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Blog- Additive Maufacturing - What you require to venture into Additive Manufacturing

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What is additive Manufacturing?


Traditional manufacturing is done by removing material, whereas additive manufacturing is done by adding material.


What equipment do I need to start?


Normally it is considered that you require a 3D printer, but that is not so. All I have is a collection of thin sheets of plasticard, a comtainer of plastic weld adhesive, a cutting board, a scapel, and a 12" steel rule.


Can I used subtractive processes?


Yes of course you can. Many commercial applications of Additive Manufacturing, need to use subtractive methods, to complete the manufacturing process. An example is where circular holes, to a very small tollence. They print the hole, which is not completly round, then the hole is reamed out to make the hole completely round, and the exact required size.


Do I need to make a whole wagon body in one piece?


No is the answer. If it simplies the manufacturing process. The parts can be joined using a suitable glue, to make the complete model. With some items the making in several pieces simplifis the process and improves the quality of the finished product.


How can I get a large radius, for a carriage roof?


If it is printed, so the roof is the intended shape, then the curve is a series of small steps. There are several options, you could smooth the shape using emery paper. You could add extra layer, using a thin sheet, held in place using a suitable adhesive. There are methods of eating away the surface to get a smooth roof, but the roof needs to be printed slightly thicker to allow for the material being removed.


Or you could print the roof flat, and then using hot water and a wooden mandril and a rubber band to bend the roof into the required radius. You have to bend it into a smaller radius that the required, because the roof will spring out, after the part is removed from the hot water.


What models can be made, using Additive Manufacturing?


The only limit to the process is the imagination of the person. Before using a new technique, you will need to several make practice pieces to learn the best way to get the required result.


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