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The development & application of Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing -looking to the past to inform the future- Stockholm, Sweden – 19 th September 2013 Dr Phil Reeves – lead consultant, Econolyst. Contents (50-minutes). A personal introduction Agreeing terms (AM or 3DP)

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The development & application of Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing

-looking to the past to inform the future-

Stockholm, Sweden – 19th September 2013

Dr Phil Reeves – lead consultant, Econolyst

Contents (50-minutes)

  • A personal introduction

  • Agreeing terms (AM or 3DP)

  • The principles of layer manufacturing explained

  • Technology applications and trends

  • The business drivers to technology adoption (users)

  • Looking at the consumer 3D Printing Eco-system (suppliers)

  • Projecting out the future

About Econolyst

  • Econolyst is a UK based consultancy & research firm dedicated to the 3DP & Additive Manufacturing

  • Established 2003

  • Team of Engineers, designers, economists, mathematician, software developers, retail & HR people

  • Partnership with Nottingham University for technology development & materials characterisation

  • Work across the Western Europe, Scandinavia, USA, the Middle East & Far East

  • Fortune 500 client base

What do we do

  • Help companies ideate & embed AM/3DP products into their brands, value chains & supply chains

  • Help AM software, technology & materials vendors with their technology & market strategy

  • Advise public & private sector investors on the dynamics of the AM/3DP market place

Point Lobos Capital

Current stuff that keep us busy!

  • Modelling the 10-year convergence of 3D Printing, open source electronics & robotics on the consumer electronics industry

  • Investigating the long terms innovation benefits for the wide scale adoption of consumer 3D printing in a professional automotive design environment

  • Modelling the current and future economics for the use of 3D Printing to support volume manufacturing

  • Technology mapping for the re-shoring of ‘digital footwear’ – technology & data pathways

The development & application of Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing

-looking to the past to inform the future-

Q) Is 3D Printing the same as Additive Manufacturing?

  • Q) Is 3D Printing the same as Additive Manufacturing?

  • YES, but:

  • 3DP is typically associated with people printing at home or in the community

  • AM is typically associated with production technologies & supply chains

  • BUT they both produce parts by the addition of layers

What is Additive Layer Manufacturing

3DP processes are automated systems that take 2-dimensional layers of computer data and rebuild them into 3D solid objects

Why is this layer thing so different

  • Subtractive

    • Material is successively removed from a solid block until the desired shape is reached (2.5M BC – Hominids)

  • Fabricative

    • Elements or physical material are combined and joined (6,000 BC – Western Asia)

  • Formative

    • Mechanical forces and, or heat are applied to material to form it into the desired shape such as bending, casting and molding (3,000 BC – Egyptians)

  • Additive

    • Material is manipulated so that successive pieces of it combine to make the desired object (1984 – Californians)

This is not a new concept

  • 1902 - Peacock patent for laminated horse shoes

  • 1952 - Kojima demonstrated layer manufacturing benefits

  • 1967 - Swainson files US patent for dual light-source resin system

  • 1981 - Kodama publishes 3 solid holography methods

  • 1982 - Chuck Hull experiments with SLA

  • 1984 - Chuck files US patent 4,575,330

  • 1986 - 3D Systems formed, others follow

  • 1987 - Rapid Prototyping became a commercial reality

  • 1990 - Layer manufactured parts used as casting patterns

  • 1995 - Layer manufactured parts used as tools

  • 2000 - Layer manufactured parts used as production parts

  • 2011 – 45,000 ALM machines globally (in total since 1984)

  • 2012 – 45,000 new machines sold in 1-year

Wire feed


Jet & Flash

Solvent jetting

Laser spot



Powder bed


Binder jetting


Powder feed



How do ALM process build layers


Cut from stock

How to make a layer


Commercial ALM systems in 2013

  • Sintermask

  • High Speed sintering

  • 3D Systems - SLS

  • EOS - LS & DMLS

  • Phenix, Concept Laser, Realizer, Renishaw, SLM Solutions - SLM

  • Arcam EBM

  • Sciaky EBM3

  • Stratasys – FDM

  • MakerBot clones

  • Optomec – LENS

  • Accufusion - LC

  • Solidscape

  • 3D Invision DP

  • Objet – Polyjet

  • 3D Invision HR/XT

  • Voxel Jet – PM

  • 3D Systems – SLA

  • Nextfactory – Digiwax

  • DMEC - SLA

  • Solidica – Ultrasonic compaction

  • Mcor Matrix

  • CAM-LEM CM100

  • Z-Corp – 3DP

  • ProMetal

  • F-Cubic

  • EnvisionTEC – Perfactory

  • EnvisionTEC – Vanquish

  • 3D systems – Vflash

  • DWS – Micro SLA

  • Asiga - Pica

Metallic materials

Polymeric materials

Ceramic materials

Organic materials


Tool Steel




Ceramic (nano) loaded epoxies



Filled PA


Polyamide (nylon)

Cobalt Chrome

Thermosetting epoxies



Aluminium loaded polyamide




Silica (sand)

Stainless steel

Beta-Tri calcium Phosphate


Silicon Carbide

Gold / platinum




Tissue / cells


So what can we print after 29-years?

