News

Government of Canada launches 1.26-billion dollars Strategic Innovation Fund

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched the Strategic Innovation Fund, a 1.26-billion dollars investment that is fully aligned with the strong, coordinated government action Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has long advocated for to reinvigorate the Canadian manufacturing sector and help it compete globally.

To be competitive on a global scale, Canadian manufacturers must adopt the newest advanced manufacturing techniques and commercialize new or improved goods to develop new business lines, attract investment and new production mandates and, expand the range of goods produced in Canada. CME has assessed that, without decisive action from the government to facilitate the transition to innovative technologies, Canada is at risk of falling behind other countries with whom we compete and trade. The Government of Canada Strategic Innovation Fund is a step in the right direction to encourage high-quality investments in new technologies and help close the gap with our major international competitors.

This fund is open to all industries and will support four streams of innovation activities:

  • Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
  • Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada;
  • Stream 3: Attract and retain large-scale investments to Canada; and
  • Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

For-profit corporations are eligible for all four streams (some restrictions applying to Stream 4) and can apply for more than one stream. Applicants are invited to submit a “Statement of Interest” prior to moving forward with their full application. Successful applicants to the Streams 1,2 and 3 could be granted up to 50 per cent of the cost of a project while 100% of costs could be covered under Stream 4. More details about the Strategic Innovation Fund, including application processes, guidelines, and project eligibility, can be found here.

Through its Industrie 2030 initiative, CME identified fostering innovation, commercialization and new product development, as a key priority for the manufacturing sector. Industrie 2030 is the result of consultations with more than 1,250 leading industry executives and detailed research to define specific recommendations to overcome challenges and create a roadmap for the future of manufacturing, to strengthen its footprint across the country, and to drive growth, innovation, wealth creation and jobs. Last year, we called on the government to create a manufacturing commercialization investment fund to provide risk-sharing supports as part of the of pre-budget recommendations. CME has also made fostering innovation part of its key NAFTA asks.

Thank you for your ongoing support of CME’s efforts to make your company, manufacturing and exporting in Canada innovative, growing and, globally competitive. If you have any questions on this program or other activities that CME is pursuing on your behalf, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time at president@cme-mec.ca.

Sincerely,
Dennis A. Darby, P.Eng., ICD.D
President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

Quebec to Open Its First Medical 3D Printing Center

Quebec is about to become a bigger presence on the 3D printing map, as the province’s government has agreed to provide $2,983,800 for the development and implementation of a new medical 3D printing center. The establishment of the center is the focus of a collaborative, $3,729,750 project between the Quebec Industrial Research Center (CRIQ) and the CHU of Québec-Université Laval, which is the largest specialty care center in Quebec and one of the largest in Canada.

The CRIQ was established to make the province more competitive through innovation – and innovation will certainly be a large part of the new medical center, which will focus on the production of 3D printed, customized prosthetics and bioprinted tissue, as well as research into the bioprinting of functional human organs.

François Blais [Image: Simon Clark]

“This promising partnership between the CRIQ and the CHU of Québec-Université Laval will make Capitale-Nationale and Quebec leaders in the manufacture of 3D prostheses and specialized medical equipment,” said François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region. “Patients will benefit first and foremost from the innovations that will result from this new center. I am convinced that sharing the expertise of the CRIQ and the CHU of Québec-Université Laval will contribute to the success of this promising project.”

According to Denis Hardy, CEO of the CRIQ, Quebec has long been dependent on foreign products, and the new medical center will allow the province to become more autonomous in terms of health care. For the last five years, the CRIQ has been exploring 3D printing, he said, and the center now offers 3D printing services that include feasibility studies, prototyping, and short-run production. CRIQ will combine its 3D printing knowledge with the CHU’s medical expertise to form a powerhouse of technology and medicine.

“We will have the opportunity to work with the surgeons at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval to develop new medical applications,” said Hardy. “Collaboration between our organizations is a unique opportunity to innovate to advance health care. The complementary nature of the expertise of CRIQ and the CHU of Québec-Université Laval is a key factor that gives every chance of success to such a project.”

