Nathan Wilmot, associate R&D director, and Keith Wilson, strategic marketing manager, of Dow Industrial Solutions, discuss the launch of their new 3D printing product. They provide a wealth of information on the many ways 3D printing is revolutionizing product manufacturing, and they discuss in detail—additive manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing utilizes data computer-aided-design (CAD) software or advanced 3D object scanners to conduct hardware to deposit material, via layering, in exact geometric shapes. Wilmot and Wilson talk about their work with Dow, specifically in manufacturing, regarding additives or ingredients that impact the way that water interacts with materials in a wide variety of areas such as breweries and wineries for their cooling and thermal stability, to concentrated solar power and renewable energy, etc. They talk about the innovations that they are looking to bring to the concept of additives, specifically in regard to 3D printing. They state that the company’s strength lies in the polymer space, and that is currently their primary focus. Wilmot and Wilson talk about their product launches and the development of prototypes. They discuss the filament type printers that many people use, and the new technology and new materials that are improving mechanical durability and performance. Additionally they outline how some of the new materials may require a learning curve to fully understand how to work with them, but ultimately the effort is needed in order to continually advance the 3D customized printing revolution that is upon us.
The manufacturing experts detail some of the ways that they hope to bring products to the market faster and more efficiently. They discuss the issues that they hear about through their close contact with the industrial community at large, and how Dow has continually worked to meet the needs of the community and not only solve the problems, but ask the questions that can keep them ahead of the curve as the technology changes rapidly. Wilmot and Wilson detail some of the opportunities to streamline production of parts via 3D printing. As they state, in many cases the processes that are used in injection molding, etc. utilize materials that are specific to those processes, thus Dow is seeking to make the necessary adjustments to materials, etc., to meet the needs of the new manufacturing wave.
Finally, Wilmot and Wilson discuss some of the new development in their industry and they talk about where the industry is headed as additive manufacturing evolves. Dow is striving to develop ways to make 3D printing scalable, and offer new solutions to improve mechanical performance, to increase accessibility to products in remote areas, and improve materials so they can withstand environmental conditions.