Production Machining

NOV 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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32 PRODUCTION MCHINING :: NOVEMBER 2018 SPECIL COVERGE have service providers make some sample parts to get an idea of what they can produce. Build relationships with service providers. Mr. Miller points out that shops do not have to purchase their own 3D printers in order to start familiarizing themselves with additive manufacturing. "You don't necessarily have to bring it in house," he says. "•ere are some really good experts out there." Shops can •nd additive manufacturing service providers and start building relationships with them, so when customers do need those capabilities, shops know where to turn to provide them. •is way, customers can get the experi- ence of a one-stop shop. "It's no di€erent than sending parts out for other operations such as grinding," Mr. Miller says. hat to atch Mr. Miller also highlighted a couple of technological develop- ments that could make additive manufacturing a more cost- e€ective solution for higher-volume production environments. Higher-volume polymer systems. Mr. Miller predicts that within •ve years, several higher-volume, liquid and powder-based polymer 3D printers will hit the market. "Higher volume" for the additive manufacturing market means part volumes in the thousands. While they still will not be able to reach the volumes of high-production machining environments, they will make 3D printing a more cost-e€ective solution for producing parts. "Make sure you keep an eye on them because they're going to lower the per-part cost," Mr. Miller says. •e technology for these systems is already out there, from companies including Evolve, HP and Carbon, but it is still in the early stages of development, and using it requires some expertise. Low-cost metal systems. "We're hoping low-cost metal AM will happen soon," Mr. Miller says. According to him, promising solutions from companies including Desktop Metal and Markforged already exist, but they are still being tested and are not yet widely avail- able. Cheaper metal AM systems will make it easier for shops to bring these processes in house. Phoenix Analysis & Design Tech Inc. (PADT) | 800-293-7238 | Here's another article on this topic: First-Class Manufacturing with Additive -is company is trying to set the standard for part production by treating 3D printing as a separate operation.

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