- November 1, 2022
- Posted by: Milestone Blogger
- Category: Mechanical
Additive manufacturing is a 3D printing process. It involves printing with successive layers of materials, where each layer can vary in terms of color and shape.
Manufacturing is an intricate process with many different steps involved. Concept and industrial design of the product, production, distribution and more can pose challenges for manufacturers. Thankfully in recent decades there has emerged a new additive manufacturing technology to make this process easier. New advancements in 3D printing have led to its adoption by many companies around the world in a variety of sectors.
If you haven’t heard of Additive Manufacturing yet, you’re not the only one. In fact, there’s been lots of confusion about this term. Lots of people know it exists but aren’t entirely sure what it does or how to use it in the product development process. Beyond this, there is often confusion about what the role of additive manufacturing is and what part it plays in the development process.
Defining Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a manufacturing process by which objects are created by going from one layer to another. Essentially additive manufacturing means you build up the product in layers. Additive manufacturing can be applied to a range of materials, such as metal and plastic, as well as concrete and Kevlar.
In the relatively short existence of additive manufacturing, its range of applications has already been tested and expanded. One of the more common uses is to prototype a product, so you can get an idea of what it’ll look like before scrambling to produce a larger version. Other common uses include one-off products made to order or highly customized parts with mass production not necessary due to cost and specific requirements. There are heaps of other potential applications for this technology.
Various Additive Manufacturing are:
Additive manufacturing is a technology that comes in many forms. Different companies produce different models based on the type of additive manufacturing being done. This is one of the reasons it can be confusing when people use the same term for multiple processes. Here are some of the most common forms of additive manufacturing :-
This is a high-tech process that uses laser technology. SLA utilizes laser technology to cure multiple layers of photo-polymer resin. To put it simply, photo-polymers are materials that have thermos-plastic properties, meaning they change when they’re exposed to light.
FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
Additive manufacturing is a process oriented type of manufacturing that involves the use of thermoplastic materials. These materials are injected through nozzles and onto a platform, with the process boundlessly repeated layer after layer until the final product is created. The process of additive manufacturing can be very mesmerizing to watch as you’ll see an object become completely solid from nothingness in mere minutes.
MJM (Multi Jet Modelling)
MJM or multi-jet modelling is similar to how an ink-jet printer works. This type of printer moves backwards and forwards and can use hundreds of small jets that print thermos-polymer materials in much the same way as an ink-jet printer lays on ink onto paper.
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
Do you know what additive manufacturing is? We appreciate the many advantages that new production techniques can have when compared to traditional methods.
The advantage of additive manufacturing comes from the variety of technologies that are used. While each technology has its own advantages, they also have advantages in common because they share a methodology.
Reduction in the amount of material used
AM starts from the ground up, meaning it starts with material, such as steel or plastics. Creating parts additively uses only the materials necessary. This process also limits waste and tooling costs – which means less material is needed in production.
Conventional manufacturing requires machinery and equipment with high energy needs which often result in waste production during production. AM only requires a few raw materials or tools so manufacturing waste is also low, meaning there’s less energy needed to extract raw materials and less need for additional equipment. Because of this, less energy is use when producing one manufactured product.
When you need to create many prototypes of a new product design and need them soon, AM can get the job done. Through our high-speed modeling process, you can make alterations and see the result seamlessly. You’ll save both time and money with AM when developing products. Traditional CAD models are expensive and inefficient, which is why we focus on digital design modifications.
AM has gifted companies the ability to recreate legacy parts that are difficult and expensive to find now. For example, classic car restoration has been greatly helped by AM technology. Instead of searching for rare or no longer manufactured parts, said parts can be recreated through the scanning and X-ray analysis of original material and parts. With CAD software, this process not only facilitates fast and easy reverse engineering but also helps in the replication of originals.
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