Posted: 28 Jul. 2019 8 min. read

Challenges of Additive Manufacturing

Why companies don’t use Additive Manufacturing in serial production

Additive Manufacturing (AM) opens up new opportunities for design and manufacturing across different industries. Despite its potential, many organizations have not yet rolled out AM on a wider scale. The challenges of Additive Manufacturing are facing are multi-faceted – but manageable.

AM has an important role to play in the range of manufacturing methods which companies can deploy to evolve their products in response to market demands. Compared to conventional methods, more complex structures and geometries can achieve customized design, greater efficiencies, higher performance and better environmental sustainability.

As a result, the technology is seeing increased adoption beyond prototyping and tooling into end and spare part production. As the technology continues to improve, AM changes from a disruptive technology used only by innovators to a common method for core production.

The challenges of Additive Manufacturing are facing are multi-faceted – but manageable.


Challenges to scaling Additive Manufacturing

However, widespread, scaled adoption for such products as end-use parts will require overcoming a variety of challenges faced today. This publication takes a closer look on the reasons why the full potential of Additive Manufacturing has not yet been realized.

These challenges include:

  • Technological challenges in terms of materials, process implementation, post-processing and quality assurance
  • A lack of IT standards and a digital thread through each stage of the design and manufacturing process
  • The shortage of well-trained and skilled technicians familiar with the technology and capable of applying 3D printing
  • The rigid adherence of designers and engineers to established design principles with constraints
  • A limited consideration of factors and impacts for business case calculation.


The transformative approach

Overcoming the outlined challenges will be key to taking full advantage of the potential offered by Additive Manufacturing.

This publication proposes a four-step approach to tackling them:

  1. Evaluate whether an Additive Manufacturing solution fits in your organization
  2. Calculate a business case
  3. Develop a roadmap
  4. Generate an organizational shift
  5. Companies beginning their AM journey today with these factors in mind have the chance to learn and grow quickly, gaining a competitive edge in the continued expansion around the disruptive power of AM.

Learn more

Download the publication and learn more about approaching Additive Manufacturing for scaled production.

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Dr. Harald Proff

Dr. Harald Proff

Sector Lead Automotive

Dr. Harald Proff is the Global/DCE/German Automotive Sector Leader. Harald brings more than 20 years of experience advising multinational companies. His work focuses on transformation programs in industrial manufacturing as well as consulting on the increasing digitization and networking of value chains. He has worked for various automotive OEMs and consumer goods industries including sanitary, food and optical. In addition to Germany, he has also lived and worked in South Korea and Brazil. Before moving on to Deloitte, Dr. Harald Proff was a partner for Manufacturing in the European Operations Practice at McKinsey. Since joining our firm in 2015, Harald has led the Operations Practice.

Andreas Staffen

Andreas Staffen

Partner | Technology Strategy & Transformation

Andreas Staffen verantwortet das Offering IoT and IT Architecture (Smart Manufacturing) für Deutschland und gestaltet die Digitalisierung der Supply Chain seit 2004. Dabei begleitet er deutsche, europäische und globale Unternehmen bei der erfolgreichen Umsetzung schlanker und integrierter IT Architekturen für die Entwicklung und Produktion. Durch die Umsetzung des Industrie 4.0 Gedanken in der Deloitte Digital Factory werden die Auswirkungen auf die Geschäftsmodelle unserer Kunden erlebbar und die weitere Gestaltung einfacher realisierbar.