Manufacturing is an industry that has been around for almost 150 years. There have been advancements in every era of the manufacturing age. From hydraulic presses and machines to the modern tool and die, the new changes have always stepped up the production game. With the advent of 3D Printing in the last few years, the game has stepped up to a new level.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is becoming more and more prevalent in factories as companies are starting to see its potential. There are many benefits to AM such as less wasteful production, reduced downtime, and increased efficiency. With the newer materials available, Carbon Fiber is the real game changer here. Combined with Nylon 12 resin, chopped carbon fiber has the highest flexural strength of any FDM thermoplastic.
The real boon of AM is in the production process, it adds materials layer-by-layer instead of the old traditional way of using dies and cutting material away. This aids in reducing waste with each product which saves money in the long run. The software to run a 3D Printer in an AM environment is easy to learn which helps production operators immensely.
In a traditional manufacturing process, there are a lot of steps between the conception of a product to final production. The Engineer would conceptualize the product and schematics would be drawn up. The Tooling department would create the tooling and the dies required for the product. And after installation on the line, they would test out the dies and create an initial run of product. With a 3D Printer in an AM environment, it’s all done on a computer and initial runs can be done within hours.
The CNC machine is not going anywhere and there will always be a use for it during long production runs. But the 3D Printer definitely has its place in the manufacturing world as a dynamo when it comes to quick production runs.