Additive manufacturing, popularly known today as custom 3D printing, is a technology that is used to manufacture prototype parts by printing them layer by layer. This technology has penetrated every major industry from automotive, mobility, aerospace, defense, and consumer products to medical and dental. Most common applications include functional prototypes, fit and assembly models, patterns for prototype tooling, patterns for metal casting, presentation models, visual aids, and tooling components. Below are some of the reasons why additive manufacturing is important in the rapid prototyping and manufacturing industry.
Imagine a prototype that starts with a complex polygonal shape and ends with a circular structure at the tail end. The smooth transition from a polygon to a circle is difficult to achieve with conventional manufacturing methods but can be easily accomplished using additive manufacturing.
Reduction in weight
Additive manufacturing systems either cure, extrude, melt, or sinter material only where it is needed allowing for honeycomb structures with a higher strength to weight ratio as compared to completely solid structures. This results in significant weight reduction and improved part performance.
3D Printing overcomes some design limitations of traditional manufacturing such as trapped undercuts. Its flexibility allows for the combination of multiple parts into one component. This one component streamlines production by eliminating the need for assembly to reach the desired geometry.
As we look into the future, it is clear the role of additive manufacturing will continue to steadily grow. It will not completely replace traditional manufacturing methods such as injection molding and die casting, but it will build its footprint layer by layer in the manufacturing world. New additive manufacturing technologies are making it possible to produce prototypes that were once considered extremely difficult to produce using traditional manufacturing technologies. When it comes to providing high-quality additive manufacturing services, ARRK stays ahead of the competition by investing in the latest technologies and materials.