Additive Manufacturing | Page 2 of 5 %%%%

Category: Additive Manufacturing

05 Apr 2018

Visit us at COE Experience and TechniFair 2018

Adaptive is pleased to be a sponsor and exhibitor for this year’s COE Experience and TechnicFair held April 15-18th in San Diego, CA.

Visit us at Booth #401

This year we will have several folks from the Adaptive team in attendance to answer your questions about the latest developments in 3DEXPERIENCE R2018x, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, CATIA Generative Design and more.  We will also be demonstrating the Markforged Two 3D printer, where we will be printing parts at the booth so you can see for yourself the strength in carbon fiber composite materials. We will also have some new information about their latest MetalX printer soon to be released this quarter.

Make sure to stop by and say hello.  We’d love to see you there.




23 Mar 2018
SIMULIA Technology Day | Adaptive

Save the Date: SIMULIA Cleveland Technology Day

Save the Date: SIMULIA Cleveland Technology Day
April 19 at 8:30 – 4:30 EST
Take advantage of the opportunity to attend this free technology day and network with other SIMULIA users in your area.

Why you should plan on attending:

  • Opportunities to talk to SIMULIA experts
  • Technical presentations from customers
  • Technology updates from SIMULIA
  • Practical tips and techniques
  • And more!
Date: April 19 at 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM EST
26300 Harvard Road, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44122

Introduction to fe-safe/Rubber

Dassault Systèmes is offering an Advanced Seminar on Wednesday, April 18th.

The fee to add this deeply discounted seminar will be just $150 USD.

More information coming and registration opening soon!

If you’d be interested in presenting at this event, please contact Alina Bergsman at

21 Dec 2017

Markforged’s Guide to 3D Printing on the Production Line

Markforged has released a new Guide to 3D printing on the production line. 

3D Printing on the Production LineMany manufacturers have realized significant cost savings and productivity improvements by integrating high strength additive manufacturing (AM) technology into their business, especially in support of their maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) strategy. For many more, identifying where additive will be most impactful to their business can be a daunting task, and increasingly one that corporate leadership has directed plants to investigate. This white paper provides structure and clarity to that ask by demonstrating strategies and applications for integrating high strength AM opportunities on the manufacturing floor.

Download the white paper.

28 Nov 2017

Not Just for Parts: Additive Manufacturing Delivers Benefits with Tooling

The buzz around Additive Manufacturing (AM) tends to focus on making parts—how making production parts via AM brings a revolution to some manufacturers and disrupts some established industries. But while impressive, AM parts aren’t the whole story. An important potential use for AM is often left out, and it’s one that could impact dramatically more manufacturers in more industries. That’s tooling.

First, any discussion of AM for tooling must address the obvious—that there are some instances where AM can eliminate the need for tooling entirely. Companies doing short-run production might simply use AM to create production parts directly, bypassing the need to create tooling at all and shortening their product’s the time to market. But when AM simply can’t compete with the speed and volume of the production line, manufacturers can still reap some of the rewards AM is delivering to other industries.

The automotive industry is a prime example. While AM is in use for some end-use components in custom or small-quantity automobile manufacturers, the larger automotive companies don’t find AM a practical answer for production parts. But tooling for production, testing, design validation, and more could be another matter.

Have It All: Faster, Cheaper, More Complex

One of the primary problems with tooling is time. The product design is finished and you’d really rather have the parts in-hand yesterday, but you’ve not only got to contend with production time for the parts, but also production time for the tooling to produce those parts.

Enter additive manufacturing, which lets you make tooling cheaper and faster than the traditional-machining route. Aerospace provides a case study. While polymer-based materials aren’t being used for flight applications, their use has gained traction in production tooling, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Particularly for specialized, one-off parts, the speed and cost reduction of producing fixtures, jigs, and other precision tools rather than waiting for them to be machined from metal can be immense. One small aerospace company converted to making tooling in-house via AM, and their tooling timeline shrank to about a week to produce equipment, versus 12-14 weeks for outsourcing parts to machine shops.

That time savings ultimately meant improved ROI because end-use parts could be made sooner. But the in-house AM work also directly saved money on the tooling itself—in-house AM parts cost only about a quarter of the outsourced, machined parts. In general, companies find that AM saves them money, for any of a variety of reasons, including reduced time, reduced material usage, easier rework or replacement, and so forth.

In the automotive industry, tooling is high value and low quantity. By some accounts, according to the Harbour Results consulting firm, car manufacturers spend $50-75 million on tooling each year for each car model, simply for updates and improvements. Any chance to reduce that cost, via faster production or by creating fewer parts because AM can make more complex shapes, could be hugely valuable.

