3D-printing: a future “magic wand” for global manufacturing. How can we benefit from it today for sports and health care?


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Publication Details

Author list: Bäckström, Mikael;Koptyug, Andrey;Rännar, Lars-Erik

Publisher: INSTICC Press

Publication year: 2017


3D-printing, or as it is also known, additive manufacturing (AM), is promising to be one of the determining manufacturing technologies of the present century. It is not a single technology but a family of rather different ones common in the way components are made, adding materials layer by layer. Additive manufacturing is already quite competitive to existing and well established technologies, but it also can provide unprecedented flexibility and complexity of shapes making components from the materials as different as cheese, chocolate and cream, live cells, concrete, polymers and metal. Many more materials we were not even thinking about few years ago are also becoming available in additive manufacturing, making it really believable that “only the sky is the limit”. During the time available for the keynote lecture, we will analyze the present position of AM in relation to other technologies, the features that make it so promising and its influence upon the part of our life we call sports and health, using the examples relevant to the Congress areas from computer systems to sports performance. Out of all enormities of materials available for different representatives of this manufacturing family we will concentrate at polymers and metals. AM technologies working with these two material families are already providing some unique solutions within the application areas relevant to the Congress scope. We will also talk about some limitations inherent to the AM in polymers and metals to have the awareness that though the limit is somewhere “high in the sky”, it still exists.


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