Additive Manufacturing is an emerging technology that enables the manufacture of complex metal components that are impossible to duplicate using traditional manufacturing methods. This technology is being adopted by the space, defense, aerospace, energy, and automotive industries to create components that range from direct part-for-part casting replacements, to consolidation of part systems, to completely optimized engines designed specifically for additive manufacturing.
With a focus on developing products and processes in these highly regulated industries, there is a spotlight on the additive step of production, but our reality is that less than 5% of manufacturing time is spent in actual “print.”
The hybrid manufacturing part production method is steadily displacing siloed manufacturing workflows currently established and is on track to mitigate risk associated with AM and refresh industry confidence in scaled AM production.
The key to hybrid manufacturing is threefold; implement blended additive and subtractive workflows, utilize digital workflow automation software, and leverage additive builds to realize feature strengths rather than weaknesses to work around.
- Understand how hybrid manufacturing relies on additive and subtractive teams working together to build in such a way to machine parts still on the build plate.
- Understand how proper digital workflow leads to process automation across the manufacturing process from beginning to end.
- Understand how additive print features enable process machining and are not the enemy of a finishing process.