Additive manufacturing lets companies think “outside the box.” Engineers can now start to look at a part without restrictions on size, shape or material. Instead of taking 15 different CNC milled parts and brazing them together, these companies have reimagined the part entirely—to be built as one part.
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Innovate, Integrate, Collaborate are more than just marketing keywords. A number of metrology and software companies I visited at IMTS are putting their development dollars to work in these areas and showing off the results.
Smarter factory systems connected via the cloud are the grand vision offered for the future factories that will fully leverage the best available tools from automation, software and machine tool builders.
Daimler may be the first vehicle maker to offer 3D-printed replacement parts, but racing enthusiasts and car collectors like Jay Leno have been using additive manufacturing and 3D scanning for many years to replace worn-out parts or to enhance their rides.
There are pros and cons to using a scaffold for tissue printing. Ultimately, it’s not a matter of choosing one method over the other, but using them to complement each other.
Aerospace is one of the main industries embracing additive technologies, and the large growth in industrial metal 3D printing over the past few years can be largely attributed to the A&D industry.
Challenged by an increasingly niche-oriented automotive market, The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) must increase the number of models it offers while decreasing its capital investment. The company plans to offer 50% more models in 2009 compared to 2004, according to John Felice, VP of manufacturing, technology and global enterprise for Chrysler.
Additive manufacturing needs to improve its quality and consistency as it assumes a bigger role in manufacturing, advocates of the technology say.
When GE decided that additive manufacturing was the way to go for making metal fuel nozzles for its new LEAP engine, the company touched off interest in other shops to move 3D printers from the design studio to the factory floor. It also stepped up the focus on safety standards for metal AM.
Modern manufacturing is rapidly adopting model-based definition (MBD). When employing an MBD strategy, the CAD model becomes more than the nominal to which all parts are measured and inspected against. MBD keeps the all-important digital thread intact—from design to manufacturing to inspection and quality reporting.