Category: Uncategorized

Ceramic 3D Printing Technology

Ceramics are much more difficult to process than polymers or metals because they cannot be cast or machined easily. Traditionally ceramic parts are consolidated from powders by sintering, which introduces porosity and limits both achievable shapes and final strength.

With new 3D printing process, one can take full advantage of the many desirable properties of silicon oxy-carbide ceramic, including high hardness, strength, and temperature resistance as well as resistance to abrasion and corrosion. This novel process and material could be used in a wide range of applications from large components in jet engines and hypersonic vehicles to intricate parts in microelectromechanical systems and electronic device packaging.

Sand Additive Manufacturing

Sand additive manufacturing enables users to manufacture low-volume parts that would have otherwise required upfront investment that results in rendering some projects unfeasible. Based on a 3D CAD file that represents the part to be manufactured, the core required to produce the part itself is 3D printed, which would be used as the mold for the part to be casted. Building the new mold takes several hours compared to the weeks that would be required using traditional manufacturing methods (sand or shell casting). Not only is sand 3D printing faster for this sort of manufacturing, it is also more accurate resulting in a reduction in subsequent machining to finish the part.

Laminated Object Manufacturing – LOM

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The LOM process works by fusing or laminating layers of plastic or paper together using heat and pressure, and then cut into the desired shape with a computer-controlled laser or blade. While LOM is not the most popular method of 3D printing used today, it is still one of the fastest and most affordable ways to create 3D prototypes.

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Laser Metal Deposition – LMD

Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) is an additive manufacturing process in which a laser beam forms a melt pool on a metallic substrate, into which powder is fed. Afterwards, the powder melts to form a deposit that is fusion-bonded to the substrate. The required geometry is built up in this way, layer-by-layer. Both the laser and nozzle from which the powder is delivered are manipulated using a gantry system or robotic arm.

Examples of LMD applications include; repair of mold tool surfaces, repair of high-value parts (aero-derivative engine components and military vehicles), tipping of turbine blades with protective coatings, surfacing of oil and gas drilling components. One can choose from a wide variety of materials in powder form; including steels, base-alloys made from nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), aluminum (Al), copper (Cu), titanium (Ti), and WC or TiC embedded in metal matrixes. Generative laser metal deposition is used in industries including aerospace, petrochemicals, automotive, and medical technology.

 

Applications

  1. Laser Repair Technology – LRT

The repair of worn components when operating any type of mechanical equipment with moving parts; repairing or rebuilding worn metal components becomes easier.

 

  1. Laser Cladding Technology – LCT

The application of cladding materials, which is the process of repairing surfaces on parts by first machining-down the worn surface and building it back-up by depositing cladding material in thin layers to restore the worn surface.

  1. Laser Freeform Manufacturing Technology – LFMT

Performing near-net-shape freeform builds when design is complicated and riddled with hidden and freeform features directly from CAD files.

 

In other words, LMD is distinguished from other additive manufacturing processes that it’s suited for repair and rehabilitation of spare parts in a cost-effective way without compromising quality.

 

Fused Deposition Modeling – FDM

 

FDM is a 3D printing method that makes durable objects out of the same type of plastic one sees in everyday products. With FDM, the 3D printer takes a spool of plastic filament, melts it, and extrudes it onto a tray to build a part layer-by-layer from the bottom-up. FDM material utilizes industrial-grade thermoplastics (ABS, Polycarbonate, and Ultim), which is why the resulting parts are so tough. The technology is supports production-grade thermoplastics, which are mechanically and environmentally stable. Further, FDM can produce complex geometries and cavities that would otherwise be problematic using conventional machining methods.

 

Applications:

  1. Aerospace

Solve design challenges before committing to expensive and time-consuming tooling and production. Manufacturing with FDM 3D Printing enables faster iteration, decision-making, and response to market changes. Fixtures and flight-worthy parts go from idea to production in a fraction of the time.

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  1. Automotive

Due in part to FDM’s relative heat resistance; one could go from the design studio to the factory floor in a fraction of the time it takes other development processes. In other words, one could prototype, test, and produce all manners of tools, jigs, fixtures, and street-ready parts with unprecedented speed and efficiency.

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  1. Medical

The medical industry frequently uses FDM materials that are biocompatible and MRI transparent, where people in the medical industry prefer using FDM for its superior strength and heat resistance.

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Stereolithography – SLA

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Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing technology that converts liquid materials into solid parts, layer-by-layer, using a light source to selectively cure each layer in a process called photopolymerization.

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Applications:

  1. Engineering: Helps engineers and product designers conceptualize, prototype, test, and manufacture final products. With material characteristics like tough, durable, flexible, or temperature resistant these resins are used to create functional parts from assemblies to injection molds, soft-touch surfaces, and consumer products.
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  2. Dental: Allow dental labs and practices to create a range of personalized dental products in house. These parts are based on the patient’s scan intraoral, or CBCT scan, and designed for the treatment. Specific applications include orthodontic, diagnostic, and educational models as well as biocompatible parts like surgical and pilot drill guides.SLA4
  3. Jewelry: Prototyping and casting jewelry with intricate details. Standard modeling resins are recommended for prototyping to create an inexpensive “fitting ring” or “try-on” piece to create excitement and deliver peace of mind to clients before casting. Castable resin is designed for direct investment casting, allowing jewelers and casting houses to go straight from digital design to a 3D print.SLA5
  4. Model making and development: STL helps engineers and product designers quickly verify the look, feel, and function of a design. Mechanisms and assemblies can be tested and easily modified over the course of a few days, helping drastically reduce product development time and avoid costly tooling changes.SLA6
  5. Education: SLA has one of the most forgiving design specifications of all 3D printing technologies, which is adequately suited for educational use. Depending on part geometry, positive and negative surface features can be produced at 300 microns or less. Prototypes can be designed with the manufacturing process in mind, which allows for a seamless transition from prototype to traditional manufacturing, such as machining or injection molding.

 

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