Pre-event Q&A with Noah Fram-Schwartz

by Fleming. Team

Noah Fram-Schwartz shares his view on importance of innovation and IT in the American manufacturing sector.

What are the main hurdles faced by manufacturing industries when it comes to innovation?

"Noah Fram-Schwartz: Industrial manufacturing has such a gargantuan mass that it is inherently slow moving and impervious to rapid technological advances. In some sectors like aviation, space, and automotive, long certification times for new processes and materials can often also hinder tangible advances. By democratizing manufacturing using low cost distributed production methods, we are ripening the industry to disruption."

What is the biggest change that 3D printing has brought to the manufacturing industry?

"Noah Fram-Schwartz: 3D printing is currently limited to high-value low-volume production. This means the tech has stayed almost entirely within the aerospace, medical, and ultra-high end automotive (think NASCAR), for production. 3D printing is of course used for prototyping in many domains but I wouldn't consider that large-scale manufacturing..."

"Even still within these verticals, 3D printing is rarely used for full production in the same way that injection molding or CNC machining is used to make parts for say an airplane. However, these next few years are when that is all about to change. Some of the leading aerospace companies are getting knee-deep in AM and will be pushing products out soon using this tech - take the LEAP engine by GE as an example."

"To answer your question, 3D printing brings 3 especially unique things to the table: Complex geometries, one-off capabilities, and component consolidation. Complex geometries means large amounts of material can be saved by using intelligent optimized designs. In aerospace, reducing 1kg in mass means saving $9k/yr. This is big. One-off capabilities means we can bypass the whole tooling chain where it can take many months to get a supply going. It also of course allows for supply chain intervention. Component consolidation means less QA and less assembly costs. NASA printed a rocket injector nozzle that brought total component count from 115 down to 2!"

"These 3 advantages act in concert to make AM something very powerful and disruptive to the manufacturing industry."

How do you envision the manufacturing sector 5 years from now?

"Noah Fram-Schwartz: There is much to say on this. I'll stick to a few bullet points on Additive Manufacturing:
- Lots of robotic arms
- Additive Manufacturing used widely in aerospace for production
- Much much faster Additive Manufacturing methods. Carbon3D is already starting to break significant speed records here in SV."

In which manufacturing sector are we seeing maximum information technology investment?

"Noah Fram-Schwartz: I would have to say that 3D printing is being invested in at a very rapid rate. The industry is growing at a 35% CAGR which is way higher than most industries."

"Also, though it's not changing dramatically per se, the auto manufacturing industry is shifting around a lot with the introduction of EVs and now self driving cars. Especially with top tech players entering the space (Apple, Google, Uber)."

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