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What are the 3D printing techniques available in the market?

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The global additive manufacturing market is estimated to be a 40 billion dollar market due to time and cost-saving methods. The technique is focused more on turning a digital model of an object into a three-dimensional physical item. The object can be designed by adding printable materials layer by layer on its digital design.

The techniques where metal as a base in additive manufacturing technologies are used layer by layer are:-

  1. Selective laser melting (SLM): Successive layers of metallic powder are melted completely by the laser. Once the melting process step is done, the next step is performed by a machine, adding the additional layers of powder above the melted layer till the object is finished. Most aerospace and medical industries use the technology to its maximum. The technology was discovered in 1995 by the German research institute Fraunhofer institute  ITL.
  2. Direct Metal Laser  Sintering (DMLS): The difference with the above method is the use of the degree for the particles to be melted. In DMLS, the particles are not melted completed. In this technique, the 3D printer parts are developed from fine Aluminium or Titanium powder. The technique was developed jointly by Rapid  Product Innovations (RPI) and EOS GmbH.
  3. Laser Metal disposition (LMD): The technique uses the laser beam to melt the metallic object, creating a melted pool into which the metal powder is fed. The laser or the nozzle used for the delivery of the powder is controlled by a robotic arm or gantry system. The technique is also known as directed energy disposition (DED). A deposit is formed by melting the powder to create the required geometry layer by layer. Industries such as Aerospace, tooling, transportation, oil, and gas are heavily dependent on such techniques.
  4. Electron beam melting (EBM): In place of any laser, the technique uses an electron beam to fully melt the metal powder layer by layer in a high vacuum. The technique manufactures metal parts with 100% density. It was originally discovered and patented by the Swedish company Arcam. It is effective in Aerospace and medical implants.

Source:- In-depth: Industry 4.0 2019

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