Stereolithography has been used since the 90s for turbine blade models yet the recent advances in metal additive manufacturing are exciting for the possibilities they offer for design and manufacturing. At iMetalx, we offer to perform manufacturability analysis of your parts. Manufacturability analysis for near net shape parts can provide reduced lead/time by minimizing machining and finishing operations while saving raw material. Process parameters, product design and material selection are the changing variables in a manufacturing chain that interact in complex, non-linear ways. Consequently, modeling and simulation play important roles in the investigation of alternative approaches. With AM offering net or near net parts without the need for casting or machining from solid billets the cost-benefit of investing in titanium for parts is apparent in many applications.
Using simulation (CAD and CAE), our team can obtain optimized component topology that provides target margin of safety for operating load conditions (mechanical, thermal, dynamic and contact) with increased life and reduced weight by removing undue material and lightweight it. Additive designing has created a new possibility for optimizing parts for aviation, automotive and medical industries.
Metal Additive manufacturing technologies like powder bed fusion (DMLS, SLM, EBM) and direct energy deposition (LMD) empower engineers to re-imagine functional parts manufacturing without requirement of molds or tooling. Metals like titanium (Ti6Al4V), Nickel alloys (Inconel 718 and 625) and stainless steel (17-4 PH, 316L), aluminum, cobalt chrome and bronze are currently produced using DMLS/SLM. Heat treatment, machining and surface treatments are applied in the post processing phase. With destructive and non-destructive testing ad dimensioning controls and inspections, we can deliver high quality parts.
Where all these methods are not applicable, we explore potential of investment casting process using wax molds to expedite part delivery. We have experience developing a novel titanium casting method to overcome a show-stopping, established-materials restriction after NAVY contract award. Using analytical methods- FEA/CFD, rapid prototyping, and leveraging existing navy expertise this solution reduced the cost of titanium casting/machining and delivered a compliant design.