3DP is just an enabler – many applications

Prototypes (Rapid Prototyping)

Casting Patterns (Rapid Casting)

Tool cavities (Rapid Tooling)

Direct Parts (Additive Manufacturing)

But what about the value

Rapid Prototyping $$

Rapid Casting $

Rapid Tooling $

Additive Manufacturing $$$$$$

Why is AM becoming

so important to manufacturers

(I want to be a user!)

The core business drivers to AM adoption

  • Economic low volume production

  • Increased geometric freedom

  • Product personalisation

  • Improvised environmental sustainability

  • New supply chains and retail models

  • Increased part functionality

1. Enabling low volume production

  • Enabled the economic manufacture of low volume complex geometries and assemblies

  • Reduces the need for tooling (moulds / cutters)

  • Reduced capital investment & inventory

  • Simplifies supply chains & reduced lead times

Example – unit volumes of 1

  • Bentley is a subsidiary of Volkswagen

  • Vehicles from $250K - $1M

  • In-house polymeric and metallic AM capacity

Example – Low volume production

  • Problem – customer with limited mobility needed a reversed dashboard

  • Production substrate produced by RIM

  • Manual modification time consuming

  • Solution – Laser Sintered AM part with leathers and veneers veneers

Images courtesy of Bentley

Example – Low volume production

Images courtesy of Bentley

2. Maximising design complexity

  • AM enables the production of highly complex geometries with little if no cost penalty

  • Re-entrant features

  • Variable wall thicknesses

  • Complex honey combs

  • Non-linear holes

  • Filigree structures

  • Organic / genetic structures

Example – Delphi Diesel Pump

  • Conventional product manufactured by cross drilling an aluminium die casting

  • Multiple machining operations

  • Multiple post processing ops (chemical deburring, hole blanking, pressure testing)

  • Final product prone to leakage

Design the product around the holes

Example – conceptual Diesel Pump

  • Produce the part as one piece using Selective Laser melting on Aluminium

3. Increasing part functionality

  • AM enabled multiple functionality to be manufactured using a single process

  • Replacing surface coatings & textures

  • Modifying physical behaviour by designing ‘mechanical properties’

  • Embedding secondary materials (optical / electrical)

  • Grading multiple materials in a single part

surface design for bone ingress

Material: Ti6Al4V

Build time: 16 cups in 18 hours

  • Implants (production)

  • Accetabular cups

Images Courtesy of ARCAM –

Example – Heat dissipation surfaces

Example – Energy absorption

Multifunctional technology platforms

4. Product Personalisation

  • Individual consumer centric products, with customer input

  • Medical devices

  • Consumer goods

  • Cultural & emotional artefacts

  • Online design tools

  • Co-creation

  • Children engage with technology

There are many new interfaces

5. Life cycle sustainability

  • Product lifecycle improvements in economic and environmental sustainability

  • Reduced raw material consumption

  • Efficient supply chains

  • Optimised product efficiency

  • Lighter weights components

  • Reduced lifecycle burden

Case study – aerospace cabin component

Design optimisation for AM

Topologically optimised

Machine from solid billet

Images courtesy of Loughborough University

Complex lattice

How does the weight compare

Scenario 1 – Machined from solid (0.8Kg)

Scenario 2 – Selective Laser melted lattice (0.31 kg)

Scenario 3 – Selective Laser melted optimised design (0.37 Kg)

Lifecycle environmental benefit

  • Example based on 90M km (Long haul) application

Sunday Times 13th Feb 2011

Example – life cycle economic benefits

  • 0.49Kg saving per monitor arm

  • $1,500 per annum in fuel savings (today's prices)

  • $45,000 over 30-year aircraft life

  • Product life span 5-7 years (estimate)

  • Life-cycle economic saving $6.5K - $9K

  • Machined part - $500

  • SLM Part - $2,500

  • Capital investment repaid in 2-years…. 

This is a step change in design

BUT - We can go much further

6. Supply chain realignment

  • New lean yet agile business models and supply chain

  • Distributed manufacture

  • Manufacture and the point of consumption

  • Demand pull business models

  • Stockless supply chains

  • Chainless supply chains (home manufacture)

Rapid retailing linking the internet to 3DP

$50.00 each

60,000 month

$36M P/A

Figure Prints – 4,000 per month

$6.2-million (6-machines)

“But what about consumer 3D Printing?”

(I want to be a supplier BUT - It’s all just Hype!)

There is certainly a lot of hype 

“you can print anything”

“A new world order”

“Bigger than the internet”

The hype debunked

“Bigger than the internet”

Bigger than the internet……………..


How big is 3DP compared to www?

