Industrial Additive Manufacturing

Industrial additive manufacturing applications are primarily linked to prototyping in the automotive field and early adoption for production in the aerospace segment, which is by far the biggest user of polymer and especially metal 3D printing technologies.

As the machines production throughput has increased in recent years, industrial adoption of AM is now beginning to extend to short and medium batch production for the automotive segment as well. Furthermore, as new metal and polymer technologies now enable the production of larger parts at reduced costs, the use of AM has begun to contaminate the energy segment (with applications in both traditional and sustainable energy production and transport) and the marine segment.

While the cost and time reduction benefits of AM technologies for weight and (topology) optimization, subassemblies and generative part design have been well documented, several hurdles still exist that are limiting a widespread adoption of these key technologies in full end-to-end digital and automated production cycles. Several of these hurdles are inherent to the AM technologies and related material availability, however, the biggest challenges remain linked to process standardization, part finishing and repeatability.

Today every major aerospace or automotive manufacturers has made some significant stride toward adoption of AM both for internal R&D and production and by leveraging external 3D printing service bureaus as a key resource for outsourced supplies. Every AM related industrial project is growing and the trend is clearly accelerating.

Latest industrial AM news:

  • REGNER Sinterit SLS

    At its facility in Girona, Catalan company REGNER does important work. The company specializes in motion control technology, developing innovative solutions for the healthcare market—including motion control systems for electric wheelchairs—as well as the robotics, home automation and industrial equipment sectors. REGNER has relied on the use of 3D printing…

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  • While we’ve taken the opportunity to revisit many of our 2020 AM Focus topics in 2021, taking stock of new developments and trends, this eBook looks at a wholly new topic: Maritime AM. This is no coincidence. Maritime AM is a fascinating subsegment of the additive manufacturing industry that we’ve…

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  • Sakuú Corporation (previously KeraCel Inc.), the still somewhat mysterious company that is working on developing an automated multi-process AM technology for EV battery production, has developed a new 3Ah lithium-metal solid-state battery (SSB) that reportedly equals or betters current lithium-ion batteries. As proof, Sakuu provided a photo of its first-generation…

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  • The recent, detailed overview of the Army’s use of largely 3D printed engines in its upcoming Apache and other future VTOL military vehicles seemed to indicate that the Department of Defense in the US is now taking AM even more seriously than it has up to this point. In fact,…

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  • As US Army Production Engineer Mallory Smith James reported (with an excellent in-depth analysis of AM for defense production applications, published on the US Army’s official online portal), the US Army’s Aviation Turbine Engines Project Office (ATE PO) selected General Electric’s T901 turboshaft engine to replace the T700 family of…

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  • The Port of Rotterdam Authority is installing the world’s first steel 3D printed bollards on the new quay in the Sleepboothaven at Rotterdam Heijplaat. The six bollards are part of a series of twelve 3D printed bollards that the Port Authority and RAMLAB have co-developed. The 3D printing of bollards…

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  • After just over 2 years of suspense (since the metal 3D printing phase was completed), the MX3DBridge has finally being placed and inaugurated in the city center of Amsterdam. The company finalized it and tested the sensor network. The event is so momentous that Queen Máxima of the Netherlands participated…

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  • After first adopting 3D printing for new design prototyping and tooling, energy giant Shell is now increasingly implementing AM for spare parts, especially in very hard-to-reach areas such as its offshore platforms. Spare parts printing, leveraging metal PBF technologies, enabled Shell 3D Printing to move to a digital supply chain…

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  • While wood is an excellent, anisotropic material and still used in modern shipbuilding, many other materials have since made their appearance, including metals, polymers and composites. As in other fields, the racing segment provides glimpses of how ships could be made in the future. In the America’s Cup, by many…

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  • AML3D BAE Systems Maritime Australia

    Just a day after announcing its new headquarters in South Australia, metal AM company AML3D has revealed its plans to establish a Research and Development facility within the upcoming Factory of the Future at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. The Factory of the Future—currently under development—is spearheaded by Flinders…

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