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3D Printing Builds Solid Reputation at IMTS

Additive manufacturing has slowly grown its consumer "street cred" with cool models and shiny prototypes, but this past IMTS proved the tech can hang on the factory floor as well.

The 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show has concluded and I've had a weekend to recover from chasing down as many of the 2,500+ manufacturers attending as possible for new stories. Sometimes stepping away gives you a new perspective on giant spectacles such as this, but in this case, the big story here is as apparent a week later as it was the first morning of the show. Additive manufacturing is now just as relevant to the future of manufacturing as machining, casting, and plastic injection molding. It's never going to replace every instance of these time-tested methods, but the exhibits and equipment spread across this year's show should at least make management and engineers hesitate before traveling down well-worn production paths.

Here are just a few examples that show 3D printing not only deserves consideration, but a designated spot on most factory floors.

Follow John Hitch on Twitter : @JohnHitchIW

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