0.0002% 3DP users to web users

2,405,518,376 internet users


60,000 home

30,000 commercial

Lots of opportunity !!!!

Will 3DP ever be bigger than www?

  • 2012/13 figures

  • 90,000 machines globally (max) in 2012

  • 288% annual growth (max)

  • 2,405,518,376 internet users in 2012

  • 46% annual growth

  • Global population 7,017,846,922 in 2012

  • 1.2% annual growth

  • 2025 convergence!!!! 

“you can print anything”

You can print anything…………………….

BUT - you can’t print everything..

Dumb systems with dumb software

Geometric limitations

Thermal management issues

Consumer 3DP is getting bigger


So where are the opportunities to get involved in the consumer 3D printing space?

The 3DP Ecosystem


Data management

Design solutions



Integrated solutions

Front end software


Back-end software

Design solutions



Integrated solutions

TINKERCAD – front end design tools

Digital Forming – web constraint modelling

This is a pall point pen

This is a bedside light

This is a lemon squeezer

Back end software


Data management

Front-end software



Integrated solutions

Aggregation sites

  • Website that broker the flow of digital 3D Printable date

  • Sometimes free, some pay-per-download

  • Some integrated with professional back-end 3D Print fulfilment businesses

  • Emerging platforms focused on consumer machines (3DHUBS)



Back-end software

Front-end software



Integrated solutions

A lot of simple FDM systems have been successful


$2M working capital

Seed investment

Kick starter






Back-end software

Front-end software



Integrated solutions

People are sourcing and slicing materials

Plastic isn't the only material

Filabot – machines to process waste



Back-end software

Front-end software



Integrated solutions

Using on-line print fulfilment then sell products

Integrated solutions


Back-end software

Front-end software



Integrated solutions (action dolls made in London)

Figure Prints – big ticket integration

A $100B industry !!!!!!


Back-end software

Front-end software



Integrated solutions

Reducing birth rate

Cloud based storage

4G and wireless

32% of the world online

The $20 computer

Increasing old age

Cloud based computing

Political instability

100Mb broadband

Shifting wealth

Increasing population

Social networking

Environmental concerns

Technological changes

Socioeconomic changes

Power & water consumption

All the drivers are pushing the right way


Our world of 3DP/AM is changing!

“The only constant I am sure of is this ever increasing pace of change – Peter Gabriel 2000”

The world is changing

Removal of barriers

Access to finance

Access to innovations & skill

Routes to market

Machine prices are tumbling

SLA Viper Si2 - $250K

Fortus MC400 - $150K


perfactory - $79K

GigaBot- $4K

Formlabs Form 1 - $3.2K

B9 Creator - $3.5K

Exponential growth (288% PA)

Material prices are tumbling

Makerbot ABS - $48 Kg

Injection moulding ABS - $2.5 Kg

Conversion $0.02 Kg

Stratasys ABS - $297 Kg






Capabilities are increasing / accelerating

Replicator 2X

Replicator 2


Jan 2013


Sept 2012

Jan 2012


Sept 2010


March 2009

Barriers to technology adoption

Not good enough

Too expensive

Technology convergence









Forecasting the future

IP protection

Material Cost

Hardware cost

Laser power / scan speed

Print heads / capacity

Productivity (Kg/h)







2023 T2

Econolyst – IBM consumer electronics study

You have to love what you do..

The 3DP candidates

Reverse engineer the parts

Identify most appropriate solution

  • Metallic

  • Selective Laser Melting

  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering

  • Electron Beam Melting

  • Direct Metal Deposition

  • Digital Metal Printing

  • Polymeric

  • Selective Laser Sintering

  • Stereolithography

  • Polyjet

  • Projet

  • Voxeljet

  • FDM

  • Size, volume, surface area

  • Loading

    • Structural

    • cyclic

  • Environmental conditions

    • Water

    • Detergent

    • Humidity

    • Thermal loading & cycling

  • Functionality

    • Water tight

    • Shock proof

    • Aesthetic

AM viability & economic modelling

Environmental lifecycle modelling

Understanding the current BOM

Product / technology roadmaps


Just not meant to be

3DP technology innovation

Cost parity


Expensive personalised luxury

Acceptable price delta

No great improvement (don’t wait)

The next 10-years

Just not meant to be

3DP technology innovation

Cost parity


Currently 3D Printed on mass

3D Printed & assembled on the high street

3D Printed digital assemblies


  • Don’t promise your mum a 3D printed washing machine unless you know she is going to live until 2023

  • Start worrying (a lot) if you are machining metal cases for IPhones

  • Take AM seriously if you are engaged in activities involving the manufacture of high value, low volume parts today, and high volume tomorrow

  • Start developing a consumer 3DP strategy & an industrial AM strategy – they WILL converge

  • Look to the blue water – the red water is already getting very bloody ………..


Econolyst Ltd

The Silversmiths

Crown Yard


Derbyshire, UK


+44 (0) 1629 824447

Skype: econolyst

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