When it comes to 3D printing technology, it is estimated that many people are already familiar with it, but when it comes to the application of additive manufacturing technology, most people may only stop at the following two stages:
1) Prototype manufacturing, that is, conceptual prototypes and functional prototypes printed by non-metallic materials such as resin and plastic.
2) Indirect manufacturing, that is, complete tool and mold manufacturing through 3D printing technology, and then use 3D printing tool and mold to manufacture parts.
As everyone knows, with the development of 3D printing technology, especially the progress of metal 3D printing technology in recent years, the application of additive manufacturing technology is not only limited to the appearance design of fast-response products, or the indirect manufacturing of process assistance, but also the application of additive manufacturing technology. It extends to the direct manufacture of metal functional parts.
At present, metal material parts manufactured by metal additive manufacturing technology are more and more successfully used in aerospace, defense industry, medical equipment, automobile manufacturing, injection molds and other fields.
It can be said that metal additive manufacturing technology has a broader application stage in the manufacturing industry, and is the most valuable advanced manufacturing technology in the field of additive manufacturing for the manufacturing industry. Mainly reflected in the following aspects:
1.Forming parts that are difficult to manufacture by traditional processes
In the field of manufacturing, some parts have complex shapes and long preparation cycles, which cannot be produced by traditional casting and forging processes or have large losses.
The metal additive manufacturing technology can quickly manufacture parts that meet the requirements, and has the advantages of short processing cycle, low manufacturing cost, and no need for tooling and molds.
2.Manufacture high cost material parts
Metal materials are essential and important materials in the manufacturing field, but in the actual processing process, there are many problems, such as titanium alloys, superalloys, ultra-high-strength steels and other materials that are difficult to process, high processing costs, and material utilization. low, long processing cycle, etc.
The high-energy beams such as lasers and electrons used in metal additive manufacturing technology have high density and fast speed, which greatly improves the processing difficulty of metal materials, improves the utilization rate of materials and reduces the cost of raw materials.
An example is the aerospace industry, where metal additive manufacturing technology is the earliest and most widely used.
3.Rapid prototyping of small batch non-standard parts
3D printing is very suitable for personalized custom production and small batch production. At present, the personalized manufacturing of metal additive manufacturing is extremely prominent in the application of medical devices. On the one hand, it is used to print implants/prostheses with personalized needs or complex structures that mimic the principle of bionics.
Through the precise control of 3D printing technology, these implants can effectively achieve simultaneous reconstruction of the external contour and internal structure to meet the high matching of the patient’s local anatomy.
Personalized and small batch production has become the trend of the current manufacturing industry. Metal 3D printing has got rid of the key technical link of mold manufacturing, and parameters can be adjusted at any time. In addition to the medical device industry, it also has great application potential in other industries.
4.High-performance forming to repair damaged parts
The forming repair of high-cost parts is also a prominent advantage of metal additive manufacturing technology. In the past, only surface coating repair could be done for damaged parts, and there were many steps in the repair process, and it also involved some additional steps such as processing, polishing, testing, etc. At the same time, it was also restricted by the repair time limit, which took a long time. ;
For the parts that are slightly damaged, they can only be replaced.
Metal additive manufacturing technology enables rapid prototyping and repair of any missing or damaged rings.
For example, aerospace parts have complex structures and high costs. Once defects or defects occur, they can only be replaced as a whole, which may cause hundreds of thousands or millions of yuan in losses.
With metal 3D printing technology, the defective part can be repaired into a complete shape with the same material, and the repaired performance is not affected, which greatly extends the service life, reduces costs, and reduces downtime.
In fact, in addition to the aerospace field, industries such as machinery, energy, ships, and molds have also put forward urgent needs for high-performance and rapid repair of large-scale equipment.
Additive manufacturing technology has changed the traditional manufacturing method, provided a new idea for the direct manufacturing of complex metal structural functional parts, and has broad application prospects for the manufacturing industry.