Additive manufacturing

On 7-10 July in IEC Ekaterinburg-Expo will be held international trade fair INNOPROM. This is the Russia’s biggest site for presenting new technologies and equipment by Russian and foreign producers. The Fair will be visited not only by top-managers and engineers of the biggest industrial enterprises but also sy senior representatives from the State and regions’ governments.

Look equipment, presented at the exposition

The INNOPROM.METALWORKING exposition embraces “Additive manufacturing” thematic section, which promises to be one of the most visited sections. Additive technologies, in particular 3D printing of metal products, is one of the examples of how we are witnessing the industrial revolution happening right now and technologies of the future from fantastic films becoming our reality.

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When for the majority of ordinary men 3D printing remains fantastic, forward thinking investors and facilities managers have already evaluated prospects for using additive technologies. Quick designing process and quality production become the key-factor of success on actively developing and highly competitive industrial markets – there is a need to catch up to release to the market a new product before competitors do it. That is why technical solutions increasing the speed and efficiency of the preparation for production cycle and final products release are in demand.

Application fields:

  • Machine engineering and ship building
  • Aircraft production and aerospace industry
  • Energetics and nuclear industry
  • Electronics
  • Military-industrial complex
  • Medicine and dentistry
  • Architecture and design
  • Instrument engineering and prototyping
  • Jewelry production

Exposition on additive technologies at the trade fair in Yekaterinburg is the venue where you can see the newest samples of 3D printing equipment and the most interesting developments of this field. For example, in 2016 Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation at the INNOPROM fair presented the first Russian industrial 3D metal printer with its 550×550 camera at par with Western analogues on the terms of technical characteristics. The very first presentation of the domestic sample, created as a result of a joint project of Rosatom Research Division and State Research Center of Russian Federation CNIITMASH drew the attention of Mass Media, potential buyers and general public.

What is the additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is an innovative production method based on layer-by-layer synthesis principle. When in traditional production methods a detail or an object of a required size is made by removing excess material from a solid work piece, the new technology of three-dimensional printing creates a detail from scratch by subsequent adding of new layers of material. The term “additive” originally refers to the English word “add”.

Kinds of laser 3D printing:

  • SLS (selective laser sintering
  • SLA (laser stereolithography)
  • SLM (selective laser melting)
  • LOM (laminated object manufacturing)
  • LMD (laser metal deposition)

Kinds of jet 3D printing:

  • FDM (fused deposition modeling)
  • Polyjet (jet printing through solidification of liquid photopolymers under UV light)

Operating principles of 3D metal printers

Operation of industrial 3D printer is not much different from home or office laser or ink-jet printers we are used to – the difference is the size and the fact, that printing happens in three dimensions. Otherwise the operating principles are very similar – powdered metal material is transferred to the printhead, heated by the laser beam to a high temperature and layer-by-layer “baked” in required order until needed size and shape is achieved.
Production process with help of industrial additive manufacturing:

  • Creating CAD model (designing  a 3D detail by using special software)
  • Creating STL fail and separating into layers
  • Preparing the printer to work and launch of the heating element
  • Installing a form for the detail on a working surface
  • Filling supply box with metal powder
  • Printheads with the heating element move along intended trajectory solidificating metal powder and binding agent, which are supplied through the tubes
  • A layer in the form is dried by a special heater
  • The procedure is repeated for next layers until the form completely filled
  • The form with the detail is placed in a special oven, where by 1800° C temperature the laying process occurs
  • Approximately in 24 hours the binding agent solidifies, and liquid evaporates, after that, excesses of metal powder on the surface of the product are removed by blowing

When necessary other procedures of final treatment are made, varying on the type, composition and characteristics of the metals.

What is produced by 3D metal printers

Additive production manufacturing  are used to create products of complex shape and configuration, for example, details with cavities, mesh constructions and original relief. More and more enterprises prefer three-dimensional printing for the objects, which a difficult or economically inefficient to produce by pressing, punching, casting or mechanical metalworking.

Kinds of objects made by 3D printing

  • Products of piece or small-scale production
  • Car parts
  • Metal and metal alloy tools
  • Components for appliances and machine tools
  • Aircrafts, drones and submarines parts
  • Rockets and satellites parts
  • Endoprosthesis and implants

The advantages of additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing in machine engineering is used for more than 20 years and passed the test of time and difficult operating conditions. Other industries, which actively implementing 3D printing, also constantly provide statistic data on the benefits and advantages of this production method. That is why industry experts have a broad basis for comparison and can make conclusions based on long-term observation and real experience, and the following benefits are not theoretical:

  1. Saving raw materials. 3D printing means creating the product from scratch. That is why material consumption is reduced through absence of shavings and flakes. Waste-free production is not only minimizing the raw materials costs but also eliminates the need to allocate the funds for the waste disposal. While conservative technologies of metalworking can lead to a 80-85% loss of raw materials for work pieces.
  2. Quality and reliability of a final product. Mechanical and technical characteristics, residual stress, density, strength and other properties of the product synthesized by three-dimensional printing or layer-by-layer 3D fusing are not only does not yield to properties of traditionally created analogues, but surpass them. Their strength is usually 20-30% higher than that of forged or molded products.
  3. Expediting production cycle. Instant data exchange, quick designing process and setting production process – this is what will help you win the race with competitors by means of expending cycle from the project to the release of new product line. There is no need in numerous drawings and calculations – computer model of the product can be sent from the head office or third-party contractor and promptly got into working process in just a few minutes.
  4. Mobility and flexibility of production. Producers doesn’t have to purchase bulky equipment for a whole of cutting, molding, punching and final treatment tasks in order to release new product series. It is enough to purchase software for making CAD-models and relatively compact 3D printer. Savings in everything – from the rent of production places and necessity for a large number of staff to the deprecation and maintenance of machine tools, conveyors and units, are evident.

Learn more about additive manufacturing in Russia and in the World at INNOPROM.METALWORKING exposition within the INNOPROM fair in July 2020. Register right now and get a free electronic ticket valid during 4 days of the event!