Quickly understand the core technology of intelligent manufacturing: what is additive manufacturing? What are its scope of application and advantages?

Quickly understand the core technology of intelligent manufacturing: what is additive manufacturing? What are its scope of application and advantages?

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With the development of additive manufacturing technology, we seem to have entered an era where everything can be 3D printed.
Additive manufacturing technology has applications in various industries such as architecture, engineering construction, industrial design, medical care, aerospace, automobiles, and national defense. It is considered that it will become the mainstream of the manufacturing industry.
So what is additive manufacturing? What are its scope of application and advantages

Let us take you to understand!

What is additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is based on digital model files and uses bondable materials such as powdered metal or plastic to construct objects by layer-by-layer printing.
Additive manufacturing technology has changed the traditional manufacturing method and provided a new idea for the direct manufacturing of complex metal structural functional parts. It has broad application prospects for the manufacturing industry and will become a modern manufacturing tool just like many traditional processing and manufacturing technologies. important craft.

Additive Manufacturing Applications


Compared with the large-scale and low-precision traditional manufacturing industry, 3D printing technology is more suitable for applications in fields that require relatively high parts, such as aerospace. The United States is committed to applying 3D printing to the product upgrades of drones and aircraft. If a 3D printer can be sent into space, it can be used to print maintenance tools and precision parts for maintenance. This will not only reduce the weight of the spacecraft, but also reduce the cost. The difficulty of repairing the spaceship.

Automotive field

At present, 3D printing is widely used in the research and development of automobiles, mainly for test models and functional prototypes, such as the sludge model of the whole vehicle, the development of parts such as body, chassis, synchronizer, and small batch production of interior and exterior decoration.
Earlier, Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan and the International Automotive Research Center of Clemson University developed a concept car model – cu-icar. The instrument panel panel, central control panel and air vents of the model can all be completed by 3D printing.
BMW has also unveiled a “BMW i8 Roadster”. The biggest highlight of this car is the 3D printed metal convertible soft top bracket made of aluminum alloy, and the 3D printed window guide rails, which are lighter in weight and better in rigidity. This innovative component application also allowed BMW to win the 2018 Altair Enlighten Award.
The CELESTIQ, Cadillac’s flagship electric sedan, will go on sale next year. The CELESTIQ will be the first production vehicle built at GM’s Global Technology Center, which has been the company’s engineering and design center since its inauguration in May 1956. center of work. At the same time, CELESTIQ will have the largest number of 3D printed parts of any vehicle produced by General Motors, with more than 100.

Biomedical field

Bio-3D printing is a unique branch of 3D printing technology. It is a new technology that combines 3D printing technology with medicine, biomaterials, and computer technology. It can manufacture artificial implants for specific anatomical structures, physiological functions, and treatment needs of patients. Biomedical products such as objects, tissues and organs, and medical devices.
3D printing has now entered the field of exoskeleton printing, aiming to assist the disabled and those with muscular dystrophy to improve their mobility. The lightweight exoskeleton produced by 3D printing can assist users to stand and walk.
Researchers used 3D printing technology to cooperate with the human body’s own cells, and used a biodegradable scaffold added with cell mixture gel to build a kidney layer by layer. The technique also helped a child successfully receive an artificial bladder.
American scientists have successfully used 3D printing technology to produce a human heart model that can accurately replicate the anatomical structure of the heart of patients with difficult complications, which is used by doctors to study the heart structure of patients before surgery.

Other fields

The 108mm diameter impeller part produced by Siemens with additive manufacturing equipment has been installed on the water pump of the Kersko nuclear power plant, which has high safety and reliability standards.
A Spanish company has launched the world’s first 3D food printer, which can “print” desserts, burgers, etc.

Advantages of Additive Manufacturing

Compared with traditional production methods, additive manufacturing has three unique advantages.

Advantage 1: Personalized customization

Additive manufacturing can print almost any three-dimensional shape, with a high degree of design freedom and support for custom designs, giving designers the freedom to create parts that perform better or cost less than traditional alternatives. For example, an additively manufactured titanium bracket produced by Airbus is 30% lighter than previous parts without compromising performance or durability.

Advantage 2: High precision

At present, the accuracy of 3D printing equipment can be controlled below 0.3mm. For example, in the field of building repairs, traditional large woodwork is done manually, and the accuracy is inevitably subject to errors. However, the 3D printed computer 3D model is calculated in millimeters, and its accuracy is much higher than that of traditional repair methods.

Advantage 3: Short cycle

Since 3D printing does not require molds or fixed tools, it usually takes a few hours or even tens of minutes to complete the printing of a model, which is very suitable for mass customization. Time-to-market can be shortened because time-consuming toolmaking and machining operations are eliminated, product development and production are accelerated.

Hope the above content can help you!

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