Medical 3D printing isn’t new to Quebec, or the CHU for that matter – according to Dr. Gaston Bernier, dentist/oncologist at CHU, the hospital system has already used the technology to 3D print metal bars to rebuild the jaws of patients with cancer. In his opinion, medical 3D printing signals a “game change,” separating modern medicine into two eras: medicine before 3D printing, and medicine after 3D printing.

Although the province will benefit financially from greater autonomy in medical production, as well as a position at the forefront of technological innovation, it’s ultimately the patients who will benefit the most from what the new 3D printing medical center can offer.

“3D printing will enable the medicine of tomorrow to open previously inaccessible fields of application,” said Gertrude Bourdon, President and CEO of Québec-Université Laval University Hospital. “For our patients, this means increased comfort and shorter surgery thanks to custom-made prostheses and possible access to new surgeries that were previously unattainable. For our medical teams, this reduces intervention time and costs, facilitates fitting of prostheses and reduces the risks associated with medical interventions.”

The establishment of the medical 3D printing center fits into a larger economic plan, introduced in May of this year, called the Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2022 – Daring to innovate. The plan aims to make Quebec one of the most innovative and creative locations in the world by 2030. You can learn more about the Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy here. Discuss in the Quebec forum at 3DPB.com.

Join Canada Makes as a delegate for AM trade mission to Formnext in Germany

Canada Makes is looking for delegates interested in joining a trade mission to the Formnext trade-show in Frankfurt Germany this coming November 14 to 17th. The four-day fact-finding mission will focus on additive manufacturing (AM) and offer the opportunity to meet with leading AM industries stakeholders.

Formnext is the leading AM trade-show and the next generation of intelligent manufacturing solutions and will provide a European perspective. It focuses on the efficient realization of parts and products, from their design to serial production. See cutting-edge technologies your company can leverage to gain a competitive edge and the latest expertise that can help in reducing your time-to-market. For more about Formnext click here.

Trade missions are about opening doors, gaining insights, business-to business contacts, information and tools for Canadian businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Join Canada Makes as a delegate and take full advantage of the benefits. Only a limited number of spaces are available on a first-come-first serve basis. Interested parties or for more information please contact Frank Defalco frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca
Canada Makes will:

  • Set the agenda
  • Admission to the event
  • Offer logistical support
  • Arrange networking meetings with leading AM companies
  • Arrange market briefing from Canada’s German trade commissioner

In addition to your own travel and accommodation costs, Canada Makes/CME will charge an administration fee of $500.

Martin Petrak, President and CEO of Precision ADM, had this to say about trade missions. “The Canada Makes trade mission to Germany was a great way for our company to connect with international additive manufacturing leaders. Being part of the delegation also gave us the opportunity to meet with other Canadian companies interested in collaborating on national and international business opportunities.”

Last year Canada Makes organized two successful trade missions to Germany and the UK. The knowledge and connections gained are proving invaluable to its participants. View past postings on the trade missions.

Canada Makes’ UK trade mission successfully concludes
Canada Makes’ trade mission to Germany

About CME
CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. Founded in 1871, CME represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide, and – through various initiatives, including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition – touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, international trade, and service-related industries.

About Canada Makes
A CME initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more on Canada Makes, please visit canadamakes.ca

Edmit Industries joins Canada Makes

Canada Makes is pleased to welcome Edmit Industries as a new member. Since 2008, the Chateauguay Quebec based Edmit has been working with metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology and developing unique ways of combining it with their other core competencies, allowing them to provide significant value added to their clients.Edmit

“We here at Edmit are looking forward to being part of Canada Makes’ network to promote the use of innovative manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing AM and meeting potential contacts whom we can develop and ultimately manufacture products,” said Sergio Armano, President Edmit Industries.

“Edmit is one of the first companies, if not the first, in Canada to acquire metal AM technology,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “We are looking forward to continue working closely with them in bringing their considerable capabilities to Canadian companies.”

“Edmit’s mission is to support clients to design products for the manufacturing process that best meets theirs requirements,” added Armano. “We assist them through the development and prototyping process, and ultimately receive the mandate to manufacture the product.”

Canada Makes recently reported on a project undertaken with Edmit Industries Inc. and MDA to build 3D printed Titanium parts for an innovative graphite strut structure for flight application. For more on the additive manufacturing (AM) project go to – CANADA MAKES, EDMIT & MDA TEAM UP FOR INNOVATIVE SPACE APPLICATION PARTS.

