How Additive Manufacturing is Tackling Traditional Industry Problems

It’s a well-known fact that innovation is the main driving factor of our globalized economy now in the 21st century. The engineering minds that dreamed up of wireless electricity and rich analytic software capabilities are perpetually churning out new ideas and possibilities all the time, i.e., ideas of product design that are best suited for the job assigned to them. In fact, the process of innovation in manufacturing technologies so far has never been hampered by creativity or design ideas as they are the main definitive notions of innovation to begin with. 

However, the overall process of creative innovation has always been challenged by the age-old question: ‘How can we make this design concept come to life?’ Indeed, It’s safe to ask such a question early on since it may never be possible to manufacture the design into reality merely due to inadequate production technology capability. After all, most traditional manufacturing process capabilities and speed to market are critical considerations that can be quite difficult to overcome in such a fast-paced global economy.

Well, Additive manufacturing technology is now poised to address these difficulties with radical thinking and process methodology. It’s become agame-changer option here on for production facilities to serve as a mainstay supporter for more and more industries. The term “additive manufacturing” describes the step-by-step process that builds three-dimensional objects by adding material, layer by layer (as in powder form or chemical fluid) from a digital 3D model design. Better known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing is dissolving the constraints of traditional manufacturing methods and instead bringing game-changing production approach to industries and consumers faster than ever before.

Now, through additive manufacturing technology, the design can be printed directly from a 3D-CAD file at a much faster rate, (thanks to additive 2.0; the new endeavor of 3D technology). In the smart factories of the future, there will not only be rigid production lines popping out standard parts alone, but also fully automated additive production lines that flexibly produce one-of-a-kind special pieces and low-volume parts to meet specified customer needs. That is why the additive solution is also considered a viable option to achieve mass customization for diverse industrial needs. While 3D printing is a hot trend that can sometimes feel gimmicky, additive manufacturing is quickly proving its worth within process industries time and time again.

Additive manufacturing also comes in handy when there is the need to make new generation of special components as well as low-volume high-performance parts that cannot be made any other way. Because of its ability to reduce complex shapes to simple 2D slices, this method will free the industry from having to build a whole production line with molds and fixtures for a customer’s specific part. Engineers and designers are now liberated with their innovation and creativity engagements, no more constrained with production capabilities. Such manufacturing flexibility, coupled with the design freedom already available in computer-aided design software, will spark the next generation of high-performance parts that drive greater efficiency and performance enabling design of products more tailored to the customer’s specific need.  

Adam Boyle, director of Global Additive Manufacturing Operations at Emerson Automation Solutions noted. . ., 

“This new technology opens doors and empowers innovations that previously couldn’t live outside of a computer simulation, “Additive manufacturing makes it possible to quickly find the best product design. Our team can now develop and produce multiple designs at once and rely on real world testing to determine which will work best. In an industry where safety and performance are paramount, having this level of precision is crucial.”

These design functions and production capabilities are just the beginning. Additive manufacturing makes it possible to put material exactly where it needs to be to reduce part weight, improve internal flow paths and increase the complexity of parts, even pulling in new materials for a bigger impact or highly customized duty. Many process flow applications benefit from super-hard alloys with great wear resistance, but these alloys can be challenging for traditional manufacturing because the same properties that make them great in the field can make them almost impossible to machine due to their intricate design. However, when a part can be printed to near net shape and quality within a few thousandths of an inch, then additive manufacturing can do a much better job with these exciting alloys at high resolution.

Then we also have an option to consolidate assembly of parts in one go to reduce both weight and material usage. Most product engineers agree on the fact that the assembly of component parts typically done by the good old bolts and nuts’ arrangement comprises up to a maximum 30% of the total weight from the whole assembly not to mention the excess material usage and even operation reliability issues if one of those nuts turn loose (worst case scenario). Additive manufacturing has thus come up with a viable solution to design the 3D model as a full assembly of the parts and components thereby reducing assembly consolidations by more than 80%. Such a progress has once again proved to be a massive stride in weight reduction and material economy in the industrial manufacturing arena. E.g. The GE Aviation additive manufacturing center in Auburn, Alabama has achieved a major milestone — it shipped the 100,000th fuel nozzle tip assembly pioneering its way to new technologies for producing jet engine components.

The value of additive manufacturing lies in being able to offer new production processes and improvise better business models online.By removing many traditional limitations, additive manufacturing is quickly reshaping design and production of critical industrial equipment. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg for additive manufacturing—an industry-transforming technology that is just getting started. one could almost say that we’ve barely scratched the surface of this product development technology.

It’s been a long time coming for additive technology to flourish into its full potential. Here at Additive Abyssinia, we intend to be pioneers in this exciting technology for the common good of the industrial sector and the public community at large as it’d mean our great previlage to serve your design and product manufacturing needs customized for your specific demand. How about we keep in touch to get started with the link provided below?