Category: Additive Manufacturing

18 Aug 2017
Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing: Pushing the Boundaries of What’s Possible

Additive ManufacturingFor decades, the way you manufactured parts—whether for prototyping, tooling, or production—was simple: machining metal. You started with a chunk or bar of metal and carved away bits of it to create the part. This subtractive process (now sometimes known as “subtractive manufacturing”) is a tried and true method, but it’s necessarily limiting, particularly when it comes to internals. Since the outer shell of a shape is often the strongest part of its structure, any breach of that—say, to add definition or carve away unnecessary internal bulk—compromises structural integrity.

But then there was a revolution in manufacturing, courtesy of additive manufacturing (AM). The term encompasses a variety of processes, including material extrusion, material jetting, and photopolymerization, but the most widely known and accessible of them is 3D printing. In the early days of 3D printers, parts could be made only of nylon or ABS “thread,” but as the technology has developed, manufacturers gain increasing flexibility and freedom through the ever-growing list of materials that can be used for printing—including metal.

Early uses of additive manufacturing focused on rapid prototyping for pre-production visualization models—that’s what plastic parts were mostly good for. But as materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, and metal join the toolset, and as quality is equal or superior to traditional manufacturing processes, AM can be utilized for a wide variety of needs. AM can make everything from quick, nylon parts for fit-checks to end-use metal or Kevlar parts for aircraft, automobiles, dental work, medical implants, and more.

Choosing AM yields a variety of benefits, from the strength and integrity of the parts and related assemblies to efficiency and cost savings in the manufacturing process. To start with, AM parts require less material to create and generate less waste, since you’re building parts up, not cutting them away. That means you can use less of expensive materials—along with new, high-performance materials—and make optimal use of material properties. AM parts also result in increasingly sophisticated designs, because designers can make complex, internal structures—the kind of shapes that simply can’t be machined—that preserve strength and structural integrity while significantly saving money and weight.

In addition, creating parts via AM also helps the overall manufacturing process. AM is faster: parts that once had to be sent out for weeks or months to be machined can now be created in a day—and AM devices can work around the clock. If necessary, small groups of parts in a production run, or individual ones, can be modified with little turnaround time and zero tooling changes required. In some cases, such as short-run production, it might even be more cost-effective to produce all parts via AM, rather than manufacturing molds, die, and tools with which to make the parts.

When additive manufacturing processes are integrated with engineering and simulation software, engineers and designers can simulate and test designs before they get to commercial production and significantly reduce the cost of pre-production development.

Additive manufacturing won’t ever replace what forging, casting, and machining excel at, but the new processes and materials can help reduce costs and shorten turnaround time for parts production. At the same time, AM also helps push the boundaries of what it’s possible to manufacture—such as replacement parts for the human body—as well as how production fundamentally works.

18 Aug 2017

Daimler to use 3D Metal Replacement Parts

The uses of 3D Printing continues to grow, especially as more durable materials are becoming available on 3D Printers at a reasonable price point.  Metal printers, in fact, are becoming more affordable. We are excited about Markforged’s Metal X 3D printer which will be available sometime in September/October 2017 which will have a price point of under $100k.  If you need metal parts, that is something to consider!

I came across this article noting Daimler is starting to use 3D metal replacement parts for their Mercedes commercial trucks:

Daimler has been 3D printing plastic spare parts for older commercial trucks for about a year, and now it’s moving on to metal parts. The company recently 3D printed its first metal replacement part, a thermostat cover for older Mercedes trucks and Unimog utility vehicles. Daimler believes 3D printing could be a cost-effective way to keep spare parts available indefinitely.

Like other 3D-printed objects, the thermostat covers are made by adding material in layers until the proper shape is achieved. In this case, the material is an aluminum-silicon powder, which is melted using lasers.

