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The Top 10 2017 Manufacturing trends

The new year is all set to be an exciting one for design and production, with areas of innovation, such as 3D Printing and VR, featuring amongst the 2017 Manufacturing trends that your business should be prepared for, as the FoMT gathers momentum. My top 10 trends run thus:

1) IoT

The Internet of Things, which involves connecting products within a cloud system in order to monitor and control them, has already heavily impacted manufacturing, but it seems set to advance further; Gartner have predicted an exponential rise from 6.4 to 11.4 billion IoT devices from 2016 to 2018.

2) Generative Design

Featuring highly is Generative Design, which imitates the power of evolution to bring you thousands of design options according to your parameters. Autodesk are leading the way with Project Dreamcatcher, their Generative Design software, which is helping to pioneer the field, and will improve significantly in 2017.

3) Collaboration

Underlying all of the technological advances that are set to rock the industry is the importance of project collaboration, and software such as Autodesk Fusion 360, which includes Fusion Lifecycle is going to help designers with project organisation whilst BIM 360 will Digitise construction collaboration, documentation and review helping the industry reduce risk, increase margins and improve productivity.

4) 3D Printing

An obvious contender as a pioneering field for manufacturing, in 2017 3D Printing is set to move even further forward. Back in 2015, 3DPrint.com predicted this, pointing out the improvement of CLIP technology, which is quickening the process.

5) VR

Virtual Reality is having a massive impact on a range of industries. Here at Graitec, we are harnessing the power of pre-manufacture visualisation as part of our VR Design programme.

Our Professional Services team have been using game engines to create what, having experienced the software myself, I can confirm is a lifelike, immersive experience. Once inside the headset, the fastidious work of our team became obvious, as the objects within their visualisation were rendered in detail. With a user friendly set of controls, it was simple to interact with products, which could be picked up and moved, so they could be analysed from multiple angles. It was also easy to move around, with a teleportation tool making it possible to move around quickly.

It is clear to see that this experience will have a profound influence on product design, as the capability of previewing before manufacture should save valuable time and money, as issues can be highlighted and eliminated thanks to the power of VR.

Our team are busy at work applying their project to a range of industries, meaning that we are going to be leading the way in an important field in 2017.

6) Machine Learning

The capability for Artificial Intelligence to learn and adapt is sending shockwaves through the industry, with Forbes finding that Machine Learning for manufacturing has increased production capacity up to 20% by processing live data.

7) Simulation

Another way in which increased production efficiency is being attained is through Simulation, which ensures that designs are up to scratch before manufacture. Autodesk’s Nastran In-CAD software for 2017 has a range of new features, which will help drive things forward. In another pioneering development, the Nastran solver will soon become part of the Autodesk Fusion 360 cloud service, which means simulation will be carried out through the cloud, freeing up computer space for other tasks.

8) Project Quantum

In exciting news for those involved in AEC, last year saw the announcement of the ambitious Autodesk Project Quantum, which is set to take collaboration to the next level. It is set to immerse BIM further in the progress of the cloud, with all projects linked within one overarching cloud-based system.

Although this will have particular implications for Revit, rapidly modernising the way teams work together through the software, Quantum has a far wider potential. Speaking at Autodesk University 2016, Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President of Autodesk, visualised it ‘integrating design, engineering, fabrication and other applications into a common data environment.’

The goal is to create a set of interconnected, yet independent workplaces, with each user getting access to all the tools they require, whilst having the ability to share and review work with other team members. This exciting project is set to come to fruition within the next year, so watch out for a radical transformation of the design process.

9) Sustainable Manufacturing

An important trend for 2017 is going to be the quest for more sustainable manufacturing. Apple Rubber have highlighted reduced energy costs and government incentives as a couple of the boons of embracing a greener approach.

10) Customisation

Customers are increasingly demanding customisation in their products, and the marketplace is starting to adapt. Companies like Normal, who make 3D Printed personalised headphones using Autodesk software, are incorporating more flexible design processes, and others will have to follow suit.

So there is my top 10; whether you agree or disagree with the ordering, it is clear that 2017 will be an exciting, transformative year for the industry. To find out more about these disruptions, and the software that will help your company adapt, send a query to our manufacturing team now:

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