The democratization of additive manufacturing is encouraging many industrial sectors to take advantage of this technology. As we saw in the Allied Market Research report published this year, industrial 3D printing is expected to reach a value of $107.7 billion in 2031. This data shows how the industrialization of additive manufacturing technology has achieved growth and development in recent years. There are seven different technologies in additive manufacturing and the choice of one or the other will depend on various factors, such as the functionality of the part or the specifications of the materials needed to make it. There are many applications that we can find in the market that are demonstrating the potential of 3D printing, but why are multinational companies integrating this manufacturing method? What benefits does technology bring in the manufacture of final pieces?
To understand the potential of 3D printing in the industry, it is important to know its applications and materials. Each user has different needs and it is essential to find out what they are in order to understand how the additive can help reduce manufacturing costs and delivery times. In Spain, companies such as Excelencia-Tech, dedicated to the distribution of 3D printing equipment from major brands (such as Stratasys or Xact Metal), offer a variety of solutions to help their industrial customers make that decision. . This is possible thanks to the variety of technologies present in their product portfolio as well as the range of materials suited to the said manufacturing methods. Next, we will look at how these technologies are increasingly implemented in the supply chain of many industries such as consumer goods, aerospace, automotive or textile.
3D Printing for the Aerospace Sector
For a long time, additive manufacturing has been applied in the aerospace sector. This is due to the possibility of manufacturing lightweight, strong, optimized and dimensionally stable parts with high precision and repeatability. The report published in 2020 by Research and Markets estimated that additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector will reach a value of $7,080 million in 2028. That’s what we’re seeing with 3D printing projects done by big organizations like NASA and ESA. , both on Earth and in space. A widely used technology in this field is FDM, which is compatible with a wide variety of advanced and certified materials for the aerospace industry. In this context, Stratasys has launched the F123CR (Composite Ready) series of 3D printers, which includes the F190™CR and F370®CR. These two printers work with high-strength carbon fiber filaments in a reliable and easy-to-use industrial printing platform.
These types of 3D printers offer great value in the aerospace sector, being able to solve design problems before moving on to the production of equipment and fixings. The additive manufacturing process enables rapid iterations and decisions, accelerating response to market changes with rapid prototyping. Another widely used application is the manufacture of molds or positive parts for mold making. As we know, in traditional manufacturing, molds are very expensive and have a long delivery time. However, there are 3D printing solutions like the Origin One with high-performance materials and high-precision P3 technology. This facilitates more efficient mold making for less time and with lower production costs, achieving final parts with a surface finish at the level of the injection part.
Automotive Industry and Additive Manufacturing
Another large sector in which additive manufacturing is playing a major role is the automotive industry. The report published by SmarTech Analysis showed that by 2029, automotive 3D printing will generate $9 billion in revenue from final parts production. This is because, compared to other traditional methods, 3D printing is an efficient and low-cost process. It goes from prototype to final product ready for market.
In an area where there is no margin for error and a constant flow of the assembly line should be preferred, the fact of not relying on suppliers for spare parts is of great value. For this reason, there are 3D technologies such as FDM, SAF or SLM that are very useful when creating interior designs. This includes spare parts for fixtures and guides in the production line. Additive manufacturing allows the manufacture of all types of equipment and fixtures with high-performance materials and advanced mechanical resistance. Among the materials we can find self-lubricating, antistatic properties and great resistance to wear. This makes it easy to replace parts that may break during the assembly process, always quickly and at a low cost.
End parts for consumer goods
In the consumer goods industry, 3D printing is still a manufacturing method that has to go through many tests and trials before it reaches the consumer. For this, there are certifications that ensure the quality of the final pieces and thus meet the requirements. Unlike other industries, all of these iterations require prototypes that encompass the entire consumer experience while using it. These iterations include checking ergonomics, color and texture, and functionality. In this sense, it takes a lot of labor and production time to make a prototype in the traditional way. Placing the item in tangible form allows professionals to see potential defects and weaknesses that may need to be redesigned for final production. The excellence-tech team of experts explains: “With Stratasys PolyJet technology, printed prototypes can be created with the full color range, mixing different materials and simulating all kinds of 3D textures from other materials”, Thanks to additive manufacturing, they can deliver parts or products to customers much faster than traditional methods.
3D Technologies in the Textile Sector
The textile and fashion industry is one of the few that still relies on a lot of labor to create unique and original designs. The most recent addition to Stratasys for this area is the so-called FabriX™ kit for the J850. It is a solution that allows all kinds of color elements, textures and shapes to be printed directly onto the fabric of the final product, with direct adhesion without the need for glue. “This application opens up endless possibilities in the industry, being able to create designs without limits and optimize cost and production time”They combine excellence-technology.
The future of additive manufacturing in the industry
As we can see, these are just a few examples of how 3D printing is revolutionizing many industrial sectors. However, the benefits of technology are not limited to these areas. There are many applications that can be seen from the medical and dental fields to additive manufacturing, where each client requires very individual elements to the art world, in order to create original works without limitation in the manufacturing process. be able to The Excellence-Tech team concluded: “Combining additive manufacturing with traditional manufacturing allows us to create highly optimized processes, reducing waste in plant and stock, and reducing production times and manufacturing costs”, You can learn more about the Stratasys company and machines through their website here.