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3D printing and Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 has become a trend in the business world. With the emergence of the internet of things, robots and 3D printers, people have been questioning how science fiction has morphed into reality. The term Industry 4.0 was coined by Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, in order to represent the movement towards a new industrial revolution. The term “Industry 4.0” is being used to describe the integration of Industry 1.0 (steam and water power), Industry 2.0 (electronic desktops and additive manufacturing), and Industry 3.0 (IT platforms for sustainability and Industry 4.0. The objectives of Industry 4.0 are to implement information and communication technology through the combination of people, business, things, and data).

3D printers are the heart of Industry 4.0. This is because it has the ability to reduce lead times for manufacturing. It is an additive manufacturing process that builds components from a 3D CAD file as opposed to traditional subtractive manufacturing methods. This technology is capable of producing prototype parts, functional end-use parts, and production quantities, all using the same CAD design files. This comes in handy for the manufacturing process since it enables the ability to create a final product with no loss in accuracy from the original design. As a result, the use of 3D printing has helped time and cost savings for the companies by reducing the need for complex tooling.

As technology becomes faster and more efficient in the future, 3D printing will be more accessible to industries in a bigger way. In order to maintain production quality, 3D printing is currently relied on for its precision and accuracy. 3D printing has many benefits as it reduces the need for expensive tooling which then leads to reduced costs without hurting any of the quality.

3D printing will continue to impact Industry 4.0 as it provides speed and accessibility. Most importantly, 3D printing will play a big part in driving the world towards a new industrial revolution.

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