For different application fields, the relationship between forming quality, efficiency and cost should be comprehensively evaluated and the best cost-effective 3D printing should be selected.
The relationship between additive manufacturing forming efficiency and quality.
3D printing applications
3D printing applications are becoming wider and wider, ranging from consumer products, cultural and creative artefact, architectural design to aerospace structures. In the future, various additive manufacturing technologies will be further developed rapidly, and more efficient and lower cost additive manufacturing processes may continue to be proposed. Various additive manufacturing technologies will compete on the same stage and continue to expand their application fields.
The influence of complex structure on the cost of additive manufacturing and traditional manufacturing parts.
Figure 2 shows the impact of component complexity on manufacturing costs. For traditional mechanical manufacturing (such as turning, milling, grinding, drilling), the manufacturing cost of parts increases exponentially with the increase in complexity and is related to the manufacturing batch. When it is less than 3000 pieces, the cost is very high. The complexity of the parts has little effect on the cost of additive manufacturing. The additive manufacturing process is hardly affected by the complexity of the parts, and its cost is mainly determined by the time required to manufacture the parts. Therefore, additive manufacturing has a significant competitive advantage for single-piece, small-batch production and parts with high geometric complexity. The manufacturing of traditional parts is limited by the complexity of the part itself, and often the design process of function priority is not fully realized in the design process. There are many redundancies in the structure and waste materials. Additive manufacturing can optimize the design through structural topology and reduce weight, improve its performance to achieve lightweight and high strength. Additive manufacturing can distribute different materials of different compositions and colors in the required positions as needed, and obtain the best theoretical design and function-first integrated design and manufacturing.
Aerospace and medical (dental, implants) are the markets with the clearest prospects for the industrialization of metal additive manufacturing, and the automotive, industrial machinery, and consumer electronics markets are highly flexible. From the current global metal 3D printing equipment installed capacity, the distribution of each major application market is relatively balanced. Among them, the aerospace market has the highest installed capacity, followed by medical, dental, industrial machinery, consumer electronics, and scientific research institutions. And the automotive field. It should be pointed out that the use of printing equipment in medical, dental and scientific research institutions is oriented to customized needs. Although the value is high and the certainty is strong, it cannot form mass production. There is a certain scale of demand in aerospace, industrial machinery, consumer electronics, automobiles and other fields. In particular, these sectors have a large output value and are still in the early stage of 3D printing application, and they will have high growth flexibility in the future. IDTechEx predicts that by 2028, the global scale of the metal 3D printing market is expected to reach 12 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, aerospace is expected to become the fastest-growing and largest-scale application field due to both demand certainty and large-scale production requirements.
The future of 3D printing
The development of additive manufacturing is no longer a purely technical issue, but an ecological issue. Of course, at the technical level, 3D printing is still innovating, deepening, extending, and integrating; and at the ecological level, additive manufacturing is constantly developing in the direction of systematization, platformization, and ecology. At the consumer level, 3D printing tends to be personalized and customized; at the industrial level, 3D printing emphasizes the low-cost mass application of metal additive manufacturing. The innovation and development of any technology have a growth trajectory. Because additive manufacturing has unique advantages in digitalization, lightweight, better performance, better design, more conducive to modelling and simulation testing, and shorter production cycle, its development potential is undoubtedly Is very huge.