(Manufacturing Tomorrow, 5/4/17)
When it comes to producing parts, tools and finished goods, manufacturers now have more options than ever before. The trend of 3D printing, which is still in its early stages of development, has already taken the manufacturing industry by storm. Now that it’s paired with traditional CNC machining, some companies are seeing record profitability and greater efficiency across the board.
Aerospace Design & Development
The majority of 3D printers currently work with various plastic mediums. This is useful when producing basic parts and items, but even composite and hardened plastics have been quite limited in aerospace design and development thus far. Recent technological breakthroughs, including a push for 3D printers that work with metal and aluminum materials, will likely change that in the near future.
Hybrid printing is also showing a lot of promise. By combining the best of 3D printing and traditional CNC machining, manufacturers have even greater flexibility and control over projects. Sometimes referred to as metal additive manufacturing, this process is both speedy and efficient.