We are now in the fourth industrial revolution──Smart Manufacturing, also called Industry 4.0.It's about big data and predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Early computers did what humans could do, but faster and better. Smart Manufacturing puts machines in the business of real decision-making—through calculations outside the range of human capabilities.
With the development of technology and change of lifstyle and social mode, the traditional manufacturing is hard to meet the demand of people.3D printing has its own advantage in producing complex objects, extending the producing ranges, improving the efficiency and meeting customers' individual needs.
But digital 3D printer also has its limitation in Smart Manufacturing. First of all, how to use digital 3D printer to do massive production to improve the efficiency. Currently, due to the technology limitation, the printing time and producing quantity is not reached the manufacturing requirement.Secondly, material. Although more and more material are found to be suitable for 3D printing, but it hasn't been overcomed how to make the prints fully equal to other industrial parts, with same appearance and same function, not to mentioned the high cost of these materials which finally makes leaders of manufacturering company reluctant to try digital 3D printer. For them, if the material and maintenance cost by using this printing production is much higher than traditional production way, they will not make risks to try this new manufacturing.
So by the time digital 3D printer becomes more mature for manufacturing, it will not only light up smart manufacturing, it will also be one of the pillars in smart manufacturing, just like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things，Advanced Robots, and Wearable Tech.