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Institut polytechnique de Grenoble

Grenoble Institute of Engineering
Donner vie aux connaissances scientifiques
Donner vie aux connaissances scientifiques

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Additive manufacturing revolutionises materials

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, stands out as one of the greatest revolutions in this early twenty-first century in terms of industrial production, in particular in the aerospace industry where subtractive manufacturing is taken to the extreme. In additive manufacturing, parts are manufactured by adding layers as opposed to traditional manufacturing methods, such as forging and machining, which rely on removing material to achieve the final part. At each layer, a laser or an electron beam agglomerates a metal powder (titanium for the time being in the case of EBM at Grenoble INP) on specific areas of the part only where the material is necessary. "Besides the high speed output, additive manufacturing helps to manufacture complex-shaped parts or in a single block to integrate additional functions that cannot be achieved through machining, explained Rémy Dendievel, researcher at SIMAP. In conjunction with our design colleagues at the AIP GI NOVA and G‑SCOP platform, we create architectures specially designed to meet a function or achieve seemingly incompatible combinations such as sturdiness and lightness or mechanical strength and thermal insulation, etc."
The possibilities of streamlining and integrating functions with no assembly required as well as the resource-efficient use of raw material (no losses) made possible by additive manufacturing are key advantages that help to reduce the Buy-to-Fly ratio in Aeronautics and to increase competitiveness in several other sectors. Finally, this technique is suited to on-demand part manufacturing, which might prove extremely useful, notably in the medical sector, to manufacture tailor-made prostheses for example.

Date of update April 18, 2014

Univ. Grenoble Alpes