RAND Publication Explores Additive Manufacturing in 2040

TEAMM Principal Investigator, Mel Cossette, was recently interviewed for a special report by RAND Corporation: Additive Manufacturing in 2040. The report subtitle: Powerful Enabler, Disruptive Threat looks at how companies, and by extension, educators, might want to prepare for various challenges and big opportunities facing the growing AM opportunities.

RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis, produced the report as part of a broader effort of its RAND Ventures to look at security challenges our world may face in the next 20-plus years. The research was conducted within the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security.

As additive manufacturing (AM) technician education increases, it is helpful to look at the effects of political, technological, social, and demographic trends facing 3D printing. This short, free report may give future graduates ideas for new AM products and services. RAND’s report aims to do just that and increase awareness of how our uses of AM might profoundly impact global and local economies.

While the report looked specifically at international security, and threats to it, it also alludes to ways manufacturers will be affected as businesses. It digs into the history, the value of AM, and its growth:

“The use of AM within various industries, both traditional manufacturing and more niche applications, has grown dramatically in recent years. However, not all industries and products will be equally affected. Despite some optimists’ predictions that AM will become ubiquitous, the benefits and costs of this technology will likely vary widely across sectors. Eventually, some products could be entirely produced through AM, radically transforming these industries, but others might remain fairly constant as traditional manufacturing methods continue to dominate in price and quality.”

As the RAND report makes suggestions for how companies and governments will want to prepare for a secure future, students and technicians can use this report to consider career directions and business opportunities they might want to pursue. Download the Additive Manufacturing in 2040 report.

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