In response to the ongoing global health crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Siemens is making its Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network along with its 3D printers, available to the global medical community to speed design and production of medical components.
The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D-print service providers to enable faster and less complicated production of spare parts for machines like ventilators. The Siemens AM network is available globally and covers the entire value chain – from upload and simulation to checking the design up to the printing process and associated services.
“Having worked on Additive Manufacturing for years, we offer AM solutions along the entire value chain and can print 3D parts quickly according to acute demands. To help fight COVID-19, we have opened our AM Network for hospitals and other health institutions needing spare medical parts to efficiently manage their design and printing requests”, said Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Siemens Digital Industries.
Siemens’ designers and engineers are a part of the AM Network so they can answer design requests and help convert designs into printable files. Afterwards, these components can be printed via medically certified 3D printers of partner companies that are also part of the AM Network.
In addition to numerous 3D printers from partner companies, Siemens’ 3D printing machines are also connected to the network and if suitable, will also be used to locally print components and spare parts for medical devices. Printing capacities from additional service providers can easily be added to the AM Network.
Knowing all the additive manufacturing constraints and challenges, the ESPRIT CAM team has been engaged in national and international research projects to develop dedicated toolpath simulation solutions for additive technologies. Article by Clément Girard, Product Manager for Additive at DP Technology.
Figure 1: Additive Manufacturing Toolpath Simulation with ESPRIT.
While additive manufacturing (AM) has been around for the last 20 years, it is only in the last several years that metal AM has taken off. One of the key enablers for this new technology is material extrusion, more commonly known as 3D printing. While jetting technology (material or binder) is more suitable for 3D printing polymer and charged materials, engineers commonly apply power bed fusion (PBF) or direct energy deposition (DED) for the AM of metals.
All AM processes have some common characteristics. They use a power source, usually a laser or electron beam or a welding arc, and a material carrier, typically powder or wire, to build a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design (CAD) model by adding molten material layer by layer. Powder processes most closely resemble traditional sintering processes, while wire processes (also called wire arc additive manufacturing) most closely resemble traditional welding.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages. For example, powder processes tend to have better surface quality—owing to the small size of the powder particles—but material loss can be high (as much as 80 percent when the tool is inclined in 5-axis applications). Wire processes lose less material, but the deposited bead tends to be larger, leading to a “rougher” surface quality. Powder processes require the use of shielding gas, as do some wire processes.
It is also important to remember that parts built by additive processes today more closely resemble raw stock of a particular shape than they do machined parts. This means that secondary subtractive processes are almost always needed to achieve the final part. Hybrid machines with both additive and subtractive capabilities may be an answer to this. However, because additive parts can take a considerable amount of time to make, it is generally more effective to machine additive parts in a separate CNC center.
Who Can Benefit from AM?
Figure 2: 3-axis tested part with acute angles, slopes and pocket to show ESPRIT Additive capabilities. Programmed with ESPRIT, Courtesy – Mazak, Okuma, G6SCOP/Grenoble University
Currently aerospace, aviation, medical, energy, and defense are the main industries at the forefront of AM. For aerospace and aviation, AM’s ability to build complex, weight-saving shapes makes it a natural choice.
Particularly interesting for the medical field is AM’s ability to create custom shapes to match the morphology of each patient. These and other industries can also benefit from using additive processes to repair tools or parts made of costly alloys, or to apply coatings to tools.
The Challenges of Additive Toolpaths
Multi-axis additive toolpaths can be more difficult to program than those of a comparable subtractive operation, as additive toolpaths introduce a new level of complexity. For example, executing a toolpath twice in a subtractive process typically causes no issues, as the tool simply passes through air. However, the same toolpath in an additive process collides with recently deposited material, crashing the machine or re-melting the material, leading to an overheated deposition.
Optimal additive layers are not always planar, but creating non-planar additive layers is more complex than making non-planar subtractive cuts—the additive toolpath must consider support for such layers, which may involve an existing substrate or built-up additive material.
The additional complexity goes beyond just the toolpath, however. Additive processes require knowledge of the material, the power source technology, the proper temperature and rate of bead deposition, and the use of shielding gas. In some cases, separate controllers add complexity, as in the case of wire arc AM where a welding controller may handle the wire supply feed separately from the machine controller.
Accelerating Smart AM with Simulation
Figure 3: 5-axis valve tested part. Done on Yaskawa robot with Fronius head in G-SCOP/Grenoble INP. CAD Design made by G-SCOP/Grenoble INP.
