What is Additive Manufacturing?
Additive manufacturing technologies are defined as the process of joining materials to create objects, usually layer by layer, from 3D model data, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing techniques. These technologies allow direct production of 3D objects from CAD data or models.
Currently, these technologies allow to manufacture parts 100% functional with high added value and constitute a set of emerging technologies that are becoming serious competitors of machining processes and traditional forming. These technologies are being introduced in an increasing manner in areas such as biomedical, aerospace, automotive, mold and die-making and increasingly in the manufacture of general consumer products.
Main advantages of additive manufacturing technologies
- Reduced time to market due to the speed of the process. You can drastically reduce many of the current release and validation phases as well as flexible adaptation to the changing demands of the market.
- Customizing product with complete flexibility in design and construction. It can produce parts of virtually any geometric shape and with almost no limitations. A clear example is the manufacture of implants or prostheses adapted to the particularities of each patient.
- The maximum saving of material. waste material is removed in the form of chip machining … There are studies which concluded that it is possible to reduce by 40% the volume of raw material.
- Not required tools, molds and dies. The parts are produced directly from a 3D CAD model with complete absence of human errors in production and unit series can be manufactured with little extra cost.
- Fully functional and without residual porosity pieces are produced.
- Manufacture of closed structures with design freedom. It is possible to manufacture parts with a complex shape with internal channels or lightened reticular structures.
The sector ‘biomedical products’ is one of those who can best take advantage of the added value of Additive Manufacturing for several reasons.
Mold and die
Design freedom offered by the SLM technology can be applied to the manufacture of inserts and molds.
The aeronautics market is an essential element in our society, both in economic terms and in relation to the volume of goods and passengers carried.
For the automotive industry, 3D printing has opened doors to creating new designs, making safer, cleaner and lighter, with shorter product delivery and lower costs.