Register for Matt Sand's live webinar on Thursday, October 24th here: Pros & Cons of 3D Printing Metal Components
As seen on www.thefirearmblog.com/.
Tea. Earl Gray. Hot. Someday I want to turn to a space in my kitchen wall and utter those words – and get results. In my barn, however, I someday want to turn a space in the wall and speak “Silencer. 5.56mm. Length six inches. Diameter 1.75 inches. Mount threading 1/2 x 28.” and come back to find a new rifle suppressor made in a few moments. Although this process is unlikely to happen in my lifetime, Additive Manufacturing is posed to make a leap within the firearms industry – specifically within silencer manufacturing.
After 20 years of iteration on the same basic additive-manufacturing technologies for metal, a new wave of innovation is emerging. Lower-cost, safer processes are replacing the old ways of doing things, offering vastly different material properties through resolution, surface quality and design freedom.
How Does Metal 3D Printing Compare to CNC Machining?
CNC machining has been a staple of metal manufacturing since it evolved from NC machining in the middle of the 20th century. CNC is a subtractive process and is particularly effective at creating complex parts while achieving the tightest tolerances of any technology. Metal 3D printing, also known as metal additive manufacturing, has developed rapidly over the last few years and is now beginning to challenge CNC machining in some applications.
NEW YORK, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America Makes and the American National Standards Institute(ANSI) today announced the launch of phase 2 of the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) with a kick-off meeting scheduled for September 7th in Philadelphia. Major goals of phase 2 include expanding the discussion of standards needs for polymers and other materials besides metals and engaging experts from other industry sectors such as automotive, heavy equipment, energy, consumer products, and tooling. A free webinar to provide an overview of the AMSC and how to prepare for the September 7th meeting will be held on August 17th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm EDT.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is continuing its rapid advance across all fronts. It is beginning to touch every industry and new applications are being found every day. The fast growth is great for the industry, but a tipping point is being reached where the vast number of independent companies and technologies need to come together in a meaningful way for the creation of standards. One of the biggest challenges today for widespread adoption of additive manufacturing in actual production parts is the need for reliable qualification standards. Many of the additive manufacturing processes differ quite a bit and making sense of them can be a challenge, even for those in the industry.
There are 6.3 billion connections to the internet around the globe. According to Cisco, this figure will grow 60% by 2020. This enormous system of interconnections creates a ‘cloud’ of information and data that permeates cities around the globe. These clouds are now merging together and creating data sets of unprecedented scale.
3D printing is currently in the midst of an evolution, demonstrated by the development of rapid systems capable of unique materials that may be able to ultimately reduce the cost per part of additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Among the categories of AM being affected is metal 3D printing, which has seen a number of companies—including Markforged, Desktop Metal and Admatec—unveil new processes that may reduce the typically costly technology.
There are hundreds of methods to make metal parts. The list of technologies and techniques can be overwhelming. To make matters worse, each approach technology comes with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of this article is to give a quick overview of the predominant metal part fabrication techniques and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, affords numerous benefits to design engineers. The primary advantages include the ability to consolidate components, reduce part weight, and design parts with complex internal geometries. Creating parts with additive manufacturing in mind is usually referred to as Design For Additive Manufacturing (DFAM). Consolidating components is especially advantageous because it reduces the number of parts that need to be designed and manufactured into the final assembly. Beyond just lowering the overall cost of production, parts consolidation also has a dramatic impact on the speed of production and also functional performance.