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Streamlining the Production Process with Phillips Opto


What is Additive Manufacturing and How Does it Work?

Additive Printing and Manufacturing is a computer-aided method of creating objects using intricate layering methods. While most people are aware of 3D printing examples, additive printing and manufacturing is an industrial term for three-dimensional printing.

Traditionally, manufacturing included getting a block of material and chiseling away at it to create the desired product. Imagine getting a block of metal and cutting it using CNC machines to create a model airplane. This method can also be called Subtractive or traditional Manufacturing since you subtract parts from the initial material to create the final output. 

Additive Printing and Manufacturing is the opposite where you create the final object layer-by-layer by adding materials as opposed to subtracting them.

Evolution of Additive Manufacturing

In 1987, we saw the invention of three-dimensional printing technology using stereolithography. While this was the first 3D printing prototype machine, it was also the invention of Additive Manufacturing. In stereolithography, an ultraviolet laser is focused on a vat of photopolymer resin to manufacture an object. 

The process was simple. The design of the object was programmed using Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. The ultraviolet laser drew the design on the surface of the photopolymer resin. This solidified the resin and formed a layer desired object. This process was repeated for all layers to get the final output.

Over the years, as technology evolved, many new Additive Manufacturing processes were invented. Here is a look:

1. Directed Energy Deposition

This is a complex additive manufacturing process that uses focused heat to melt materials and fuse them while being deposited. The design is programmed into the machine and the nozzle carrying the material moves to deposit the material at fixed locations.

2. Sheet Lamination

This is a relatively simpler additive manufacturing process where thin sheets of material are bound together, one layer at a time, and the combined piece is cut to get the desired 3D object. There are two common techniques used in Sheet Lamination:

  • Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) – Strips of material (typically metal) are joined using ultrasonic welding
  • Laminated object manufacturing (LOM) – Strips of adhesive-coated material like paper, plastic, and even metal are glued together 

3. Powder Bed Fusion

In this additive manufacturing process, lasers or electric beams selectively fuse pre-programmed regions of a powder bed.  

4. Material Extrusion

The nozzle deposits material to build the first layer. Subsequent layers are built on top of the previous ones. Since the material is in a melted state, the new layers fuse together on being deposited. 

5. Binder Jetting

A liquid bonding agent is deposited on a thin layer of powder layer by layer to create the desired 3D object.

In recent years, many manufacturing companies have started adopting additive printing and manufacturing techniques to create objects as per exact specifications. At Phillips, we have tied up with Markforged and EOS to offer a wide range of additive printing and manufacturing solutions. 

There is one more type of manufacturing process that is not purely Additive, but uses it along with subtractive manufacturing to offer a seamless process – Hybrid Manufacturing. Powered by Haas, Phillips Additive Hybrid combines the features of additive and subtractive machines in a single device. Once the object is created using additive manufacturing, it needs to go through a subtracting process to get a finished object.

Phillips Additive Hybrid brings together Meltio’s inventive laser metal Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology with CNC Vertical Machining by the global leader Haas to ensure that all processes are completed by a single device improving efficiency and speed.

Visit our website today to check out Markforged 3D printers, EOS 3D printers, Phillips Hybrid Additive solutions, and much more.


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