ISMR July/August 2024 | Page 20



“ Additive manufacturing offers a new level of design freedom and the potential for weight reduction in key industry sectors such as automotive .”
Left : 3D-printed impeller ( Sandvik ).

Additive manufacturing revolves around the creation of an object by generating one layer at a time . We outline the process benefits for manufacturers , as well as growth forecasts , new product design possibilities and evolving industry trends .

Additive manufacturing ( AM ) is increasingly positioned as a transformative technology , driving advances in manufacturing and design processes . It differs from the subtractive method of production , which entails grinding out unnecessary material from a block of material . Additive manufacturing involves a layer-by-layer addition of material to form an object while referring to a three-dimensional file with the help of a 3D printer and 3D printer software .

AM offers design flexibility , mass customisation , process sustainability and rapid product development . A range of metals can be used , including options suitable for structural and integral component parts . Common metals employed include steel ; titanium ; aluminium and cobalt chrome alloy . Typical end-user industries for the AM process include automotive ; aerospace ; defence ; consumer electronic products ; medical etc .
“ AM is important as it enables , through the layer-wise addition of material , the manufacture of complex high-value products that are impossible to manufacture using traditional methods . AM can also provide reduced product lifetime ownership costs through more efficient products and reduced through-life maintenance . The process also offers sustainability advantages through the efficient use of materials and new , efficient supply chains ,” commented the University of Warwick ’ s Additive Manufacturing group in the UK .
Seven AM process categories
Although some media sources like to use the term “ 3D printing ” as a synonym for all Additive Manufacturing ( AM ) processes , there are lots of individual processes which vary in their method of layer manufacturing . Individual processes will differ depending upon the material and machine technology used .
There are several additive manufacturing technologies used in the market . These include stereolithography ; fuse deposition modelling ( FDM ); direct metal laser sintering ( DMLS ); selective laser sintering ( SLS ); inkjet
printing ; polyjet printing ; laser metal deposition and electron beam melting ( EBM ); digital light processing ( DLP ); laminated object manufacturing and others .
The additive manufacturing market has witnessed a significant degree of innovation and continuous advances in printing materials , printing technologies and the expansion of applications across diverse industries .
The American Society for Testing and Materials ( ASTM ) group “ ASTM F42 – Additive Manufacturing ” has formulated a set of standards that classify the range of Additive Manufacturing processes into seven distinct categories . These are listed overleaf .
AM component for BMW .
20 | ismr . net | ISMR July / August 2024