Ed Graham is the Engineering Manager at ProtoCAM, the leading provider of value-added additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping services for clients in a wide variety of industries including defense, aerospace, automotive, architecture, and consumer goods. Ed is representing ProtoCAM’s 20+ years of experience as a speaker of the 1st Annual Innovation Conference!
“ProtoCAM is honored to sponsor TecBridge‘s inaugural Northeast Pennsylvania Innovation Conference, and to share our experience in additive manufacturing to enrich our region. Having led the field in industrial 3D printing for over 20 years, ProtoCAM has worked with most of our area’s manufacturers, and companies from across the globe, to help speed production and drive growth using it’s unique advantages. We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned, and helping others in Northeast Pennsylvania reap the benefits of this dynamic and flexible manufacturing technique.”
1. What is the importance of Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing to NEPA region?
It will be important for the NEPA region to become involved in 3D printing as this is a growing industry with some huge potential.
Having deep additive manufacturing experience here in our region allows manufacturers to quickly print and test multiple iterations of new designs, and physically ensure the concepts and parts work well before incurring the time and expense of permanent hard tooling. In some cases, direct manufacturing is also being used for short-run production to meet needs until hard tooling and mass manufactured parts are ready. Having this knowledge base in the area will attract large companies to look for expertise and ultimately provide new jobs.
2. What are the growth opportunities for Additive Manufacturing?
Beyond prototyping, as materials and techniques are continually improving, we foresee huge opportunities in directly printing end-use parts. Recent developments are accelerating the shift to scalable production of parts. With its advantageous economies of scale, injection molding still dominates the field for mass production, but the gap is rapidly narrowing. The metals sector has been experiencing major growth as well – using parts as end use and the ability to cut part counts in assemblies has been huge. Better designs, lighter weight and improved efficiency make this a win win.
3. Is there real job growth from Additive Manufacturing?
With the existing cost and time savings of additive manufacturing, and improved options on the horizon, we anticipate our next 20 years being even more dynamic than the last 20. Large companies are investing heavily in the technology and the future growth is expected to be huge – which in turn will create the necessary jobs needed to facilitate the growth.
We’re grateful for the sponsorship of ProtoCAM! Get to know ProtoCAM here.