Additive Manufacturing

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Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been successfully applied using both metals and plastics in the aerospace, automotive, bio-medical, tooling, and other applications. Additive Manufacturing has gained popularity because of:

  • Role in Rapid Prototyping and making small batches of parts
  • Design parts that would otherwise be impossible to manufacture – reduced manufacturing constraints
  • Lower material usage either by design or because of less waste material
  • Lower energy usage – eliminate production step, no energy use for removal of material
  • Light weighting
  • No need for tooling
  • Manufacture assemblies without the need to assemble multiple parts, reducing part inventory.
  • Agility to manufacture parts anywhere / Print on Demand / Customization
  • Repair of parts
  • Ability to make functionally graded materials (FGM)

While Additive Manufacturing was first made available 30 years ago, its use has only recently been accelerating because of improvements in manufacturing capabilities, reductions in costs, greater know-how and predictive tools. While great strides have been made in Additive Manufacturing, challenges still exist that require significant trial and error, material waste and reduced levels of confidence. These challenges include:

  • Final net shape / distortion
  • Residual stresses
  • Structural quality
  • Quality control
  • Higher material costs - specialized materials
  • Build speed – low production rates
  • Size limitations

Simufact Additive can be used to overcome these challenges.

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