MDA-Edmit-2

3D Printed Titanium Bracket and Hub for a Satellite Graphite Strut Structure, fabricated by Edmit Industries

About Edmit
Edmit is a small-to-medium size company specializing in the manufacturing of high-end precision components and assemblies. As Innovators and researchers, EDMIT provides leading edge and innovative methods and concepts. With more than 35 years of expertise, Edmit specializes in metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) of precision metal parts for the aerospace, space and medical industries and are a key partner for research and development projects for space application. edmitinc.com

About Canada Makes
A Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more information on Canada Makes, please visit www.canadamakes.ca

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ICTC Releases Additive Manufacturing: The Impending Talent Paradigm

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The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) announces the release of its latest report, Additive Manufacturing: The Impending Talent Paradigm.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) (often referred to as 3D Printing) is a transformative technology that is dramatically reshaping the manufacturing industry—much in the way Uber redefined the taxi industry and Netflix disrupted the media industry.

AM is rapidly growing worldwide and is now fully recognized for its massive potential in almost every market, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and robotics, just to name a few. With new modeling techniques, applications, and a variety of printable materials, AM has transitioned, in a short number of years, from a prototype technology to an integral pillar of automated manufacturing.

It is projected that the AM market will be around $17.7 billion globally in three years, and that in the next five years the manufacturing industry will look substantially different than it does today. Such rapid change brings both opportunities and challenges to businesses, workers and policymakers.

Skilled talent is the essence of any high performing economy. The rise and adoption of AM across all industries has increased the demand for highly skilled talent in this space and has left businesses searching for better talent development and recruitment strategies.

The evidence-based analysis and recommendations in this report are intended to inform policymakers, industry and educators about the labour market impact of AM development across Canada, the state of the talent supply and demand, and how best to engage, attract and retain the necessary highly-skilled talent.  The overarching goal is to place Canada in a position to meet its digital talent requirements to be competitive in the global digital economy.

“Additive manufacturing is the new frontier for advanced and smarter industries, raising the prospects of a more competitive economy. In this rapidly developing landscape, tomorrow’s talent strategies will need to be as distributive as the technologies transforming the industries.” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

For any questions, please contact Maryna Ivus, Senior Research Analyst, at m.ivus@ictc-ctic.ca.

To view the report, please click here.

Burloak Advances Heat Exchanger Technology

Paris, France – June 20, 2017 – Burloak Technologies, a leading Canadian additive manufacturing company, and part of the family of Samuel companies, has announced the successful completion of the first stage in the development of a new heat exchanger technology. This additive manufactured design demonstrated 44 per cent lower thermal resistance over existing designs in a controlled test. “After extensive research and many months of design simulation, the successful completion of the live experiment on Burloak’s test bed validates our design hypothesis.” stated company president Peter Adams. “We will now apply these design principals to delivering custom, thermal-management solutions to our customers.”

The objective for electronic enclosures cooling is to maintain the temperature of the semiconductor components inside within their operating range. It is typical that a few components generate the majority of heat, and it is those components that the cooling design should target. Additive manufacturing enables intricate cooling channels to be created in such a manner that maximizes heat dissipation while also targeting specific areas of the enclosure.

Burloak’s research team has modelled, built and tested many, novel geometries that can only be produced using additive manufacture and have developed a comprehensive, engineering database to create the design rules that enable the heat transfer improvements. Burloak will be displaying several of the new heat exchanger designs at the 2017 Paris Air Show and will have experts on hand to discuss specific projects at the Industry Canada Showcase Hall 3/D70 and at Samuel’s Chalet (by invitation B19).

To set up a meeting during PAS2017 to discuss your business requirements, please contact: aerospace@samuel.com or sales@burloaktech.com.

