Automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, research, engineering and construction industries are embracing the flexibility of additive manufacturing equipment, writes Toni Larson, senior vice president of industrial equipment for Key Equipment Finance, in a new article in Manufacturing Business Technology.
Also known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing is predicted to grow substantially as more companies develop production equipment, more materials become available, and the importance of mass production increases.
"Additive manufacturing is often used synonymously with 3D printing in which the similarity is the process of layering various material components," Larson writes. "The material added layer by layer can be a form of metal, plastic, concrete or at some point human tissue. The industrial additive manufacturing process typically uses a laser beam to fuse these powder or liquid materials together to create a 99.9 percent metallurgical bond at defined points as directed by computer.stl files. This process is faster, offers high levels of precision and reduces production costs. Since the initial investment in the equipment is more expensive than a standard machine tool, many manufacturers look to finance this capital expense rather than pay cash."
"With equipment financing, more manufacturers can acquire the additive manufacturing equipment they need to be flexible, efficient and competitive, while also benefiting from the substantial materials savings and reduced energy costs of this technology. The benefits of financing capital equipmentapply not only to additive manufacturing but to all kinds of industrial equipment including packaging, plastics, machine tools, construction, flexographic, food."
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