Additive Manufacturing Systems

A Unique Partnership: Metal Additive Manufacturing and Conventional Machining

Here are five important aspects of the design and manufacturing process that everyone should understand to properly and successfully implement metal additive manufacturing within your company.
Additive Manufacturing Systems: Articles

Additive Manufacturing: Making Sense of Laser Metal Deposition and 3D Printing

Traditional manufacturing processes alter forms through material removal, heat or mechanical force. But in generative or additive manufacturing, structures are built up layer by layer. Laser additive manufacturing, electron beam melting and laser metal deposition are all types of additive manufacturing processes.
Because metal additive manufacturing processes are complex and require extensive material and process knowledge, it can be difficult for a metal fabricator to see how or when 3D printing might fit. To help make sense of it all, let’s consider the basics of additive manufacturing and 3D printing and how it all relates to metal fabrication.

Veterinary Medicine Adopts 3D Metal Printing

The perfectly fitting beak prosthetic was secured in place on the bird with bone cement and colorful rhinestone-styled orthopedic screws. The bird was able to try out the beak within 48 hours and made a full recovery while awaiting placement at a zoo. (first view)
The durability and strength of metal, coupled with a nimble approach to product development and reduced lead times, are driving the widespread adoption of metal additive manufacturing for orthopedic care and prosthetics. Here is one example where 3D metal printing recently proved to be a truly lifesaving process.

NextGen Spaceframe Combines Lightweight Construction and Flexibility

The EDAG Light Cocoon concept car is the visionary embodiment of a compact sports car with a completely bionically optimized and additively manufactured vehicle structure that is combined with an outer skin made from weatherproof textile material and a variable light design. (Photo courtesy of EDAG Engineering)
A functionally integrated, bionically optimized vehicle structure offers new potential for lightweight construction and greater manufacturing flexibility of automobiles.

The Additive Manufacturing Factory of Tomorrow

The AM Factory of Tomorrow from Concept Laser uses AM modules with a minimal footprint for smart and robust manufacturing in a flexibly expandable, high-grade automated and centrally controllable metal production system that is fully focused on the production assignments in hand. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser GmbH)
This modular integration of machine technology and plant architecture is an Internet 4.0 promise of new levels of quality, flexibility and increased performance in additive manufacturing, as well as a radical new approach to the design of process components that could ultimately create faster and more economic industrial production solutions.

3D Printing Drones on Demand

The Razor is a 3D printed, hand-launchable, fully autonomous drone developed by University of Virginia professor David Sheffler, in partnership with the Mitre Corporation. The airframe is manufactured by fused deposition modeling that melts a material and dispenses it layer-by-layer to form the structure. The drone’s motor, servos, autopilot and batteries are all off-the-shelf components, and its computational powerhouse is an Android smartphone.
With 3D printers available commercially and becoming less expensive every year, the development of additive manufactured drones for both commercial and military capabilities is growing in importance. Welcome to the Age of the Jetsons.


Additive Manufacturing Systems: Industry News

BeAM Machines Establishes U.S. Operations

LMD feeds laser melted metallic powder through a deposition nozzle to create a layer-by-layer part construction with perfect CNC-controlled dimensions. The fully integrated LMD machines from BeAM are CE-certified, modular, upgradable, and deliver high-performance through longevity and accuracy in a controlled atmosphere with a secure powder environment. Their LMD machines support a wide range of materials, such as stainless steel, titanium nickel alloys, cobalt chromium and more, and are available with a range of standard and custom nozzles for most every industrial application.
BeAM is partnering with Fives Machining Systems on large-part LMD machine sales and maintenance, with plans to manufacture their machines in the U.S.

CCAT Acquires New 3D Printer Capabilities

Their Markforged printer is the world’s to print continuous carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass.

TRUMPF Celebrates 20 Years in North American Laser Market

They also unveil their new TruPrint 1000 3D metal printing system at an open house event.


Additive Manufacturing Systems: Products

Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing

Booth N-9000: The large-scale Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine from Cincinnati Incorporated has a 6 ft x 12 ft x 3 ft work envelope and uses the chassis, drives and control of CI’s laser cutting system as the base to extrude hot thermoplastic to build parts layer-by-layer for automotive, aerospace, marine, furniture and other applications.
Cincinnati Incorporated will display the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine that uses the chassis, drives and control of CI’s laser cutting system as the base to extrude hot thermoplastic to build parts layer-by-layer.

Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing: Bigger Is Better

The Oak Ridge Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and Cincinnati Incorporated are jointly developing the BAAM system. Cincinnati expects to have BAAM for sale before the end of the year to build thermoplastic parts many times faster than conventional additive manufacturing systems. (Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Incorporated)
The sky is the limit as partnerships between private manufacturers and scientific research laboratories expand the boundaries of size and accelerate the development of new industrial 3D printing systems that can create polymer parts up to 10 times larger than those currently producible.

Application-Oriented Laser Melting

The automatic sieving station continuously safeguards the powder quality and thus the component quality too.