ABOUT BURLOAK TECHNOLOGIES

Burloak Technologies, part of the family of Samuel companies, is a leading supplier of highly-engineered additive manufacturing solutions for clients with demanding applications in high-tech industries worldwide. Burloak delivers high quality, lightweight, fully functional additive manufactured parts for low to medium volume applications across a range of industries including: space, aerospace, defense, energy, medical, automotive, and transportation. In-house engineering, manufacturing and metrology capabilities make Burloak one of the few full-service suppliers in the industry. Together with its clients, Burloak works to re-create component and process specifications and move additive manufacturing from a prototyping technology to a certified production technology. www.burloaktech.com

ABOUT SAMUEL, SON & CO.

Founded in 1855, Samuel, Son & Co. is a family-owned and operated, integrated network of metal manufacturing, processing and distribution divisions. With over 4,800 employees and 100+ facilities, Samuel provides seamless access to metals, industrial products and related value-added services. Supporting over 40,000 customers, we leverage our industry expertise, breadth of experience and the passion of our people to help drive success for North American business – one customer at a time. www.samuel.com

TIGER-VAC joins Canada Makes

Canada Makes is pleased to announce Tiger-VAC as its newest member. For over 40 years Tiger-Vac has been an industry Tiger-Vacleader in industrial vacuum cleaner systems for controlled environments and hazardous locations. Tiger-Vac specialises in vacuum cleaner technology for the additive manufacturing industry.

“SAFETY HAS NO COMPROMISE is not just Tiger-Vac’s motto, it’s how we care for our customers,” stated Paul Miller, Vice President Sales TIGER-VAC INTL INC.

Tiger-Vac Model C-10 EX (IT-63L) CFE HEPA in action

“The importance of vacuum cleaner technology to Canada’s additive manufacturing supply chain cannot be understated,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “Canada Makes welcomes Tiger-Vac’s health & safety experience to our network and we look forward to working with them on educating Canada’s AM sector on this essential component.”

“We are deeply honoured to be invited to contribute our expertise to Canada Makes and its’ members. Together as Partners in Prevention we can work to ensure the safety of the brilliant minds that are paving the way to the future, ” added Miller.

As specialists in vacuum cleaner technology for the 3D industry, Tiger-Vac offers a complete line of (NRTL legally certified) explosion proof portable vacuum cleaners and dust collection systems. These units are certified for use in Division I, Class II, Group E and (D, F & G) atmospheres such as aluminum, titanium, brass and other combustible metals. They are offered in pneumatic as well as electrically operated units, which are available in both single and three phase systems. You can choose from various models and options such as dry only, wet mix immersion separator, HEPA filtration as well as a detachable recovery tank (DT), which allows for the easy disposal of recovered materials.

Certified equipment combined with good housekeeping practices are essential in maintaining a safe work environment.

About Tiger-Vac
With over forty years of experience, Tiger-Vac has successfully established itself in the international market as a manufacturer of high quality Explosion Proof, Industrial and Cleanroom Vacuum Cleaner Systems. Tiger-Vac has accomplished this by listening to its clients and responding to their needs. Their specialty lies in their ability to tailor their vacuum cleaners to meet  specialized needs. Their team of professionals are eager to help you, and as manufacturers, they are able to build a vacuum cleaner specially to meet your needs. Visit Tiger-Vac

Certified ISO 9001:2008 Tiger-vac strives to assure quality, not only in their products, but also in the materials received from  suppliers. They take pride in customer service and sales department staff are always on hand to serve you.

About Canada Makes
Canada Makes, a CME initiative, is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing (AM) in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada.

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Additive manufacturing in archeology

An archeological sensation is being copied true to the original using 3D printing

Archeological sensation from the Hallstatt culture: The Rider of Unlingen from the 7th Century B.C.E. as discovered (image source: © State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board)

3D printing the cultural history of humanity? Absolutely. 3D production methods are breaking new ground all the time. The unwritten motto of 3D experts seems to be the desire to continually test the limits of the technology. 3D printing is even opening up totally new possibilities for documenting and copying artifacts in the field of archeology. The latest example is a replica of the figure of a bronze horse rider from an early Celtic chieftain’s grave near Unlingen, Germany in the Biberach region of Baden-Württemberg. Using one of its Mlab cusing Concept Laser has produced a faithful copy of this prehistoric rider.An object nearly 2,800 years old is being printed out of powder.

