The business case for metal AM

Posted on 27 Jun 2019 and read 322 times
The business case for metal AMEvery year, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry comes together for the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference, where visitors gain insight into the latest trends, new applications and developments in AM technology.

Stephen Anderson, additive manufacturing business manager at Renishaw Inc (www.renishaw.com/additive), said: “As AMUG was held in Chicago this year, Renishaw had the opportunity to host 120 delegates before the show at its AM Solutions Centre in West Dundee, Chicago.

“During AMUG, another highlight for Renishaw was a Materials Parameters Development workshop run by John Laureto and Kevin Brigden, both applications engineers at Renishaw Inc; this was so oversubscribed that the organisers requested a repeat.

"The session focused on materials, process variables, scan path optimisation and how to conduct a Design of Experiments (DoE) programme for best metallurgy using a laser powder-bed fusion process.”

Renishaw also gave two main presentations. The first session, Meticulous Machines for a New AM World, examined how the demand for increased productivity and consistent high-quality output is driving the development of AM systems towards integrated technologies and systems.

The presentation was given by Marc Saunders, director of additive-manufacturing applications at Renishaw; it included performance results from Renishaw’s RenAM 500Q multi-laser system.

The second, To Boldly Go: Enterprising AM, consisted of a guest panel of machine users, who shared their experiences of using Renishaw technology. The panel discussed the diverse applications of AM, their AM successes and potential pitfalls.

Mr Anderson said: “The audience particularly enjoyed the stories of the panel members’ AM journeys, and there were many questions on making AM production economics stack up.

“The growing number of industrialisation questions is indicative of a growing maturity in the market-place. AM machines are moving out of prototyping applications and research laboratories and into mainstream production manufacturing; and whereas a few years ago the advice was not to print a part if you could machine it, productivity improvements mean that many parts that could be machined are now viable for production using metal AM.”

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