Additive Manufacturing

JUL 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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JULY 2018 Additive Manufacturing FEATURE / Metal Additive Manufacturing 30 By Stephanie Hendrixson Within the additive manufacturing space, there's a model for the evolution of design thinking that goes something like this: You might start with AM by 3D printing a part design you're already making, which may be an easy win but doesn't provide any real advantage. You might then improve the part—consolidate an assembly, reduce weight—taking advantage of some of the inherent benefits made possible by 3D printing. But the end of the model is to implement design for additive manufacturing (DFAM) from the very beginning to create parts that couldn't be made any other way. This is the ultimate goal: to make the best parts by designing them to make the best use of the technology. In some ways, this design thinking evolution mirrors what is happening in another area of AM: materials. I recently spoke with some representatives of Carpenter Technology, a com- pany that has been providing metals for manufacturing since Toward Tailored Materials 1889. Today, its product mix includes metal powders and wire engineered for additive manufacturing, and Carpenter's role has expanded beyond material supplier into a solutions provider, a role that is proving particularly valuable in AM. "We want to build the correlation from powder to part, or wire to part, and be an end-to-end player in this space," says Mike Murtagh, chief technology officer. Carpenter is moving toward this goal with its acquisition in February 2018 of CalRam, a Camarillo, California-based parts producer specializing in metal powder-based AM. The benefits to this acquisition are twofold. First, a close relationship with a production house gives Carpenter insight into how materials behave inside specific machines with given parameters, and offers more direct access to customers and their challenges. Second, CalRam and its customers benefit from Carpenter's vast As AM moves past existing materials, what will it look like to develop specialized and eventually fully custom options? Carpenter engineers hold metal 3D-printed parts at the company's AM lab in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ongoing R&D work focuses on studying AM materials and their behavior in printing as well as postprocessing. Images courtesy Carpenter Technology.

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