Metal AM Spring 2017

Page 75

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Materialise Magics

Materialise Magics: Advanced part orientation and support solutions to speed up application development Materialise NV, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has more than 25 years of experience in developing industry-leading software for Additive Manufacturing. The company also operates some of the largest AM factories in Europe, including a metal AM facility in Bremen, Germany. Kirsten Van Praet reveals how the latest release of the company’s Materialise Magics suite can help users achieve higher levels of AM production success through advanced part orientation and support solutions. Key advantages of the metal AM process are also reviewed through a case study and a number of application examples.

Choosing the right manufacturing technique for a given application usually holds very few secrets and comes naturally to most designers and engineers. For decades, they have had a palette of well-known metal manufacturing methods at their disposal: machining, casting, moulding, welding, extrusion - every single one with its own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing when to choose a growing technology such as metal Additive Manufacturing is far more challenging and raises both questions and uncertainty. In order to fully benefit from the opportunities presented by Additive Manufacturing, it is therefore necessary to begin with a thorough understanding of the technology, the materials and the design process. A successful metal AM part is always the result of an effective interplay between these factors in relation to the application. Some applications will benefit more from the opportunities than others, resulting in significant improvements in terms of weight, performance, functionality and/or aesthetics.

Vol. 3 No. 1 © 2017 Inovar Communications Ltd

In general, the main benefits of metal Additive Manufacturing are design freedom, production speed and cost reduction. In conventional manufacturing, a product’s functionalities and appearance are a direct consequence of the manufacturing process of choice.

Additive Manufacturing, however, by means of its layer-wise production, suffers from almost no manufacturing boundaries, especially in terms of geometrical freedom. This results in new and exciting opportunities for product design.

Fig. 1 Metal Additive Manufacturing at Materialise’s Bremen production facility

Metal Additive Manufacturing | Spring 2017


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