Editors Pick of the Week News
July 6, 2021
3D Systems announces NoSupportsTM, an innovative way to design for metal additive manufacturing that removes the need for supporting material to be printed with parts.
The company explains that existing methods for supporting metal parts during additive manufacturing (AM) impose limitations on part design. The increased complexity required to remove supports brings added costs and increased lead time. Sometimes manufacturers will disqualify metal AM for specific parts due to support-based issues.
3D Systems says new printing strategies, when used in the company's 3DXpert© software, provide advanced capabilities to “expand the design envelope” and make it more likely AM can be used for metal part manufacturing.
Two key concepts provide the foundations for NoSupports: multi-exposure and thermal blades. Multi-exposure is a way to design print paths to reduce self-supporting angles while maintaining a high-quality surface finish. Thermal blades are printed but not connected to the part. They provide a structure to transfer heat and control the weld process, allowing for the lowest-angle features without attaching to the part.
“When looking at how to apply these technologies to various industries with critical applications, it’s imperative that we remove as much risk from the process as possible,” comments Jeph Ruppert, Director, 3D Systems, Application Innovation Group.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.