VIDEO: Tapping into the Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
James Anderton posted on June 30, 2017 |

Experts agree that additive manufacturing has moved beyond a prototyping technology and is quickly evolving into a reliable production technique.

In the video above, we speak with Mikael Shuisky, operating manager for additive manufacturing at Sandvik Machining Solutions AB, who explained how companies big and small can benefit from additive today.

Additive manufacturing really opens up design possibilities for things that have been difficult or impossible to do before,” Shuisky said. “At Sandvik, we want to see how this can play a role for us, but we also want to help customers.”

However, when asked if additive manufacturing would one day replace subtractive systems, Shuisky was doubtful.

“Additive is a new tool in our toolbox for production. Different additive techniques will have their pros and cons, so it is extremely important to keep the product in focus. If additive is a solution to do that intelligently, then you will put it into the production flow that you are building up, but there will be process steps after,” he said.

“We can take this concept mill that we have developed, which is lightweight and made from powdered tool steels that we produce ourselves, but there will be a hardening process, you need to machine the insert seats. There are steps coming after. It’s important to take care of the steps afterward and you’re thinking of the whole chain of production. If additive still makes sense to make a part with better functionality, then go for it.”

Despite a continued requirement for post-processing, Shuisky sees cost savings in additive versus subtractive in certain contexts.

“If you put in functionality that is difficult to produce today, finding a smart solution and combining that with post processing and doing it in a rational way, you can see the economics in this. We want to be part of this and with Sandvik’s material background and as a world leader in metal cutting, I can definitely see this helping industries find ways for selecting materials, selecting the additive process.”

“We’re building up the capability of being machine-supplier independent. You need to challenge the different additive technologies to really see which one is the best with binder jetting, powder bed fusion or direct energy, which one makes the most sense for the component being made. I think a lot of industries are waking up and seeing the possibilities.”

For more information, watch the video above and visit the Sandvik website.

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