3D metal printing is changing in contrast to what we think about fabricating with metal. As the technology is becoming more and more prevalent; especially on manufacturing floors, every Metal 3D printing supplier must gain application-led intuition about the printing process.
Similar to what machinists comprehend which component is the best on a waterjet vs a 3-axis mill, it is necessary to know which components are a good fit for 3D printing applications and additive manufacturing.
The initial step to gain this intuition is to know the basic benefits of 3D metal printing. The following benefits are the root of every successful metal 3D printing usage.
In conventional manufacturing practices, complexity brings additional costs. As a result, the geometries and the related scope that can be produced using conventional process is limited; parts designed for machining are confined to shapes that are cost-efficient to manufacture. With 3D metal printing, complexity is free. An additive procedure creates intricate geometries and overhangs with least effort than simple shapes.
3D metal parts need no tooling or fixturing. This allows fabricators to make parts with minimal effort and overhead, bringing the cost per unit significantly down for low-volume manufacturing. Also, shops are capable of taking on jobs when tooling cost is not recognized as a limiting factor.
With these two benefits in mind, here are three common applications for 3D metal printing that are preferred due to their process compatibility.
As metal 3D printing needs no tooling and a quite little machine setup, it provides a way to manufacture metal prototypes with least effort. This allows customers to get accurate 3d metal parts in hand in a few days, aiding to evaluate designs quickly while avoiding expensive tooling rework. Engineers can explore designs in a shorter period, minimizing their product development cycle.
Metal 3D printing permits this medical device manufacturer to make an inexpensive and quick prototype in stainless steel.
Printers for 3d metal can make conformal end-of-arm tooling through cheaper and easier methods as compared to conventional methods. Software for 3d metal printing automatically produces toolpaths that allow engineers to escape the CAM process. In addition, the component complexity of conformal grippers demands no additional cost. As a result, they can be designed optimally to grip metal parts precisely and securely.
While a majority of tools are produced in bulk, several situations call for specific instruments that are produced in low volumes. Metal additive manufacturing permits engineers to skip steep overhead and generate custom tools at a low cost per part.