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Why additive manufacturing needs blockchain

By Dana Ellis and Frank Schuster | From the Quarter 1 2019 issue Imagine a worker being able to print specialized parts while on a construction site, or a mechanic being able to manufacture a replacement for a faulty engine part with the click of a few buttons. Sound like science fiction? Maybe, but these scenarios are rapidly becoming the new reality thanks to additive manufacturing (AM). AM—a technology that builds 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material regardless of whether that material is plastic, metal, concrete, or even human tissue—is fundamentally changing how companies manufacture, distribute, and maintain products. Because AM allows parts to be manufactured at the place and time of need, more and more companies are moving toward a decentralized manufacturing model freed from its traditional geographical restraints. This shift dramatically alters the nature of supply chains, by replacing traditional networks consisting of a […]

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