Only twenty years ago ‘Additive Manufacturing’ was used primarily as a prototyping tool. Now more commonly known as Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), the technology has grown to become a full-fledged manufacturing solution.
At a time when most Australian manufacturers are under increasing pressures to reduce costs and increase productivity, the implementation of DDM technology into processes can help to do just that.
What is direct digital manufacturing?
DDM uses 3D CAD files to drive the computer controlled fabrication of parts. Goods are produced by adding material one layer at a time, helping to eliminate the need for moulding, machining, casting and forming.
How can DDM benefit Australian manufacturers?
Adopting DDM into the manufacturing process helps to address a number of the most pressing issues facing the Australian manufacturing industry through:
- Eliminating investment in tooling
- Reducing time between design and products reaching the market
- Eliminating design constraints
- Reducing waste and energy required to produce goods
Which manufacturing applications is DDM most suited to?
DDM is ideal for both low-volume manufacturing and in the processes of mass production, however in two very different ways:
Low-volume manufacturing – For short-run manufacturing, DDM lowers costs by reducing initial machining costs and inventory levels and minimising losses when design modifications are required. For these same reasons, DDM is ideal for the creation of custom parts and parts with complex geometrics.
Mass production – While not suited to mass produced products, DDM can play an important role in the manufacturing of these goods. The need for manufacturing tools, such as jigs, fixtures, gauges and hand tools will always be present, and using DDM to produce these tools can greatly increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Industry leaders in DDM technology, Stratasys help Australian manufacturers to streamline their production and provide them with the flexibility to embrace more opportunities.
Click here to find out more