Knowing all the additive constraints and eager to provide new technologies to their end users, the ESPRIT CAM team has been engaged in national and international research projects, in collaboration with the research centers or companies primarily in the aerospace/aviation and energy industries, to develop dedicated toolpath simulation solutions for additive technologies. Today, these teams continue to contribute to additive technology research, providing a powerful tool to continue building knowledge.
Last year, in close collaboration with Mazak, ESPRIT conducted tests to validate additive toolpath trajectories (Figure 1). These tests have validated cycles on 3-axis and 5-axis machines and have shown good results. Testing continues to evaluate promising AM and robot technology.
Additive Simulation Validation
Two parts were chosen to validate 3-axis and 5-axis applications, respectively. The 3-axis part was designed to validate simple trajectories and the behavior of material deposition on acute angles. To achieve this, the part included spikes, slopes, and a pocket feature in the middle. Figure 2 shows the additive part as built in a Mazak Variaxis J-600 machine. The main idea was to test hybrid capabilities by building an additive stock in the basic shape of the part and then finishing it with subtractive machining.
To test a 5-axis cycle, the team selected a valve part. Similar to the 3-axis part, the idea here was to build a custom stock in the basic shape of the part to save money, material, and time over using bar stock. Figure 3 shows the additive stock as built.
Both of these test parts were built using a Variaxis J-600 machine and a Yaskawa robot with a Fronius head and wire arc AM technology. In both cases, the ESPRIT team found that fine-tuning of the job parameters is the key to a good deposition, with good results close to the simulated trajectories shown in Figure 4.
Additive Processes and ESPRIT
Figure 4: Additive Manufacturing Simulation for Direct Energy Deposition (DED). CAD Design made by G-SCOP/Grenoble INP
In the CAM environment, simulation of additive cycles lets end users verify additive toolpaths, including the results of thermal simulation and dwell time. Incorporating the full machine environment in the simulation has the added benefit of machine-aware capability, detecting and avoiding collisions in the virtual environment before they cause problems in the real world. As the technology matures, so too will CAM. By being on the ground floor and developing additive CAM technology in lockstep with the additive industry, ESPRIT shows strong promise to remain on the leading edge.
In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking News, Dr. Mohsen Seifi, Director of Global Additive Manufacturing Programs at ASTM International, discusses the benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) in manufacturing and the role of data analytics in AM.
Dr. Mohsen Seifi, Director of Global Additive Manufacturing Programs, ASTM International
Tell us more about ASTM International, for those who may not be familiar with the organisation.
ASTM International is one of the world’s leading standards development organisations, founded in 1898. We have 150 technical committees that oversee about 13,000 standards that are widely used around the world. Several of those committees are in emerging industries, including one for additive manufacturing technology that now has nearly 1,000 members, known as F42. For over a decade, this group of the world’s top additive manufacturing experts has been meeting and working through ASTM to develop groundbreaking standards that have begun to form the technical foundation for the future of additive manufacturing. Furthermore, ASTM International has made a dramatic investment in front-end research to develop even more standards through our Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, a network of high-profile partners around the globe which includes Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC). Please visit our website for more detailed information.
In the Industry 4.0 era, greater efficiency and product innovation are key priorities for manufacturers. How can they leverage additive manufacturing/3D printing to achieve both?
A big challenge for manufacturers is the lack of communication between stakeholders at different steps in the process chain. Smart, digital manufacturing could allow manufacturers to effectively transfer the most relevant information across all stages of product development, from designers to end-users. Additive Manufacturing is an integral part of Industry 4.0 and is an excellent technology for product innovation that could significantly reduce the time for product development through iterative design capabilities.
Also, Additive manufacturing can substantially improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process by parts consolidation. This will enhance the effectiveness of a system as a whole in terms of weight reduction, material optimisation, and reduction in fuel consumption. For AM, digital manufacturing means integrating physical system-oriented manufacturing with digital system-oriented Industry 4.0 technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence (AI), big data, robotics, cybersecurity, and Internet of Things [IoT]). To fully unlock the potential of smart, digital manufacturing, there are still issues to address, which include cybersecurity concerns, data management challenges, and other critical gaps. ASTM uses various roadmaps to develop standards to address these gaps and to meet the industry needs.
Which end-markets do you see increasing adoption of additive manufacturing?
