All tagged additive manufacturing
As predominantly a welding (or sintering) process, metal 3D printing involves similar design guidelines and approaches with fewer restrictions and variables. Additive manufacturing allows more freedom of design with less constraint, the goal of design engineers since designs first revolved around available manufacturing technologies.
In a traditional manufacturing world full of accepted regulatory hurdles and requirements, it is tough to see a path where additive manufacturing will play a prominent role. Organizations such as the American Welding Society are working with companies and industry leaders to develop industry-wide standards on additive manufacturing. Standards such as these will pose as the starting point for integrating AM processes into traditional manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is the process by which techniques of adding material to a working area and building upon existing material are employed to create a final product consistently and reliably. Although modern techniques like 3D printing are talked about mostly when addressing additive manufacturing, the term has been applied to many techniques dating back to when blacksmithing was the primary metal forming method.
Additive manufacturing processes can provide value at nearly all aspects of a manufacturing line, whether allowing for the supply chain to be brought in-house or opening the manufacturing capabilities to include far more complex parts. Determining whether integrating a 3D printing process into the manufacturing line will increase or decrease efficiency, though, requires a fairly thorough analysis of past, present, and future projects.
The process of 3D printing metal is very similar to welding and the same issues are generally present. Porosity, cracks, undercuts, and more problems can occur during a printing process. Certifying that the part will work as designed requires testing of the material as well as sample testing of the part. In order to guarantee these tests, prototyping a printing process is important.