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Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing offers new approaches for the development and production of prototypes, individual technical parts as well as for the needs-based production of small batches.

OFTEN UNDERESTIMATED

Additive manufacturing - the advantages

Use the advantages of additive manufacturing to streamline and accelerate the production of prototypes and series parts and to experience maximum design freedom!

Cost-effective

Due to the fact that additive manufacturing can generate physical models directly from existing 3D data, this approach is comparatively inexpensive.

Fast

No tooling and long lead times are required for additive manufacturing. It is possible in some cases that you will receive your parts on the next working day.

Flexible

For additive manufacturing, it is almost irrelevant whether you call off one or 1,000 pieces of a part. The delivery times always remain unbeatably short.

Customizable

Customize your parts directly to your customers' needs. Production-accompanying part markings or special parts can be implemented without any problems at the same unit prices.

Cost-effective

Due to the fact that additive manufacturing can generate physical models directly from existing 3D data, this approach is comparatively inexpensive.

Fast

No tooling and long lead times are required for additive manufacturing. In some cases it is possible that you will receive your parts on the next working day.

Flexible

For additive manufacturing, it is almost irrelevant whether you call off one or 1,000 pieces of a part. The delivery times always remain unbeatably short.

Customizable

Customize your parts directly to your customers' needs. Production-accompanying part markings or special parts can be implemented without any problems at the same unit prices.

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MORE THAN JUST 3D PRINTING

What is additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing (also called generative manufacturing or additive manufacturing ) is a 3D printing manufacturing process in which a material is built up layer by layer to create a solid body. This so-called layered construction principle makes it possible to produce geometrically complex structures.

Frequently used materials are plastic, synthetic resin, metal or ceramic.

However, additive manufacturing is not to be equated with “3D printing”: While 3D printing is understood to mean the manufacture of a part using a 3D printer, additive manufacturing goes further and describes the entire process: from 3D printing optimized design and development to prototype construction towards series production using 3D printing.

As a result, additive manufacturing has an impact on the entire life cycle of a product and is a fundamental approach to e.g. to lead an idea to series production.

USED SENSITIVELY

Applications of additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing offers a wide range of possible applications. In addition to the classic part production of e.g. functional parts or prototypes based on existing 3D data, this manufacturing process can also and above all come into question for special applications. It is mostly parts or products that are very difficult or impossible to implement using conventional methods. Some typical areas of application are listed and described below:

3d printed small parts
Source: HP

Individualized products

Personalized products are becoming more and more important nowadays, especially in the end customer sector. Depicting this degree of individualization in a production facility often leads to enormous additional costs, since systems, for example, have to be re-equipped or programmed. With additive manufacturing, each manufactured part can theoretically deviate from the previous one without incurring additional work on the system itself. This fact has a drastic effect on the production costs, especially of tailored small batches.

Complex geometries

Every manufacturing process has its natural limits. For example, three-dimensional tunnel geometries can only be represented to a limited extent with the aid of milling machines. The same applies to classic injection molding, in which undercuts quickly lead to the use of hinged cores and can only be implemented to a certain extent. The layer-by-layer structure in additive manufacturing processes partially or even completely eliminates such problems (depending on the technology).

filigree structures with the HP Multi Jet Fusion
Function integration
Source: HP

Function integration

Many assemblies nowadays consist of several individual parts for a reason. A complex part geometry usually prevents production “from a single source”. Since theoretically every 3D geometry can be produced using additive processes, savings can often be made on many individual elements and even moving parts can be produced within a fixed geometry. As a result, assembly steps can be greatly simplified or completely eliminated, which in turn has a positive effect on the costs of the final product.

Lightweight construction

Due to the layered structure of parts, more complex geometries can be represented by means of 3D printing, which are difficult or impossible to realize with conventional methods. For example, voluminous parts can be worked out with different fillings and wall thicknesses in order to achieve an optimal weight-stability ratio. With the HP MJF and SLS processes, it is also possible to print completely hollow bodies – only a small exit has to be created to “drain” excess material after printing. By means of such and similar measures, enormous weight reductions can be achieved, depending on the part, without having to lose stability.

Lightweight construction with 3D printing
Source: HP

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MJF component with black dye finish

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping is the production of sample parts directly from the existing 3D design data, mostly using additive manufacturing processes. The aim is to convert the underlying data into workpieces as quickly as possible and without detours. Production drawings or tools are normally not necessary with this method.

KV-Stack Holder for measuring devices of IBA Dosimetry

Small batches

Especially in the area of small batches, 3D printing can show its advantages. Because for this type of production no cost-intensive tools are required, which only pay off with larger quantities. We have made the experience that there is often no more economical alternative to additive manufacturing, especially for batches of up to approx. 500 pieces.

ANSWERS TO MANY QUESTIONS

Interesting facts about 3D printing

You are new to additive manufacturing or 3D printing and want to find out more about basic topics? No problem: You will find numerous explanations and assistance in our knowledge database. With just a few clicks, the database can be filtered according to various topics, such as “saving costs”. However, if you would like to get personal advice, feel free to contact us.

Here you can see a few articles from the 3DBAVARIA knowledge database: