Over the past years, additive manufacturing have evolved at a fast pace. With boundless potential the technology has become a game changer for the manufacturing industry.

FREMONT, CA: Additive manufacturing has been used by the automotive and aerospace industries to build prototypes. Since last year, 3D print technologies have evolved at a fast pace. Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing technologies are changing the atmosphere of the industry.

Here are some key trends in additive manufacturing:

Compact, Modular Systems for Plastic

Earlier 3D printers were limited by cost and complexity to large enterprises and service bureaus. Then in 2010, the era changed, and several companies entered the market and began to flood it with 3D printers. These were driven by more capable embedded hardware, old patents, and matured technology; it was more like a bubble that quickly appeared.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was the first technology to become available on the desktop. 3D printers that can melt and selectively deposit plastic became truly affordable to consumers, but their capabilities remained limited.

The second technology to appear in a more affordable and easy-to-use format was stereolithography (SLA). The third wave of 3D printing techniques to arrive on the desktop (or, more accurately, the bench top) is based on Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which has been an essential technology for industrial users. 

Metal 3D Printing

In the last seven years, metals have always floated at the top of the additive manufacturing market, and investment in the metal 3D printing market has grown tremendously. Metal 3D printing offers the allure of exceptionally high-performance parts made from steel, titanium, nickel alloys, and aluminum with exotic geometries for demanding, high-value industries like aerospace and medical devices. These industries are taking full advantage of 3D printing in fabricating metal parts. The most common traditional metal AM systems are selective laser melting (SLM) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The metal 3D printing field has been the subject of active investment in the last several years. 

Streamlined Workflows

As per reports, labor is the costliest component of most AM processes. A 3D printer isn’t a magical box that produces a fundamental part at the push of a button; technicians must remove parts from printers and perform some degree of post-processing. Workflow and technology can save time and labor costs as well. In order to gain a foothold on the factory floor, AM systems have to decrease labor needs and fit into existing manufacturing workflows.

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