Large format 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is rapidly being deployed across many industries. What is it and what are its impact? Read on to learn of the benefits of large format additive manufacturing.
Technology has made our lives easier. It has helped humankind become more efficient and productive in almost every line of work.
Big industries have been enjoying the fruits of technology for decades. From the Industrial Revolution to the Robotic Age, every innovation has helped industries grow in one way or another. Today, 3D printing, particularly large format additive manufacturing (LFAM) is helping big industries grow in new ways.
Here is a small guide on large format additive manufacturing. Read on to learn what LFAM is and how it is helping industries grow.
What is Large Format Additive Manufacturing?
Large Format Additive Manufacturing, also know as LFAM for short, is a 3D printing technique that creates physically large prints that can be repaired or maintained through the use of chipping tools. LFAM is usually used in larger manufacturing industries, such as air and space travel industries, and construction industries.
Today. LFAM technology is being used extensively in big manufacturing industries for prototyping and tools manufacturing. The capabilities of this technology over traditional manufacturing methods make it much more reliable and a favorite among industries today.
With inexpensive raw materials that can be found easily in the market, something concrete can be made with little effort. This is why LFAM is gaining popularity among big industries.
Benefits Of Large Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM) for Big Industries
Many big industries are taking advantage of four benefits of LFAM technology. These are:
1. Freedom Of Creativity
By using additive manufacturing in large-scale industries, designers have freedom of creativity. 3D printers can create almost every shape possible. This makes it easier to manufacture complex auto parts and tools, and even molds.
Conventional methods of manufacturing prototypes and tools do not provide such creative freedom. With traditional casting, there are limitations in terms of raw material, machinery and mold production.
2. Easy Large-Scale Customization
Additive manufacturing allows customization at a very large scale. Since there are no molds and other restrictions involved, each piece is unique and can be customized to meet customers’ needs.
Large format 3D printers remember each creation in a CAD software. If you want to create the exact piece or make some changes, you can simply alter the program. This allows manufacturers to create customized tools and prototypes at a very large scale without any issues. The only challenge would be to use the exact raw material.
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Another advantage of customization is that manufacturers can choose the raw materials, for example, titanium, stainless steel, and other superalloys. This allows manufacturing industries to create custom products for the various work environments.
3. Efficient Work Process
The time taken by 3D printing is much less when compared to conventional manufacturing methods, especially at a large scale. With less time taken to manufacture, new products can be unveiled sooner in the market. This helps industries grow better in competitive markets.
The complex process of tool making and fabrication takes less time through additive manufacturing processes. This time-saving process can help industries manufacture more products at one time.
Conventional manufacturing methods require hundreds of machines working on one part. This can increase the time and expenditure on the manufacturing process.
4. No Need for Spare Parts
3D printing saves each product blueprint in a software program. The 3D model blueprint can be saved as a soft copy. Using the blueprint and the same composition of raw materials, the exact copy of the tool or prototype can be manufactured quite easily. This eliminates the need for spending on spare parts.
When any part of a machine, manufactured by conventional methods, is damaged, finding matching parts can be difficult. Sometimes, older machines are difficult to repair because companies stop their production.
With additive manufacturing technology, companies can keep a soft copy of the blueprint that can be used to make the same part again.
The use LFAM technology is rising in big manufacturing industries. Airplane manufacturing companies, spaceships, and some construction companies are using the technology to create large-scale products. This technology has helped industries grow in competitive markets by reducing production time and the use of resources.