3D metal printing is making it possible to utilize archeological discoveries in new ways. By creating a faithful replica, original objects can be evaluated scientifically and replicas made available for exhibitions at the same time. Cultural history is taking shape in 3D printers. Holding the Rider of Unlingen in your hand lets you look back at 28 centuries of cultural history.

The original: Rider of Unlingen (image source: © State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board, Ginger Neumann)

The scientific implications of the “Rider of Unlingen”
The Rider of Unlingen is a burial object found in a Celtic chieftain’s grave from the Hallstatt culture. This bronze statuette of a rider on a double horse was located in a wagon grave in Unlingen, Germany which had already been robbed in ancient times. The broken edges of the incomplete legs of the horse indicate that the statuette was originally mounted to another object which is no longer preserved. This could have been the top of a bronze lid, the base of a larger bronze vessel or furniture, a wagon or a yoke. The other burial objects date the figurine to the 8th or 7th Century B.C.E. Figurative depictions from this time period are extremely rare in southern Germany. The Rider of Unlingen represents one of the oldest depictions of a horse rider north of the Alps. This figurine is a unique early Celtic piece in Central Europe.

The “Rider of Unlingen” 3D project
The transition from molding to additive manufacturing opens up new prospects for scientific evaluation in the field of archeology, as well as the exhibition of objects in several different places at the same time. Until just a few years ago, discoveries could only be reproduced through direct molding, a process which always risks damaging the original. Through the use of additive 3D technology, it is now possible to produce copies without contacting the original at all.

The bronze Rider of Unlingen being replicated through the powder bed-based laser melting of metal (image source: Concept Laser)

To digitize the “Rider of Unlingen” object from the Hallstatt culture, a specialized process known as x-ray computer tomography (CT) was used. The bronze horse rider was x-rayed three dimensionally and evaluated using the “VG Studio Max 3.0” software from Volume Graphics. The STL data obtained through this process makes it possible to transfer the industrial 3D printing process of today over to applications in the field of archeology.

A high level of detail: The 3D-printed copy of the Rider of Unlingen (image source: © State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board)

In the meantime, the technical progress being made in terms of material variety and printing precision is enormous. For the 3D printing job, Concept Laser provided the Baden-Württemberg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments with its LaserCUSING technology in the form of an Mlab cusing. Concept Laser’s material engineers also found a bronze alloy similar to the original: a modern copper-tin alloy with a density and specific weight approximating those of the artifact from the 8th/7th Century B.C.E. The precise percentages of copper and tin could still be determined using x-ray fluorescence analysis. This is how the “Rider of Unlingen” was printed in bronze true to the original. Visually and tactilely, the reproduction horse rider is on par with the original piece.

Outlook
The additive manufacturing of faithful replicas through 3D printing is opening up new prospects for the field of archeology, making discovered metal objects available for scientific purposes. At the same time, copies can be exhibited to museum visitors. Essentially, multiple copies of historical discoveries can be printed out and used, where only experts would be able to tell the difference through material analysis, as the production process uses powder of modern origin. Even the issue of re-engineering isn’t taboo – theoretically, it should even be possible to reconstruct heavily damaged objects in the future. These objects would then have the same shape as the original production, enabling the destructive traces of history on them to be erased. Artifacts from humanity’s past give us a glimpse of our cultural history, and 3D printing makes it possible to experience this history in a tangible way.

Summary
The implications of additive 3D printing for archeological artifacts and discoveries:

  • Archeological discoveries with delicate and complex structures can be reproduced highly accurately
  • The 3D printing process enables the contact-less reproduction of artifacts without damaging them
  • Replicas are absolutely accurate in every detail and faithful to the original
  • Replicas can be made accessible to museums while the originals remain in archives for research purposes
  • High density, comparable feel and high surface quality
  • Considerably shortened development time and expense for mold-less replicas of unique objects 
  • No tools to buy, less waste
  • Possibility of re-engineering in the case of broken objects.

(image source: © State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board)

Click here to read an interview with Nicole Ebinger-Rist, head conservator at the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments on the Stuttgart regional board and doctoral candidate at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design: “You’ve got a cultural-historically relevant copy in your hands and are looking at 28 centuries gone by. It’s simply overwhelming. Whole new possibilities are being opened up to curators, conservators and scientists.”

