Business View Magazine | April 2020

13 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE APRIL 2020 TRANSFORMATIVE SOFTWARE UNLEASHES 3D PRINTING INDUSTR T he full promise of 3D metal printing is imminent as long-sought quality-control systems provide newfound ability to scale additive metal manufacturing. From its inception by scientists at Los Alamos, Sigma Labs Inc. has led the world in developing software that addresses serious quality-assurance issues in 3D metal printing. Now the company has moved from beta development and third-party validation to commercialization in an untapped $2 billion market as the only known provider of in-process, quality-assurance software to the commercial, 3D-metal-printing industry able to work across the majority of printers. A Global Transformation The world is entering what many have dubbed the fourth industrial revolution. This transformative period is being built upon the widespread availability of digital technologies that were the result of the third industrial, or digital, revolution. The fourth industrial revolution is being driven largely by the convergence of digital, biological, and physical innovations, many of which are now occurring in additive manufacturing (AM). The World Economic Forum estimates the value of this transformation at an eye-popping $100 trillion across all sectors in just the next 10 years. The manufacturing sector, a primary driver of prosperity and economic growth, is a key factor in this technological tsunami, and given its ability to entirely reshape the global manufacturing sector, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is at the forefront of this transformation. “Emerging technologies such as AI, robotics and 3D printing are disrupting the manufacturing industry and unlocking new ideas and potential that were previously unimaginable,” said Dion Weisler, President and CEO of HP Inc. during a recent World Economic Forum. “With this change comes opportunity. 3D printing, in particular, is at the forefront, given its ability to reshape the sector.” 3D Dilemma Despite the potential, a myriad of variables from machines to materials creates production challenges in additive manufacturing. Aerospace, defense, auto makers, and biomedical have all embraced the potential of 3D metal printing but have been limited by the inability to completely understand and control the 3D-metal-printing process, which has led to excessive costs and inability to scale production. One of the primary impediments preventing 3D metal printing from being fully embraced and OPENING L INES