3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, a technology that’s been around for nearly 30 years, has become increasingly more widespread offering possibilities for future product development. It is the process of creating a structure made by the addition of thousands of tiny layers, when combined, create a product. Computer and CAD software assists when designing and “printing” the desired shape. The common types of additive manufacturing;

• 3D Printing- Fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle or other printer technology.

• Rapid Prototyping- Creating a test design with functional components and molds using different materials that are compatible with additive manufacturing.

• Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMSL), Selective Laser Melting (SLM)- SLS and DMSL merge particles into the material without full melt and is porous products. SML fully melts with the metal heated and then is cooled and created non-porous products.

A distinctive benefit of additive manufacturing is the greater range of shapes and designs that can be manufactured in one piece creating a stronger product that doesn’t have weak areas that can be compromised.

Washington Mills manufactures silicon carbide and aluminum oxide powders that are used in additive manufacturing applications such as gas turbine engines, aluminum (AMC) and ceramic matrix composites (CMC). The chemical and physical properties of silicon carbide make it an excellent material for high temperature structural applications, such as gas turbine engine components. Properties include excellent oxidation resistance and corrosion resistance, high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion coefficient, high resistance to thermal shock and high strength at elevated temperatures. Washington Mills Ceramics Corporation produces specially formulated 3DCM and 3DPM for mass finishing of 3D printed parts.