Additive manufacturing has gone through a massive hype wave. While organizations have deployed it in some high-profile use cases, widespread adoption is not prevalent. The lackluster stock prices and growth rates of the major public companies supplying additive technologies are the best indicator of market demand.
Today, however, we are entering a new wave of innovation as patents have expired and the next group of companies are working on bringing new technologies, and hence applications, to market. The result has been an expanding application footprint for AM that has revealed the true scope of disruption that is coming to the manufacturing sector.
The key is for manufacturers to start adoption today, focused on the right applications, so they can start going down the additive learning curve while the technologies mature. Laggards in adoption will face competitive pressure as earlier adopters will have already figured out AM’s impact to their supply chains, employee training, and cost structures.