Additive Manufacturing

NOV 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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Page 22 of 75

AM / Embedded Service 21 • Automatic support generation. Users make simple choices such as "solid" or "infill," but otherwise leave the printer to automatically add supports to the model. • Oper ator-assist features. A magnetic build plate ensures ac- curate and secure loading within the machine. Automatic checks for consumables ensure enough remaining material and ink to finish the job selected. • Safe oper ation. Designed to be "office safe," the Rize system emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A special ink printed between the part and support structures ensures supports can be easily removed by hand, meaning no sharp tools or hazardous solvents are required. The safety of the machines is important because PSMI deals with so many different manufacturers. It therefore needed a printer that could easily win approval for installation within the sites of many different established large companies. Meanwhile, the printers' simplicity is important for the scalability of the business model. PSMI will begin to adapt the training of its personnel to include additive manufacturing, but even so, a complicated printer would limit how widely it can spread this idea because of the mastery needed to run each machine. Spreading the idea widely might prove important. Burk sees wide-open possibilities for this model of on-site additive service, though he admits some of the possibilities might yet be far off. For example, one test customer for the additive capability was already using 3D printing for its own prototyping before Azoth was created, but that company lacked sufficient capacity to meet its prototyping demand. Now, PSMI/ Azoth will be given the chance to make prototypes, even though this is not a type of part typically ordered from the supply crib. And if prototype parts can be sourced in this way, why not short-run production? "To some extent, we need to wait for additive manufacturing technology to catch up to realize all the possibility we envision," Burk says. For example, he does not yet see any existing metal 3D printing solutions providing the kind of safe and simple deployability the Rize machines offer for polymer parts. "But when we can do this kind of printing in metal, say in H13, then that will let us give customers a whole new range of options," he says. Azoth could serve as an efficient AM production resource right inside the plant. To get ready for that day, PSMI needs to show its customers they can begin to think differently about the role a tool crib might play. The safety and simplicity of the Rize printer will allow it to be installed and used effectively in many customer sites. Shown here is PSMI lead engineer Cody Cochran using a Rize printer at PSMI. These printers have now been installed at customer locations where the new business model is being tested.

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