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Published: Friday, December 11, 2015

The manufacturing industry is thinking outside the box more than ever with the introduction of Additive Manufacturing.  Additive Manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping is made possible by the development of 3D Printing.  Today, manufacturers are moving well beyond rapid prototyping (although that is still an important application) and using 3D printing for fixtures, jigs, mold and die creation, tooling, and to create finished parts. Across multiple industries, most notably in auto, aerospace and in the medical/dental markets, we are seeing a big change in how we develop, use and improve the manufacturing process.

A great example of innovation can be seen at GE Aviation.  Next year, GE will roll out its CFM LEAP engines — the first aircraft engines to include 3D printed parts. Parts plural.  There are 19 fuel nozzles that the company says could not be produced using traditional techniques. The masterminds behind the part redesign, utilized additive manufacturing to make the parts 25% lighter than their predecessors.  By using additive manufacturing they are now able to create this part a single piece (compared to the 18 parts previously required). This has completely transformed the manufacturing process, by streamlining efficiency.  A more intricate design also provides five times higher durability.  This is just one example of how engineers are quantifying results from improved technology.

Today we are seeing companies utilize the sweet spot in additive manufacturing.  That sweet spot seems to include low-volume, high-complexity structures.  As the field continues to allow creative minds in engineering to improve existing designs we will continue to see advancements in the strength, and structural integrity of the parts we create.
How far will you think outside the box?  Call Seifert Technologies today and speak with our engineering experts to review your current manufacturing process.


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