This video focuses on the common uses for AM in path III for three key industries. See value added through AM’s ability to enable customization and manage geometric complexity. Outcomes include greater levels of performance, reduced scrap, and overall simplification of components.
- Path III has to do with product customization, and here we see interesting applications related to customization and the overall complexity of the parts that we produce. We see interesting applications in medical technology related to customization for clinical efficacy and customization for visualization. Related to clinical efficacy we've already seen additive manufacturing used for the creation of custom titanium jaw replacements, reducing surgical time by 60 to 80% due to the need for fewer on the spot adjustments.
The duration of hospital stays is also reduced to about four days instead of the usual two to four weeks, due to lower trauma and better fit. In terms of visualization, we've already seen doctors employ additive manufacturing to build models of human organs for practice and planning. These guides help limit surgical risks and aid in effective treatment. In aerospace and defense, it's all about component performance. When we looked at electron beam melting in an earlier segment, we saw the example of a turbine blade.
We also see additive manufacturing used to reduce costs for production of high value components and improve overall component performance. For example, aerospace manufacturers often incur high scrap rates when using more subtractive methods to produce components. In some cases those scrap rates can run as high as 97%. Using additive manufacturing technologies, we see those scrap rates reduced to near zero on one-to-one ratio of production and purchase of materials. On the performance side, Airbus produces components for its A320 aircraft, reducing component weight by 64% while maintaining its strength and function, and we know that weight is a huge issue when it comes to fuel costs for flying.
Innovation on new designs also leads to component simplification. Perhaps the most famous example of this in aerospace or any other industry, is GE Aircraft's ability to create fuel nozzles for their next generation jet engine out of a single component instead of 20 sub-components. The durability of these nozzles is further reported to be about five times greater than when using traditional methods. Part simplification also matters in the automotive industry, in ways that we've already talked about. Remember the example that we previously used of an oil pump? We know of one auto supplier that's using additive manufacturing to actually produce diesel pumps as a single unit, reducing the part count, simplifying the assembly process, and reducing overall production costs.
With respect to overall component performance, suppliers are also using additive manufacturing to create designs with conformal cooling channels similar to the ones that we looked at before, simultaneously improving performance and reducing machining requirements.
- What is additive manufacturing?
- Working with light-activated polymers
- Resin printing
- Modeling and extruding materials
- Fusing, melting, and sintering
- Binder jetting
- Laminating sheets
- Developing a product
- Shaping the direction of tooling
- Evolving a supply chain
- Evolving a product
- Evolving a business model