AM has the potential to impact all manufacturing-related sectors—from aerospace, medical and automotive to oil/gas, maritime and other sectors—and we anticipate adoption will increase exponentially across the board in the next 10 years. In particular, AM holds great promise for aerospace/defense and medical applications. Both of these sectors require complex, specialised parts, which AM is capable of producing. More importantly, the demand for AM qualification and certification in these high-tech areas/end-markets is high. This is because successful qualification and certification provide end-market users with increased confidence (i.e., improvements in quality and reduced safety concerns). According to a recent survey, the three most significant challenges to adoption of AM for end-market users over the next ten years are: 1) the certification of finished parts and products, hindering its mainstream commercial uptake in the future; 2) the quality and standardisation of material inputs; and 3) unknown quality of printed components.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to additive manufacturing?
As an emerging field, the AM industry still needs a shared language and framework for addressing problems. Lack of standards is one of the biggest challenges for additive manufacturing in addition to other challenges such as lack of qualified workforce, limited availability of materials, and the lack of full-fledged certification programs. Standards provide a common reference point to help the industry avoid the time and expense of solving problems by trial and error. For example, there is an ongoing need for a better understanding of feedstock properties, methods for in-process monitoring and control, machine-to-machine variation, and rapid inspection methods for AM parts, among other topics. In addition, standards are a key enabler of the qualification and certification procedures that were mentioned above.
To accelerate the development of standards to address these challenges, we launched the AM Center of Excellence (CoE), a collaborative partnership among industry, academia, and government that integrates research and development (R&D) with standards development. By initiating R&D projects that target specific high-priority standards needs, I believe we can speed the overall advancement and adoption of AM technologies. Detailed information will be available in our upcoming external R&D roadmap, which will be released this spring. In the meantime, our annual report provides an overview of the AM CoE’s activities.
Why is analytics a feasible solution?
One benefit of analytics is that it presents decision-makers with the key information required to make informed decisions. Manufacturers have access to a wealth of data about their products and processes but are not always able to use it. Analytics is a great tool to convert data into actionable knowledge that can be used to optimise product development. In the case of AM, solutions such as data-enabled material screening, build monitoring, and post-build characterisation ensure the product meets its specifications with as few iterations as possible, helping minimise production time and cost.
How will data analytics make additive manufacturing more efficient?
AM generates more data than any other manufacturing field—this data has great value, but there are challenges to extracting useful information. Structuring data in a way that adheres to FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) will be vital to the success of AM. Data analytics holds the key to processing and making sense of vast stores of data, which will ultimately accelerate the AM development timeline. Data analytics is a solution that cuts across all sectors and is already shaping the future of technology as we know it.
Through AI, which encompasses machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), the AM industry can quickly decode quantitative structure/process/property/performance relationships, which is a core challenge in the AM field. For example, it is possible to use AI to sift through potential AM materials to find those with optimal properties or functionalities. AI can also enable data-driven in-situ/real-time monitoring for identifying better processes. However, to enable these data-driven advances, the AM community needs an AM data ecosystem that enables the easy and secure generation, storage, analysis, and sharing of data. ASTM and America Makes recently convened a workshop on manufacturing data management and schema to identify and prioritise challenges and potential solutions for strengthening the AM data ecosystem.
What is your outlook for additive manufacturing/3D printing this year?
It is very hard to predict the future of AM because technology is rapidly changing, but I would like to see 2020 as the year of standards. There is an exciting opportunity for more integration between AM and other elements of industry 4.0, in terms of automation, robotics, cybersecurity, and big data—creating these links is a great way to connect the physical world and digital world. I believe that the best way to create synergy between these critical technologies is through standardisation to add trust. The more we can focus on developing standards, the sooner we can see these advances.
Renishaw has collaborated with two advanced technology companies to demonstrate the advantages of additive manufacturing (AM) in the production of spinal implants. By working with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and nTopology, the project shows how streamlined the transition from design to AM can be when working with the right partners.
Manufacturing research organisation IMR designed a representative titanium spinal implant, aimed at the cervical spine (c spine), using advanced manufacturing software company nTopology’s generative design software. IMR then manufactured the implants using Renishaw’s RenAM 500M metal AM system.