Volkswagen Autoeuropa has recently converted to using 3D printers to create custom tooling, thereby reducing tool-development time by a whopping 95%. In 2016, they saved $160,000 in tooling costs, and they expect to save even more this year (Additive Manufacturing Magazine). One of the additional benefits of AM tooling they cite is the ability to adjust designs or replace worn parts without redoing the entire tool. Another is the flexibility of iterating manufacturing aids, and making improvements via trial and error, which simply isn’t practical when working with external suppliers.

The other notable benefits of AM parts apply to tooling as well, namely the ease with which AM can create complex shapes, particularly internally, and the ability to customize. Once tooling designers start thinking in terms of AM rather than subtractive machining, they can make tools lighter and even stronger in places. The medical industry provides examples of these benefits, such as “tools” that help surgeons learn how to perform particular surgeries or practice for specific procedures on individual patients.

And there’s another benefit to faster, cheaper production of tooling that might contribute to ROI in a more indirect way: employee comfort and satisfaction. As Volkswagen Autoeuropa notes, one benefit of in-house AM work is the freedom to respond to technician concerns and requests to make ergonomic improvements to tooling. Overall, with a faster time-to-tool, tooling can be optimized more readily, which might not only improve the workplace for the employee, but is likely also to result in better tooling.

Industries continue to buzz with the latest in AM developments, such as AM printers that print in metal—like MarkForged’s Metal X—and other innovations. But it’s not that everything can or should be made via AM. It’s more that AM continues to offer new tools in the arsenal for every industry to consider, especially companies and industries that are searching for every technological development and every advantage to remain competitive. It’s worth every manufacturer considering if there isn’t some aspect of your production line that AM could improve. Perhaps incorporating AM could save your organization money and time, and perhaps it could even change company culture by improving the lives of your employees.



17 Nov 2017

Additive Manufacturing Deep Dive (Part 2): Every Part is Custom

In Part 1 of this blog series, we talked about how additive manufacturing (AM) has improved and even shaken up processes in traditional manufacturing industries, such as GE incorporating 3D printed parts into their jet engine manufacturing process. While the change may seem revolutionary, it isn’t actually surprising that a company already manufacturing products on a large scale would turn to new methods. What’s more surprising is industries we don’t normally associate with “manufacturing” that are discovering how AM can transform their processes also, sometimes on a very small scale.

Markforged X3 Industrial Printer

Three basic factors are driving the adoption of manufacturing processes by unlikely industries: new printable materials, cost-effective production of complex structures, and the ability to customize every single part.

Materials Innovation
First of all, the new materials that can now be used in AM broaden the scope of possible applications substantially. No more are 3D parts rendered in only plastic or metal—everything from carbon fiber and glass to food products and live cells can now be printed. (If some of these materials aren’t available for private or commercial use yet, they are being actively developed.)

One of the earliest medical applications for AM was the production of standard designs for medical instrumentation, such as guides to help train surgeons, as well as implants like hip joints and prosthetics like hands. Early efforts of bio-printing, like implants, involved printing “scaffolds” with bio-compatible materials and then allowing live cells to grow over them. Those approaches may still be the most prevalent, but these days, printing directly with live cells is also becoming possible, which will allow the medical industry to directly fabricate tissue implants with compatible cells.

In addition, the next frontier in AM will be creating a single part from multiple materials, down to the micron level.  On a more everyday level, the ability to print with multiple materials can yield a wide variety of customized combinations of parts, devices, tooling that meet the application requirements for strength, weight while minimizing costs.

Complex Structures at No Additional Cost

Metal parts

Second, the ability to create very complex, even organic, internal shapes makes AM possible at all and even well-suited for some purposes. The fact that added part-complexity doesn’t increase printing cost—and could even reduce it, due to less material used—also removes constraints in part design.  As materials and processes become more widespread and mainstream, more and more industries are getting into the action. Shoe manufacturers can create custom-fit shoes for athletes. Glasses manufacturers can custom-print glasses (minus the lenses) for an individual’s specific anatomy. And of course, individual engineers, artists, or enthusiasts can create their own devices, household objects, or other work.

It’s clear that additive manufacturing can be hugely beneficial for just about everyone. For traditional manufacturers, it speeds up a manufacturing process, which gets products to market faster and improves the bottom line. AM is also good for manufacturers involved in more customized production. As one medical-device manufacturer says, AM helps them bring products to clinical use faster, develop better therapies, and personalize patient care.   We’re already reaping benefits on all sides, and we’re still only seeing the tip of the iceberg of where AM can take us.