Additive manufacturing (AM) technology – the construction of 3D objects from a digital model- has been a subject for extensive innovation. As a result, AM is now a feasible solution to support or even replace conventional manufacturing processes. But how this innovation process came to be and how to identify when a manufacturing technology is ready for massive use? In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of an innovation ecosystem structure, how to assess additive manufacturing technical readiness levels and present some of AM main challenges that still exist today.
Dr. Neira is currently Director of Operations at Proto Precision Additive LLC, with 15 years’ experience in metal additive manufacturing processes with a broad background in material science, and extensive experience in technology development and commercialization. Prior to joining Proto Precision Additive LLC, Dr. Neira was leading the implementation of additive manufacturing in consumer product, aerospace, and medical device manufacturing organizations supply chains. Dr. Neira received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he worked in the Institute of Maintenance Science and Technology - IMST and developed a numerical thermal dynamics model for the electron beam process (EBM) with the ability to improve the transition of metal additive technologies to naval aviation products. He also received his master’s degree in materials science in University of North Texas (UNT) were he supported a program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) dedicated to the production of new metallic crystal structures by the use of a reactive Direct Energy Deposition (DED).