July 27, 2017
Technology advancements are something we come across in every industry. Here at Precise we are constantly watching how the industry moves. It is the only way to prepare for the future, we saw a major change in the industry when multi-axis machining came into play and now we are preparing for the next big change. What we are beginning to see now is that more enterprises are shifting their focus to digital manufacturing, and in particular, 3D printing. Recent advancements in 3D printing technology for metals and alloys is propelling the manufacturing industry forward.
3D printing technology builds a final product through stacking layers of material, and then polished for a seamless appearance. As in all processes there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to 3D printing. Advantages include with this method there is almost no waste of the material, which allows for the opportunity to create various prototypes without a separate mold or tool. A common disadvantage we see, however, is that it takes too long to manufacture, leading to longer lead times. Also, because 3D printing is still an emerging technology the cost quite a bit higher than standard methods of manufacturing.
What we have to consider is the 3D printing process creates an extremely complex structure that cannot be produced through conventional precision casting or processing methods. At this point in time it is a large investment that leads to extended lead time as mentioned above but, even components of the same purpose can be designed with completely different structures using 3D printing.
Manufacturing and machining are continuously improving and we are always looking for these advancements. With our business to technology evaluation we take the time to evaluate each process for time, tolerance and total cost. While efficiency as well as quality always being considered along the way to provide the best product for our customer.