Product Acceptance is the Real Innovation and It Requires More than Just Machines and Feedstock

S. Gardner, A. Barnes
Big Metal Additive,
United States

Keywords: additive manufacturing, manufacturing readiness level, MRL, technology readiness level, TRL


The market development and adoption of AM products is essential to the continued growth of the AM industry. Matching the path of advancement with product acceptance is vital for any company operating in the AM market. The key to product acceptance is customer trust in the material, process, product and provider. The established mechanism for trust is enduring performance to documented standards, specifications, and industry codes. Through certified, verified or audited performance on this mechanism, a product can be qualified, accepted or otherwise trusted. This can be confusing. Many AM proprietors are entrepreneurs new to manufacturing at large. Navigating the framework of technology advancement, implementing standards, establishing processes/procedures, and satisfying critical quality metrics is daunting. Beyond the ÔpaperworkÕ some of the challenges are cultural and personnel related Ð the courageous people carrying a new field with new technology to an established customer base may be more focused on the exciting innovative elements of the business rather than the rigid standards that create repeatability and lead to customer trust for manufacturing production. The presenter will share the culture of excitement that comes with achieving final product acceptance.