Additive manufacturing is also called 3D printing, and it entails creating objects by building one layer at a time. These materials can either be metal, plastic, or concrete. You need a computer, a 3D printing machine, and 3D print software to 3D print.
Additive manufacturing has many uses, and it began as a way to make prototypes for organizations. The additive manufacturing post processing stage is essential since it is where parts get final touches like painting and smoothing. Below we discuss all you need to know about additive manufacturing.
Processes Used in Additive Manufacturing
Below are the most popular processes in additive manufacturing;
- Material Extrusion
Material extrusion is the most popular process, and most 3D printers use this process. Materials used in this process come in a spool attached to a movable arm using a heated nozzle. The nozzle moves vertically, depositing the melted component. Machines using this process have precise temperatures for adhesion.
- Material Jetting
The material jetting process uses print heads that resemble the inkjet printer. Here, layers harden as they cool and are also cured using ultraviolet lights. Material is attached to a build platform via the Drop on Demand style.
- Binder Jetting
Binder jetting entails the use of two materials; a binder and a particular powder material. The build material is in powder form, while the binder is in liquid form. The print head moves along the x and y-axis horizontally, depositing the build material’s alternating layers.
- Powder Bed Fusion
This process entails the following printing techniques;
- Electron beam melting
- Direct metal laser sintering
- Selective laser melting
- Selective laser sintering.
- Directed Energy Deposition
Directed energy deposition is a more challenging printing technique that adds extra material or repairs existing components. It is among the common types of additive manufacturing.
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
The additive manufacturing process has been present for over a decade, and most organizations have already embraced it. It has many advantages that make it popular, and below, we discuss a few;
- It Has Low Start-Up Costs
Most manufacturing start-up costs are high in other processes, but not additive manufacturing. This processes’ machinery is cheap and available in different types.
- They Reduce Raw Material Wastage
Most traditional manufacturing forms begin with a huge material block or wood and reduce it gradually. The material fragments that are milled off lack an economic use, giving companies huge losses.
However, additive manufacturing begins with nothing and adds the needed items, lowering raw material wastage by 80%.
- It Is Customizable as Per the Individual’s Wish
Every 3D printed item relies on a digital blueprint, meaning you can easily make every item unique without retooling. This feature is a significant gain for the health and medical sectors since doctors can make custom splints according to an individual’s needs.
A study is also ongoing on using this processes’ technique to make human parts like bones.
The additive manufacturing process is common, thanks to its outstanding features. It is used in almost every industry today, and the above article has discussed all you should know about it.
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