3D Printing: Genesis Automation, Using Tomorrow’s Technology Today
What is the challenge?
Build an assembly part that cannot be made with conventional machining or fabrication techniques.
How did Genesis Automation meet the challenge?
Using 3D printing we were able to design, engineer, and print an intricate part for a client’s assembly system. In this instance, 3D printing this part was the only practical way to create it. Not only was the part equal in cost to us fabricating something similar, but the 3D printed part has the strength to withstand the long life cycle for that specific part of the machine.
Genesis Automation employs 3D printing technology to create parts that would otherwise be very expensive and time consuming, if not impossible, to manufacture using conventional machining methods.
Using SolidWorks to design and engineer the perfect part, we work with a 3D printing vendor. Their cutting edge direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) technology creates the end use parts that complete our machines.
Genesis Automation incorporates this technology to give clients cutting edge automation capabilities. Using 3D printing to fabricate parts offers an unequivocal level of quality and service, shortens lead time, and can extend the part’s longevity.
What are the origins of this technology?
The invention and patent of the stereolithography apparatus (SLA) by Charles (Chuck) Hull, in 1986 laid the groundwork for what is now called 3D printing. Current 3D printing capabilities allow for designers to not only create prototypes, but fabricate sustainable working parts.
Will Genesis Automation continue to use this technology?
Genesis Automation will continue using 3D printing when our systems require complicated parts that cannot be effectively manufactured with conventional machining methods. Currently, DMLS is cost competitive on difficult parts, but like all technologies, that cost will come down over time and make it a more competitive option for a wider range of parts.
What is most exciting about 3D printing technology is that designers have unique geometric freedom when creating prototypes and machine parts, with turnaround times of less than one day.
What is the 3D printing process?
STL files are extracted from 3D CAD models.
Their technician works with the 3D model to orient the geometry for part building.
The file is divided into layers and then loaded into machine software. The actual print occurs within a build chamber.
In the build chamber, a metal powder is spread across the build plate.
The 3D printer fuses each layer of metal powder into a solid part by melting it locally using a 200 watt fiber optic laser.
Parts are built up additively using 20 or 40 micron wave.
What are the benefits of 3D printing?
The benefits of 3D direct metal laser sintering, or melting:
Printed parts have excellent mechanical properties, high detail resolution and exceptional quality.
Because 3D printing can be done with many alloys, prototypes can be often be made out of the same material as production components.
Accelerated design cycles.
It’s one of the few direct digital manufacturing technologies used in production; increases design efficiency for technical applications.
Offers engineers unlimited potential to create impossible solutions, embracing a new era of design driven manufacturing.
When your project requires intricate design and engineering, contact Genesis Automation.