“AM can be used to manufacture spinal implants with lattice structures, which cannot be achieved with conventional manufacturing techniques,” explained Ed Littlewood, Marketing Manager of Renishaw’s Medical and Dental Products Division. “An implant with a lattice structure is lightweight, can be optimised to meet the required loading conditions and has a greater surface area, which can aid osseointegration. Therefore, AM implants can be designed to mimic the mechanical properties of bone, resulting in better patient outcomes. But all of this comes to nothing if you do not have the tools to create the design.”
“Traditional CAD tools weren’t built to design complex lattice structures; the job would be difficult or even impossible.” Explains Matt Rohr, nTopology’s Application Engineering Manager. “nTopology was designed to complement existing workflows and make the job easier. We cut the design time of complex structures from days to minutes which was a crucial component in helping this project run to schedule.”
“Renishaw worked tirelessly with us on improving the AM process for producing the spinal implants,” commented Sean McConnell, Senior Research Engineer at IMR. “Together, we designed a set of experiments that yield the most appropriate parameter settings for the product. As a result, we reduced the amount of post processing required on key features of the implants by a factor of ten.”
Patients with medical conditions including degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis and osteoporosis can require spinal implants to restore intervertebral height. The improved implant design made possible by AM means patients may require shorter surgery time and fewer revision surgeries, saving healthcare resources and costs.
Additive manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D printing, is a collective name for several technologies through which an object is constructed layer by layer. The industrial materials that are currently printable range from polymers to metals, and the range of available materials is constantly expanding. Whereas AM was originally mostly used for prototyping, it is now more and more applied to end-products. Article by Saswitha de Kok and Corwin van Heteren, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In some cases, additive manufacturing can be considered as a supplement to conventional production technologies. In other cases, it is the only means through which complex products can be fabricated or a solution to cost-effective upscaling of production capacity at low risk in order to serve new verticals, new geographies, and offer new products that need testing.
The technique offers several advantages that optimise and transform both products and processes, and may result in unprecedented and significant business value.
The generic advantages of additive manufacturing are:
Complexity is free; additive manufacturing offers complete design freedom which allows to design for the exact function of a product without constraints associated with conventional manufacturing.
Minimum batch size is one; the cost per part produced is equal and significantly less dependent on batch size.
Manufacturing when and wherever needed; production at or near point of use is possible.
Minimum material waste; as material is added, not subtracted, material is saved in production which allows for cost savings, especially in cases where material is a significant driver of component cost.
Although the general consensus is that these advantages offer great (potential) business value for both products and processes, there is a much divergence in visions of the type and depth of value that can be achieved. Therefore, we focused on assessing how much of this value is currently being unlocked by our discussion group. And how much potential do they see in the near future when the technology matures (becomes faster, more reliable and cheaper) and additive manufacturing systems and services improve?
Assessing Business Value Potential
In order to determine possibilities to add business value through additive manufacturing, it is essential to be aware of three basic underlying principles. These relate to the complexity of the product, advantages of scale when it comes to manufacturing, and the size of the object.
The technology offered by additive manufacturing makes it both possible and cost effective to produce complex shapes. This means the more complex the product or component, the more suitable additive manufacturing is, as opposed to conventional techniques.
The next underlying principle has to do with batch size. In general, the larger the series to be produced, the less suitable additive manufacturing is. Conventional manufacturing economics dictates that the larger the series, the lower the cost per unit. For additive manufacturing, each unit has the same cost.
Finally, additive manufacturing is in the current situation particularly suitable for producing smaller parts or products, which means businesses still have to turn to conventional technologies for larger parts.
The specific business values that are currently being achieved based on the principles mentioned above, are best categorised with respect to added value for processes as well as products. The more this added value applies to customer-end applications, the more we see the occurrence of competitive advantage, new business models and propositions.
Our consultation partners currently see the following pockets of value being created:
Business value for processes:
The time-to-market for new parts and products is reduced significantly. This boosts the speed of product innovation spectacularly.
Asset maintenance or maintenance of machines in the field becomes easier: spare parts and specialised tooling are always available on demand.
Assembly time and tooling costs are reduced if a product or part can be printed in one go, without requiring sub-assembly.
Business value for products:
Related to the last point , additive manufacturing makes it also possible to optimise the design by printing a product that previously consisted of sub-assemblies in one go. This significantly decreases error rates during the lifetime of a product, and increases the product lifecycle.
As the minimum production quantity is one unit, it is possible to offer (mass)- customisation. As a result, new verticals and geographical markets with specific needs can be opened up at low risk and low cost.
