‘Banking’ on additive manufacturing

Posted on 01 Jun 2019 and read 709 times
‘Banking’ on additive manufacturingA bank of ‘powerful’ 3-D printers linked to easy-to-use software has been built by engineers at the AMRC (Sheffield) to show that the batch-printing of bespoke polymer components is an affordable option, even for smaller manufacturing companies that are keen to accelerate their design processes, shorten their lead times and improve their productivity and quality.

The insatllation comprises of 12 Formlabs Form 2 desk-top 3-D printers for the stereolithography (SLA) of polymer components, four Form Cure post-curing stations, four Form Wash cleaning stations and buffing capabilities.

AMRC (www.amrc.co.uk) development engineer (and additive-manufacturing specialist) Mark Cocking believes that the new capability will spur the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) technology in a number of industrial sectors.

He said: “This unique capability will be of great benefit to industry, especially to SMEs looking to explore AM as an alternative production method, and to larger companies that wish to work with us to conduct research projects into the batch production of additively manufactured components.”

“For firms dealing in lower-volume production — with special print runs or runs of multiple sets of bespoke components with small but significant changes — the bank system we have constructed allows them to explore design changes quickly and efficiently, producing batch volumes of multiple sets of components on the same printers.”

The bank is installed on custom racking that connects each printer to Formlabs’ Dashboard software. This gives users visibility of printer usage, allowing them to select a printer using the appropriate material for their print build
with just a couple of clicks.

he bank has already been used in research projects for global aerospace companies that are exploring the feasibility of using batch-printing technology to produce components of the necessary quality in very short time-frames.

Be seen in all the right places!

EMO 2019 TCT Show 2019 TOOLEX 2019 Northern Manufacturing 2019 MTA Hanoi 2019 Advanced Engineering 2019 Metalex 2019 Machine Tool Indonesia 2019 Steelfab 2020 WIN Eurasia 2020 Shenzhen International Machinery Manufacturing MACH 2020 ITM Industry Europe 2020