Additive manufacturing is the type of industrial transformation wherein it is possible to produce lighter and stronger parts. So now additive manufacturing can bring that flexibility to the manufacturing systems. Over the period communicating, architecture and engineering have undergone digital revolution from analog systems
As the name suggests additive manufacturing; Layering up of the material creates a 3d object from a 3d design.
An object can even be manufactured by traditional means. But here the created design needs to be analyzed and produced and after producing it is required to carry out additional operations. Such as milling, drilling, and other lathe operations to bring the created objects to its original shape. But in additive manufacturing, it prevents us from putting these additional efforts and saves our time. The processed design creates the object.
While this term additive manufacturing seems new to many people but it has been around for several decades. It has been in use for various applications in the past also. This helped to manufacture various complex materials in the past also, this improved the performance and the stability of fabrication. As a result, this domain is experiencing a lot of research these days.
What’s in it for me?
- How does additive manufacturing works
- Additive manufacturing process
- What are the additive manufacturing technologies
- Additive manufacturing materials
How Does Additive Manufacturing Works:
As the name suggests additive means layering up of material to create a three-dimensional object. i.e. Each successive layer is added upon the other superfine layer either by melting the material fully or partially. Various materials such as ceramics, metals, plastics, composites, glass, and even edibles like chocolate can be used as materials.
Firstly, CAD models define the object digitally. Certainly, the printer or manufacturing unit is fed with the CAD models by slicing them using the slicing Softwares. Which will then process the design, it will melt the material by heating and the nozzle of the printer will start producing the product layer by layer and later the produced part cools down and all the layers are fused together to produce the final object or apart, here each and every process is done by the machine itself and no human interference is involved in between.
However, the process from creating the .stl file to producing the three- dimensional part has revolutionized the manufacturing industry.
Additive Manufacturing Process:
Certainly, there are variety of manufacturing process which comes under this below we will discuss about some of them.
Material extrusion is one of the most important processes in additive manufacturing. However, there will be a nozzle present on the movable printing arm the material after melting comes to the nozzle and the printing arm moves horizontally and the printer bed moves vertically and this will start creating the object layer by layer. However, proper adhesion between the layers occurs by using a proper chemical bonding agent.
Directed Energy Deposition:
However, this process is also the same as that of material extrusion. Certainly, polymers, ceramics, cement, and many more materials can be used in this method. Moreover, here there will be a beam gun or a laser mounted on a four to five-axis arm that melts the filament material or powder and is used for producing the part.
Firstly, in this method, the printer arm moves front and back like a conventional 2-D printer. But it actually creates the object is x, y, and z-axis to create a 3-D object. Subsequently, layers are printed and they get harden as they are cooled and get cured.
However, the binder jetting process is similar to that of material jetting. But here the print head or the nozzle will lay down the alternate layers of powdered material and liquid binder required to bind the powder material.
LOM i.e. laminated object manufacturing and UAM i.e. ultrasonic additive manufacturing are the two processes that come under sheet lamination. But, LOM technology uses the alternate layers of paper and adhesive. But, Ultrasonic welding combines thin metal sheets in UAM. However, LOM excels at creating objects ideal for visual or aesthetic modeling. However, UAM is a relatively low-temperature, low-energy process used with various metals, including titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Firstly, in this process, an object is created in a vat of liquid resin photopolymer. But, there is a process called photo-polymerization which cures each microfine resin layer using ultraviolet (UV) light precisely directed by mirrors.
Power Bed Fusion:
Firstly, power bed fusion Fusion (PBF) technology is used in a variety of AM processes, including direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), selective laser sintering (SLS), selective heat sintering (SHS), electron beam melting (EBM) and direct metal laser melting (DMLM), these technological systems use lasers, electron beams or thermal print heads to melt or partially melt ultra-fine layers of material in a three-dimensional space. In short, as the process concludes, the excess powder is blasted away from the object.
