ERP for Additive Manufacturing
By Jackie Aldrich
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is easily one of the biggest advancements in the manufacturing industry in decades. Additive manufacturing uses computer-aided-design (CAD) software to direct hardware to deposit materials, layer by layer, in precise geometric shapes.
Additive Manufacturing Applications
Additive manufacturing already has many real-world applications. Check out our list by industry below:
Additive manufacturing has allowed for advances in the healthcare industry – from 3D printed kidney cancer models to 3D printed prosthetics.
Additive manufacturing is making the creation of 3D models much quicker and less expensive. We’ve also seen a 3D printed house manufactured in Russia.
In the aerospace sector, materials can be very expensive. Additive manufacturing offers a low cost, but strong and light option for building materials. We’ve seen everything from a 3D printed rocket to a 3D printed motorcycle as well as 3D printed parts for commercial jet engines as well as Formula 1 race cars.
Art & Design
3D printed clothing and jewelry are two examples of additive manufacturing in this industry.
Additive Manufacturing ERP
As an ERP provider we must wonder what the role of ERP solutions is in the additive manufacturing industry. While the idea of 3D printing may seem foreign to those of us used to traditional manufacturing, an additive manufacturing operation runs very similarly to a traditional manufacturing business.
An ERP system can help additive manufacturers keep track of a 3D printed item from the raw material to its printing, through shipping and delivery ensuring a safety record of each item.
Ultimately, additive manufacturing and traditional manufacturing are very similar and an ERP system can provide many benefits to both industries. All the modules of a traditional ERP system from finance and engineering to MRP and inventory will have great value for an additive manufacturer as well.