How Industrial Additive Manufacturing Can Benefit Your Production Project

Patrick Lee

When your job calls for an industrial machine shop, you have to consider several factors. Ideally, you want your job to cost as little as possible while also maintaining high quality. One way some machine shops can give you just that is through additive manufacturing techniques.

What Is Additive Manufacturing?

An easy way to think of additive manufacturing is to consider it as industrial 3D printing. AM represents a series of manufacturing techniques to create objects layer by layer with any of a number of materials. It employs the use of computer-assisted drawings and lasers to achieve the desired results.

Once, these techniques were only used for making quick prototypes and mockups. Over the years, manufacturers have found that they can use these techniques to quickly make strong, durable pieces. Additive manufacturing techniques can work for your projects as well.

How Additive Manufacturing Can Benefit You

There are many benefits to additive manufacturing. Depending on your needs, AM techniques can help you throughout the entirety of your project. From conceptualization to the actual manufacturing process, there's an AM solution.

Design – Additive manufacturing allows you to use unique or complex designs. It allows for design elements that other forms of machining have difficulties with. Since the design is "printed" rather than shaped, it allows for greater breadth of design.

Prototyping – In addition to greater design freedom, you can also use AM for fast prototyping. Since prototyping can occur faster, you will have the ability to gather feedback and make changes far more quickly.

Working out the kinks – Speeding up the process also allows you to make changes to your design faster. You will see a finished build and can figure out if there are any issues.

Fast design to manufacture – Since the design and prototyping phases can happen faster, you can go straight into manufacturing with far less downtime. Even during production, it's usually easy to go back a step and work out a problem before continuing with production.

Lower costs – It's possible to lower overall costs with AM. The aforementioned speed helps with costs. However, another cost saving can come from the elimination of a few intermediate tooling processes.

Special projects – Sometimes a project comes along that's hard for many machining shops to deal with. They may lack the expertise or proper machining tools to handle it. These kinds of special projects are ideal for machine shops that employ AM.

There are many more benefits to additive manufacturing. But it's important that you speak about your options with an experienced machine shop. AM can work for your project, but there are other machining options that may work better for your specific needs. Always consult with a professional before embarking on a large industrial manufacturing project.

For a machine shop, contact a business such as AC Machine Works Ltd machine shop