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Concurrent Engineering Blog

Agile, additive and augmented: 3 As driving change in product development

Posted by Concurrent Engineering on 23-Mar-2023 09:22:19

In a world that moves faster than ever, three industry trends keep product developers progressing in the right direction. Let’s find out more.




As we move deeper into 2023, it’s clear that three industry trends inform the biggest advances in product development:

  • Agile 
  • Additive
  • Augmented


Industry experts call these trends the ‘3 As’. 


In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the 3As and explain why – if you’re not already on board – you need to start incorporating these three trends into your product development processes. Let’s get started.


1 – Agile


Agile is a project management methodology that has been used in software development since the early 2000s. It means that rather than taking a linear ‘big bang’ approach to a project, you work in small increments, continuously evaluating so you can make improvements quickly and react to change.


Product developers are starting to incorporate the agile methodology into their processes. This is because:

  • The world around them is changing faster than ever
  • They are well-versed in agile as they’ve seen it work in software
  • The next generation of product developers understand agile, its culture and technology
  • Cloud-native tools for CAD and PDM exist that make real-time agile collaboration a reality


The final point here is the most salient. Without the tech, taking product development agile would not be able to happen. Today, cloud-native tools make agile workflow the obvious choice. Developers can collaborate on any device, wherever they are. The software gives you a single source of truth, delivering clarity and efficiency.


2 – Additive


Our next A is additive manufacturing, often called 3D printing. Like Agile, it’s been around in its current iteration since the early 2000s. 

However, in the last couple of years, advancements in additive manufacturing technology have revolutionised this aspect of product development. For example, CAD solutions now integrate with 3D printing platforms allowing developers to go straight from the design stage to printing with no steps in between. There have also been massive advances in 3D printing machinery and materials.


This opens up a new world of opportunities for product developers. If you can imagine it, you can print it. Validating designs used to take weeks or months. Now you can do it in minutes and make changes on the fly.


3 – Augmented


Finally, let’s talk about augmented reality (or AR).


Thanks to rapidly progressing AR CAD modelling technology, developers can now display their creations in the real world, on the phone in their pocket.


It’s all down to advancements in cloud-native software solutions that deliver computing power to every engineer, wherever they are. Previously, you could get maybe half the technological ability on a big machine in a studio, plugged into the wall, which needed to be frequently updated, licensed and repaired. Now, it all happens automatically.


There’s never been a better time to be in product development. The range of tools that exist to bring your imagination to life quickly and simply is almost endless. The question is, how will you use the 3 As to be the best developer you can be?


Find out more