Daimler claims the 3D-printed parts are just as strong as the die-cast aluminum versions installed on the trucks when they were new. The company also claims 3D printing is more cost effective than tooling up for a production run using conventional methods. That makes it perfect for producing spare parts, which are usually only ordered in small batches. It also means Daimler can make parts on demand, instead of warehousing large stockpiles.

Small batches is the key when it comes to 3D printing. It’s not meant to be a production-line ready, and pump out hundreds of parts per hour.  It solvs specific problems where a quick fix is needed to keep things working.  I think we will continue to see more examples of Additive Manufacturing in production environments as we move into 2018.

Download information about the Markforged Metal X here.

Let us know how we can help you.  We can share what we have learned in talking with our other customers.

 

19 Jul 2017

Additive Manufacturing eSeminar July 20

Print to Perform: An AM Solution for Part Distortions and Residual Stresses

The additive manufacturing industry continues to grow as machine-builders provide newer machines, faster processes and a diverse portfolio of materials. For companies to innovate while justifying their investments, adopting a digital thread that connects design and manufacturing is critical for taking concepts to production. Join additive manufacturing experts in their demonstration of the latest simulation-based AM application.

Highlights

  • Guided assistant to seamlessly incorporate all AM processes like build preparation, support structure, slicing and scanning
  • Achieve predictable and reliable builds
  • Predict part distortions, residual stresses and microstructures
  • Ensure manufactured parts are within allowable using shape morphing

Who should attend?

This eSeminar is a must attend for AM subject-matter experts, manufacturing engineers, production managers, simulation analysts and CAE Managers.

Speaker: Vishal Savane, Technical Solutions Consultant, AM

Vishal Savane is a Technical Solutions Consultant on the SIMULIA strategic initiative team and mainly focuses on Additive Manufacturing simulations. As part of this group, he works on validation studies and engages with customers and partners for technical enablement. He has 5 years of experience in engineering solutions in simulations as well as in investment and die casting industry. He started working in SIMULIA in 2014 on process automation and optimization. Vishal holds a M. Tech. from SGGS, Nanded and a bachelor’s degree from KIT, Kolhapur.

13 Jul 2017

Additive Manufacturing In-Person Seminars Coming Up Soon

Sign up today for one of our in-person Additive Manufacturing Seminars located in:

  • Los Angeles, CA – August 15

  • Cleveland, OH – August 23

  • Chicago, IL – September 20

 

The half day workshop will feature:

  • New Design Optimization & Process Simulation solutions for Additive Manufacturing by Dassault Systèmes
  • Composite and Metal Additive Manufacturing Solutions by Markforged
  • Portable Metrology Solutions for Inspection – to augment CMM-based inspection

Additive Manufacturing Seminar

At the workshop, we will demonstrate the new solutions from Dassault Systèmes for Additive Manufacturing on the 3DExperience Platform.  Use one platform to optimize part design and simulate manufacturing processes for both metal and plastics, and leverage these techniques to improve the development process for your Additive Manufacturing components.

We will be demonstrating products from Markforged to 3D Print Carbon Fiber composite parts, and now a new Metal Printer!

If your CMM is becoming a bottleneck in your organization due to speed and throughput, join us to learn about alternative inspection solutions that can improve throughput.

View the agenda then register to attend at one of the locations.

 

05 Jul 2017

Additive Manufacturing Webinar: Process Simulation

July 19 – Register Now

As Additive Manufacturing moves from producing non-structural, mostly visualization parts to producing functional parts for prototypes and production, understanding their material properties and the effects the manufacturing process has on these properties is critical.

Learn how SIMULIA is developing an Additive Manufacturing platform to simulate manufacturing processes for both metal and plastics, and leveraging these techniques to improve the development process for Additive Manufacturing components.

After you register for this webinar – Learn more about our in-person seminars coming up in:

  • Los Angeles, CA – August 15th, 2017
  • Cleveland, OH – August 23rd, 2017
  • Chicago, IL – September 20th, 2017

Learn more.