Additive Manufacturing-The Manufacturing Developments and Trends


Arcam and Fuubic are two major big Swedish innovation company who develops manufacturing technologies for additive manufacturing.
Above is a picture of Arcam´s machine Q10, operating according to the EBM process, that is melting metal layer by layer by means of a powerful electron beam. The details of the object on the left is made by Arcam machine and showcast 1: implant, 2. a hydraulic detail
and 3. an acetabular cup with a porous structure for improved bone ingrowth.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is now on the lips of many and interest in the technology seems to be increasing.
But where is this technology and what can we expect from the future of this exciting manufacturing technology?
This article summarizes Sven Karlsson, from Swerea IVF, the current situation
as well as pointing out what trends we currently can see in terms of additive manufacturing technology.

Additive manufacturing  (Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D
printing is a technology that layer by layer builds a three-dimensional component. The Technical Committee ASTM F42 define additive manufacturing as "the process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional (3D) model data Usually Layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies "

The process is based on a 3D CAD model from which an STL file is created which then is sent to the AM machine computers. From this a "build file"  is created that "slice" up component to the layer thickness the machine works with.
Other names used, others than “additive manufacturing” and “3D printing” is "rapid prototyping”, “direct manufacturing”,” e-manufacturing”, or “solid freeform fabrication”.
During the first 30 years, the technology has mainly been used for production of models and prototypes. For each year however, the proportion of direct manufacturing components with AM machines is increasing and the industry believes that in some 10 years, it is responsible for about 80
percent of the total volume.

Annual Report "state of the art" Wohlers Associates publishes annually a report that tries to reflect the current situation ("state-of-the-art") day in terms of available equipment, the total scale of production, the research front with and more. Of the 2013 report shows that there are currently 33 manufacturers of Industrial equipments (equipment more expensive than 5000 USD). With this, a number of suppliers should be added of relatively inexpensive 3D printers, which is perhaps the category that has grown strongest in recent years.
A trend among machine suppliers are to strive to provide machines with increasing construction volumes. This is important not least in order to meet the needs of direct manufacture of metallic components.

Continue reading part 2–>

Source: (Swedish language Protech)

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