You have probably heard of 3D printing before. That is simply the most common name given to the process known as Additive Manufacturing (AM). Starting from a 3D model on a computer program, AM is used for the manufacturing of parts and for product development.
It is an important and revolutionary technology in every step of the development process, being versatile in the support and design of individual parts and done much quicker and cheaper than other methods. Even though the costs for the raw materials needed for the Additive Manufacturing of parts can be considerably higher than for other traditional methods, AM is ideal for highly personalized products, or even products with shorter life cycles when in lower production volume.
There are different types of technologies when it comes to Additive Manufacturing, not only the Layer by Layer one may immediately think about when thinking of 3D printing. A few examples are Power Bed Fusion, Stereolithography and Fused Deposition Modelling.
One particular industry that can benefit greatly from these technologies is the Injection Moulding Industry. Additive Manufacturing can be used to develop the perfect inserts for injection moulding. This can reduce the lead time to manufacture tools and the cost of producing parts through this process. The AM technologies and tools allow for more complex parts to be created, something that is not possible through traditional means. Combined with conformal cooling systems, injection moulding operations results in shorter cycle times, increased productivity, and higher product quality in injection moulding operations. The use of Additive Manufacturing is certainly something to be considered, with lots of benefits for many different kinds of industries. It is a field that will continue to grow and evolve with the years, only getting better and better with the new technologies that arise.
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