By means of rapid prototyping and rapid testing, design can efficiently be optimised and the ‘voice of the customer’ can be included in new product development.
Additive manufacturing opens up new business models and propositions. Our discussion partners indicated that they currently see the following business models emerging:
Co-Creation Platforms – AM opens up the possibility to co-create with customers. Co-creation can be introduced in virtually all stages of the lifecycle of a product. During the concept phase of a new product, the voice of the customer can easily be incorporated by testing small batches. It can also be applied to offer customisation of an existing design, or to prolong the lifetime value of a product by offering customised add-ons to the product.
Extreme Customisation – Combined with tools like measuring guides and scanning tools, companies are now able to mass produce custom-fit items in a cost-effective manner. As the performance of fitted products is generally much higher, customer value will greatly increase as well.
Although more and more home scanning tools are becoming available, it is important to note that for medical applications, such as prostheses and hearing aids, sophisticated professional devices are needed to achieve the high level of accuracy needed.
Lifecycle Management – Lifecycle management is one of the most prominent current applications of AM. Prolonging the lifecycle starts with the design phase of the product or part. Using the design possibilities offered by additive manufacturing, assembly might not be needed, which prolongs the lifecycle of a product and reduces errors.
Additive Manufacturing Service Propositions – The growth in AM adoption has resulted in the emergence of many new service propositions related to the supply of the technology as well as solutions within the entire associated process. AM requires many new capabilities that businesses have just started to build up, so there is a lot of space for service providers in this area.
As the general maturity of additive manufacturing increases, the applicability of both a technological as an economical perspective increases as well. Our consultation partners indicated that they see potential; particularly as a result of the repeatability and accuracy of the technology, its increasing speed, the number of materials that can be used, multi-material print capabilities and the size of the printable surface. As soon as the speed of the hardware increases, the depreciation of the machine per printed part will be reduced and costs per product are lowered. This means that a larger portion of the product or part portfolio will be printable from an economic perspective.
Advanced industries require the development of special tooling, but some of these tools cannot be made using traditional manufacturing and machining technologies. These tools need to be engineered and developed from scratch and 3D printing helps bring them to life. Any-Shape is an expert in the creation of specific tools for the high tech industry with additive manufacturing (AM). Through its engineering department and AM production capacities, the company helped improve an aluminum tool for aerospace. Previous versions of the aluminum tool incorporated less complex embossing of the inner surface. As a result, machining was used as default process. For this new tool design requirements implied a much more complex inner surface with areas that are impossible to machine. Thus, it was decided to manufacture the tool using AM on an EOS M 290 combined with some post-machining. By EOS.
Precision aluminum tool with complex embossing and demanding requirements on surface roughness and accuracy. (Source: EOS)
The project started when Any-Shape received a request for an aluminum tool with a very complex embossing of the inner surface. These tools are usually machined, but this design made that impossible as some zones of the inner surface just could not be reached and could therefore not be machined.
In addition, the technical requirements for the tool mandated extremely high precision combined with a very low tolerance as it was destined to be a precision tool:
Surface roughness of the nonmachinable inner surface of 3.7 +/- 0.5 μm Ra
High dimensional accuracy on the final assembly (0.05 mm on control points position, +/- 0.1 mm inner surface tolerance)
Two additional challenges were also on the table:
The tool had to be as lightweight as possible for a more convenient handling by the operators during the final usage
The integration of a part that had to be assembled by hybrid joining after additive manufacturing due to build size limitation of the EOS M 290
The expertise in additive manufacturing of Any-Shape helped fulfill all these requirements. The company has a very deep knowledge of design for AM and post process machining, enabling them to easily translate the requirements into production features. Using their EOS M 290 machine and unique EOS Aluminium AlSi10Mg material and process, Any-Shape had all the skills to meet the design and technical requirements for this complex tool as well as the production and post-treatment capacities to deliver the project on time.
A complete aAM strategy was set up to answer all challenges at once, both technical and ergonomic. Any-Shape had to take into account all the parameters for the AM itself but also the assembly operations that had to happen afterwards.
One of the first actions undertaken was to position the inner surface at the correct angle to optimise surface roughness. This position constraint then defined how the part support had to be placed underneath.
Shrinkage lines also had to be monitored very closely, especially because of the aforementioned position constraint. The design of the zones close to the articulation was slightly modified to allow for smoother exposed area transition, completely eliminating the shrinkage lines.
