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Transition from traditional manufacturing to 3D printing
There are three traditional manufacturing methods, including subtractive, additive and equal material manufacturing.
Subtractive manufacturing is a traditional metal cutting method, which is used to remove excess materials from the workpiece, thereby satisfying the requirements for shape, dimensional accuracy and surface quality on parts. The disadvantage is that there are too many leftover materials, which is very easy to cause waste.
等材制造/Equal Material Manufacturing
Equal material manufacturing, for example, is to pinch a piece of mud into a variety of shapes. Other examples include ancient iron-hitting technology, mold injecting technology and so on. The advantage is no waste and the disadvantage is very slow casting process and high mold cost.
Additive manufacturing is the technology of manufacturing solid parts by the method of material accumulation. Unlike traditional material removal and cutting technology, it is a "bottom-up" manufacturing method, which constructs the object layer by layer. That is called 3D printing. Usually there are three steps:
1. Digital modeling for shape design
2. Slicer software for clear hierarchy
3. Mechanical printing for lay-by-layer construction
AM is 3D printing
The essence of 3D printing is additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Relying on computer-aided design (CAD), big data, cloud computing, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), Internet of Things, virtual reality (VR) and other technology support, it can directly construct 3D objects layer by layer with digital or computer models. 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is a representative and disruptive technology of manufacturing industry, which combines information and network technology, advanced material technology and digital manufacturing technology. It is an important part of advanced manufacturing industry.
Compared with traditional manufacturing technology (subtractive manufacturing and equal material manufacturing), 3D printing (additive manufacturing) does not require the prior manufacture of molds. More importantly, there is no need to remove a large number of materials in the manufacturing process or go through the complex forging process to obtain the final product. It possesses "de-molding, waste reduction, inventory reduction" characteristics. In production, we can optimize the structure, save materials and save energy, which has greatly improved manufacturing efficiency, while realizing the concept of "design-led manufacturing".
The ISO/ASTM 52900:2015 standard issued by the Additive Manufacturing Technical Committee classifies additive manufacturing technology into seven categories: stereolithography (SLA), binder jetting (3DP), directional energy deposition (DED), thin material lamination (LOM), material extrusion (FDM), material injection (PloyJet), powder bed melting (SLM, SLS, EBM).
Let’s take a look at the whole industrial chain. 3D printing upstream covers lasers, vibration mirrors, 3D scanning equipment, 3D printing software, powder raw materials, etc. 3D printing midstream dominates the entire industrial chain. It includes 3D printing equipment manufacturers mainly, as well as some printing service providers and raw material suppliers. 3D printing downstream has been applied in all fields including aerospace, automotive industry, shipbuilding, energy power, rail transportation, electronics industry, mold manufacturing, medical and health care, cultural creativity, architecture, etc.
SLA fast forming
SLA is currently one of the most in-depth, widely used fast forming technology at home and abroad. Its high technical maturity has undergone a trial of market for a long time. Its specific advantages are as follows: no cutting tools or molds, fast processing speed and short production cycle. SLA is able to process complex structures, as well as molds and prototypes which may not be formed by conventional methods. It has realized digital 3D printing based on 3D digital models, which can reduce the cost of replication/repair caused by design errors. Compared to FDM molding process, SLA offers high molding accuracy, smooth surface flatness and fast molding speed.
常用的SLA材料/Commonly Used SLA Materials
SLA uses liquid resin as raw material, such as castable or dental resin. The following table summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of common resins:
SLA models can achieve very high quality through a variety of post-processing methods, such as sanding, polishing, coating and the use of mineral oils, etc.
Main features of the SLA are summarized in the following table:
With the continuous development of 3D printing industry in recent years, price of both SLA 3D printer and photosensitive resin has become gradually lower. It has been one of the most idea choices for industrial prototypes, display models, animation and other applications.
In terms of speed, stereolithography still needs to be improved.
In terms of consumables, energy conservation and environmental protection is still an issue. Develop new molding materials, enhance the strength, precision, performance and service life, while preferably leading to an environment-friendly development.
In terms of accuracy, a big improvement is still needed for more advanced biomedical or electronics industries.
In terms of field expansion, develop and penetrate into other industries in addition to product validation and fast molding.
Cycloaliphatic epoxy resin has an extremely board application prospect in UV curing field because of its low viscosity, low swelling ratio, low shrinkage rate, fast cure and high photosensitivity. Especially in 3D printing emerging market, where customers seek for high-performance formulation and the government has raised demand for environmental protection, it will undoubtedly drive a continued increase in demand for cycloaliphatic epoxy resins.
Nantong Synasia New Material Co., Ltd. has specialized in the production of cycloaliphatic epoxy resins for more than ten years. Welcome customers at home and abroad to call us, and we will be happy to offer you premium service!
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