Additive Manufacturing – What makes it the Next Best Thing in Production?

The manufacturing industry has stood the test of time. Evolving over centuries from the good old foundries to modern industrial zones, the industry is a sign of healthy economies and drives the basic foundation of growing economies.

Manufacturing has also grappled over the years with managing high capital investments, labor issues, growing environmental pressures, tighter regulations, bottom-line pressures and wastage of core materials. However, with innovation spawning modern methods of processing, businesses are adopting cost effective techniques to control outflows.

One such method is additive manufacturing which is also commonly called “3D printing”. This is an innovative technique, where any component can be built up using powdered forms of the ingredients and put together layer by layer. This is a paradigm shift from the conventional method of production, where components used to be cut away from a bigger raw form of the product. This uses manufacturing software that gives you complete design freedom.

The technique involves coating a base platform with powder materials using laser beams and precision computer programs that define the structure of the components. Once the lower layers fuse with each other, the programming is designed to move to the next layer and next set of powder ingredients.

The advantages of this manufacturing software are manifold:

  • It allows design to take precedence over production. With carefully controlled software programs, you can design varied and complex components with ease. It has become easier for different business houses to make a mark for themselves based on designs of their equipment rather than adhering to one standard design.
  • It makes it easier to lessen wastage and meet stringent environmental norms. A variety of ingredients like plastic, metal etc. can be used in powdered form and because the entire process is controlled, wastage of material is minimized.
  • It enables prototyping – several designs can be tested for suitability and cost because additive manufacturing gives you the flexibility to experiment with different designs.
  • It reduces your investment in complex tools, machines and equipment and allows you much more freedom to develop smaller prototypes and test their viability in the market.
  • Making mistakes doesn’t cost you that much. Losses to due to imperfect designs are minimized, as it is very easy to change designs, reduce expenditures and dedicate human resources in line with your production processes.
  • Your manufacturing software can be integrated with other IT systems in your business. Smart systems can help in inventory control and produce components as per changing demand cycles. Raw material inventories are also better managed in controlled environments.
  • More industries are able to adopt better products. Due to the kind of materials used, for example metals, plastics, glass, silica or sand, the products that can be developed are durable and light-weight. These can be used in the healthcare industry, consumer durables, aerospace and many more verticals.
  • Time to market has reduced drastically. Because computer aided designs (CAD) programs determine design of various objects, it is easier to churn out products faster.

 To know more about the additive manufacturing software and solutions please click here.