Another impact of the position constraints was the obligation to define how the cut had to be made on the largest component that had to be reassembled after manufacturing. Therefore the cut was designed specifically to:
Leave one translational degree of freedom to enable assembly, as this assembly had to really fit due to the stringent tolerance on the surface accuracy
Maximise the shear loading mode in the adhesive bond line area
Ensure a 0.2 mm bond line thickness thanks to spacers integrated into the manufacturing design
Finally, additional features were designed to be used for referencing positions and clamping during post manufacturing machining.
Thanks to the 3D printing expertise of Any-Shape and its manufacturing strategy, the different parts were successfully printed, post-machined, re-assembled and successfully passed quality control.
The main part went through sandblasting for surface treatment, offering an average roughness of the inner surface after processing of 4μm Ra that complied with customer requirements based on previous tests.
Quality controls were made based on the initial design of the parts. Tolerances were met for all references. The surface accuracy after post-treatment was well within +/- 0.1 mm on each of the articulated arms inner surface taken separately, and +/- 0.2 mm on the final tool.
Finally, on the full assembly, no deviation jump could be observed either at the locus of the articulation or at the cut and re-assembled interface.
Leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing, Any-Shape was able to create a unique tool by going beyond the limits of traditional manufacturing and machining. The team could manage a very complex project in a very short time thanks to the skills of Any-Shape and the capabilities of EOS.
Regarding this achievement, Frédéric Lani, CTO of Any-Shape has commented, “It was a very challenging and complex project from beginning to end. Thanks to our 3D printing expertise, we were able to develop an end-to-end manufacturing strategy, from re-design for AM to final quality controls using additive manufacturing and post-machining. All along this project, we had full support from EOS and their reliability, quality and support.”
To strengthen the metal additive manufacturing (AM) industry, Renishaw has initiated a collaboration with Sandvik Additive Manufacturing to supply the company with high productivity multi-laser RenAM 500Q systems, which will substantially increase Sandvik’s printing capacity.
This is one of the largest installations to date of Renishaw’s latest AM system, the RenAM 500Q, which features 500 W quad lasers in the most commonly used platform size, enabling a radical increase in productivity, without compromising quality.
Working with ongoing support from Renishaw, the investment will complement Sandvik’s existing printing technologies and strengthen its position in the growing additive manufacturing market. The two companies also intend to collaborate in areas like materials development, AM process technologies and post-processing.
“Renishaw is a leader and innovator in metal AM and metrology, positioning it as the perfect AM partner,” explained Robin Weston, Marketing Manager of Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division. He further added that, “Sandvik is well established throughout the AM value chain, with a leading position in fine metal powder for additive manufacturing and world-leading expertise when it comes to post processing methods like machining, heat treatment and sintering. Our collaboration will strengthen Sandvik’s position during a period of rapid growth in the metal additive manufacturing industries.”
While Kristian Egeberg, President of Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has commented that, “Sandvik has a leading position within the AM metal powder market and has made sizeable investments in different AM printing process technologies for metal components since 2013. The recent addition of multi-laser RenAM 500Q systems will complement our current printing portfolio in a very good way – and our collaboration with Renishaw will benefit both parties when it comes to capitalizing on the expected rapid growth.”
As announced previously, Sandvik has initiated extensive investments, amounting to 200 million SEK, in a new plant for manufacturing of titanium and nickel powders for additive manufacturing. This investment will complement Sandvik’s existing Osprey powder offering, to include virtually all alloy groups of relevance today.
Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to feature an article provided by Terrence Oh, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific) of EOS Singapore on the future of additive manufacturing (AM) in APAC.
“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going,” aptly describes the manufacturing sector within APAC this year and even the next.
The manufacturing industry has experienced a steady growth within the ASEAN region especially during the first-half of 2018. The AM market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (US$1.73 billion) and 2023 (US$ 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in APAC is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption.
As the manufacturing industry continues to ride the economic wave, the following are some predictions and trends we can expect in AM, also known as industrial 3D printing for 2019 and beyond:
AM Presents Another Opportunity For Economic And Productivity Growth
Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will have an impact on global supply chain to move toward decentralisation and regionalisation of manufacturing.
The manufacturing sector in Asia is at risk of incurring high operating costs if trade tensions continue due to higher trade tariffs.
