To meet the demands of the growing base of professional and industrial 3D printer users, SmarTech Publishing is releasing a series of practical manuals providing guidance on how to select and use 3D printing (3DP)/additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Each of these publications will cover a different aspect of 3DP/AM.
The first publication in the series has already been published – “The Production Manager’s Complete Guide to: 3D Printing with Metals.” Other soon-to-be-published reports in “Production Manager’s Complete Guide” series will include monographs on 3D Printing in the Medical Space, Selecting a 3DP/AM Technology Suited to Your Needs, and Low-Cost Prototyping.
“We created this new series of Guides for industrial and professional 3DP/AM adopters in order to offer a practical and immediately useful tool providing insights and information for a quick and successful AM integration in current manufacturing processes,” said Lawrence Gasman, SmarTech Publishing’s President and CEO, “In order to provide the most exhaustive and complete information we are leveraging on the extensive knowledge database that we have been building by researching, analyzing and reporting on the 3D printing industry over the past four years.”
SmarTech Publishing’s Guide to Printing Metals: An Insider Perspective
Parts produced by metal AM – such as an optimized bracket for Airbus aircraft – are already beginning to appear and the dental industry is also using metal AM extensively. Although the full digital additive manufacturing workflow is still in the evolving, metal AM already offers many opportunities for streamlining a company’s production workflow, optimizing costs and time to market.
SmarTech Publishing believes a growing number of production managers, designers and engineers are looking for clear and practical information on implementing the 3D printing of metals, which can often be a tricky proposition. We believe that The Production Manager’s Complete Guide to: 3D Printing with Metals will serve as a “guide to the perplexed” for those new to this field, as well as the more experienced technical managers who need to refresh their understanding of 3D printing metals.
As we see it, accurate, carefully organized information is the most precious commodity in a young and rapidly growing industry such as additive manufacturing, and this Guide aims to provide this for metals printing. Such information is usual scattered at best and this is why SmarTech Publishing is now using its huge database of information on metals printing as the base for this Guide, which will enable a production manager to gain a complete view of 3D printing’s current offer in terms of metals-based solutions.
To best exploit the potential of metal AM a production manager needs to be aware of the different technologies and materials available, and SmarTech Publishing’s Guide can provide this knowledge from an insider’s perspective.
From the Guide
The Production Manager’s Complete Guide to: 3D Printing with Metals begins by analyzing the reasons why it would be more convenient to use metal AM processes instead of traditional manufacturing and continues by exploring applications within those industries (aerospace, dentistry, medical and automotive) that have already begun using metal AM for both prototyping as well as real, short run production runs.
Today there are six major families of metals and related alloys (steel, iron, titanium, cobalt-chrome, nickel, aluminum and precious metals) that can be used for AM. Each metal offers unique possibilities and is ideal for several different applications. These are implemented through different AM technologies, which are themselves divided into three major families: powder bed fusion, directed energy deposition (powder fed) and binder jetting (also powder bed-based). The possible combinations are already very vast and they are destined to grow significantly in the next decade. Our Guide covers all of these topics — in depth.
The Guide also provides access to the complete scenario of who the manufacturers are, what technologies they offer and what materials can be used – in fact all the stages necessary toward successful AM implementation. The metals Guide was written for manufacturing and operations managers who are called to develop and deploy a precise strategy for AM implementation in their company’s process workflow and are seeking to limit the trial and error phase to a minimum.
Deciding if metal additive manufacturing is the right choice in your plant begins with five questions anyone seeking to implement 3D printing (not just for metals) in their workflow should ask. These five questions take into consideration budget and part design as well as the number of parts required and the benefits deriving from elements such as personalization and weight optimization. SmarTech Publishing believes that AM is going be an integral part of tomorrow’s manufacturing practices and as such it is ideal for parts and components designed specifically to leverage on the unique geometrical possibilities offered by digital and additive production processes. Knowing what these are is one of the keys for a successful integration of AM.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to successfully implementing metal AM today is the high initial investment required however its biggest promises are cost reductions and production optimizations.