Story excerpt provided by Crain’s Cleveland Business.
Written By Pat Grospiron
If you’ve never seen additive manufacturing (aka 3-D printing) in action, think of it as the exact opposite of a traditional lathe or CNC machine. Instead of cutting away at a large block of material until it reaches a desired shape, a 3-D printer takes raw material — usually in pellet or powder form — and uses it to build a shape from the ground up.
At the consumer-level, most 3-D printers are still small machines churning out plastic trinkets. However, more advanced machines are becoming more affordable for tinkerers every day. Today, you can even find one at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.
At the industrial-level, things are really heating up, led by the aerospace, medical and automotive industries’ never-ending quest for lighter, cheaper parts that can be manufactured more rapidly. And Northeast Ohio is well-positioned to take advantage of the technical advancements happening in this field.
“It’s important to note that these same driver industries for additive manufacturing are legacy strengths for Northeast Ohio,” said Youngstown Business Incubator CEO Barb Ewing. “That gives us an important economic base to build upon.”
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Originally published September 20, 2017.