As such, the digitalisation of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. This is a good opportunity for companies to tap on AM to grow and transform their businesses.
Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D-print parts and components are able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This also makes manufacturing domestically more practical than importing from abroad.
Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries
Aerospace: AM is reported to have a global economic impact of US$ 250 billion by 2025 if industries continue to increase its adoption, with the aerospace and defence industry taking the lead. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018-2023. This also presents an opportunity for talent growth and development.
Healthcare: AM has already made its name in the healthcare industry due to its ability to custom-make 3D-printed prosthetics based on the individual’s needs. With the aging population, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalised healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices.
Automotive: The industry has embraced AM to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials. This trend is set to continue with. Currently, the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over US$ 8 billion by 2024.
Tooling: Together with robotics, tooling is will be one of the main industry drivers within the AM market in APAC from 2018 to 2023.
More Talent Development In AM
AM usage in various industries are increasing but there continues to be a gap in skills due to the niche expertise required.
If this is not addressed sooner, this could jeopardise the growth within the AM industry and eventually, other sectors that deploy AM.
To keep up with digital disruption and the need for business transformation to keep pace, more will be invested into educating future and current workforce on AM.
Launched in September 2018, EOS partnered with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster’s (NAMIC) to develop the Joint Industry Innovation Programme. Targeted at advancing 3D printing capabilities in the aerospace sector, the training programme aims to produce specialists skilled in AM technology and design of parts. The programme addresses the need to reskill and upskill the current workforce as AM adoption increases.
BigRep has developed a 3D printed electric motorcycle in which all of the motorcycle’s components are 3D printed except for its motor and battery. Named, NERA, the compact e-bike has the dimensions of 190cm x 90cm x 55cm and possesses a bionic passenger seat, making it the first fully 3D printed motorcycle that is functional in the world.
The motorcycle’s prototype which was designed by NOWlab, BigRep’s innovation consultancy, was printed on BigRep’s large-scale 3D printers. And it illustrates the numerous benefits that 3D printing offers for the production of end-use parts, especially in the case of batch sizes that are between lot size one to small series, by reducing lead times and costs, optimising supply chains and limiting dependency on supplier networks.
In building NERA, engineers did not just adapt existing motorcycle designs, but instead envisioned a bike for large-format FFF technology, setting a benchmark for truly creative design and breaking the limits of traditional mechanical engineering. Among the many innovations featured in NERA are the airless tires with a customised tread, a lightweight rhomboid wheel rim, as well as flexible bumpers instead of the conventional bumpers, and an electric engine, which is fitted in a customisable case.
Daniel Büning, Co‐Founder and Managing Director of NOWlab has said, “The NERA combines several innovations developed by NOWlab, such as the airless tire, functional integration and embedded sensor technology. This bike and our other prototypes push the limits of engineering creativity and will reshape AM technology as we know it.”
EOS and Etihad Airways Engineering, have agreed to a strategic partnership which will significantly expand capabilities for industrial 3D printing in aviation.
The partnership agreed at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, will enable Etihad Airways Engineering to produce aircraft parts at their facility in Abu Dhabi. Visitors to the race were also able to view a full-scale 3D printed front wing of a Formula 1 car and speak to 3D printing experts.
The initial phase of this collaboration, which uses EOS technology with an EOS system for additive manufacturing (AM), will include the qualification of machine, process and materials in accordance with aviation regulatory requirements.
Following a structured selection process, suitable cabin interior parts will be produced through the AM process, which offers a substantial value-add in terms of optimised repair, lightweight design, shorter lead times and customisation options, particularly during aircraft modifications.
Bernhard Randerath, Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering said: “Etihad constantly invests in new technology and has identified additive manufacturing as a key technology for aviation interior parts, as well as applications beyond aerospace in the future.
“The technology is a key enabler when it comes to design and innovation in our industry. Etihad is proud to work towards a vision of a 3D-printed cabin interior.”
Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President Export Region at EOS adds: “Etihad is providing industry-leading aircraft maintenance and engineering solutions. As such we share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to high quality solutions and constant technology innovation. We are honored to support our partner on this innovation journey, as such bringing the production of aircraft interior parts to the next level.”
After the initial steps have been completed, Etihad Airways Engineering will certify the AM process, further develop additive manufacturing capabilities based on this technology and jointly with EOS develop, test and qualify new polymer materials. In the long term, Etihad aims to roll out AM to its global customer base and broader ecosystem.