How Support-Less Metal Additive Manufacturing is Beneficial

How Support-Less Metal Additive Manufacturing is Beneficial

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, September 11, 2020

The manufacturing companies are using support-less metal additive manufacturing so that they can develop more parts at the same time.

FREMONT, CA: Today, the metal additive manufacturing is still mostly utilized for making tooling components, spare parts, and functional prototypes. With every step, it is being implemented for production-oriented use. It is estimated that the demand for metal additive manufacturing will increase shortly. One of the significant advantages of metal additive manufacturing is its designers can model parts with the latest design freedom level.

Top 10 Metal Manufacturing Consulting/Service Companies - 2019However, in the most widely utilized metal AM process and laser powder bed fusion, the metal parts are attached to the platform with the support structures' help. Such support structures also add a significant amount of design and manufacturing constraints. They are also developed by using the same material which were used in the parts. It is also essential to reduce wrapping and distortion because it may create high processing temperatures. Therefore, the metal additive manufacturers have developed a support-less technology. This new technology has the power to enhance the quality of metal parts, decrease expenses, reduce the time limit. Developers have also allowed engineers to produce parts that were impossible to manufacture with traditional methods.

A support-less metal additive manufacturing technology

The support structures, an essential factor is most of the metal additively manufactured parts. They are necessary for every angle, which is less than 45 degrees. When it is under 45 degrees, they provide an appropriate platform for the next layer, built on it. Moreover, they anchor the part to the build plate, avoid wrapping, and even help reduce heat, which, due to which the parts can cool down at a controlled rate. But if they are omitted while manufacturing the parts, the angle will decrease due to which the downward-facing surface will become rougher, and the part will fail if the angle is decreased too far.

The object of the metal additive manufacturer support-less technology is to generate an impact on the type of parts they create. This free-floating technology has been developed so that it can fight against the issues and decrease expense, lead times, and design limitations related to adding support structures. With the technology, the parts can be printed free-floating in powder, which means more parts can be developed on the same built plate since they are not attached to it. Moreover, in the high-pressure turbine blades, the manufacturers can make users develop almost 441 parts per build compared to 85 parts per build with other systems.

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