We hear a lot in the news about 3-D printing technologies in manufacturing but for you it is interesting to know how these new emerging technologies are being utilized in the foundry to produce cast components.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. You call it as Rapid Prototyping (RP), Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing and additive fabrication.
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created.
We, at Sigma, have installed Zortrax M200 3D printer which works as an integrated system and comes in a wide selection of professional materials with a variety of qualities & color. It has dimensional accuracy & precise repeatability. We, being casting foundry, our main intention to go for this technology is to produce plastic rapid prototypes for visualization and functional testing for new product development. This will help to us to save time at the various stages of concept to product validation for new product development.
There are various applications where additive manufacturing can be used. We can also extend the use of this machine for:
· Making quick fixtures or gauges for short term/ sample submission or trial/ testing and validation
· 3D layout in process designs
· Visualization tool in design
· To create highly customized products for consumers and professionals alike
· Industrial tooling
· Produce small lots of production parts
In terms of overall costs, 3D printing is always the more economical alternative to conventional processes up to a certain batch size, since tool costs are eliminated. The smaller the batch size, the greater the cost advantage
Many different materials can be used for 3D printing, such as ABS plastic, HPS, and polycarbonate. Once you are ready with CAD design, the equipment will read out data which in the CAD format and lays downs or adds successive layers of material which is being used in a layer-upon-layer fashion to fabricate a 3D object