Given the optimism that metal AM will continue to grow in relevance for series production, it's natural to focus on future potential and skim over the present. However, that forward-looking mindset obscures the exciting developments already taking place in 3D metal printing. The technology as a tool to be used in full production runs is not some distant possibility. It's already here. 3DEO's president Matt Sand details five current examples of how metal AM is changing manufacturing at scale.
With additive manufacturing (AM) becoming an established part of many companies’ product development and manufacturing processes, there has been a growing understanding of the technology’s technical and business advantages. With that, more users at all points in the value chain are benefitting from lighter and more durable parts, increased design freedom and on-demand part production.
Metal fabrication does not lack for depth as an industry. No fewer than 6 distinct — and commonly used — techniques exist for the manufacture of metal pieces and parts in 2018. Each can be considered the “best” option given certain conditions. For this reason, it’s often tough for an organization looking to outsource a specific production run of components to decide just which method is right for them. The list of options is long, and it’s growing more nuanced by the day.
3DEO is a small business based out of Gardena, CA, about 15 minutes from LAX airport in Los Angeles. The company uses proprietary metal 3D printing technology to manufacture production components, primarily for applications in the aerospace, automation, defense, industrial, and medical industries. Production components, not prototypes. Right now, the company has eight of its proprietary metal 3D printers in a 13,000-square-foot facility, but the space could accommodate another 42 printers to meet demand.
While metal AM provides a host of positive advantages, it’s important to understand the realities of as-printed surface roughness. This understanding will help valve design and engineering teams understand the costs associated with bringing 3D printed parts to a suitable finish.
In case you missed it, 3DEO recently presented on the economics of metal 3D printing and showed off its production capabilities for metal 3D printed parts at RAPID 2018. Get the full story here:
We'd like to send a big thanks to Pam Waterman for the great article in RapidReady, a Digital Engineering publication. Here are some highlights from the article:
The MPIF Standard 35 for powder metallurgy now includes two aluminum alloys in the 2xxx designation series.
AM Shows and Disruptive Magazine have decided to join forces in the lead up to Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017 and bring you the Exhibitor Spotlight Q&A series. This is an opportunity for exhibitors to share their views on the future of industrial additive manufacturing and 3D printing as well as a preview of what you'll see on the show floor. If you like what you read, all the more reason to come and meet them December 6-8, in Pasadena, California.