Additive Manufacturing Technologies:
Till now we have read about AM process now we will look on to AM technologies
Sintering: Certainly, the Sintering process is similar to conventional 2-D photocopying where tonner is selectively melted to form an image on paper. However, it is a process of solid mass using heat without liquifying it.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering: Within DMLS, a laser sinters each layer of metal powder so that the metal particles adhere to one another. However, DMLS machines are such great machines that they provide us with high-resolution objects with all the required mechanical properties and surface features.
Direct Metal Laser Melting And Electron Beam Melting: Likewise, in both these processes metal is first melted. However, with DMLM, a laser completely melts each layer of metal powder. Whereas Electron beam melting uses high-power electron beams to melt the metal powder. Both technologies are ideal for manufacturing non-porous and dense objects.
Stereolithography: Firstly, SLA uses photo-polymerization to print ceramic objects. Above all, this technology uses a UV laser selectively fired into a vat of photopolymer resin. However, the UV-curable resins produce torque-resistant parts that can withstand extremely high temperatures.
Additive Manufacturing Materials:
We had discussed in previous blogs about the materials used for 3-D printing. But here AM technologies fabricates jet engine parts from advanced metal alloys, and it also creates chocolate treats and other food items.
Thermoplastics: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), and polycarbonate (PC) each offer distinct advantages in different applications. Water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol acts as a temporary support structure which can be later dissolved in water Some plastic materials can be used in AM.
Metals: Many kind of metal and metal alloys can be used in this technology. Some of the precious metals like gold, titanium, silver to steel, cobalt and aluminium can be used in AM technology.
Ceramics: Some of the ceramics widely used in additive manufacturing are zirconia, alumina, and tricalcium. Also, an entirely new class of glass products is created by baking together with the alternate layers of adhesive and glass powder.
Biochemicals: Biochemical healthcare applications include the use of hardened materials such as silicon, calcium phosphate and zinc to support bone structures.
Recently there are lot of researches going on and the researchers are finding out the use of bio inks fabricated from the stem cells to form everything almost all the human parts from blood cells to bladders.
There are many applications of this technology too some of the notable industries where this is implied are aerospace, automobile, healthcare, product development.
In the aerospace industry many of the parts required for them are of the lightweight type such that they provide good strength despite having less weight so they use this kind of technology.
Racing cars are also making use of this technology nowadays. CNN reported that the Mclaren racing team is using 3D-printed parts in its Formula 1 race cars.
In the healthcare sector also this technology has a huge application. At the New York School of Medicine, a clinical study of 300 patients will evaluate the efficacy of patient-specific, multi-colored kidney cancer models using additive manufacturing. The study will examine whether such models effectively assist surgeons with pre-operative assessments and guidance during operations. In general, healthcare applications for additive manufacturing are expanding, particularly as the safety and efficacy of AM-built medical devices is established. The fabrication of synthetic organs also shows promise.
In product development also it has a wide range of application. As mentioned earlier it helps the manufacturers to produce the parts very easily and quickly with much of accuracy with no additional machining required.
Meanwhile, in this article, we came across what is additive manufacturing different technologies under this, its applications, advantages, and how this technology can help in revolutionizing the entire product development industry. In the next upcoming articles, we will see in detail about the various filaments used in 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing is the type of industrial transformation where in it is possible to produce lighter and stronger parts. Over the period of time many systems have undergone digital revolution from analog systems communicating, architecture, engineering everything is transformed into digital process so now additive manufacturing can bring that flexibility to the manufacturing systems as well.
Material Extrusion, Directed Energy Deposition, Material Jetting, Binder Jetting, Sheet Lamination
There are many applications of this technology too some of the notable industries where this is implied is aerospace, automobile, healthcare, product development
It is cost effective, reduces labor work, good for prototype development.
This technology has a very good response and this will have a good application in the medical field, manufacturing stream and will revolutionaries this industry in the future.
Yes it is one of the best and easiest business to do where you can earn good money with very less capital
I am a mechanical engineer very passionate in latest technology and recent advancement in the field of technology and also a active Stock market investor.