The Top 5 Reasons of Using 3D Printing in the NOVUM project
3D printing has enormous potential to be the next industrial revolution or at least 3D printing for mass production is a significant leap towards that direction. Hence, 3D printing has been selected as one of the principal manufacturing technologies for the fabrication of electric insulators as pilot products in the NOVUM project. Soon, the same path of 3D printing triumph will be joined by many other industrial sectors as well, such as the transportation and shipbuilding industries. In fact, the pilot-scale manufacturing line created during the project is undoubtedly an essential step towards mass production via 3D printing.
The top five reasons why 3D printing is an especially suitable fabrication method for the NOVUM project are:
- The possibility to produce objects with almost any imaginative shape. Even very complex geometries that simply can’t be manufactured using traditional manufacturing techniques can be achieved by 3D printing.
- The ability to optimize the weight of the printed object by using a numerical method called topology optimization. In this technique, the less efficient material is removed from the structure by using FEA simulations. As there is always a trade-off between weight and strength, the simulation is used to find the minimum weight and sufficient strength combination for the designed component. Weight optimization also reduces the direct costs of 3D printing, which is, of course, a most welcomed outcome.
- The unlimited possibilities to customize or personalize the product while producing a minimal amount of waste. Overall, the demands of global consumers are already heading towards greener and customizable products.
- The ability to handle uninterrupted mass part production. If traditional manufacturing methods would be used instead of 3D printing, one would first need to invest in tool making before being capable of even start the production, which adds up to the cost.
- The possibility to automate the whole manufacturing process/production line by using robots with automatic tool changers and visual quality control.
Hence, it is quite obvious that 3D printing has several advantages over traditional manufacturing methods in the production of electrical insulators and several other industrial products, especially as long as the technology is able to meet the desired production volume.