I have written blogs and articles before on the advance of 3D printing and what it could mean for manufacturing in all kinds of sectors. The new Airbus A350 XWB (unveiled last year) has about 1,000 3D printed components. 3D printing is clearly no longer a novelty manufacturing process and it has the potential to transform the aerospace industry supply chain and cost structure, producing lighter parts faster with less waste. Currently, the components are mostly widgets and brackets, small routine parts rather than large structures. The size of the part is limited by the size of the printer so it is difficult to imagine a machine large enough to make an airframe, but wider applications seem to be a distinct short term possibility.
But clock the latest advances. Scientists in the US have been using 3D printing to create living body parts with sections of bone, muscle and cartilage all functioning normally when implanted into animals. Move over Dr Frankenstein!!
Seriously though, this technology has the potential to disrupt many industries and there is significant funding being made available in the sector. Rosebud Finance and the North West Fund have recently invested additional money in an East Lancashire business to finance its rapid growth. It seems the possibilities are only limited by the boundaries of imagination.
If you are thinking of investing in new technologies and need pointing in the direction of funding, then give one of the Corporate Finance team a call on 01254 679131 and ask to speak to Jim Akrill or Tim Mills or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Akrill – Corporate Finance Partner