Some companies combine additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive methods to take advantage of what each process does best. For example, the time needed to build this stainless-steel electronic housing was reduced from 52 weeks for an entirely cast part to 3 weeks by machining the base housing and building up the vertical details directly on the housing using AM. (Source: Sandia National Labs)
Eventually, there will be 3D printers that can employ multiple methods of additive/subtractive fabrication along with different materials. Some home-based desktop printers can already use multiple materials (i.e.: ceramics and thermoplastics) and it surely won't be long before multiple printing methods will be incorporated.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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