Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) - Limitations & Implications


By: Avinash Kumar --

01 June, 2015

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) - Limitations & Implications

1 Introduction Manufacturing sector defines economic growth of a nation. Productivity and technological innovations in manufacturing sector drives the economic growth of a nation. Machining technology, also known as subtractive manufacturing is the most important manufacturing process by value. However, the machining market, defined by machine tool demand, witnessed a fall of 13% to an estimated value of 80 USD billion for the year 2014, from an estimated value of 92 USD billion for the year 2013. Fall in demand for machine tool is mainly due to the increased use of additive manufacturing technologies. With advent of additive manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing (UAM), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereo lithography, Selective Laser Sintering/Melting (SLS/SLM), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), and Laminate Object Manufacturing (LOM), manufacturing sector is expected to be revolutionized, due to their low cost and lesser lead time production capabilities. 2 Main As 3D printing has witnessed prominent growth among all of the additive manufacturing technologies and is foraying its way into mainstream production from rapid prototyping, this whitepaper endeavors to analyze the limits of 3D printing, in terms of type of material manufactured, size of the product to be manufactured, quality of the manufactured product, end use application and other relevant parameters. In addition, it is imperative to analyze the cost differentiation offered by 3D printing, as compared to the subtractive manufacturing. This whitepaper would provide an outlook for 3D printing technologies limitations and cost benefits and its revolutionizing implication on the manufacturing industry. 3 Recommendation From a procurement standpoint, it is observed that additive manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, Ultrasound manufacturing have cost benefits over subtractive manufacturing techniques such as milling, turning, grinding and other operations. However, there are limitations for the products to be manufactured; these barriers are expected to break eventually, with the amount of research and development work and growth of the additive technology Market leaders of various industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, Healthcare and Fabrication are recommended to seize the opportunity and appropriately integrate 3D printing in their manufacturing segment, based on the level of 3D printing in their respective industries. The 2x2 Grid, provided in the whitepaper, will help in understanding the level of integration that can be afforded for 3D printing, in respective industries. Introduction Correlation between Subtractive Manufacturing and Additive Manufacturing Machining is defined as removal of material by different machining operations such as turning, milling, drilling and miscellaneous operations, with help of either CNC machine tools or conventional machine tools. Growth of machining market is defined by the demand for machine tools. In the past few years, demand for machine tools has witnessed a downfall. Consumption of machine tools witnessed a CAGR of -8.71%, whereas consumption of 3D printers showed a CAGR of 70% for the period 2012-2014, clearly indicating the impact of 3D printers on subtractive manufacturing sector Advent of Additive Manufacturing Additive manufacturing process has been slowly gaining pace since 1980ï¾Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Æ’??s in the manufacturing sector. Additive manufacturing was initially used only for rapid prototyping, as the methodology was cheap and fast. Technological developments in terms of better speed, better capabilities and reduction of prices of 3D printers, have expanded the use of additive manufacturing. Advancements in technology of 3D printers resulted in variation in basic layering up methodology of 3D printers over the years as follows: Binder Jetting/Inkjet Head: Jets layer of material (sand, powder or metal) and binder are fused to form layers of material. Stereo lithography: Bonding of successive layer of material by using ultraviolet beam. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)/Selective laser sintering (SLS ): FDM uses a nozzle to extrude layers of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and polyactic acid polymers to form layers of bonded material, whereas SLS uses powder material such as nylon, titanium, aluminum, polystyrene and glass Selective Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM): It is similar to SLS, however cuts the formed layers into shapes and requires further machining Electron Beam Melting (EBM): It uses electron beam to melt the material, then binds the layer of material similar to SLS


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