What Does Additive Mean to You?
An interesting definition of “additive” from one shop was “anything that is outside the core product we manufacture or service we provide; ancillary services and technologies.” The response emphasized that, to this shop, additive equals value-adding. Although this is not an accurate definition of additive manufacturing (AM), you could look at the use of additive technologies as a value-added service to your customers.
A recent survey of some moldmakers and molders reveals the level of familiarity and understanding of 3D printing and its applications, benefits and limitations. Here is a sampling of the responses:
• We have only made limited use so far.
• We have not needed it yet due to our large part sizes.
• I would be interested to learn current pricing.
• We have outsourced 3D printing for trial parts prior to final design.
• I don’t know much about 3D printing.
• We use it to demonstrate certain features of geometry changes for customers.
• Would like to read an end-user case study.
• It makes more sense to outsource this service when needed.
• Early-phase demonstration of part design during the stages of development equals time savings.
• Unacceptable part features might be identified earlier in the process.
• It has potential value for development activities and engineering samples.
• For new product introductions or dramatic product revisions.
• The possibilities are almost endless.
• It has more value for the final product rather than the mold.
Editor PickAdditively Manufacturing a Large Component with a Small Work Envelope
Airbus successfully reduced the weight of an aircraft partition by redesigning it for additive manufacturing. The large component was produced in pieces, with connection features built-in.