This article is part of a series examining Trends in Additive Manufacturing for End-Use Production.

Julie Reece is VP of Marketing and Channel Relations at Rize. The Rize One 3D printer combines a patented, simultaneous extrusion/jetting Augmented Polymer Deposition process with unique material properties to efficiently produce injection molded-quality manufacturing parts.

3DPI:  What is your percentage estimate of how much your printers are used for production versus other applications?

Julie Reece: We currently estimate that our printers are used approximately 50% of the time for tooling, fixtures and jigs for production and about 50% of the time for prototypes (primarily functional prototypes). We expect the use of Rize 3D printers for production tooling and customized end-use parts to increase significantly over the next year.

Rize 3D printed Augmented Polymer Deposition. Photo by Michael Petch.
Rize 3D printed Augmented Polymer Deposition. Photo by Michael Petch.

3DPI: Do you have an estimate of the addressable market for AM in production?

JR: We refer to McKinsey Global Institute’s estimates that the total sales of direct manufactured goods and tooling will reach $800B in sales by 2025. Of that, $250B in sales will come from 3D printed products (mostly consumer goods, tooling and direct manufactured products that will be 3D printed).

3DPI:  Which industries/verticals are leading in the use of AM for production?

JR: There are a variety of industries using additive manufacturing for production purposes, whether it be for custom and replacement end-use products or custom and replacement tools, fixtures and jigs used in the production of end-use products. We are seeing great traction for our technology in production applications in aerospace and defense, consumer products, medical and healthcare products, industrial manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, to name a few.

3DPI: What barriers does AM face for production and how are these surmountable?

JR: Material properties, high costs, complexity, time to a usable part and location of a production-capable machine relegated to an additive manufacturing lab are significant barriers to the use of additive manufacturing in production. Products manufactured using 3D printers will require the same material properties (strength, surface finish, HDT, etc.) as products manufactured using traditional means. 3D printed products will also need to be produced in the same full color that consumers expect from traditionally manufactured parts.

Additionally, if manufacturers and other organizations wish to place a production-capable 3D printer on the production floor, in the field or in a medical office, the process must be clean and safe, without harmful outgassing. And, to produce many consumer products, the materials must also be safe; that is not the case with most of today’s production-capable 3D printers. In addition, the system must be compact enough to be placed in any office or field environment, yet have a large enough build volume to produce most parts required.

Since many manufacturers are looking to use the technology for customized one-off products, the systems must be affordable to purchase and, more importantly, affordable to operate.

And, finally, since the 3D printer will be operated by mechanical and manufacturing engineers, mechanics, soldiers, doctors and people who aren’t experienced users of additive manufacturing equipment, it must be as easy to use as a typical document printer.

The Rize One is designed to be used in an office (image courtesy Rize ©2016 Jon Chomitz)

But the reality is that today’s 3D printers cannot meet all those requirements. At one end of the spectrum, there are 3D printers that serve prototyping and tooling applications that must, or should, be located in labs, or hobby-class desktop 3D printers that simply don’t meet the needs of industrial/commercial applications for a variety of reasons. At the other end of the spectrum in manufacturing, metal 3D printers, and companies like HP and Carbon, are forging a path, legitimizing 3D printing for manufacturing, but they must remain in the lab; they cannot break out into the manufacturing environment and they require users to make significant sacrifices in complexity, time, cost, and even material properties. Those technologies cannot address the enormous market for functional prototypes and custom one-offs of production parts on demand in an office, next to the assembly line, mechanic’s shop…you name it.

Rize is doing just that with our patented, simultaneous extrusion/jetting APD platform that uses an innovative process to deliver unique material properties that expands additive manufacturing beyond the lab and enables entirely new applications not possible with any other 3D printer. Suitable for virtually any location, Rize One uniquely produces watertight and isotropic-strength thermoplastic parts, with detailed text and images, that are twice as strong as the competition. Rize One is also the only office-safe 3D printer, without toxic particle emissions, mess or harmful materials throughout the process and almost no post-processing after 3D printing, saving users up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in staffing costs alone and up to 100% in total processing time. Manufacturing engineers can place a Rize One 3D printer on the production floor to quickly and easily build custom or replacement tooling, fixtures and jigs on demand, avoiding costly down time and excess inventory. Rize One is also ideal for efficiently producing a low volume of customized end-use parts.

3DPI:  Are there any notable trends in AM for end use production?

JR: We’re seeing an increase in manufacturers who are looking to place an industrial-class 3D printer right next to the assembly line to produce custom and replacement tools to keep the line running efficiently and to replace their costly physical inventory with digital inventory.  

Companies are also looking to place a production-capable system in tool shops, auto mechanic shops or doctor’s offices to manufacture one-offs of custom products, such as replacement parts, aftermarket and custom auto parts, custom medical and production tooling, dental devices, surgical guides and more.

Breaking the chains of the additive manufacturing lab and placing manufacturing where and when it’s needed, results in enormous efficiency improvements in time and cost, and enables companies to offer new, customized products and services that can’t be produced in any other way. Within the next few years, manufacturers will even be able to 3D print products like…hearing aids with both hard and rubbery surfaces for maximum performance and comfort, antenna, smart sensors, microchip heat sinks, actuators and circuit boards. And it will be possible to use additive manufacturing to produce products with flame retardant, conductive and static dissipative materials.

A color sample 3D printed on the Rize One. Photo by Beau Jackson for 3D Printing Industry.
A color sample 3D printed on the Rize One. Photo by Beau Jackson for 3D Printing Industry.

3DPI: Can you name any specific case studies where AM is used for end use production (or mention the industry if under NDA)?

JR: Aerospace (i.e.; Rize customer, NASA) and Defense are two key industries for Rize where our customers will use Rize One for production parts.

This article is part of a series examining Trends in Additive Manufacturing for End-Use Production.

You can read more about Rize here.

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