This article focuses on answering your AM questions and outlines the way production grade additive manufacturing enlarges the flexibility of your manufacturing processes.
It provides applications and strategies for integrating high-strength AM thanks to fiber reinforced polymer composites into your operations. It may help you discover new development procedures and acquire a different perspective about 3D printing.
A strong ally for a variety of processes
Additive Manufacturing is not a good candidate for end-use production where high volumes are involved, but a strong ally for complementing mass production lines. AM leverages your lines and speed up new product development when it comes to a variety of processes:
- Limited edition. One of the largest areas of application as it represents a cost saving opportunity, since small batch tooling usually generates cost and disorganization across a number of industry fields.
- Extreme customization of trimmings, fixtures and finishes
- Specific product configuration for each niche of your market
- Easy supply of maintenance, repair and operation parts dismissed or of difficult provision
- Prototyping complex geometries with accuracy and the necessary robustness or endurance to undergo effective approval tests.
Which kind of materials are really suitable for production?
A large variety of materials are now available in the market of AM and new players are approaching day by day. The accurate check of material composition, the examination of mechanical performances should drive the choice.
In parallel with Metal 3D printing, polymer-based composite materials reinforced with Carbon or Glass fiber, gain their place for production being extremely robust, flexible and lightweight at the same time.
These prerogatives let them be the first choice for Automotive and Aerospace industries, just to quote a few.
The other indispensable prerequisites to evaluate are Tensile strength together with Elongation at break and Tensile modulus which determine the resistance, the number of life cycles or shocks that our product will bear.
The Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) is another key performance which should drive your decision when choosing the proper ones.
Among composite polymers reinforced with carbon or glass fiber, Windform range for Selective Laser Sintering boasts up to 20% more strength efficient performances than many others.
Think about jigs, fixtures, snap fits, ducting, connectors, gamut from blower, engine fit-ups, personalized buttons and switches created without tooling with the necessary level of customization and durability; browse best practice cases of success from F1 to Automotive applications.
Another strategic sector taking advantage of high-strength AM with Windform is Aerospace. Here the possibility to realize complex nanosatellites and deployers is helped by the unique capability of manufacturing thin but strong sections and complex geometries while granting electric insulation, extreme resistance to vibration and shocks as well as temperature excursion.
They have been approved as space ready materials by main space agencies internationally (NASA, ESA, JAXA).
These reinforced composites have been in place for a while now, over 25 years, and used by all the main F1 teams and Aerospace agencies providing exceptional resistance to extreme conditions.
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