6 Important Questions You Need to Ask if You Are Considering Additive Manufacturing

With so many different forms of parts manufacturing being offered by companies like Additive Manufacturing, LLC, how do you know if using the additive manufacturing process is the right one? In order to make the right decision here are a few important questions you need to ask yourself.
How Complex is the Geometry of Your Parts?
If your parts are relatively simple in design, you may not need to use the additive manufacturing (AM) process. However, if your part has a significant number of undercuts and several complex features, the AM process may be the only way to manufacture them affordably. This process makes it possible to manufacture parts that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to manufacture using CNC milling. How Big Is Your Part?
Like many things in life, size matters. AM is best used for smaller parts as it is one of the most cost-effective methods of production. Larger parts cannot be affordably manufactured using this process. How Many Parts Do You Need?
Typical AM orders run from 100 to 1,000 parts. If you need more parts than this, you may find this method of manufacturing to be more costly than many others. If your parts are particularly complex or your business uses the “Just in Time” inventory method, you may find this to be the most affordable and effective method of manufacturing. Companies like Boeing use DMLS to produce limited use parts such as cooling ducts on certain models of aircraft that they produce in limited numbers. It makes far more sense than paying the high cost of setting up the tooling needed to make them using the CNC milling process. Are There Likely to Be Design Changes in the Near Future?
One of the great features of additive manufacturing such as we offer at Additive Manufacturing, LLC, is the ability to make changes to a part on the fly. You will not incur the same high costs involved in retooling or remaking the mold needed to manufacture your parts. AM involves no molding or tooling costs. Are Your Parts Standard Or Custom?
One of the benefits of using AM is the ability to make custom parts without the need to change tooling or create one-off type molds. You don’t have to worry about paying for complicated CNC programming, for each custom part you need to be manufactured. The prosthetics industry has turned to additive manufacturing as a way to reduce wait times and costs for patients. Are AM Materials Available That Offer the Longevity and Durability You Need?
Over the course of the last 25 years, the number of materials used in the AM manufacturing process has increased significantly. Today, there are literally hundreds of different materials and alloys available for you to choose from and just as many variations in the AM manufacturing process.The best way to find out if AM is right for the parts you need is to consult with the experts at Additive Manufacturing, LLC. We can help you choose the right materials and process to ensure your parts are durable and offer the appropriate lifespan.