Additive Manufacturing

by Sep 8, 2021Industry 4.0

3D printers connected to digital development software

These are 3-dimensional (3D) printing systems, interconnected with software for the transmission of digitised development data.

Additive manufacturing is transforming industrial production worldwide, this is also due to the availability of increasingly efficient 3D printers that are able to work with a growing range of technical and high-performance materials. Up until now, the use of additive manufacturing systems has been mainly dedicated to prototyping applications for the development of new products, but now something is changing. The national Industry 4.0 plan represents an excellent driving force for the circulation of 3D printers in production departments and in workshops, where 3D printing is able to transform traditional processes. This brings companies great advantages both in the making of final parts and in the construction of the tools for the production line.

Additive manufacturing is a production method that allows for the creation of component parts, semi-finished or even finished products. It does so through the addition of successive layers of material. 3D printers of any technology are based on this operating principle.

Not having to proceed by subtraction from solid as happens in many traditional production techniques (turning, milling, etc.), additive manufacturing immediately offers new possibilities:

  • the production of objects with complex shapes that otherwise would not be possible to make in a single piece with traditional processing techniques;

  • the reduction of the raw materials used, the improvement of the performance, the ability to use alternative materials instead of those already in use, modifying the constructive structure of the object which is changed according to 3D printing;

  • the drastic reduction in the costs of creating variants compared to a basic model in the production of customised products in small series or one-off pieces.

The use of additive manufacturing systems advances the development of new products and allows them to be placed on the market quicker. Additive manufacturing extends the use of 3D printing to the production department. Here it offers greater flexibility and a reduction in time and construction costs of finished parts, tools, and machine tooling.

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