Additive Manufacturing is fundamentally affecting the UK’s core advanced engineering sectors, especially those high performance sectors like aerospace, automotive, and motorsport.
It’s the game-changing manufacturing process which lowers tooling costs, reduces the amount of materials used, and shortens process time. It also means that parts are lighter, better adapted to their application, and can be launched to market much faster.
Although, so far mainly used for rapid prototyping of parts, it won’t be long before high-volume manufacturing will be benefitting from the process, with the result of cheaper, lighter, and more innovative parts, amazing new designs, and equally amazing new materials.
Recent news reflecting the importance of additive manufacturing...
How does it work?
Reading from a CAD 3D model, additive manufacturing equipment lays down (‘adds’) layer after layer of material to create the virtual design in the physical world. The process is also often referred to using terms such as 3D printing, Direct Digital Manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping.
What materials can Additive Manufacturing use to build with?
Plastics, metals, ceramics, glass and more - Typically in the form of powders, liquids, sheet material
What are the typical benefits?
Here are just a few examples
In Motorsport: metal additive manufacturing for customized functional parts such as cooling ducts
In Aerospace: production of parts such as engine turbine blades and guide vanes. AM processes facilitate both functionality and light-weighting – the latter especially vital for reducing fuel consumption and emissions!
In Automotive: Production and performance testing of customized parts; tool-less manufacturing of complex and lightweight components
Additive manufacturing and related areas continue to be a key area of coverage at this year’s Advanced Engineering, from exhibitors, partners, speakers, and visitors.
Typical exhibitors in 2015 from the modelling, simulation, 3d printing and additive manufacturing sectors include:
And many more...
Related presentations in 2015
This year’s Advanced Engineering promises to have even more coverage of this key game-changing manufacturing process. Stay tuned for updates on the website.