3D Printing Builds Solid Reputation at IMTS

Sept. 17, 2018
Additive manufacturing has slowly grown its consumer "street cred" with cool models and shiny prototypes, but this past IMTS proved the tech can hang on the factory floor as well.

The 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show has concluded and I've had a weekend to recover from chasing down as many of the 2,500+ manufacturers attending as possible for new stories. Sometimes stepping away gives you a new perspective on giant spectacles such as this, but in this case, the big story here is as apparent a week later as it was the first morning of the show.

Additive manufacturing is now just as relevant to the future of manufacturing as machining, casting, and plastic injection molding. It's never going to replace every instance of these time-tested methods, but the exhibits and equipment spread across this year's show should at least make management and engineers hesitate before traveling down well-worn production paths.

Here are just a few examples that show 3D printing not only deserves consideration but a designated spot on most factory floors.

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor, Fleet Maintenance

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine where he served honorably aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723).


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