The agriculture business might conjure images of old, rusty tractors and humble family farms, but, in reality, it is a global industry worth $2.4 trillion dominated by some of the world’s biggest corporations like corn king Cargill, John Deere, BASF and Bayer. For most of these companies, technology is key to success and the “smart agriculture” market was estimated to be worth around $7.53 billion in 2018. With that in mind, we thought we’d examine how agricultural equipment manufacturers are using 3D printing.
Though it is one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment in the world, John Deere has yet to use 3D printing for the production of end use parts. However, as of March 2019, the company was said to be “quickly building momentum toward how it could be used in producing parts and integrated into new product programs.” Tooling is described as John Deere’s “biggest success story”, with over 40 printers used to fabricate tools for the company’s factories. The corporation is also exploring additive production of spare parts.