Case Study: Topology Optimisation & Additive Manufacturing of Actuator Support Fitting

The following is a case study of an aircraft bracket built on an EOS M280 in Aluminum AlSi10Mg optimized with Altair to improve the original design. The geometries used can only be achieved through Additive Manufacturing (AM).

Finished aircraft fitting

This is a great case study because of the re-design methodology enabled by solidThinking Inspire which allowed for the consideration of up to 7 attachment points instead of the original 2.   It is a good example of the flexibility and exploration that “Inspire” allows when a re-design is being considered.  The example of aircraft fitting re-design is really well done in this case because it emphasizes the AM post-processing (hot isostatic pressing + bead blasting)… more

Full case study here Altair-AMAERO-Case-Study.pdf

About Altair:
Altair’s corporate culture thrives on seeking out business and technology firsts to radically change the way organizations design

Altair

products and make decisions.  Founded in 1985, Altair is headquartered in Troy Michigan with regional operations throughout 22 countries and a staff of more than 2,000 innovative employees.
For more information about Altair visit their website.

Seeing Logistics In 3D: The Democratization Of Manufacturing

By 
From hearing aids to jet engines, 3D printing is revolutionizing the world of manufacturing. How will commerce change when thousands of products, from cell phones to blenders, are customizable? Even though 3D printing is a 30-year-old technology, we’re just scratching the surface of where additive manufacturing will take us, writes Alan Amling, vice president of corporate strategy for UPS.

Of all the ways 3D printing will change the world, the democratization of manufacturing is perhaps the most important. Think of it as the Uberization of manufacturing, where supply can be accessed anywhere in the world to produce goods at the click of button. This is a once-in-a-generation logistics opportunity, as so-called additive manufacturing will optimize the time and cost of making and delivering goods. Mass customization will be the new normal.

So what does this mean for the future of logistics?

Modern delivery and manufacturing

We’ll see more direct-to-person manufacturing as well as delivery. Physical stores will be reserved for generic goods, not items customized to the individual. Hybrid customization has enormous potential for logisticians. Imagine thousands of products from cell phones to blenders, each made with a common core but customizable covering.

Third-party logistics providers are uniquely suited to move these items. Logistics companies like UPS would simply store the common core in their warehouse, print the custom piece and finish final assembly near the point of consumption.

This would also disrupt service parts logistics. Right now, companies make and store hundreds of thousands of critical parts around the world at tremendous expense just on the off-chance that they’ll be needed for an emergency repair. In the future, these slow-moving parts will be stored virtually and printed on demand.

As a result, import and export costs – especially important to small businesses – will plummet dramatically.

As companies begin to take advantage of designing parts for 3D printing, the manufacturing industry will re-invent itself. Machines designed to construct a specific product will give way to 3D printers capable of making many different items.

This will be the sparkplug for efficiency across supply chains. It will revolutionize how we get items to your doorstep. And it will forever alter how you search for and purchase goods every day.

Even though 3D printing is a 30-year-old technology, we’re just scratching the surface of where additive manufacturing will take us. These printers are no longer reserved solely for prototyping and product design. We’ve moved beyond trinkets and souvenirs to items like hearing aids and aircraft parts, proving this is no fad.

3D printing demands

In addition, the demand for 3D printers, materials and services will surpass $10 billion by 2018, the consulting firm found. Such promise is why UPS recently partnered with software company SAP to expedite the manufacturing and delivery of 3D-printed parts.

Customers can go online and place an order through the Fast Radius website and these items will be printed either at a UPS Store location or printing facility connected to our air hub in Louisville, Kentucky – in as little as a day.

This effectively creates end-to-end industrial manufacturing. And we expect these efforts to go global in the near future.

Moving beyond logistics, however, 3D printing will change the way we think. It will change how future generations learn and see the world. This technology can now keep pace with anything we imagine. We’re no longer forced to innovate in a world shackled to existing infrastructure.

If you can think it, you can do it.

This article is part of UPS Longitudes’ Routes to the Future series, which explores the business and technology trends that will shape our world in the next 10 years. 

Alan Amling is vice president of corporate strategy for UPS. He previously oversaw marketing efforts for UPS’s global logistics and distribution services.

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