This is a really thought for provoking piece, thank you for sharing. You made what initially seems like a very abstract idea incredible tangible. While I first pictured this as a technology between individuals, your question on B2B vs B2C really challenges my assumption. This concept could allow for widespread community service, a job board, an opportunity to pick up side hustles, and so many things in between!
The opportunity of citizen science programs is really interesting here. Equipped with the monitoring infrastructure and analytics platform, the local community could be mapping and tracking illegal logging activities or attempts to not only ensure the activity is stopped but to identify and bring to justice the people and/greater network that is involved. I’m curious what other sound data could be picked up and logged by this program. I agree that working together with local universities and researchers would put additional man and brain power behind this effort to add to its impact.
Bridgestone’s EXAMINATION system is a really interesting example of the application of machine learning. The successes you mentioned in quality, productivity, and labor are all encouraging factors in the implementation of this technology. This makes me wonder what the next bottleneck will be and if other aspects of their manufacturing process could be improved with automation and increased data measurement. Furthermore, your question of the changing landscape of of transportation is really insightful. It would be interesting to see if, like you mentioned, a product like Komtrax applied to Bridgestone could provide enough data on consumer use to develop machine learning algorithms to help the organization stay ahead of their changing industry.
Your analysis is extremely interesting and you provided really compelling examples of ways that the military is already successfully implementing additive manufacturing. I found it particularly interesting that many of the hurdles for a path forward arise due to human factors, cultural willingness to collaborate, and a mental shift towards encouraging innovation. While the military certainly seems to have its own uniquely strong culture, this challenging human aspect is widespread and apparent in other organizations and industries as well. I’m hopeful that as the quantity of successes achieved with additive manufacturing increases, so will the level of trust in technology and encouragement towards innovation.
Your information on the increased product lifetime revenue from getting product to market sooner is a great argument for faster manufacturing processes. The development of 3D printing using metallic materials certainly sounds very compelling for Ford. I’m intrigued by your idea of using additive manufacturing for body components. I’m curious how a vastly lighter car would impact safety ratings and how vehicle safety testing may need to evolve to accommodate the weight efficiencies available from alternative manufacturing techniques. Sizable weight reduction may seem like a stretch goal for now, but as achieved, regulations that still protect passengers will need to keep up.