The Additive Manufacturing Industry is growing and a variety of new technologies is creating choice in the way parts are made. As a result, the 3d printing industry is making inroads into manufacturing and becoming a viable alternative to more traditional methods of manufacture. While these new technologies are revolutionizing the way we make our parts, the implications for design and engineering should also be considered. Here are a few of the major considerations when developing your next product.
Design your parts for additive manufacturing in order to get a clean and robust part. feature details such as overhangs, thin walls and fill percentages should be optimized before building a part. With proper attention to detail a part design can be made to perform well in the field.
Material properties should be considered especially for mission critical components. Selection of the right material for your application is essential for success. Many new types and blends of materials are available and new materials continue to appear on the horizon. In some cases hybrid materials are being used to achieve specific performance specifications.
Technical limitations may be a concern. Some 3d printing technologies are based on a layer by layer extrusion of filament and rely on the layer adhesion to fuse together properly. Depending on orientation, these layers can compromise a parts structure or appearance so geometric orientation during the build of the part is important.
There are many other considerations to 3d printing parts. We can help you decide which method is right for you or even if a different process all together would be more appropriate. Just contact us and we will be happy to help.