In the 21st century, the growth of the manufacturing industry is stupendous. Additive manufacturing or metal 3D printing has entirely changed manufacturing processes, typically the manufacturing of automotive parts. Through 3D printing, there is layer by layer manufacturing of metal parts.
3D printing techniques were introduced to the world in 1987, but their utility was restricted to only prototyping at the inception. But with time 3D printing techniques have been upgraded to a whole new level. This enables the manufacturing industries to use metal 3D printing technologies to fabricate automobile parts that are not feasible with conventional manufacturing techniques.
How Does Metal 3D Printing Services Work?
Metal 3D printing involves several steps. The first step of the process is simple, we have to develop a CAD model of the automotive part. It can be done by topology optimization methods, 3D scanning, and CAD software. In the second step, the model is then segmented to interpret the data that metal 3D printers will frequently follow to deposit layers of the material. The third step is a post-printing process, which consists of several processes such as heat treatments, machining, surface treatments, and support structure eliminations. The last step is of quality check of the automotive part, in this step dimension examination and surface inspection are carried out.
What Are the Major 3D Printing Technologies?
- Selective Laser Melting
In the Selective Laser Melting 3D printing process, parts are developed by synthesizing metal powder particles in conjunction through the melting process. In this process, the powder is melted and needs a higher temperature than other 3D printing processes.
- Direct Metal Laser Sintering
In the Direct Metal Laser Sintering 3D printing process, fine metal powder particles are synthesized locally. This process also needs a high temperature till 1600°C to liquefy the metals.
Direct Metal Layer Sintering process to print part
A roller put in a layer of the metal powder. Then, as per the data stored in the 3D file, the laser will sinter the powder. Now the build platform moves downward and synthesizes another layer of powder. These few steps will be repeated until the final product gets ready. The part is extricated after it cools down.
3D printed process has changed the manufacturing industry. It reduces manufacturing cost, improves productivity and, and saves time with the least raw material wastage.
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