Additive Manufacturing

What Is Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a technique that allows the creation of three-dimensional objects by putting on layers of material. It is a process that is controlled digitally and a transformational approach to industrial production that has revolutionized industries around the world.

It can be used to create lightweight intricate designs that might otherwise be difficult or expensive to produce using traditional manufacturing techniques like moulds, machining and milling. It makes manual operations more efficient and faster.

AM can be used to make spare parts for manufacturers, as well as being a fantastic tool for creating prototypes and designs. This is a growing application that has been demonstrated in the automotive industry , where it allows them to make parts quickly when they need they while making sure that the finished product meets all safety standards.

AM can also be used to create unique pieces, such as bespoke furniture or to repair bone defects by using custom implants and masks. The medical field has observed that AM has a significant impact on healthcare.

There are a variety of different additive manufacturing techniques that can be used to create objects from CAD drawings and 3D scan data. This includes material extrusion vat photopolymerization, laser sintering and powder bed fusion.

Material extrusion is among the most basic types of AM that works by drawing a nozzle across heated filament onto an elevated platform that moves upwards and downwards as the filament is placed in layers. This method can be applied to a range of materials like plastics, ceramics and metals.

Vat photopolymerization is yet another kind of AM process that makes use of the liquid resin vat to build an object layer by layer. This process involves mirrors that send ultraviolet (UV) light to the correct areas of the resin to cure successive layers.

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is another popular method of AM that makes use of a laser to melt powdered material into the final product, which can be made from a wide range of materials. This process is excellent for accuracy and detail however, it’s not extremely durable or strong.

Powder bed fusion, on the other hand, is an advanced AM method that uses various printing techniques like electron beam melting (EBM) as well as selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). These methods fuse together small particles of different materials using powerful lasers or other heating sources to create the final object.

The length of the process is different with each technology. The size of the part, the settings of the print nozzle and the quality of the final piece, and the thickness of the layers all impact the printing time.

AM has many advantages, but it does not remove all the limitations of traditional manufacturing. For instance, it’s not possible to produce an enclosed hollow sphere, which is essential for the manufacturing of medical devices.

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