Although we’ve called this a top 10, it’s not really in any particular order – it’s just a list of 10 of the most well-known and perhaps most highly regarded additive manufacturing or 3D printing companies.
If anything, it’s an impressionistic understanding of the market, taking into consideration size of the company, number of clients and general reputation.
Like many other cutting edge technologies – artificial intelligence, big data analytics – additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has been incorporated into daily use at Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing with the help of the team’s Technical Innovation Group.
In this case, TIG partner Renishaw, a global metrology firm which manufactures metal additive manufacturing machines, as well as working with the more familiar 3D printing in plastics for its own prototyping.
Engineering services provider Renishaw is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, a 3D modelling, simulation and industrial operations software provider, as part of its commitment to provide and enhance software for metal additive manufacturing.
Siemens, Strata and Etihad Airways have signed an agreement to work together to develop the first 3D-printed parts for aircraft interiors in the Middle East and North Africa.
The partnership aims to “revolutionize” the aerospace industry, leveraging additive manufacturing, known as 3D printing, to help airlines to improve their designs, including making complex parts on demand and manufacturing discontinued parts.
There may or may not be slight differences between what’s called “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing”, but essentially both are advanced techniques that could spell the end of assembly lines as we know them.
It’s a widely known historic fact that giant car companies pioneered what we now known as the assembly line, where a product – such as a car or any other complex item – would move along production line, where different workers and teams of workers would do their jobs and eventually a finished product would be the result.
OR Laser believes the jewellery industry will be the main beneficiary of Orlas Creator
OR Laser believes it is on the cusp of further innovate the jewellery industry with the introduction of its new and accessible metal additive manufacturing system, the Orlas Creator.
OR says its Orlas Creator offers an “economically profitable” metal system with “superior speed and productivity gains by way of its unique” circular build-platform design in combination with a proprietary, rotation-led precision coater blade that will bring new value creation opportunities for jewellery brands.
OR Laser has launched a new direct metal additive manufacturing system which it says is “more accessible and more affordable for more companies”.
The company says the Orlas Creator metal additive manufacturing platform is “smarter, simpler, faster and more cost effective than any other metal additive manufacturing system currently available on the market”.
Global engineering and technology company Renishaw will showcase its latest developments and highlight the role that metal additive manufacturing plays in the manufacturing process chain at formnext, taking place between the 15th and 18th of November, 2016, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Renishaw will exhibit in Hall 3.1, on stand F68. Highlights on the stand will include a Moto 2 motorcycle and the Robot Bike Company R160 bespoke mountain bike frame, one of the latest innovations to come out of Renishaw’s global network of Solutions Centres.
“Additive manufacturing” is increasingly used interchangeably with “3D printing”, so they essentially mean the same thing. The only difference seems to be that “3D printing” is used more by maker communities – hobbyists and inventors – and still retains some sort of novelty value, whereas “additive manufacturing” – despite being the newer term – is more likely to be preferred in industry circles, perhaps because it has the sound of an established technology.
But it’s not really an “established” technology in the sense that it’s only been around for a relatively short time.
According to 3DPrintingIndustry.com, it was only in 2007 that a 3D printer was available for less than $10,000 – from a company called 3D Systems, which is today one of the most well-known providers of the technology.
Renishaw, one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific technology companies, will present the latest thinking and developments in metal additive manufacturing at the 2016 Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC), September 13-14, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.
Marc Saunders, director of Renishaw’s global solutions centres, will deliver a talk on industrialising additive manufacturing at 11am, on Wednesday 14th September, Room W375B.
Marc will explore the chains of linked processes and tools that are required to create an integrated manufacturing process with AM at its heart, and the controls that must be employed to make AM a mainstream manufacturing process.
OR Laser says it has built a welding solution which can be equipped with a powder nozzle for additive manufacturing
Direct metal deposition (DMD) can be up to 250 to 330 per cent faster than manual laser cladding.
New Additive Manufacturing 2.0 (AM 2.0)-capable laser welding systems can now be equipped with a recently developed powder nozzle from OR Lasertechnologie that permits fully automatic layerwise buildup.
Renishaw is contributing its additive manufacturing expertise to a new £17.7 million project, being led by Airbus in the UK, to develop an innovative way of designing and manufacturing aircraft wings, which will encourage a “right first time approach” and reduce development time.
More than 30,000 new aircraft are expected to be required in the next 15-20 years, replacing existing in-service models and also to expand airlines’ fleets as the number of air travellers increases.