Metal 3D printing has actually been around for a long time but it is only recently that it started to gain popularity. One reason for this increase in popularity is the multi-industry effort to be able to stop relying on traditional techniques in manufacturing in terms of producing metal parts.
As a result, large investments have been made that fueled the increase in intensity of research and development efforts in metal 3D printing. The technology of metal additive manufacturing is advancing, thus the rise for metal 3D printers.
The technology has been very significant nowadays, offering a plethora of options to print high quality parts of metals. If you are considering of employing this technology, it’s important to know the advantages that you will be getting from it.
Metal 3D Printing Versus Other Techniques
The use of metal 3D printers has been a consistent trend in today’s time. With the help of three dimensional technologies, there has been a continuous expansion the range of alloys, metals, and metallic composites. Today, the available printing materials allow manufacturers to produce parts of any chemical and mechanical property. But there are more benefits of producing metal parts with 3D printing instead of using traditional technologies
Reduced Lead Time
One of the most know advantages of additive manufacturing is that it can provide a faster transition right from the design stage until the production of the final part. A lot of time is saved because of its instrumentation matter. In most cases, there is no need for specific machines or tools to process the part after having it 3D printed.
The operator simply needs to remove the elements like support structure that is created during the printing process. This results in decreased post-processing time. There is also no need to tool any part with turning or milling to adjust the shape. In the past, machining is needed to add connecting elements or to create holes. Now, there is no need for such things. This means that 3D printing of metals can shorten the lead times to days, instead of weeks.
Cost Advantages due to Reduced Material Waste
One more advantage that results from producing metal with the use of additive manufacturing is the reduced material waste. With this printing technology, raw material is being added and formed by layer, instead of subtracting or cutting out a bulk of solid figure. The material will only be placed to where it is needed and the price of primary materials needed to produce one component is greatly reduced. This makes this technology resource-efficient.
Approach to Design
From the perspective of the designer, the technology makes it possible for them to produce complex and unique structures.
Normally, any element that cannot be casted should be added to the element during post-production. For example, adding threads and holes need machining the part after being removed from the mold. But with additive manufacturing, despite the complexity of the part, there will be no additional costs.
It is so amazing how this technology has made things to be so much easier today. This is also the reason why we are seeing more of it in our day to day lives.