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 machine 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 the 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 manufacturer has made some significant strides toward the 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.

  • Impossible Objects' CBAM-2 3D printer installed at Weber State University - to advance research on composite materials.

    Weber State University is using 3D printing to advance its research on composite materials that support northern Utah’s aerospace and defense ecosystem. The university’s Miller Advanced Research and Solutions Center recently upgraded and installed the Impossible Objects’ Composite-Based Additive Manufacturing system, or CBAM-2. The machine prints composite materials that can…

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  • IMI Critical and Velo3D prove distributed manufacturing by printing the same certified part in six locations and three different countries.

    While conventional manufacturing technology has delivered in-country products on a global basis for decades – it has often involved dedicated, high-cost production assets and personnel that lack flexibility. Supply chain issues with procurement, as well as production lag times inherent to technologies like casting, can further add to costs and…

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  • Porsche Consulting selected to design Sakuu's gigafactories. Leading all aspects of design concerning Sakuu's 3D battery printing plants.

    Sakuu, pioneer of 3D printed Swift Print solid-state battery technology, has selected Porsche Consulting, a subsidiary of the automotive manufacturer Porsche, to lead all aspects of design for its planned global gigafactories. The relationship will ensure that Sakuu has preeminent expertise secured for building state-of-the-art gigafactories to meet its 2030…

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  • SCRAM is the keyword in Northrop Grumman’s quest toward hypersonic superiority. As nations around the world race for hypersonic supremacy, for hypersonic missiles (in what is still a relatively mild arms race) as well as for any future hypersonic vehicle, Northrop Grumman is perfecting SCRAM C/C, Northrop Grumman is looking…

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  • Partly funded and owned by steel giant Sandvick, BEAMIT – especially after the acquisition of 3T’s metal AM business in the UK –  is the largest metal AM service provider in the world according to the Metal AM market report published by 3dpbm in 2021. A new deal with Leonardo…

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  • Babcock manufactures first 3D printed metal parts for British Army, to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence

    International defense company, Babcock, has manufactured and fitted what are believed to be the first 3D printed metal parts to be used across the British Army’s active armored fleets. The steel components were created specifically to tackle the growing challenges of technical and commercial obsolescence, and were fitted onto in-service fleets,…

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  • Sometimes a photo is worth a thousand words and this may be one of those times. Meet the Mega II, the world’s largest 3D printer, created by composites LFAM specialist CEAD for Al Seer Marine, the leading marine company in the Arabian maritime region, with a portfolio of services that…

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  • Shell 3D prints and deploys industry-first leak repair clamp. In a collaborative effort to prove the feasibility of WAAM.

    Last November, Shell successfully installed the first 3D printed leak repair clamp in service. Clamps, also known as mechanical leak repair enclosures, are engineered solutions that are used to encapsulate and restore the integrity of operating pipelines against pipeline defects, that arise through time. According to the Shell, at present,…

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  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering Assistant Professor Tyler Ray has earned a two-year, $237,916 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore innovative fabrication techniques, such as 3D printing, for creating high-capacity batteries. This research aims to address the challenges currently faced in the production of…

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  • Oman's national oil company (PDO) partners with Spare Parts 3D (SP3D) to assess the 3D printability of 150,000 unique spare parts.

    According to an article published by TradeArabia News Service, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Oman’s national oil company, has partnered with the French startup Spare Parts 3D (SP3D), to assess the 3D printability of 150,000 unique spare parts. Within a period of six months, the team processed 150,000 coded spare parts…

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